POLITICAL SCIENCE 261
PRINCIPLES OF AMERICAN GOVERNMENT – NATIONAL AND STATE
Dr. John Holcombe
(1) The American Democracy (Seventh Edition – Texas Edition) by Patterson
Office Information: My office is located in AB1, Room 315G. The phone number is 294-1467. My office hours are: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday 9:00 - 11:00 and 1:00 – 2:00, Thursday 9:00 – 12:00 and by appointment.
(1) Attendance will be taken each class period at the beginning of the period.
(2) Attendance is encouraged, since the major exams will be based on the lecture notes.
(3) There will be two points taken off the final semester average for each absence in excess of three absences. On the other hand, points will be added to the semester average for having very few absences, as indicated below:
Absences Points Added
Exams and Grades:
There are two kinds of examinations. The major exams are made up of multiple choice items. They are based on the class notes only. The first major exam is 25% of the semester average; the second major exam also counts as 25%. The final exam counts another 25% and is like the other major exams in being multiple choice items. The final exam is based on class notes after the first major exam.
The average on reading exams makes up the remaining 25% of the semester grade. Each reading exam is based on one chapter from the textbook and is announced at least one week in advance. A reading exam has 10 multiple-choice items to answer. There will be five reading exams. The lowest grade of the five reading exams will be dropped.
Make-up reading exams will be given December 6 at 7:00 p.m. The make-up reading exam will be based on a chapter different from any other reading exam. Each make-up on a major exam will be arranged on an individual basis with the instructor.
The following point distribution will be used to determine letter grades:
A = 90 – 100+
B = 80 – 89
C = 70 – 79
D = 60 – 69
F = 0 – 59
Student Absences on Religious Holy Days Policy
Section 51.911(b) of the Texas Education Code requires that an institution of higher education excuse a student from attending classes or other required activities, including examinations, for the observance of a religious holy day, including travel for that purpose. A student whose absence is excused under this subsection may not be penalized for that absence and shall be allowed to take an examination or complete an assignment from which the student is excused within a reasonable time after the absence.
University Policy 861001 provides the procedures to be followed by the student and instructor. A student desiring to absent himself/herself from a scheduled class in order to observe (a) religious holy day(s) shall present to each instructor involved a written statement concerning the religious holy day(s). The instructor will complete a form notifying the student of a reasonable timeframe in which the missed assignments and/or examinations are to be completed.
Americans with Disabilities Act
SHSU adheres to all applicable federal, state, and local laws, regulations, and guidelines with respect to providing reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities. If you have a disability that may affect adversely your work in this class, then I encourage you to register with the SHSU Counseling Center and to talk with me about how I can best help you. All disclosures of disabilities will be kept strictly confidential. NOTE: No accommodation can be made until you register with the Counseling Center .
1) Three Models of Government
2) The Texas Constitution – Texas chapters, Chapter 2
3) The Writing of the U.S. Constitution – U.S. chapters, Chapter. 2
4) Political Party Development in the United States – U.S. chapters, Chapter 8
5) Political Parties in Texas – Texas chapters, Chapter 5
6) The Presidency – U.S. chapters, Chapter 12
7) Structural Features of the Texas State Legislature – Texas chapters, Chapter 7
8) Structural Features of the U.S. Congress – U.S. chapters, Chapter 11
9) Stages of a Bill Becoming a Law in Congress – U.S. chapters, Chapter 11