CCOG for PS 202 Summer 2024

Course Number:
PS 202
Course Title:
U.S. Public Policy & Democracy
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:

Course Description

Examines the public administration of and management issues relating to US national bureaucratic institutions. Covers how these impact a wide range of domestic policies including taxation, spending priorities, economic regulations, poverty programs, healthcare, and environmental programs, social security and other entitlements. PS 201, PS 202, and PS 203 can be taken in sequence. Prerequisites: WR 115, RD 115 and MTH 20 or equivalent placement test scores. Audit available.

Addendum to Course Description

Credits from this course qualify for general education purposes at Portland Community College and may be applied toward satisfying Associates Degrees at Portland Community College.
Courses with three digit numbers may be transferable to four year colleges and universities. Students should consult with a PCC Academic Advisor and/or other institutions regarding transferability and application of credit to other institutions.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Upon completion of the course students should be able to:

  1. Articulate the diversity of human experience and culture in relationship to how individuals think and interact with others in regards to conflicts associated with formulating national public policy such as taxation and spending policies.
  2. Organize information in conceptual frameworks using different methods of inquiry and analytical skills in order to discern meaning from ongoing study of national bureaucratic institutions of U.S. politics as these operate in relation to Legislative, Executive and Judicial mandates.
  3. Analyze the roles of individuals and political institutions as these relate to contemporary controversies regarding a wide range of domestic public policy issues in the US.
  4. Reason quantitatively and qualitatively to address national problems with public administration within US bureaucratic institutions, including various management styles.
  5. Articulate personal value judgments while respecting different points of view, while practicing ethical and social requirements of responsible citizenship by participating in the shaping of national political priorities and policies.

Social Inquiry and Analysis

Students completing an associate degree at Portland Community College will be able to apply methods of inquiry and analysis to examine social contexts and the diversity of human thought and experience.

General education philosophy statement

Political Science is fundamental to helping students understand and act as more effective and empowered citizens. We contribute to the college and the wider community by examining critical questions about power and by preparing our students to be better citizens across the globe. Political science offers a variety of diverse approaches to the college and is strongly grounded in the sub-fields of American and Comparative Politics, International Relations and Political Theory. Our mission is to support educated and empowered students and to foster deep understandings of complex global and local issues. Our goal is to teach critical thinking and to expose students to the complex and diverse world that we live in.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

The SACC assumes that faculty will assess student learning using some combination of the following assessment strategies:

  1. Exams consisting of essay or other method that integrates and requires application of concepts, themes and issues in the course
  2. Written assignments such as papers, reviews, journals and other writing assignments that demonstrate understanding of content knowledge and appropriate application by students of content to clarification of their own views on political issues
  3. Oral presentations, discussions, debates, or role-playing that articulate views and values incorporating a comprehensive knowledge of appropriate concepts and issues
  4. Projects where students can identify resources that provide political information and can utilize these resources to evaluate the political process and identify participatory strategies.
  5. Review and critique of political material from different media.
  6. Use of standard research techniques and acceptable formats in written work and oral presentations

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

Themes", Concepts, and Issues

  1. Congress, including committee structure and the process of how a bill becomes a law
  2. the powers of the President and how they have developed over time
  3. the Supreme Court and federal judicial system- including how both systems operate and the powers of the Supreme Court
  4. the federal bureaucracy and how it impacts our lives
  5. basic economic theories that influence the US economy, including monetarism, Keynesian economics, and supply-side economics
  6. social policies, including national government involvement in health care, welfare education, and crime
  7. US foreign relations and the role of the military in achieving US objectives

Competencies and Skills
Students should develop the following skills:

  1. Support generalizations/arguments with examples or evidence
  2. Accurately articulates ideas in written and oral presentation
  3. Articulates original applications and synthesis of academic theories/frameworks, supporting them by citing valid sources.
  4. Demonstrates knowledge of political system in written and oral work
  5. Critiques own assumptions and those of others, validating them with substantial thinking and application of appropriate arguments.
  6. Use of standard research techniques and acceptable formats in written work and oral presentations

Approved Texts:
Choice of texts is at the discretion of each course instructor. However, successful past offerings of this course and a desire to have some continuity of pedagogy among the faculty has encouraged the adoption of the following textÜthereby encouraging students to complete the entire PS 201,202, 203 sequence using the same textbook.
Government By the People, (latest edition) Burns, Peltason, Cronin, Magleby, (Prentice Hall)