MIAMI DADE COLLEGE
MITCHELL WOLFSON NEW WORLD CENTER CAMPUS
THE SOCIAL ENVIRONMENT - ISS1120 (3 CREDITS)
Instructor: Roy A. Barry
Department of Social Science
Office: Bldg. 3 (Rm. 3506-2)
Phone: (305) 237-3783
Class Room #____________ email: email@example.com
1. Course Description:
This course examines the broader aspects of the social environment by focusing on the political
and economic dimensions of culture. The emphasis is on a critical analysis of the role that
economics and government plays in the life of the individual and the nation-state. This course
explores the social environment on a global basis with emphasis on the interaction of political
and economic forces, as with other components of the General Education Program. The Social
Environment shares a commitment to developing an effective, participating citizenry.
3. Instructor's Teaching Philosophy
I believe that the classroom should be more than just an atmosphere of intellectual exchanges,
teaching, and learning. While the classroom must maintain its traditional focus, it should also
be a place where students discover their inner self, enhance personal growth, and promote
practical experiences and community development. I believe that knowledge comes alive
when students demonstrate application of academic material as it relates to their personal life.
In the locale of teaching and learning, I believe in balance, meeting my students halfway. I
choose not to impose on students but encourage them to assume the responsibility for one of
the most significant experience in life - their education.
4. Primary Methods of Instruction (Interactive)
Lecture and class discussion, group activities, audiovisual presentations, readings, individual
investigation, role playing, and guest speakers. Students' views and opinions are a refreshing
addition to the class format. However, disrespect will not be tolerated. You are ultimately
responsible for your performance and its results. By reading and studying, often moving ahead
of the pace of the class because we may not be able to cover all that is projected, you will be at
a great advantage and maximizing your chances for an excellent grade. Therefore, I encourage
you to purchase a textbook as soon as possible and begin studying on your own where the full
responsibility for your academic success ultimately lies.
5. Grading Scale
90-100 = A
80-89 = B
70-79 = C
60-69 = D
Below 60 = F
Letter grades signify roughly the following about your performance:
A = excellent; superior
B = good
C = average
D = just passing
F = unacceptable for course credit
6. Assessment/Grading Criteria
Class attendance/participation = 15%
Quizzes = 10%
Assignments = 15%
2 Exams (20% each) = 40%
Project = 20%
Exams will cover reading assignments, lecture, audiovisual, handouts, and other related
assignments. Exams will consist of multiple choice, matching, true-false, completion, identify,
graphs, and short answer essays. Exams will cover reading assignments, lectures, audiovisuals,
current events and other related assignments.
8. Class attendance and participation
Attendance to class is mandatory. Tardiness is discouraged. You are expected to regularly
attend class and are encouraged to participate in class exercises and discussions. Of course,
there are many unexpected twists and turns in life and you may encounter some unforeseen
circumstances. Each situation will be dealt with on an individual basis so it is important to
communicate with me. If there are crises/emergencies, documentation must be provided to
allow you to be eligible for make-ups and so forth. Prior personal arrangements/plans that
interfere with your ability to attend class is a situation for which you must take full
responsibility. Therefore, if you must miss class (such as work situations, pre-planned
vacations, trips, etc.) these absences will affect your percentage in the category of
attendance/participation. Tardiness is also discouraged. If you miss a lecture, you will have to
acquire class information from classmates. Issues raised by the instructor and students will be
discussed in a mature and appropriate manner. Numerous opinions can be expressed but
disrespect will not be tolerated.
9. Assignments - must be turned in on time.
All assignments must be typed and adhere to the following:
a) all margins observed
b) all pages must be neat
c) correct spelling, grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, etc.
d) appropriate heading:
Day(s) and time
e) satisfactory content
f) no rip outs, jagged edges, etc.
g) multiple pages must be stapled or paper clipped.
Failure to adhere to the above instructions will result in a deduction of points. You are
encouraged to do your best on the very first attempt. Late assignments will result in a
substantial deduction of points.
There are no make-ups for in class quizzes. Unless there is a crisis or emergency, the
student will need to provide documentation and make-ups will be given at the discretion of the
instructor. This will be dealt with on an individual basis.
This is the responsibility of the student but it may be beneficial to first consult with the
instructor. However, it is the responsibility of the student to fill out an official withdrawal
form with the Registrar's office. If the student does not officially withdraw, she/he may
receive an "F" in the course.
The grade of I (Incomplete) is given in the rare case that a student is PASSING a class but for
some extenuating circumstances is unable to complete the last part (usually the final exam) of
the class. If you are not passing your class, it is not possible for your instructor to give you an
"I". Note that you will have one major term (Fall or Winter) to complete the requirements of
your Incomplete contract. If you do not complete your requirements in that time, the "I" will
automatically change to an F on your records. The instructor makes the determination as to
whether you are eligible for an Incomplete.
