American Political Processes – GOVT 328

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 07/28/2020

Course Description

A study of the electoral process in America and the organizations such as political parties and interest groups that influence it. Topics included are political campaigns, electoral laws, voting behavior, and the development of political parties and interest groups. In election years, students are encouraged to participate in the campaign of the party of their choice.

Prerequisite

GOVT 200

Rationale

Political parties and interest groups play a key role in the American political process. In this course, the student will be challenged to develop a deeper understanding of the ways in which political parties as well as interest groups function as organizations, in the electorate, and in government. The knowledge the student will learn in this course will equip him/her to play a part in shaping public policy through these organizations.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Compare the differences in purpose and functions of political parties and interest groups.
  2. Describe the development and operation of political parties and interest groups in the United States at the federal, state, and local level.
  3. Explain the impact of the Constitution and federal law on elections, evaluating the impact of items such as the Electoral College and campaign finance laws.
  4. Analyze the interaction of Christianity and politics by reviewing faith-based advocacy groups.
  5. Demonstrate ways Christians can have a positive impact on the political process.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and lecture presentations

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in Module/Week 1.

Discussion Board Forums (3)

Discussion boards are collaborative learning experiences.

Thread

The student is required to create a thread in response to the provided prompt for each forum. Each thread must be 500–750 words, include at least 1 outside scholarly source, and demonstrate course-related knowledge.

Replies

In addition to the thread, the student is required to reply to 2 other classmates’ threads. Each reply must be 250–350 words and include at least 1 outside scholarly source.

Research Paper

Thesis and Outline

The student will write a thesis and create an outline in preparation for the Research Paper – Final Submission. The thesis and outline must be 2–3 pages and must include at least 7 references.

Final Submission

The student will write a 5–7-page research-based paper in current Turabian format that focuses on an in-depth study of a faith-based interest group of his/her choosing. The paper must include at least 10 scholarly references in addition to the course textbooks, the Bible, and course presentations.

Exams (2)

Each exam will cover the Reading & Study material for the module/week in which it is assigned and all prior modules/weeks. Each exam will be open-book/open-notes, contain multiple-choice and short answer questions, and have a 2-hour time limit.