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Fall 2021

Political Science Courses:

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POS107 - American Political Parties

Credits: 3

Catalog Description: Introduces the theoretical and practical perspectives of American political parties. Examines the origin, structure and operation of the parties. Students participate in an actual political campaign. Offered every other year to correspond to state and national elections. NOTE: Students wishing to use this course to fulfill the SUNY General Education requirement in American History are required to meet one of the following criteria: successful completion of HIS 203 or HIS 204; score 85 or better on the New York State Regents American History and Government examination; or earn a score of 3 or better on the AP United States history examination.

Lecture: 3 hrs.

Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs):
At the conclusion of the semester, based upon extended writing, examination questions and classroom activities, students will be able to:

1.Describe the historical origins of the U.S. Constitution.

2.Identify four key features of the U.S. federal system, two changes it has undergone, and three basic issues related to federalism.*

3.Identify at least five distinctive features of American political culture.

4.Explain at least three roles of public opinion in American politics, and identify two ways in which public opinion is evaluated.

5.Identify at least four ways in which individuals participate in the political process and describe typical patterns of voting and participation.

6.Evaluate the role of the two major political parties in the political process and identify at least two factors inhibiting the rise of third parties.

7.Describe at least three elements of strategy in election campaigns and evaluate the importance of at least two types of resources in campaigns.

8.Identify three types of interest groups and at least three techniques used by interest groups to influence public policy.

9.Discuss at least three roles of the media in the American political process.

10.Explain at least four steps in the lawmaking process.

11.Discuss at least three roles of a member of congress.

12.Identify at least five duties and powers of the President.

13.Describe at least three ways that the bureaucracy functions as an autonomous center of power in the government.

14.Identify at least four key concepts in the judicial process.

15.Assess the role of the judiciary in the American system of checks and balances.

16.Explain the three steps in the public policy formation process.

17.Discuss the Constitutional basis, and current policy with respect to rights and liberties and due process of law.

*This course objective has been identified as a student learning outcome that must be formally assessed as part of the College's Comprehensive Assessment Plan. All faculty teaching this course must collect the required data (see Assessing Student Learning Outcomes form) and submit the required analysis and documentation at the conclusion of the semester to the Office of Assessment and Special Projects.

Content Outline:
1.The American Political Landscape
2.The Constitution
3.The Concept of Federalism
4.Civil Liberties
5.Civil Rights
6.Congress and the Legislative Process
7.The Presidency
8.The Executive Branch and the Federal Bureaucracy
9.The Judiciary
10.Public Opinion and the News Media
11.Political Parties and Interest Groups
12.Campaigns, Voting and Elections
13.Public Policy

Effective Term: Spring 2005