Irma Rangel Public Policy Institute

Jennifer E. Lamm


Master of Arts, University of Texas at Austin

Assistant Instructor
Jennifer E. Lamm

Contact

Courses


GOV 312L • Issues & Policies In Amer Gov

37745 • Spring 2016
Meets MWF 10:00AM-11:00AM MEZ B0.306

GOV 312L / 37745

Issues and Policies in American Government

Spring 2016

 

Instructor: Jennifer Lamm

jenniferlamm@utexas.edu

 

 

Class Meeting: MWF 10-10:50am

Location: Mezes B0.306

 

Prerequisites

This course fulfills the second half of the legislative requirement for government. No prerequisites are required.

 

Course Description

This course introduces students to some current debates about how to reform the American political system. This course is unique in that it devotes a substantial amount of class time for discussion and debate. Each week the class will learn about some aspect of the U.S. political system, i.e. federalism, and then debate a contemporary issue related to that topic, i.e. the legalization of marijuana by certain states.

 

Required texts

Robert Dahl, 2002, How Democratic is the American Constitution? New Haven: Yale University

Press.

Richard J. Ellis and Michael Nelson, ed. 2014. Debating Reform: Conflicting perspectives on how

to fix the American political system, 2nd ed. Los Angeles: Sage/ CQ Press.

Thomas E. Mann and Norman J. Ornstein, 2012, It’s Even Worse than it Looks, New York: Basic

Books.

Other required reading is available on Canvas.

 

Grading Policy

Grades are based on 3 multiple choice exams (15 percent each, 45 percent total), 3 short papers (15 percent each, 45 percent total), and class participation (10 percent).

 

This course uses the plus and minus system to assign grades as follows:

A          93-100             B+        87-89.99          C+        77-79.99          D+        67-69.99

A-        90-92.99          B          83-86.99          C          73-76.99          D          63-66.99

                                    B-         80-82.99          C-         70-72.99          D-        60-62.99

                                                                                                            F          Below 60

GOV 310L • American Government

37611 • Fall 2015
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM MEZ B0.306

This course is an introduction to American government and politics.  While the main focus is on the national level, additional attention is paid to the state and local governments of Texas. Topics will include U.S. political history, political institutions, elections, public opinion, rights and freedoms, and public policy issues.

GOV 310L • American Government

37755 • Spring 2015
Meets TTH 8:00AM-9:30AM WAG 420

This course is an introduction to American government and politics.  While the main focus is on the national level, additional attention is paid to the state and local governments of Texas. Topics will include U.S. political history, political institutions, elections, public opinion, rights and freedoms, and public policy issues.

GOV 310L • American Government

39000 • Spring 2014
Meets MW 3:00PM-4:30PM MEZ 1.306

Prerequisites

Students must have completed twelve semester hours of college credit and

received a passing score on the reading section of the Texas Higher Education

Assessment (THEA) or another appropriate test before enrolling in this course.

 

Course Description

This course introduces students to the basic functions, institutions, and principles of

American government. By the end of the course students will be able to explain the

key features and design of American government, their evolution, and the major

constellation of forces in political life today. We will also study Texas government and

local politics. The course is divided into three parts. The first section covers the legal

and theoretical foundations of the American political system and government. The

second section examines the origins of and current structure of the basic institutions of

U.S. and Texas government including the Congress, Executive, and Judiciary. The third

and final part explores a variety of topics including political parties, voter participation,

the role of media, and interest groups in the political process.

 

Grading Policy

This course uses a variety of methods and media to facilitate student learning and

evaluate student achievement. Course evaluation is based on a 100 point scale.

 

This course uses the plus and minus system to assign grades as follows:

A   93-100

A-  90-92.99

B+ 87-89.99

B   83-86.99

B-  80-82.99

C+ 77-79.99

C   73-76.99

C-  70-72.99

D+ 67-69.99

D   63-66.99

D-  60-62.99

F    Below 60

 

Final grades are awarded based on:

5%    Participation

20%  Quizzes

15%  Short Paper

60%  Exams

 

Participation

Students may earn up to 5 points toward their final grade for active class participation.

 

Quizzes

Weekly quizzes comprise 20% of your final grade. A total of 12 quizzes will be given.

I drop the lowest 2 quiz grades. You may earn a maximum of 20 quiz points.  

 

Short Paper

One 2-page essay is worth 15% of your final grade.

 

Exams

Three non-cumulative exams comprise 60% of your final grade. Each exam is worth 20 points. 

 

Required Text

Theodore Lowi. American Government: Power and Purpose (12th Full edition). Norton and Co.

Any format (hardcover, paperback, e-book is fine but students need the "12th Full edition".

GOV 310L • American Government

39020 • Fall 2013
Meets MWF 2:00PM-3:00PM CLA 0.128

This course is an introduction to American government and politics.  While the main focus is on the national level, additional attention is paid to the state and local governments of Texas. Topics will include U.S. political history, political institutions, elections, public opinion, rights and freedoms, and public policy issues.

Curriculum Vitae


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