Introduction to Political Science (PLSC 1300)

Professor: Dr. Ecarma Office: mc108
E-mail: Office Hrs:
Phone: 977-7139


Colson, C. (1988). Political action. Colorado Springs, CO: Navpress.
Peterson, J.W., Allen, L.M. & Argyle, N.J. (2003). Political science: An overview of the fields (3rd ed.). Dubuque, IA: Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company.

Recommended Materials:

1. An e-mail account and access to the Internet.
2. Computer access to type assignments.
3. Belz, J. ed. (2006) World. Asheville, NC [subscription order: (800) 951-6397 or e-mail or visit website @]. .

Course Description:

According to the catalog, this course is “An overview of the field of political science including political structures and functions, political parties and interest group, public policy, and scope and method.”

Course Objectives:

Students will:
• learn, from a Christian perspective, to differentiate the characteristics of each major value system or worldview in relation to political science;
• recognize the role and history of various value systems and methods that arise from such systems in the area of politics and culture;
• explain the central role of the value system called Christianity in political science, and the development of representative government, political structures and functions;
• classify the political and legal functions of political parties and interest groups in public policy;
• describe how each of the branches of government, plus the media manage and react to public policy;
• recognize the scope and method of politics, including possible careers in public policy and/or how various careers may impact and are impacted by political science;
• understand how politics influence various arenas, including the environment, education, health care, welfare, immigration, defense, the church and the culture;
• understand the dominant role of religion and the Supreme Court in policymaking.

Requirements & Grading: 1 Quiz @ 20 points 20 points
38 Exercises @ 10 points each 380 points
3 Reaction Papers @ 34 points 102 points
Total 502 points
A+= 490-500 B+= 440-449 C+= 390-399 D+=340-349 F = 299 or less
A- =460-489 B =410-419 C =360-389 D =310-339
A- =450-458 B- =400-409 C- =350-359 D- =300-309

Expectations for students:

1. Meet deadlines: All assignments are due at the beginning of class on the due date. The professor reserves the right not to accept unexcused late papers; if accepted, late papers will receive at least one letter grade penalty for each day late. If a student is late for class more than by 10 minutes on the date an assignment is due, that assignment will be marked as late.
2. Read assigned reading: Students should read the assigned reading before the class listed in order to prepare to discuss the material in class. Students should be ready to respond when called upon in class. If a student is consistently unprepared for class, he or she may receive a deduction from their final grade in class.
3. Arrive on time for class: See attendance policy below.
4. Participate in discussion: Every student arrives in class with a different background and knowledge of news practices. We will all benefit from a full, open discussion of any observations, comments or questions you may have.

Attendance Policy:

1. Students are expected to attend all classes. Only college-sponsored or medical emergency absences will be excused. All cell phones and pagers need to be turned off before entering class. Leaving class to answer either will be considered an unexcused absence. You will not be allowed to make up assignments missed during an unexcused absence. In accordance with the college’s XF policy, you will be dropped from the class after four (4) unexcused and excused absences. A student will be given an XF warning after the third excused or unexcused absence.
2. If you must miss a class, please let me know PRIOR to the class period missed. The only way you will be excused is by emailing me about pending absence and a doctor’s note or letter from your college activity sponsor upon your return. Failure to notify me by email prior to the absence will constitute an unexcused absence. Please do not phone me; only email is acceptable.
3. We will begin class promptly. Do not come to class late. Walking into class late is disruptive; be courteous. Coming to class late or leaving early will be counted as half of an absence. If you are absent/tardy for any reason, you are responsible for the material covered and any announcements made while you were gone.

Portfolio Statement:
Work in this class can be used for inclusion in a portfolio (required in MCOM 4190 – Mass Media Capstone) and for a prospective employer or graduate school.

Format of Papers:

Papers are to be stapled. Do not put papers in binders, report folders or paper clips. Document all sources using APA style (manuals are available in the library or at a bookstore). Grading will include grammar, spelling and punctuation.

All papers turned in for a grade should be typed and proofread with any errors corrected. Double space, type on one side of the page only and number each page. Use 1-inch margins around the page and 12-point type. The title page should be the first page of the paper and labeled with the following information centered vertically on the page: name, assignment title, Introduction to Political Science, Fall 2006.

Honesty Policy:

Plagiarism, cheating, and other forms of academic dishonesty are prohibited and may result in course failure, forced withdrawal or expulsion. Apply Christian and ethical standards to all you do.

Academic Irregularity and Sanctions:
Violations of the Student Conduct code such as cheating or plagiarism will result in sanctions deemed appropriate for the offense. Possible sanctions include:

1. Assignment failure: a grade of “zero” for the assignment involved.
2. Course failure: a grade of “F” for the course in which the offense occurred.
3. Forced withdrawal: withdrawal without credit from the college for a period of one semester.
4. Expulsion: termination of student status for an indefinite period of time.

Policy Concerning Students with Disabilities:

Any student having an identified learning disability or other handicap that might affect academic performance should complete the form available in the Learning Disabilities Liaison Office.

Tentative Class Schedule (professor reserves the right to change the schedule)

Date Class Information Reading/Assignment
Week 1 Introduction of books & authors;


Syllabus, Handouts (historical documents); refer
Week 2


American history, Constitution, Current Events  
Week 2 History quiz

Colson intro/session 1

Week 3 Colson session 1 due  
Week 3 Colson session 2 due  
Week 4 Colson session 3 due  
Week 5 Colson session 4 due


Week 5 Colson session 5 due  
Week 6 Colson session 6 due  
Week 6 Black Hawk Down documentary

Provide criteria for reaction paper #1

Week 7 Black Hawk Down documentary  
Week 7 Reaction paper #1 due (Black Hawk Down); Political Sci section 1 discussion  
Week 8 Jesus Factor video/discuss reaction paper #2 criteria

Pol Sci section 1 discussion


Week 8 Work on Jesus Factor paper  
Week 9 Jesus Factor reaction paper due, Pol. Sci section 1 due; discussion

Pol Sci section 2 discussion

Week 10 Pol Sci section 2 due  
Week 10 Pol Sci section 3 discussion  
Week 11 Pol Sci section 3 due  
Week 11 Pol Sci section 4 discussion  
Week 12 Pol Sci section 4 due  
Week 12 Pol Sci section 5 discussion


Week 13 Pol Sci section 5 due;

Pol Sci section 6 discussion

Week 13 Pol Sci section 6 due;

Pol Sci section 7 discussion

Week 14 Pol Sci section 7 due

Pol Sci section 8 discussion

Week 14 Pol Sci  section 8 due  
Week 15 Patriot Games; discuss reaction paper #3  
Week 16 Patriot Games  
Week 16 Work on Final reaction paper  
  Final reaction paper due  

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