Course Syllabus

Course Information: 

American Government and Politics
Course Code: POLS-0AC-C1-202030
Class Meeting Schedule: Wednesdays, 06:00 pm - 07:15 pm
Class Location(s): virtual, see zoom link on left column

Contact Information



Name: Dr. Eleanor Hannah
Phone Number: 218-260-8419
Email (Ivy Tech mail):



Instructor’s Supervisor

Name: Jeff Ewen
Location: SLC 122BPhone Number: 260-480-4231
Email (Ivy Tech mail): 
Office/Campus Location: CC2326 

Ivy Tech Technical Support: Help Desk

Phone: 1-888-IVY-LINE (1-888-489-5463), select option 4
Student Help Center: (Links to an external site.)
Submit a Help Ticket: to an external site.

Ivy Tech Online Learning Support

Name: Educational Technology
Phone Number: Deb: 260-480-2082, Jon:  260-480-2080, Tera: 260-480-2081 
Email (Ivy Tech Email):
Office/Campus Location: Student Life 124 and 148

Disabilities Support Contact

Regional DSS: to an external site.

Name: Todd Nichols
Phone Number: 260-480-4110
Email (Ivy Tech Email):
Office/Campus Location: Harshman 1708 / Fort Wayne
Office Hours: 8am-5pm

Required Text & Materials

Great newsyour textbook for this class is available for free online!

American Government 3e from openstax, ISBN-13: 978-1-951693-38-1

You have several options to obtain this book, but the course recommendation is to view it online.

You can use whichever formats you want. Web view is recommended -- the responsive design works seamlessly on any device.

Recommendations for Book Ordering (click on this link for more info)

This course uses a free, Open Educational Resource (OER) text from openstax along with online materials linked in the course modules. You will not need to order any additional materials. 

Course Outline of Record

COURSE TITLE: Introduction to American Government and Politics
PREREQUISITES: Demonstrated competency through appropriate assessment or earning a grade of “C” or better in (ENGL 093 Introduction to College Writing and ENGL 083  Strategies for College) or ENGL 095 Integrated Reading and Writing, or ENGL 075 Co-Requisite Integrated Reading and Writing.
SCHOOL: Arts, Sciences & Education
PROGRAM: Social Sciences

CATALOG DESCRIPTION: Studies federalism, theories of the origins and purposes of government and other aspects of the American government including interest groups, political parties, and the electoral process. Emphasis is placed on constitutional backgrounds and the organization and functions of the executive, legislative, and judicial segments of the national government, civil liberties and civil rights, public opinion, media, bureaucracies, and domestic and foreign policy.


Upon successful completion of this course the student will be expected to:

1. Describe and discuss the foundations and bases of American government and democracy including the Constitution, Bill of Rights, and Federalism.
2. Describe the various aspects of political behavior of individuals and groups including political parties, public opinion, media, nominations, campaigns, and elections.
3. Describe the operations of the various governmental institutions including executive, legislative, judicial, and administrative functions.
4. Evaluate recent global developments and their impact on public policy in the areas of domestic and foreign affairs.
5. Identify how the separate, but power-sharing institutions, including government agencies, private sector and interest groups, attempt to influence modern society.
6. Explain how power is granted to the national government and the states with limitations that safeguard civil liberties and civil rights.
7. Analyze and discuss the American political system and its effectiveness in meeting the major needs of society.
8. Evaluate American politics and government in a global and historical context as compared with other political systems and their various institutions, the ways their people are governed, and how their decisions are made and implemented.
9. Demonstrate and express an understanding of the complex international interconnections that give meaning to American politics and government.


Topical areas of study include –

History and theories of government
Rise of American democracy
Constitutional structure
Challenges of Federalism
Civil rights
Civil liberties
Case law
Public Policy
Current events


The Ivy Tech Library is available to students’ on- and off-campus, offering full text journals and books and other resources essential for course assignments. Go to and choose the link for your campus.


