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of 9 ZOOM 7/12/20, 7:36 PMSyllabiPage 1 of 9 II 2020 – GOVT-2306-3120 – Texas GovernmentInstructor:Sean SkipworthPhone:409-944-1736Office:Email:sskipworth@gc.eduOffice Hours:Location and Meeting Times: INTERNET -Catalog Description:Origin and development of the Texas constitution, structure and powers of state andlocal government, federalism and inter-governmental relations, political participation, the election process,public policy, and the political culture of Texas.Required Books, Materials and SuppliesTitleAuthorISBNPublisherCopyrightPriceRequiredLone StarPoliticsCollier, Galastas, &Harrelson9781483352770CQ Press4thRequiredSuppliesLearning Outcomes1] Students will demonstrate knowledge of the Texas Constitution, including state and local politicalsystems, checks and balances, separation of powers, and civil rights.2] Students will demonstrate knowledge of the executive, legislative and judicial branches of Texasgovernment.3] Students will be able to effectively evaluate the roles of public opinion, interest groups and politicalparties in Texas politics and elections.4] Students will be able to effectively analyze the institutions and processes of policy-making in Texasgovernment.Course RequirementsInstructor Contact Information: Contact via Canvas Email. Standard Email should only be used inemergencies: I typically log into the class daily (Not including Friday – Sunday)and will generally reply to messages within 24 hours. Please refrain from sending multiple messagesconcerning a particular issue unless you have not heard back within the above timeframe. 7/12/20, 7:36 PMSyllabiPage 2 of 9 MethodsGovernment effects nearly every aspect of our lives yet most people have very low levels of politicalknowledge and understanding. When I became aware of this fact in school I decided I did not want to be“out of the loop” and effected by forces I did not understand. This desire to understand my world, and whatis going on in it, was a large part of my decision to pursue the study of Political Science in college. PoliticalScience and Government is something that is a passion of mine. I could sit down and discuss policy issues,current events, and theories of government for hours on end. I do not expect students to come away withthis level of passion for government, but it is my goal to instill some of the passion and excitement I feel forpolitics into the students learning process. I want my students to leave my class with an understanding ofwhat is going on around them so they will have a chance to be part of the political process and not justeffected by it.As an instructor, it is my responsibility to inform you about the structures, groups, and theories ofgovernment and how it operates. I do this by calling on the knowledge learned from my studies and bykeeping myself informed on the state of the discipline and current events in our world. It is also myresponsibility to respond to the students’ questions and concerns and be certain material is explained in aclear and concise manner.As a student in a government course, it is your responsibility to listen to assigned audio lectures, read thetextbook, submit assignments on the due dates, study for the exams, participate in classroom activities,attend class, and enjoy yourself while experiencing the politics in our country. Students should complete theassigned readings before class and be prepared to participate.Students should focus on the audio lectures when preparing for assignments.Classroom Assignment Policiesa. No late assignments will be accepted. Some allowance may be made for the finalexam, but this will only be done should the student encounter a genuine emergency anddocumentation of the emergency will be requested. The instructor will determine whatqualifies as an emergency and is under no obligation to allow for a late submission. The twolowest quiz grades are dropped to allow for technical problems and unavoidable missedassignments.c. Students must turn in their initial post for the weekly discussions in Microsoft WordFormat (or the papers must be able to be opened in Word) within the link to the discussionforum. The response posts should be entered into the submission text box of the discussionforum link. Papers will not be accepted via college email or the course email system.d. All assignments are to be completed and turned in online. You will not be asked to travelto the campus to complete an assignment.e. Academic Dishonesty: Galveston College is committed to a high standard ofacademic integrity among its students and faculty. In becoming a part of the GalvestonCollege academic community, students are responsible for honesty and independenteffort. As stated in the Galveston College Student handbook, failure to uphold thesestandards, includes, but it is not limited to, the following: plagiarizing written work, 7/12/20, 7:36 PMSyllabiPage 3 of 9, on exams or assignments and collusion among students on an exam or projectwithout specific permission from the instructor. i. Cheating includes look at or copying from anotherstudent’s exam/quiz, having another person take an exam/quiz or complete a projector assignment for you, bringing unauthorized notes, texts, or other materials intoclass with you for an exam (this includes cell phones and texting of ANY kind duringan exam), and obtaining or distributing an unauthorized copy of an exam