Syllabus Lance Roxas POLS 111 4wk

Syllabus Lance Roxas POLS 111 4wk


To most effectively follow this course use the Module link on the left side bar of canvas.  Each Module has a series of assignments, quizzes, discussion topics and or exams and papers.  Please progress through the modules in sequential order.


Course Syllabus

Online Course:  American Government – POLS 111-900  


Course Professor:  Lance Roxas, PhD                             

Emails: or


Office: MR -04A

Phone: 215.751.8552


Course Description

This course is an introduction to the theory and practice of politics and government in America at the national level. Students will explore political theory, the American constitution, federalism, political participation and elections, the institutions of government, and domestic and foreign policies.


This course fulfills the Community College of Philadelphia’s foundational component area of the core competencies in addressing the objectives of critical thinking, communication, social and personal responsibility.


After successfully completing this course, a student will be able to:

  1. Explain the origin and development of constitutional democracy in the United States.
  2. Demonstrate knowledge of the federal system.
  3. Describe separation of powers and checks and balances in both theory and practice.
  4. Demonstrate knowledge of the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of the federal
  5. Evaluate the role of public opinion, interest groups, and political parties in the political arena.
  6. Analyze the election process.
  7. Describe the rights and responsibilities of citizens.
  8. Analyze issues and policies in U.S. politics.
  9. Express oneself with precision and clarity, whether orally or in writing.


Required Texts

American Government: Institutions and Policies edition Fifteen

James Q. Wilson, John J. Dilulio Jr., Meena Bose, Matthew Levendusky

Cengage Learning (2015)


The Enduring Debate: Classic and Contemporary Readings In American Politics

David T. Canon, John J. Coleman, Kenneth R. Mayer

W.W. Norton and Company (2014)



Course Assignments  


There will be two examinations.  Each examination will be self-contained material, meaning the material you are to be tested will not include material on other examinations.  The exams are short answer format.



There will be one quiz every week during the term covering the material for the corresponding chapter that week. These will always pertain the important definitions contained in each chapter. 


Discussion Assignments

There will be weekly discussions that pertain to the readings. You will be asked to create, participate and respond to discussions each week.  


Writing and Critical Thinking Essay

This course will require students to complete a writing and critical thinking assignment.  The writing assignment will be four pages in length and requires a minimum of four citation sources.  The possible topics will be assigned later in the semester.



Each week you will be asked to read and essay and write a two page (double spaced) essay regarding what you have read. 


Grading Policy

A student's final grade for the course is based solely on their personal performance on the required work for the course (examinations, quizzes, class projects, essays etc.).  The grading will be calculated on this basis:


Exams (midterm and final) each 20% of your grade (40% total)

Quizzes worth 10% of your grade

Essay for 20%

Discussions worth 15% of your grade

Assignments worth 15% of your grade


90+    = A GRADE

80-89 = B GRADE

70-79 = C GRADE

60-69 = D GRADE

59 or below = F GRADE


College personnel with administrative authority, including faculty, may initiate disciplinary proceedings against a student accused of scholastic dishonesty. “Scholastic dishonesty” includes, but is not limited to, cheating on a test, plagiarism, and collusion.

Plagiarism is the unacknowledged use of the written work of another person. This definition not only applies to situations in which an entire paper is copied, but also to situations in which only a single phrase or sentence is used without giving the original author credit for the work.


I will absolutely not accept any violations to this policy.  Hand in only work that is your own.  If you are having any difficulties please feel free to contact me during office hours, email me, approach me after class and I will do EVERYTHING and ANYTHING in my power to help you work through any difficulties you may be having; but please do not violate the academic integrity policy as it will have severe consequences.   

Student Support

The Counseling Department is located in office BG-7 for students struggling with problems of a personal nature.


Disability Access Statement

It is the student’s responsibility to self-identify with the Center on Disability Office to receive an evaluation of accommodations and services in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.  Only those students with appropriate documentation will receive a letter of accommodation from the COD office.  The student will be responsible for presenting his/her letter of accommodation to the instructor in a timely manner.


Instructors are required to follow only those accommodations authorized in the letter of accommodation.  For further information, please contact the Center on Disability Office at 215-751-8307. Their office is located in M1-22b.


Course Calendar

Subject to change at the discretion of the instructor.


Module 1

Politics and Democracy, Political Culture

Read Chapter 1 and 4 in the American Government Text


Read in Chapter 1  “The Three Political Cultures” by Daniel Elazar in the Enduring Debate


Read Chapter 1 section 5 "What Does It Mean to Be an American?" by Steven M. Warshawsky in the Enduring Debate


The Constitution and Federalism

Read Chapter 2 in the American Government text

Read Chapter 2 section 7 "The Nature of American Constitutionalism" by Michael Kammen in the Enduring Debate

Read Chapter 2 section 9 "The Federalist #15 by Alexander Hamilton" in the Enduring Debate


Read Chapter 3 in the American Government text

Also please read the United States Constitution.  Article I sections 1, 2, 3, 8, 9, 10   Article II section 2, Article III section 1, Article IV section 1 and 2, Article V all, Article 6 all, and Amendments 1,2,4,5,6,7,8,10,13,14,15,16,19,and 22


Module 2

Political Participation

Read Chapter 8 in the American Government text

Please read Chapter 4 sections 18 and 19 and in The Enduring Debate "The Perpetuation of Our Political Institutions" by Abraham Lincoln and "Letter from Birmingham Jail" by Martin Luther King Jr.

Political Parties, Campaigns and Elections

Read Chapter 9 and 10 in the American Government Text


Module 3

Interest Groups and Congress

Read Chapter 11 in the American Government text

Read Chapter 13 in the American Government text

Read Chapter 5 section 25 in The Enduring Debate "U.S. House Members in the Constituencies: An Exploration" by Richard Fenno 


Read Chapter 14 in the American Government Text

Read chapter 8 section 30 in the Enduring Debate "The Power to Persuade" by Richard Neustadt


Module 4

Supreme Court

Read Chapter 16 in the American Government text

Read Chapter 8 section 39 in The Enduring Debate "The Federalist #78" by Alexander Hamilton

Civil Rights, Civil Liberties and Landmark Court decisions

Read Chapter 5 in the American Government text

Course Summary:

Date Details Due