The College is committed to academic integrity in all its practices. The faculty value intellectual integrity and a high standard of academic conduct. Activities that violate academic integrity undermine the quality and diminish the value of educational achievement.

Cheating on papers, tests or other academic works is a violation of College rules. No student shall engage in behavior that, in the judgment of the instructor of the class, may be construed as cheating. This may include, but is not limited to, plagiarism or other forms of academic dishonesty such as the acquisition without permission of tests or other academic materials and/or distribution of these materials and other academic work. This includes students who aid and abet as well as those who attempt such behavior.


Students are expected to attend and participate regularly in class meetings, online learning activities and other activities assigned as a part of a course of instruction. Faculty are required to report student participation in compliance with institutional policies and federal financial aid  guidelines. Faculty and staff shall be sensitive to students’ religious beliefs and observances, including an expectation that instructors make reasonable arrangements when a student must miss an exam or other academic exercise due to their religious observance. When notified in advance, and when possible, faculty will make allowances for students to make up missed work.


Students shall adhere to the laws governing the use of copyrighted materials. They must insure that their activities comply with fair use and in no way infringe on the copyright or other proprietary rights of others and that the materials used and developed at Ivy Tech Community College contain nothing unlawful, unethical, or libelous and do not constitute any violation of any right of privacy.


Ivy Tech Community College seeks to provide reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals with documented disabilities. If you need an accommodation because of a documented disability, please contact the Office of Disability Support Services. If you will require assistance during an emergency evacuation, notify your instructor immediately. Look for evacuation procedures posted in your classroom.


Ivy Tech Community College is committed to providing all members of the College community with a learning and work environment free from sexual harassment and assault. Ivy Tech students have options for getting help if they have experienced sexual assault, relationship violence, sexual harassment or stalking. This information can be found here.

If students write or speak about having survived sexual violence, including rape, sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, or stalking, federal law and Ivy Tech policies require that instructors share this information with the Campus Title IX Coordinator. The Campus Title IX Coordinator will contact students to let them know about accommodations and support services at the College and in the community as well as options for holding accountable the person who harmed them. When contacted, students are not required to speak with the Campus Title IX Coordinator.

If students do not want the Title IX Coordinator notified, instead of disclosing this information to their instructor, students can speak confidentially with certain individuals at the College or in the community. A list of these individuals can be found here.


College Policies & Support Services (click on this link to review)

Students are strongly encourage to click the link above to review standard College policies and information on academic support services.

Course Policies & Procedures

Instructional Method

This is a virtual course. Each week’s assignments are summarized on the calendar, accessed from the Calendar button in IvyLearn. Learning activities can be found within the Modules area of the course. 


All grades will be maintained in IvyLearn’s online grade book. Students are responsible for tracking their progress by referring to the online grade book. Students can generally expect to receive grades and feedback within seven days of the assignment due date. If exceptions occur, the instructor may notify students of changes to this expectation.

Due Dates & Deadlines

The Syllabus and Calendar are two important tools to help students understand the course, student and instructor expectations, and deadlines. Both tools can be found in IvyLearn. The Calendar can be accessed from the main navigation area on the left-hand side of IvyLearn.

Students are required to submit work on time for a chance to receive credit. Deadlines for each week/assignment are summarized on the calendar. Students should check the calendar frequently for deadlines and to be aware of what to expect next. Deadlines are listed in Eastern Time and are subject to change. If you are in a time zone other than Eastern time please follow the directions found here to update your time zone: (Links to an external site.)

Students are responsible for timely assignment submission. Should a computer system or network go down, students must still turn in work in a timely manner. Don’t wait until the last minute. Plan ahead by seeking alternative means for submitting work before it is due. Local libraries and all Ivy Tech Community College campuses can serve as alternative resources. Contact the closest/most convenient campus or other public lab for schedules and Internet availability. Not having access to the required software on a home or work computer is not a legitimate excuse for turning in homework late.

