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POLI-101 American Federal Government

The student will evaluate and critically analyze the following areas of American Government: first, the origins, principles and interpretation of the American Constitution including the tensions between federalism and nationalism; secondly, politics and the people: public opinion, political parties, elections and interest groups; thirdly, the Institutions of government which include the presidency, congress, judiciary and federal bureaucracy; fourthly, issues in public policy including social issues such as crime, energy, obscenity, and affirmative action.

Although the course activities of a TeleWeb course are conducted online, much of the course material is presented through pre-produced telecourse videos. Students will be required to view these videos. Videos are available from the HCC library homepage or the American Federal Government course homepage. These can sometimes be difficult to view depending on the computer equipment used.  The HCC library has two sets of the course videos. One set is for viewing in the library and the other set can be checked out one video at a time for a 24-hour period.

PrerequisitesEligible to enroll in ENGL-121 or ENGL-111 (English Composition), Math 141 (College Algebra)
InstructorDiane Duray
Phone(410) 263-5042

Overall Course Objectives | Major Course Topics | Course Format | Orientation | Course Requirements | Texts and Materials | Exams

Overall Course Objectives

Once you have completed this course you will be able to:

  • Identify and describe the three (3) branches of government in terms of checks and balances and the principle of the separation of powers.
  • Define and provide specific examples and case law related to civil liberties as enumerated in the Bill of Rights.
  • Explain the concept of Federalism and its development throughout our country’s history.
  • Discuss and describe how civil rights and constitutional law have been historically developed and presently implemented.
  • Detail the roles, responsibilities and powers of the Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches of government.
  • Describe the historical development and influence of political parties of interest groups
  • Apply basic principles of logic and debate to defend and critically evaluate current issues in political science.

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Major Course Topics
  • Foundations of American Politics
    • Basic Documents
    • Contemporary Views and Values
    • Constitutional and Legal Matters
  • Structures of American Politics
    • The Presidency
    • Congress
    • Judiciary
  • Process of American Politics
    • Elections and Nominations
    • Parties, Public Opinion, and Interest Groups
    • News Media
    • Campaigns and Elections

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Course Format
  • Is not self-paced.
  • Does require on-campus testing.
  • Does not require real-time chats.
  • The content of the course will be delivered through videotapes and the textbook.

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This course does not require on-campus orientation.

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Course Requirements
  • Review the “What you should know before you register” section of the eLearning Homepage.
  • Discussion questions and quizzes for each chapter.
  • Four concise 3-5 page papers.
  • A five-page paper analyzing and tracking a Congressional bill.
  • A five-page paper reviewing a movie depicting the election process.
  • A midterm and a final exam at the HCC Test Center for students in the local region or at a regional institution for remote students. The exam will have a flexible window of time during which it needs to be taken.

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Texts and Materials

Textbook information:  To visit our bookstore's online sales site, please visit and follow the instructions for selecting textbooks.

Technical Requirements and Plug-Ins:

The following plug-ins are required for this course:

  • Internet Explorer
  • Word Viewer, if you don’t have the full version of Microsoft Word

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For purposes of verification and assessing learning outcomes, this course has a proctored midterm and a final exam at the HCC Test Center for students in the local region or at a regional institution for remote students. The exam will have a flexible window of time during which it needs to be taken rather than a single date and time.

If you have any questions or comments about this course, please send a message to eLearning.


Last updated on 17-Jun-14
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Student Profile - Maribel