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.
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:
- Compare the differences in purpose and functions of political parties and interest groups.
- Describe the development and operation of political parties and interest groups in the United States at the federal, state, and local level.
- 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.
- Analyze the interaction of Christianity and politics by reviewing faith-based advocacy groups.
- Demonstrate ways Christians can have a positive impact on the political process.
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 the Course Overview.
Discussions are collaborative learning experiences. The student is required to create a thread in response to the provided prompt for each discussion. Each thread must be 500–750 words, include at least 1 outside scholarly source, and demonstrate course-related knowledge. 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 Assignments (2)
Thesis and Outline Assignment
The student will write a thesis and create an outline in preparation for the Research Paper: Final Submission Assignment. The thesis and outline must be 2–3 pages and must include at least 7 references.
Final Submission Assignment
The student will write a 5–7-page research-based paper in current APA format that focuses on an in-depth study of a faith-based interest group of their choosing. The paper must include at least 10 scholarly references in addition to the course textbooks, the Bible, and course presentations.
Each quiz will cover the Learn items for the module: week in which it is assigned. Each quiz will be open-book/open-notes, contain multiple-choice and short answer questions, and have a 2-hour time limit.