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Course Planning by Program


Essential Objectives

Course Syllabus

Revision Date: 16-Jul-24

Fall 2024 | POS-1020-VU01 - American Politics & Government

In Person Class

Standard courses meet in person at CCV centers, typically once each week for the duration of the semester.

Location: Winooski
Credits: 3 (45 hours)
Day/Times: Monday, 04:30P - 07:15P
Semester Dates: 09-09-2024 to 12-16-2024
Last day to drop without a grade: 09-16-2024 - Refund Policy
Last day to withdraw (W grade): 11-04-2024 - Refund Policy
Open Seats: 11 (as of 07-21-24 3:05 PM)
To check live space availability, Search for Courses.


Robert Goulding
View Faculty Credentials

Hiring Coordinator for this course: Gilberto Diaz Santos

General Education Requirements

This section meets the following CCV General Education Requirement(s) for the current catalog year:
VSCS Social Sciences
  1. Many degree programs have specific general education recommendations. In order to avoid taking unnecessary classes, please consult with additional resources like your program evaluation, your academic program catalog year page, and your academic advisor.
  2. Courses may only be used to meet one General Education Requirement.

Course Description

An examination of the theory and practice of the U.S. political system, from town meetings to Washington, D.C. Topics may include presidential elections, the role of Congress, the President and the Supreme Court, the growth of special interest groups and political action committees, and conflicts between local needs and national policies.

Essential Objectives

1. Describe the American political systems in relation to their cultural and historical environments.
2. Compare and contrast the constitutional roles of the legislative, executive, and judiciary branches of government.
3. Discuss the major concepts and structural principles in our form of constitutional government including federalism, separation of powers, checks and balances, and judicial review.
4. Assess the relationship between the states and the federal government in American government and politics.
5. Explain how the political process can be influenced by citizens, interest groups and political campaigns.
6. Identify and evaluate the current issues and future trends in American government and politics.

Required Technology

More information on general computer and internet recommendations is available on the CCV IT Support page. https://support.ccv.edu/general/computer-recommendations/

Please see CCV's Digital Equity Statement (pg. 45) to learn more about CCV's commitment to supporting all students access the technology they need to successfully finish their courses.

Required Textbooks and Resources

This course only uses free Open Educational Resources (OER) and/or library materials. For details, see the Canvas Site for this class.

Artificial Intelligence(AI) Policy Statement

CCV recognizes that artificial intelligence (AI) and generative AI tools are widely available and becoming embedded in many online writing and creative applications.

Allowed: This course's generative AI policy acknowledges technology, including generative AI, plays a supportive role in learning and feedback. During our class, we may use AI writing tools such as ChatGPT in certain specific cases. You will be informed as to when, where, and how these tools are permitted to be used, along with guidance for attribution. Any use outside of these specific cases constitutes a violation of CCV's Academic Integrity Policy.

We will explore AI at some point, given this new and exciting technology. The instructor will inform you when AI is allowed to be used in class and/or as part of an assignment.


Our course will use a mix of media & learning formats – including your free online textbook, lecture, extensive in-class discussions, supplemental material covering current events, foundational material from the 18th century and in-class videos. We will be relying on Canvas for our supplemental material, as well as to facilitate occasional “on-line” responses to reading material.

Evaluation Criteria

  • Attendance & Classroom Participation: 20%

  • Midterm Exam: 25%

  • Final Exam: 25%

  • 3 Online Discussions: 30%

Grading Criteria

CCV Letter Grades as outlined in the Evaluation System Policy are assigned according to the following chart:

A Less than 9893
A-Less than 9390
B+Less than 9088
B Less than 8883
B-Less than 8380
C+Less than 8078
C Less than 7873
C-Less than 7370
D+Less than 7068
D Less than 6863
D-Less than 6360
FLess than 60 
NPLess than 600

Weekly Schedule

Week/ModuleTopic  Readings  Assignments


Introduction to American Government and Politics; and an intro to how our course will work.




Reading/Familiairize yourself with course syllabus


Attendance Policy

Regular attendance and participation in classes are essential for success in and are completion requirements for courses at CCV. A student's failure to meet attendance requirements as specified in course descriptions will normally result in a non-satisfactory grade.

  • In general, missing more than 20% of a course due to absences, lateness or early departures may jeopardize a student's ability to earn a satisfactory final grade.
  • Attending an on-ground or synchronous course means a student appeared in the live classroom for at least a meaningful portion of a given class meeting. Attending an online course means a student posted a discussion forum response, completed a quiz or attempted some other academically required activity. Simply viewing a course item or module does not count as attendance.
  • Meeting the minimum attendance requirement for a course does not mean a student has satisfied the academic requirements for participation, which require students to go above and beyond simply attending a portion of the class. Faculty members will individually determine what constitutes participation in each course they teach and explain in their course descriptions how participation factors into a student's final grade.

Participation Expectations

Students are expected to attend every class, and to check Canvas before and after each class for changes, instructions or supplemental information.

1) We will have a weekly in-class discussion consisting of our reading material as well as examine how that applies to current events. You are expected to answer questions, engage in civil dialogue and debate and ask questions.

2) There will be 3 online discussion short essays during the semester that will require one robust initial post to a discussion prompt, as well onereply to a classmate per discussion. Sources will be required and must be cited in APA or MLA format.

3) There will be a Midterm & Final – both consisting of a series of short (but thorough) answer questions. Proper spelling, grammar, format and other writing conventions will be considered within the grade.

Missing & Late Work Policy

For the online course discussions, we will have a 3 day late policy where the assignment can be turned in up to 3 days late with a 10% reduction penalty applied per day. No late policy applies to missed responses to classmates.

No make-ups or late work are accepted for the in-class midterm or final except for extenuating, documented circumstances.

It is impossible to make up in-class discussions for days you are not present or if you choose not to participate.

Accessibility Services for Students with Disabilities:

CCV strives to mitigate barriers to course access for students with documented disabilities. To request accommodations, please
  1. Provide disability documentation to the Accessibility Coordinator at your academic center. https://ccv.edu/discover-resources/students-with-disabilities/
  2. Request an appointment to meet with accessibility coordinator to discuss your request and create an accommodation plan.
  3. Once created, students will share the accommodation plan with faculty. Please note, faculty cannot make disability accommodations outside of this process.

Academic Integrity

CCV has a commitment to honesty and excellence in academic work and expects the same from all students. Academic dishonesty, or cheating, can occur whenever you present -as your own work- something that you did not do. You can also be guilty of cheating if you help someone else cheat. Being unaware of what constitutes academic dishonesty (such as knowing what plagiarism is) does not absolve a student of the responsibility to be honest in his/her academic work. Academic dishonesty is taken very seriously and may lead to dismissal from the College.