or any partof an exam. ii. Plagiarism means the unauthorized use of another’swritings without giving proper credit and includes copying material from anothersource (especially the internet) without clear documentation of the source andsubmitting a paper, report, or project that someone else has prepared. iii. Collusion is in appropriate collaborating onassignments designed to be completed independently.f. When there is clear evidence of cheating, plagiarism, or collusion, disciplinaryaction will be taken. Any academic dishonesty will result in a student being removedfrom the course, receiving a grade of “F” for the course, and being reported to theappropriate college department. If you are pressed for time on an assignment or are ata desperate place in the course it is a far better idea to simply perform poorly than tocheat and risk failing the course outright.g. Students are not allowed to use the internet to access outside material during exams orquizzes. Students caught doing this will receive a grade of F for the course consistent withthe previous statement. Students are free to reference the included lecture power points,audio lectures, or their textbooks.Online Course EtiquetteCommunication in often a challenge in online courses since it precludes face to face communication. Issueswill undoubtedly arise between students and the instructor, but students (and the instructor) must keep their“cool” at all times and act in a professional manner. Rude or abusive comments directed towards theinstructor will not be tolerated and the instructor will remove students from the course at his discretion.What constitutes “rude and abusive” is defined by the instructor. If the withdrawal date for the course haspassed, or the instructor is otherwise unable to remove a student from the course, the student’s access to theonline course shell (including the course mail system) will be disabled. No assignments will be acceptedfrom a student in this situation and this might cause a student to fail the course. If you are upset about anyissue concerning the course think VERY carefully about the manner in which you address the issue andchoose your words carefully. Students occasionally get into trouble when acting out of emotion. If you areupset, it is a good idea to let some time pass before dealing with the issue.Students also interact with each other via the online message boards and it is imperative that students alsorefrain from posting rude or abusive comments. Message board posts will be in response to political issuesand such issues have the tendency to evoke strong emotions in some. It is the student’s responsibility toreign in emotionalism and respond only to the arguments and not launch personal attacks against other 7/12/20, 7:36 PMSyllabiPage 4 of 9 Sarcasm is not particularly effective over the internet and should be avoided. Inappropriatecomments directed towards other students will be treated more seriously than comments directed towardsthe instructor and a warning MAY OR MAY NOT BE ISSUED depending on the judgment of theinstructor. Students will be removed from the course immediately if the instructor deems it necessary.Students should keep direct contact with other students via the online mail system to a minimum. Mostpeople receive plenty of spam in their normal email inboxes and do not wish to receive them from students.Unsolicited emails directed to other students should have an academic purpose. (ex. do you want to studytogether, can I borrow your textbook, etc) A Q&A forum exists under the “Read This First” tab of thecourse and students should feel free to ask general questions or other students there.If there are conflicts between students the instructor will resolve them, not the students. If you feel you arebeing harassed or treated inappropriately by another student contact the instructor immediately and do notrespond directly. Students “taking matters into their own hands” will not be tolerated and will be dealt withmore harshly than a student that initiated a conflict.Students should never use internet slang and “leetspeak”. This is a college course and it is expected thatstudents will correspond appropriately.Evaluation CriteriaAssessmentsa. Quizzes Multiple choice quizzes will be given over most chapters covered in the course.The quizzes will be timed and students will receive a total time of 30 seconds per question.b. Final Exam. Students will be given a comprehensive multiple choice exam over eachchapter covered. The final exam will be timed and students will receive a total time of 60seconds per question.c. Discussion Forums: Students will be provided with an article(s) on a political issue andwill be required to comment on that issue in a discussion forum. Students are required tosubmit the following i. Students will write a 700, not to exceed 750, word position paper over thework assigned by the instructor. The bibliography and heading do not count towards the required wordcount. The paper must be written in MLA format, double spaced,and include a bibliography if outside sources are used. Students are expected to utilize proper grammar andsyntax. The paper should:· After performing thorough research establish a position on the topic inquestion. There may be multiple topics in a single assigned reading that couldbe chosen to form your thesis. Focus on ONE of those topics

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