Make-Up Policy

Late assignments will be assigned a grade of “0” unless a student has received prior approval from the instructor. If a student has a problem or scheduling conflict that prevents the student from submitting an assignment on time, the student should contact the instructor immediately. The instructor will determine if the seriousness of the problem warrants an extension on the assignment. Unless absolutely unavoidable, students need to contact their instructor before missing the deadline – not after. Instructors have the right to decline accepting work for any credit after a deadline passes with a few specific exceptions, including but not limited to:

  • If there is an outage of the IvyLearn system that is verified by central system administrators, instructors will provide an extension for students to submit work at no penalty.
  • If the student has documentation of serious illness or death of a family member, instructors will work with the student to determine an alternate deadline.

Attendance Policy – Don’t Get Dropped from Class!

Ivy Tech performs administrative drops for students who do not “attend” class early in the semester. Students need to complete an assignment (which may include, but are not limited to, such things as attending a live or synchronous session; posting in a graded discussion board, blog or wiki; or submitting a written assignment or taking a quiz) prior to the Attendance Drop deadline listed below in order to avoid being dropped for non-attendance. Posting any items not related to the graded assignments will be reviewed but may be disqualified for attendance purposes.

Attendance Drop Deadline: August 31, 2021 - 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time.

Am I Required to Come to Campus for this Course?

For this course, students do not have to come to campus.

Am I Required to Attend the weekly virtual class meetings via Zoom? 

Yes. These are required for this course. 

Last Day to Withdraw

If a student wishes to withdraw from this course, students are responsible for completing an official withdrawal form with the registrar. Your local registrar contact information can be looked up here: to an external site..

The last day to withdraw from this course is November 16, 2021.

Course Communication

Online Communication Etiquette

Students are expected to uphold their responsibilities in terms of appropriate and professional communication with faculty and peers. Please review the ‘Students Rights and Responsibilities’ section of the student handbook (located within MyIvy) and review common netiquette (Internet etiquette) practices, like those found at:

Instructor Commitment

Ivy Tech Community College instructors are committed to responding to students’ written inquiries sent via the conversations tool in IvyLearn (instructions below), within 36 hours, including weekends.


All students must use the conversations feature of IvyLearn for course-related communications. Using conversations, students can send and receive messages from within IvyLearn. Conversations must be initiated from within IvyLearn but can be replied to via email. Please check Conversations frequently.

For information on how to access Conversations (send and receive) click this link to open the Canvas Guides ( (Links to an external site.). The Canvas Guides will provide you with the necessary information to get started with conversations within IvyLearn.


IvyLearn has a robust notification system that students can opt to use to receive course notifications for many course activities and events such as new announcements, due dates, and grade updates. Students can receive those notifications via many different channels including text messages and are highly encouraged to customize their notifications. To learn more about notifications and how to setup and customize notifications, please review the guide here: (Links to an external site.)


Assignments & Grading

Weekly Expectations

Weekly assignments are due by 11:59 a.m. the day of class unless noted otherwise.  Class meets weekly at 06:00 pm on ZOOM, every week except during Fall break.  Attendance is required, and when you enter the ZOOM meeting your camera must be on, or you will not receive any of your participation points for the day.

Before each class session, students will be expected to:

  • Read the assigned materials (textbook and any additional articles provided).
  • Complete any assignments due in the syllabus.

Reading Quizzes to be taken before class on Ivy Learn

For most chapters, students will be given a 15-20 question quiz over the instructional materials for that chapter. In order to give students adequate time to complete quizzes, they will be available until 6:00 p.m. on the day they are due (Eastern - Fort Wayne time). Students will have two attempts to take reading quizzes.

Assignments and Participation

There are 14 assignments to accompany the reading and MC quizzes. The assignments are reflective writing exercises, often based on an online game or simulation linked in the assignment page. You are required to complete 12 of the 14 over the course of the semester. 

Assignments including simulations to be completed on Ivy Learn before class starts. Participation points will be awarded after each class.

Midterm and Final exam

The exams will be due on the dates given in the calendar. 

Course Summary:

Date Details Due