Political Science 1 itv course {#4538} Introduction to American Government and Politics

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Political Science 1 – ITV Course {#4538}

Introduction to American Government and Politics

Assistant Professor David J Uranga, M.A., UCLA

Orientation on 1-9-2013 in Classroom C333 from 6:50-10pm

ITV meets on 1/7, 1/28, 2/11, 3/11, 4/1 and 4/22

Office C352C, Office Hours: MW 9-1015am; W 2-330pm

Email: duranga2012@gmail.com

Facebook: david.uranga@facebook.com

Twitter: @djuranga
I - Introduction

Welcome to the Canvas online-based Study of American Government and Politics (Pol Sc1) taught by yours truly: David J Uranga! During this semester, we will study “Principles and problems of government with emphasis on national government in the United States”. The trick here, however, is that each student in political science one will study, learn about politics, take five online tests, {called Exam Preps}, five online exams {objective format} and 5 in class essays on correlational or cause-effect arguments seen in our videos. For the entire semester, we will test hypotheses of American Government and better understand american politics and our system.

II – Texts

Coleman, John J et al. Understanding American Politics, 2nd edition. Loose Leaf and E book version. Pearson: NY, 2011

Framework for Democracy: An Introduction to American Government, Intelecom, 2003.

III – Grading

Your grade will be based upon the successful completion of 5 tests, 5 exams and 5 online discussion posts and essay based responses. More info on the schedule below

5 Quiz Preps 20 points

5 Online Exams {low score dropped} 40 points

5 In Class Essays {low score dropped} 40 points

Extra Credit Opportunity 1-3 points

Your course grade will be out of 100 possible points.

Letter Grades will then be assigned on the following basis:

90%-100% (90-100) A

80% - 89% (80-89) B

63% - 79% (63-79) C

55% - 62% (55-62) D

Below 55% (0-54) F “Love me Two Times!”

Each of you will complete 5 exam preps and 5 Objective format based online exams. Every two weeks or so, each of you will have a smaller objective-based Quiz Prep followed by a larger objective online based Exam based upon readings and curriculum below.

V. THE IN CLASS ESSAYS {40% grade}

All students will write five essays in response to a variety of essay prompts based upon the Framework for Democracy video lessons watched. The essay rubric below sets up basic guidelines to getting the best possible grades on each essay.

As you log onto canvas, notice the home page and the online and in class assignments schedule. After printing out the syllabus and reviewing the course expectations, please open up the first essay prompt found at the homepage. Each student shall be expected to complete the online exam preps and the online exam 1-5 BEFORE the next meeting. On 1/28 for example, each student will bring a blue book and a pen; then each student shall write out a 5 paragraph essay on 1 of the selected essay choices for you. You will NOT know which of the numerous essay choices will be on your exam. I shall choose a short list from a huge list of essay options presented to you on the canvas homepage. This is done to prevent writing out the essay in a blue book ahead of class.
The rubric below will help you how to correctly construct the in class essays:





(0 points)


(0.4-.6 points)


(.6-.8 points)


(.8-1.0 points)





Intro is not present and does not set up the argument

Opening paragraph of the essay does not lay solid groundwork for the argument

A sufficient beginning is present and sets up the argument

Introduction is invigorating and lays a solid foundation for the thesis


_2 point



Complete lack of a central argument

Thesis is weak and/or not entirely related to the topic

Core argument is present and relevant to the topic at hand

Main argument is clearly revealed and makes a strong claim


_/2 point 


Course Content


Thesis is not supported by any text information.

Minimal support of thesis by text content.

Adequate support of thesis by textbook content.

Main argument is fully supported with relevant facts from our texttbook.




__/2 point




Complete absence of any form of conclusion.  

Conclusion is present, but does not review main points and/or does not restate thesis

Thesis is restated and main points are reviewed.

Argument is restated and main points are reviewed in a thoughtful, reflective manner. Provides sound closure


__/2 points 



Total lack of organization and/or coherent development of ideas 

Essay structure is flawed and ideas are underdeveloped

The essay has the basic and necessary framework in logical order  

Ideas are well organized and are clearly introduced, developed and concluded





 Total Score




 _/10 points


Unit starts on

Readings from text

Exams # on

**In Class Essays on...

SLO 1 {9/10}

C chapters. 1-4

FD lessons 1-4

One on 1/28

On the US Constitution?

SLO 2 {9/24}

C chapters. 7-11

FD lessons 8-11, 13

Two on 2/11

On 2008 and 2012?

SLO3 {10/15}

C chaps. 12-14

FD lessons 12,14-18

Three on 3/11

On the Battle between the branches.

SLO 4 {11/5}

C chapters. 15, 5-6

FD lessons 19-21, 5-7

Four on 4/1

On the Role of the US Supreme Court and Civil rights/liberties for all.

SLO 5 (11/19)

C chapters 17-19

FD lessons 22-26

Five on 4/22

On public policy and the effect of the 2008 election upon all matters policy.

where C = Coleman et al; FD**=Framework for Democracy; SLO = Student Learning Outcomes.


There are no make-ups for the midterms unless you are ill or have a medical reason for missing a test. If you miss a test, its your dropped score.

Cheating on any exam means an F at first and progressively worse till your grade equals a zero score and possible disciplinary action if warranted. Please avoid using WIKIPEDIA for anything.

Excessive missing of tests and attendance (for example, 2 missing exams) = drop time! Please come to class prepared to succeed!
VIII– Information on the Professor.

Professor David Uranga received his BA California State University, Northridge in 1987, and his MA from the University of California at Los Angeles in 1989. He began teaching in 1987 at Cal State Northridge. He has taught at Glendale Community College, College of the Canyons, and here at Pasadena City College since 1990. You can reach Professor Uranga at duranga2012@gmail.com

IX - Political Science One Student Learning Outcomes

The Outlines for Political Science 1 are as follows, according to the Pasadena City College Course Outline:

Course Description: Principles and problems of government with emphasis on national government in the Untied States. Political Science 1 and Political Science 2 are usually required for advanced political Science.

Course Credit: Satisfies part of the IGETC curriculum. Satisfies the CSU American Government requirement. NO CREDIT if taken after American Institutions 5.

Prerequisites: None. Corequisities: None.
Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to

Five Student Learning Outcomes:

1. Explain the making of the constitutional convention.

2. Test the electoral connection between candidates and public policy.

3. Test the theory of divided government and its efficacy.

4. Test the claim that the U.S. federal judiciary determined the civil liberty and civil rights agendas of the


5. Examine claims of how public policy is made and sustained.

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