SYLLABUS TEXAS STATE GOVERNMENT 2306

CLARENDON COLLEGE

SPRING 2010    3 CREDIT HOURS

ONLINE COURSE

Instructor: Kim Jeffrey

Office Hours: Because this is an online course, the best way to reach me is the Web CT e-mail through the online course. For emergencies us my personal home e-mail: kimjeffrey100@hotmail.com .   I will check and answer e-mails every couple of days or sooner. 

Monday, Tuesday, January 11, 12                     Registration for Fall 2010.

Tuesday, January 12                                    Classes Begin: Web CT is open to students

 

CALENDAR OF IMPORTANT DATES:

Classes Begin and Late Registration Begins

Tuesday, January 12

Last Day to Register and/or Add/Drop

Thursday, January 21

Last Day to Drop with a 'W'

Friday, April 9

Final Exam

Saturday to Monday May 1, 2, 3

 

CLASS PARTICIPATION: Students will post to the Discussion Board a short summary relating to a current political event of their choice. YOU WILL NEED SEVEN POSTINGS FOR EACH SECTION OF THE COURSE FOR A TOTAL OF TWENTY-ONE POSTINGS. In your own words, post a short summary about any current issue or event that that relates to government.  Decide what your topic is, how you would handle the situation if you were the decision-maker in control and give your reasons as to why you would address the problem in this way. Provide the source of your information.  THESE POSTINGS WILL BE YOUR CLASS PARTICIPATION SCORE AND WILL BE 10% OF YOUR TOTAL GRADE FOR THE CLASS.  There will be a format for you to follow on the Discussion Board of the Homepage. 

STATEMENT OF PURPOSE: To acquaint the student with the structure and functions of the Texas Constitutional System. The course is designed to satisfy state and college requirements for degree-seeking students as well as to provide a direction for future study. Government 2306 partially satisfies the requirement for an Associate Degree at Clarendon College and is designed to transfer to a senior college or university.

COURSE DESCRIPTION: Texas Government 2306 is an introduction to the theory and practice of politics and governance in Texas at the state and local and county levels. Topics include political theory, the Texas Constitution, Federalism, Separation of Powers, political participation, elections, the Texas economy and current events and issues.

METHOD OF INSTRUCTION: This is an online course. Students who take the responsibility for learning will learn the most. Therefore, in this class I will be acting more as a "facilitator of learning" than a "traditional teacher." What you learn in this course will come from these sources: textbook readings, current events that will be posted by the student, email messages from other students and me. If you need extra help, remember that I am only an email message away.

TEXT: Halter, Gary M. Government & Politics of Texas: A Comparative View. 7th Ed.  McGraw-Hill. New York: 2008. The text may be purchased at the Clarendon College Bookstore. YOU WILL NEED THIS TEXTBOOK, however it will not matter if you have a different edition. This is a very brief textbook with only 299 pages.

COURSE OBJECTIVES:  Students will become familiar with the structure and functions of the Texas Constitutional System and the democratic process at the state level. Students will gain an understanding of Federalism and Separation of Powers in the context of state government, its institutions, politics and policy. Students will also gain more understanding of current events and issues through their own research and research of fellow students.

EXAMS: There will be three exams for this course. Each exam will be worth 30% of your total grade. Your class participation will be worth 10%. Each exam will consist of fifty (50) multiple-choice questions. Each question will have four choices, with only one correct answer. Please check the syllabus for the dates of the tests.  Please note the exams are set for three days in a row and you may test anytime during this period. The final exam will be on Saturday, Sunday, Monday, May 1, 2, 3. Please make sure you can fit the exams into your schedule. Exams will be based on the textbook reading assignments. Total grades will be based on the following formula:

A = 90 - 100              B = 80 – 89        C = 70 - 79              D = 60-69                      F = below 60

Exam I   30%

Exam II  30%

Exam III 30%

Class Participation weekly research assignments   10%

     Total 100%

CLASS POLICIES: Exams will be administered online on the dates specified on the syllabus. The final exam will be given only on Saturday, Sunday, Monday, May 1, 2, 3.  

ATTENDANCE: Since this is an online course there is no attendance policy. It is up to you to set your own times “for class.” The exams will be given only the dates stated on the syllabus and of course will not be monitored.  No one will be looking over your shoulder. However, you will have 60 minutes allotted for each exam. Please make sure you will have no interruptions or disturbances during the exam.

 

WITHDRAWAL: If you choose to drop this course, it is up to YOU to do so. I cannot drop the course for you. The last day to drop this class with a “W” is Friday, April 9.  It is your responsibility to read and understand the policies concerning withdrawal from college or from any individual course(s).  These policies may be found in the College Catalog or you may contact the Office of Student Services 806-874-3571 or 800-687-9737. A student is only allowed to drop the same class twice before he/she will be charged up to triple the tuition amount for taking the class a third time or more.  Beginning with the Fall 2007 semester, students in Texas may only drop a total of six courses throughout their entire undergraduate career.  After the six, the student will no longer be able to withdraw from any classes

ACADEMIC DISHONESTY: SCHOOL POLICY:

Cheating will not be tolerated and may be cause for expulsion from the class and/or receiving a grade of “F” for the class. In addition, the student will be reported to the Dean of Students, and students who are reported as cheating to the Dean of Students more than once shall be disciplined by the Dean. Cheating violations include but are not limited to (1) obtaining an examination, classroom activity, or laboratory exercise by stealing or collusion; (2) discovering the content of an examination, classroom activity, laboratory exercise, or homework assignment before it is given; (3) using an unauthorized source of information during an examination, classroom activity, laboratory exercise, or homework assignment; (4) entering an office or building to obtain unfair advantage; (5) taking an examination for another person; (6) completing a classroom activity, laboratory exercise, homework assignment, or research paper for another person; (7) altering grade records; (8) using any unauthorized form of electronic communication device during an examination, classroom activity, or laboratory exercise; (9) plagiarism. Plagiarism is the using, stating, offering, or reporting as one’s own an idea, expression, or production of another person without proper credit.