13. Academic Dishonesty
This is a serious college offense and is an action inconsistent with the ethical standards of
Miami Dade College. Academic dishonesty includes:
a) cheating on an examination
b) plagiarizing- taking and passing off as one's own the ideas, writings, or work
of another without citing the sources.
c) falsifying records
d) submitting work from another course without permission by the instructor
e) assisting anyone to do any of the above
14. Class Conduct/Etiquette
As much as possible, please refrain from bringing food or drinks into the classroom. Please
refrain from putting your feet on other chairs/desks. Turn off all cellular telephones, beepers,
and pagers during class sessions, unless you have informed me that you are for example, an
EMT, firefighter, or that you are waiting for a personal emergency call.
Once the class session has begun, please do not engage in extended personal discussions
because this behavior is disruptive and distracting to others. If you miss a class meeting for
any reason, you are responsible for all material covered, for announcements made in your
absence, and for acquiring any materials that may have been distributed in class.
Some factors that relate to classroom incivility and from which you must refrain are:
Being consistently late for class.
Talking while the instructor is speaking.
Drawing pictures in a notebook or doing crossword puzzles during class.
Wearing headphones in class to listen to music.
Allowing cell phones to ring during class.
Turning on cell phones while class is in session.
Continuously walking in and out of the room while class is in session.
Reading newspapers or magazines in class.
Completing home assignments during class. Passing notes or playing games.
Engaging in other behaviors that most people consider insolent, challenging, and intimidating.
It is important that we are able to stay focused on the class lecture/discussion. For this reason,
only one person at a time in the class should be speaking. Side conversations are distracting
for surrounding students and the professor. Obviously, simple norms of courtesy should be
sufficient to have our class function in the best interest of all. Your cooperation is appreciated.
15. Get to know your class peers/emergency contact
Name of class
Name of class
You have heard and read a lot of information today. However, one of the tools to a supportive
and successful semester is communication. Please feel free to discuss with me any issues that
you believe may be hindering your progress in this course.
16. Course Objectives:
The student will demonstrate knowledge of:
A. The origin, relevance, and methodology of the social sciences by analyzing the emergence
of the scientific method, the influence of philosophy and religion in the development of
science, the major differences between the natural sciences, the social sciences, and the
humanities, and the various disciplines labeled as social sciences and their common
characteristics and unique objectives.
B. The meaning and impact of culture by defining this term, discussing how it affects our
individual behavior and by applying the concepts of the ethnocentrism and cultural relativity.
C. The institution of the family by focusing on the functions this institution performs for a
society and by identifying the changes that have come to typify the American family over the
past several decades.
D. The institution of religion by focusing on the function this institution performs for a society
as well as by listing the five great contemporary religions-Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism,
Islam, Christianity - and summarizing their beliefs.
E. The basic functions of an economy as well as fundamental economic concepts such as
scarcity, land, labor, capital, demand, supply, inflation, depression, and stratification.
F. Major economic systems and theories by identifying their origins, discussing their historical
trajectories, and analyzing their continuing evolution.
G. The contemporary U.S. economy, focusing on the role the government plays in the
economy both directly and through the use of fiscal and monetary policies.
H. The fundamental political concepts by defining the primary functions of government, and
by classifying and contrasting different types of government or political systems with
particular emphasis on the difference between democracies and autocracies.
I. The origin and evolution of the American political system by identifying the unique
characteristics of the constitution and the most important functions of the three branches of
J. The American political process by discussing the role pressure groups and political parties
on the three branches of government and by analyzing the conditions of minorities as well as
their struggle to obtain recognition of their political and economic rights.
K. The characteristics of the major political systems such as those of France, Mexico and
Russia by comparing and contrasting them to American political system.
L. Basic political geography by engaging in such activities as the identification on a map of
the location of the states of the world.
M. The fundamental concepts and recent history of international relations by recalling and
identifying such terms as nation-state, sovereignty, diplomacy, international law, collective
security, international organization, and foreign policy.
N. The complexity of international trade relations by evaluating the role of the national
governments and multinational corporations as well by discussing issues such as the balance of
payment, tariffs, and foreign exchange.
O. The role of worldwide and regional international organizations in global affairs by
describing the origin and scope of those most important, such as the United Nations.
This course will provide a journey into the economic, political, historical, social, physical and
psychological aspects of life; a voyage that will take you from the middles ages into the 21 st
Century. The focus is to learn as much as possible about the social environment as well as how
it impacts our daily interactions and the global community in which we live .
Please remember that this syllabus is subject to change relative to situations and circumstances
which may occur during the term and at the discretion of the instructor
Enjoy The Cruise!!!