INTRODUCTION TO AMERICAN POLITICS
SPRING 2011 SYLLABUS
SUSAN ROOMBERG, INSTRUCTOR
This class examines the institutions that make up our American political system, with an emphasis on how they
relate to everyday life.
We will survey the foundations of American government, the Constitution, public
opinion, political parties and behavior, mass media, policymaking, and the different branches of government.
Neal Tannahill, THINK American Government
, ISBN 978-0-205-03015-6
An i>clicker student remote, ISBN 0-7167-7939-0
4 ParScore test forms (#x-10864-PAR-L)
Daily newspaper (either hard copy or online)
By the end of this class, students should have a better understanding how our country’s history and constitution
affect political attitudes and debates. The class will examine the distribution of powers and the differences
between the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of the U.S. government, policymaking, as well as how
citizens, political parties and the media affect the political equation.
Class attendance, keeping up with current events, and reading the assigned text are all critical to a student’s
You will be using your i>clicker at the beginning and end of each class to check in and out.
students to read the assigned chapter(s) or other materials before coming to class.
If you will be absent for a
sports, academic, or religious reason, please notify me ahead of time by emailing me on Blackboard.
have other reasons for being absent, please email me as soon as possible.
Any student who, because of a disabling condition, may require some special arrangements in order to meet
course requirements should contact me as soon as possible.
Conditions may include documented physical or
Please be aware that services or accommodations are not automatic.
must request them and secure the proper authorizations from the Office of Disability Services, MS 2.03.18
You can find additional information at
All withdrawals are the responsibility of the student.
I will not
automatically drop you from the class, even for
If you stop attending class and do not drop the class, you will receive a final grade of F.
Please note that every topic in the texts may not be covered in class; however, students are responsible for
knowing and understanding all of the material assigned. Also, while the material in the textbooks is important,
I may choose to lecture on other topics related to text materials in class.
We also will discuss current events
I encourage you to read the San Antonio newspaper or online sources of news (The Washington
or The New York Times
) to prepare for this requirement.
Any topic discussed in class is fair game for the tests.