INDEPENDENT STUDY GOVERNMENT 2301
                                  AMERICAN GOVERNMENT I
                                      SUMMER I, 2008

Instructor:      Dr. Robert Locander
Office:          Academic Building, Suite 270 B at NHC
Phone:           281/618-5592 (Office)


Independent Study Government 2301 is a course designed for the disciplined, well-organized
student who is unable to attend class on a regular basis. It is a course for a mature person who
can meet deadlines and fulfill course requirements with limited instructor assistance. Although it
is not a formal prerequisite, students choosing the individualized section should be aware that
good reading and writing skills will be needed to complete this course. The academic credit
achieved in this section is the same as any regular section of GOVT 2301.


This course is intended as an investigation of a series of topics and aspects related to the American
and Texas political systems. Political power, political culture, democracy, constitutionalism,
federalism, and state and local politics are among the topics. Such aspects affecting the American
and Texas governments as public opinion, political socialization, political parties,
interest groups, voting, campaigns, and elections will be studied during the semester. It
is hoped that this course will increase your understanding and appreciation of American federalism.


American Government and Politics Today 2007-20078 Texas Edition by Schmidt

*Strapped by Draut

*Tuned Out by Mindich

4 Test Answer Sheet B (Form 19641)


Students will be required to take a midterm exam and a final exam in this course. Each exam will be given
on the North Harris College campus at the Assessment Center in A-102. The format of each exam will
consist of seventy-five multiple-choice questions over the assigned chapters from the Schmidt textbook.
Each of these major exams is worth 75 points or 150 of the 200 total course points. A number 2 pencil and
Test Answer Sheet B Form #19641 should be brought with you on testing day.

Students will be required to take two multiple choice quizzes over the *supplementary books this semester.
Each of the two quizzes will consist of 15 questions and be worth 15 points for a combined 30 of the 200
total course points. Quiz answers will be put on the Test Answer Sheet B Form 19641, which you should
bring with you on test days.


To assist students with reading assignments, I have written study questions for all course books. These
questions are to help in your preparation for the multiple-choice quiz and exam questions over the assigned
readings. Students will be given the study questions at the course orientation meeting. After the
orientation meeting, the study questions will be available in a magazine stand outside A-270 or
through my online faculty office page.


Students will be required to write two thought papers this semester. These thought papers are to be based
on the individuals, ideas, and issues found in the supplementary books. The papers are not to be book
reports or summaries. It is the purpose of the assignment to engage students in a political dialogue with the
authors and their subjects. Feel free to agree or disagree with what you are reading. Your paper can be a
commentary, an opinion piece, a personal reflection, or an article connecting today’s events to something
found in an assigned work. These papers should be typed, double-spaced, and no more than three pages in
length. Each thought paper is worth up to 10 points for a total of 40 of the 200 total course points.


My grading philosophy is conservative. A’s and B’s are marks of distinction that I will not award routinely.
A “C” grade indicates that a student has achieved a basic understanding of course material. In this course,
there are 200 points: 150 points from exams, 30 from quizzes, and 20 from thought papers. The
course grade will be based on the following point scale:

                             A----200 - 175
                             B----174 - 150
                             C----149 - 120
                             D----119 - 100
                             F---- 99 - 0


Students enrolled in the Independent Study Government courses will be offered the opportunity to turn in
five extra credit assignments that are worth two points each. A separate sheet providing the details
concerning these assignments will be distributed at the orientation meeting or will be available outside
A-270 or online.

ORIENTATION MEETING:   It is strongly recommended that students plan to meet with the
                       professor at the scheduled session. To confirm the date and time of the
                       meeting, call 281-618-5592 for a recorded message before the start of
                       the semester.

DATE:                  Monday, June 2nd, at 8:30 p.m. in A-268, on the
                       North Harris College campus.

UNIT ONE:              Politics, Power, and Political Culture
    Reading:           Schmidt, Chapters 1 & 18

                       Draut (Book)
    Writing:           Thought paper on Draut

Unit Two:              Democracy, the U. S. Constitution, and the Texas Constitution
     Reading:          Schmidt, Chapters 2, 4, & 19

Unit Three:            Federalism and State and Local Politics
     Reading:          Schmidt, Chapters 3 & 27

    Midterm Testing:   The Draut Quiz and the 2301 Midterm Exam should be completed
                       between June 16 through June 23. See Page IV for Testing
                       Instructions and information about turning in the Draut paper.

Unit Four:             Public Opinion, and Political Socialization
     Reading:          Schmidt, Chapter 6
                       Mindich (Book)
   Writing:            Thought paper on Mindich

Unit Five:             Interest Groups and Political Parties
     Reading:          Schmidt, Chapters 7, 8, 20, & 21

Unit Six:              Campaigns, Elections, and Voting
     Reading:          Schmidt, Chapters 9 & 22

    Final Testing:     The Mindich Quiz and the Final Exam must be completed by
                       Tuesday, July 8. This is the last day for all testing, papers, and extra
                       credit to be completed for the semester.


All exam and quiz testing for Independent Government 2301 will take place at the Assessment Center in
Room A-102 at North Harris College. The two exams and the two quizzes are on file at the main desk of
the Center. To test at the AC, you will need to show picture identification, to have a Number 2 pencil, and
to possess Test Answer Form B 19641. On each answer form, be sure to put the name of the test (Midterm)
or quiz (Draut) on the subject line, along with your name and date on the form. The Assessment Center is
open every day but Sundays, and its hours of operation are posted outside A-102, on the NHC website, or
you can call 281-618-5744 for information.


Thought papers and extra credit work can be turned into me in one of three ways: at my NHC office in A-
270, through postal mail, or by email. Should you ever find the Political Science Office locked, simply slip
your thought papers/extra credit under the door and the secretary will put the papers in my mailbox in the
morning. The last day to turn in thought papers and extra credit work is July 8.


How do I find out my test, quiz, and written work results? Course Grades will be sent to students through
postal mail, email, and personal contact. If you want a written grade report, simply drop off a stamped, self-
addressed envelope at my NHC office. Students can also get their grades by sending an email to me or by
contacting me in person or by phone.

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