Foundations of American Governance: An Introduction to Public Policy – PPOL 501

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 11/12/2020

Course Description

This course provides a broad study of the philosophical, intellectual, political, and cultural influences on Western Society and examines the manner in which those influences have been and are being reflected in American Public Policy. More specifically, it will examine the manner in which various worldviews affect American Public Policy, with particular emphasis on the contrast between the Judeo-Christian worldview and Secular Humanism, Marxism/Leninism, and Islamic Fundamentalism.

For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog.


Foundations of American Governance is a required and foundational course providing the mechanical, philosophical, and substantive framework for the study of public policy that will occur throughout the remainder of the program.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Evaluate how ideas affect and inform public policy.
  2. Analyze the sources, characteristics, and influences of particular philosophies and ideas on American public policy.
  3. Evaluate the tangible implications of public policies and the ideas affecting them as to their impacts on individuals, groups, and/or society.
  4. Synthesize particular public policies from a practical and Judeo-Christian perspective.

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 (2)

Discussion boards are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to provide a thread in response to the provided prompt for each forum. Each thread must be 400–500 words and contain at least 3 citations in current Turabian format. In addition to the thread, the student must reply to at least 2 other classmates’ threads. Each reply must be 200–250 words and contain at least 1 citation in current Turabian format.

News Article Reviews (4)

The student will be required to submit 4 News Article Reviews in this course. Each News Article Review must demonstrate comprehension and identify key elements related to concepts discussed in the course. Each News Article Review must be 150–250 words and cite the reviewed article in current Turabian format.

Research Papers (2)

The student will be required to submit 2 research papers written in current Turabian format. Both papers must cite appropriate grad-level sources and contain a title page and bibliography. The first Research Paper will require at least 3 sources and have a 500-word body. The second Research Paper must cite at least 5 sources and have a 1,750–2,000-word body.