PLAGIARISM: Read the following explanations carefully and be sure that you understand them.

1. Word-for-word plagiarism: The student quotes his or her source without using quotation marks. Even if the student cites the source, he or she is still plagiarizing because proper quotation procedures were not used.

2. Paraphrased plagiarism: The student uses a source and with the exception of changing a few words or phrases essentially quotes the original. Even if the source is properly cited, the writing is still plagiarized because the student has used the author’s style, vocabulary, and content and claimed it as his or her own.

3. Improper citations: If a student uses someone’s information other than his or her own, the source of the material must be properly cited. Failure to do so is plagiarism.

4. Improper use of ideas: Ideas are as equally protected as words. If the student uses someone’s ideas, but expresses them in his or her words, the student plagiarizes if he or she does not cite the source of the idea.

5. Internet use: Copying and pasting from the Internet is plagiarism. Purchasing papers from a paper mill is plagiarism.

6. Student sharing: While students are certainly free to work together and study together, an assignment that calls for individual work must reflect the student’s personal effort. If a student borrows or copies another student’s work, that is plagiarism. If a student has another student write a paper, that is plagiarism. If two students collaborate on an individual assignment and turn in the same work, that is plagiarism.

Plagiarism is a serious academic offense. It involves legal issues about improper use of materials that do not belong to the student. Plagiarism is unethical. A student must do his or her own work; otherwise, the learning process is compromised. Plagiarism is unfair to fellow students who take the time and make the effort to do their own work. Essentially, plagiarism is cheating and will not be tolerated.

OFFICE HOURS: You may e-mail me at any time using the Web CT online email. I will check my e-mail every couple of days or sooner. I may also be reached by phone at 806-856-5932 between the hours of 5:00 and 9:00 in the evenings or you can leave a message on my machine.  The best way to reach me is through the Web CT Mail box.  Please use my personal e-mail for emergencies only. 

 

DATES

ASSIGNMENTS AND INFORMATION

Section I    

January 12- February 22

Syllabus test      Jan 12-18

 

Bio and Class Check In

 

Reading Assignments

 

 

Exam I

Feb 20-22

 

Discussion

Read the Course Syllabus.

Take the Syllabus Test by clicking on the Exam Icon on the Homepage.

Click on Syllabus Test by clicking on the Exam Icon on the Homepage. The Syllabus test will serve two functions.  First, it is our classroom contract and will ensure that you have read and understood the syllabus. And second, while the Syllabus Test won’t count toward a grade, it will give you some practice with the online testing feature. If you need help just let me know.   It will be open from  January 12 until January 18. 

 

Be sure to check in and tell us about yourself. Where do you live? Is this your first online course? What are your plans for the future and is there any other information you would like  to share with your fellow classmates? There is no test on this part, but you must check in so I will know you are “in” the class. The Biography Folder is located on the Discussion Board. 

 

TEXT BOOK READING ASSIGNMENTS

Ch 1: Introduction to Texas Government.

Ch 2: The State Constitution and American Federal System.

Ch 8: The Office of Governor and State Agencies in Texas.

Exam I:  Saturday, Sunday and Monday, February 20, 21, 22. You will have 60 minutes in which to take this test. Please be prepared.

 

Seven postings are due for this section. Provide a brief (1) summary of the issue or event. The topic is your choice, but it must relate to government. Provide your (2) solution to the problem or issue. Give your (3) reasons why and then provide or (4) cite the source of your information. Your fellow classmates are free to address your issue. They may agree, disagree, or simply add their own thoughts and ideas.  Post your current events on the Discussion Page in the folder marked Section I. For more information, see the READ ME Page and the Instruction Folder on the Discussion Board. 

DATES

ASSIGNMENTS AND INFORMATION

Section II

Feb 23-Feb  March 29

Reading Assignments

 

 

 

Exam II

March 27-29

Discussion

 

 

TEXT BOOK READING ASSIGNMENTS

Ch 3: Participation in Texas Politics.

Ch 4: Interest Groups in Texas Politics.

Ch 5: Political Parties in Texas.

Ch 6: Elections and Campaigns in Texas.

Ch 7: The Texas Legislature.

 

EXAM II:  Saturday, Sunday, Monday, March 27, 28, 29.  You will have 60 minutes in which to take this test.

 

Seven postings are due during this section of the course. Please place them in the Section II Folder.  

 

DATES

ASSIGNMENTS AND INFORMATION

Section III

Mar 30– May 3

 

Final Exam

May 1, 2, 3

 

 

Discussion

TEXT BOOK READING ASSIGNMENTS

Ch 9: The Court System in Texas.

Ch 10: Financing State Government.

Ch 11: Local Governments in Texas.

Ch 12:  Public Policy in Texas

Final Exam: Saturday, Sunday, Monday, May 1, 2, 3.You will have 60 minutes in which to take this test.

         Please take notice of the dates of the Final Exam. 

 

Seven postings are due for this section.

Please place all remaining postings in the Section III Folder.