United States Government

Course Description

This course will provide students with knowledge of United States government that will enable them to participate effectively in civic life in America. Students will examine fundamental constitutional principles; the organization of government at the federal, state, and local level; the rights and responsibilities of citizenship; the policy-making process; and the American economic system.

Course Objectives

Upon completing this course you will be able to:

  • Describe and compare important facts, concepts, and theories pertaining to U.S. government and politics.
  • Explain typical patterns of political processes and behavior and their consequences (including the components of political behavior, the principles used to explain or justify various government structures and procedures, and the political effects of these structures and procedures).
  • Interpret basic data relevant to U.S. government and politics (including data presented in charts, tables, and other formats).
  • Critically analyze relevant theories and concepts, apply them appropriately.

Required Course Materials

  • Government Journal – In the form of a small composition notebook, a spiral notebook, or loose-leaf paper kept in a binder.
  • Pencil or Pen – In order to do well in the course, you must take notes, sketch diagrams and graphs, and solve problems when instructed to do so.
  • Internet Access
  • Adobe Reader

Note: This course does not require a textbook.

Course Organization

Each semester contains 6 units and one final exam that must be taken in person.

Each Unit contains:

  • 4–5 lessons. Each lesson includes some or all of the following components: Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate, and Evaluate.
  • Self-assessments to help you check your own understanding of the material covered in each lesson. You must complete these assessments in order to advance in the course.
  • 2 graded assignments

Final Examination

The final examination is comprehensive; it covers the material from all 8 units. To pass the course, you must receive a grade of 70 percent or better. You can apply to take the Final Exam after 100 percent of your graded assignments have been submitted, and at least 70 percent have been graded and returned to you.

Format: multiple-choice
Time Allowed: 3 hours
Materials Allowed: #2 pencils and scientific calculator

Semester Topics

Topic 1: Foundations and Principles of the U.S. Constitution
Topic 2: Introduction to the U.S. Constitution
Topic 3: The Institutions of Government: The Legislative Branch
Topic 4: The Institutions of Government: The Executive Branch
Topic 5: The Institutions of Government: The Judicial Branch
Topic 6: Political Participation