Skagit Valley College

Catalog Course Search Details

 Course Title:   American Government: D

 Title Abbreviation:   AMERICAN GOVERNMENT: D

 Department:    POLS&

 Course #:    202

 Credits:    5

 Variable:     No

 IUs:    5

 CIP:    451001

 EPC:    n/a

 REV:    2021

 Course Description  

A study of the structure of power in the United States and the functions, sources, and uses of power in American Politics. Also emphasizes mechanisms and outcomes of the policy making process in a pluralistic society.


Prerequisite: ENGL 099 with a "C" or higher (or placement into ENGL& 101).

Additional Course Details

Contact Hours (based on 11 week quarter)

Lecture: 55

Lab: 0

Other: 0

Systems: 0

Clinical: 0

Intent: Distribution Requirement(s) Status:  

Academic Social Sciences  

Equivalencies At Other Institutions

Other Institution Equivalencies Table
Institution Course # Remarks
CWU 210
U of W 202
WSU 101
WWU 250

Learning Outcomes

After completing this course, the student will be able to:

  1. More effectively and critically gather data, analyze this information, and develop strategies to understand and participate in U.S. politics
  2. Discuss the history of the Constitution, with its inherent conflicts, ambiguities and omissions
  3. Understand the various forms of government which have existed in the U.S.: unitary, confederal, federal
  4. Comprehend the ongoing development of civil rights and liberties under the Constitution and the coping with bigotry, prejudice, and discrimination
  5. Discuss the political party system, its evolution and changing ideologies over time
  6. Understand the election and electoral system, its strengths weaknesses and foibles
  7. Appreciate the duties and responsibilities of the President and Executive Branch
  8. Comprehend the structure and functioning of the court system of the Federal Judiciary
  9. Understand the dilemma of representation facing Members of Congress in the Legislative Branch
  10. SOCIAL SCIENCES: Identify social variables, structures, and experiences that shape individual perspectives.

General Education Learning Values & Outcomes

Revised August 2018 and affects outlines for 2019 and later.


Definition: Think analytically, logically, creatively, and reflectively.


Definition: Interact with humans and the environment informed by an understanding of equity.

Course Contents

  1. Learning theory in political science: knowledge, awareness, and strategies in a pluralistic society.
  2. Critical thinking in political science: frameworks of analysis.
  3. The American Revolution, Declaration of Independence, Articles of Confederation, Constitution.
  4. Federalism: division of power between the states and central government.
  5. Unresolved questions: slavery, native peoples, women, immigrants.
  6. The rise of political parties: ideology and the politics of exclusion.
  7. Elections, electoral system, redistricting.
  8. Civil rights and freedoms: the ongoing battle of justice for all.
  9. Role of interest groups and lobbying.
  10. The executive branch: history, development, limits.
  11. The legislative branch: history, organizational discussion, how a bill becomes law.
  12. The judicial branch: the federal judiciary, the Supreme Court, judicial review.
  13. Current dilemmas in a pluralistic society.