CCOG for PS 106 archive revision 201704
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- Effective Term:
- Fall 2017
- Course Number:
- PS 106
- Course Title:
- Citizenship & Engagement: Problems in U.S. Politics
- Credit Hours:
- Lecture Hours:
- Lecture/Lab Hours:
- Lab Hours:
Addendum to Course Description
Serves to prepare non-citizens to successfully pass the U.S. Citizenship Test. Prepares both
current and future citizens to develop a knowledge base and academic skills helpful to more
successfully complete future courses in Political Science as a discipline. Students should consult
with a PCC Academic Advisor and/or other institutions regarding transfer and application of credits to other institutions.
Intended Outcomes for the course
Upon successful completion students should be able to:
1. Communicate how U.S. political history, culture, and demographic changes have impacted
immigration policies over time and how these policies impact us today.
2. Examine national, state, and local government relations in the U.S., analyzing policymaking
processes as these impact issues ranging from gender to the treatment of ethnic minorities.
3. Communicate with improved literacy regarding political concepts and vocabulary, using skills helpful also to those who desire to take the U.S. Citizenship Test in both written and oral formats.
4. Reason qualitatively regarding selected policy issues as these may be applied to a wide range of subfields within the discipline of Political Science as well as to future courses in these subfields.
5. Examine cultural and global interactions, including the changing technological environment, as these affect life in the U.S. regarding issues like wealth disparity and environmental sustainability.
6. Think critically about the ethical and social requirements of responsible citizenship, showing respect for disagreement while evaluating how political systems and the policies produced by them affect the diverse social world in which we live.
Course Activities and Design
This course will be taught by instructors who have at least an M.A. degree in Political Science,
Politics, or International Relations. It may be conducted through combinations of methods and
tools which may include lectures, classroom discussions, group presentations, texts and
supplementary readings, films, guest speakers, and other classroom aids at the discretion of the
each individual instructor.
Outcome Assessment Strategies
Different techniques may be used for assessment which will be determined by the individual
instructor. These may include:
* Multiple choice exams. (emphasized in the first 5 weeks)
* Oral exams. (emphasized in the first 5 weeks)
* Short written essays or outlines. (appropriate throughout the course)
* Group discussions & projects. (emphasized in the last 5 weeks)
* Student demonstrations or presentations. (emphasized in the last 5 weeks)
Teaching methods in this course will include lecture, films, and occasional guests and forays beyond the classroom to familiarize students with resources on campus and/or locations off-campus which may bring to life to what may be a political focus for the day (like a trip to Portland City Hall or the State Legislature, or a visit to the Multnomah County Justice Center or a School Board Meeting). In every class session there will be time for small group discussion and shared learning opportunities.
Instructional materials will incorporate modest amounts of relatively easy reading. In the first half of the course, materials like the Citizenship Class Manual (Multnomah County Library, Library Outreach Services, January, 2013) might be used as well as other materials utilized by Sara Packer and Shelley McIntyre for PCC Volunteer Literacy Tutoring like their Citizenship Manual and Learn About the United States (produced by U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services). Materials for the second half of the course will include short readings relating to controversial issues (gleaned from newspaper articles or other sources involving appropriate reading skills levels). Assessments used to measure outcomes may include Multiple Choice exams (such as are commonly used with U.S. Government Citizenship Tests), the evaluation of short written work (both
take-home and in-class), evaluations of oral interviews and presentations (by the individual or
group), group evaluations of contributions by each member of a group by their peers, and class attendance and participation scores from the instructor.
Students will be expected to write short paragraphs in the context of identifying vocabulary items and key concepts associated with U.S. politics, outlines of their opinions regarding problems connected to U.S. politics, and expressions of their opinions. Writing may also involve composing short essays centered on a main idea with supportive information. Grammatical errors need not be penalized in evaluating written work.
Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)
Five Weeks developing skills useful for U.S. Citizenship as these relate to learning about
Types of Citizenship & Waves of Immigration
Major Events in U.S. History as it has evolved over time
The Three Branches of U.S. Government
Civil Liberties & Freedom of Expression
Civil Rights & Movements for Change
Political Concepts & Vocabulary needed for Political Literacy
Five Weeks developing skills useful for future academic work in Political Science relating to
controversial topics of public concern (at Instructor Discretion) associated with Political Science
subfield areas of study including (but not limited to):
U.S. Government: National, State, & Local Levels
Political Theory & Contemporary Ideologies
Comparative Politics & Systems of Government
International Relations & Globalization
Political Culture & Political Socialization