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Political Science 150 (College of the Canyons) - Introduction to American Government - Samuel John

Course:Introduction to American Government
Professor:Samuel John
  • OnlineLive
Course Length:
  • 16 Week


My name is Samuel John and I would like to welcome you to Political Science 150. I have been teaching at College of the Canyons since the fall of 2009. Political Science 150 is an introductory course that seeks to convey the essential elements of the American governmental and political system as well as that of the State of California.  These elements include the philosophical, historical, constitutional, political, and institutional dimensions and processes that have shaped both the American and California experience.

Course Description

Toward the expressed goals of the class, topics to be dealt with include a discussion of America in the post Cold-War era, the general nature of politics, the theoretical aspects of the study of the American Republic, and the political institutions and processes found within the American system of governments.    

As government and politics can be viewed as a dynamic process, the questions of, and the need for, political reform will be a constant concern during the course of the term.  This discussion will occur within the context of an ever-present alienation and apathy among many Americans.  Finally, current events and various contemporary issues will be discussed in class as prove relevant and productive.

What to Expect in this Course

This is NOT a 100% online course with no face-to-face meetings. We will be meeting every Monday and Wednesday via Confer Zoom. Students must attend all scheduled Class meetings starting from the first day of instruction until the end of semester (please check the academic calendar for exact dates and times). All assignments for this class will be completed using Canvas, a learning management system (LMS).

  • To participate in this class, you must have access to a computer and have a valid COC email address.
  • Take the Canvas tutorial at
  • Participate in online discussions.
  • Study the required chapters in the main text and the Power Point lectures.
  • Take all exams as scheduled
  • Complete the weekly assignments.

Types of Assessments

There will be 4 multiple choice tests administered online Each test contains 50 multiple-choice questions worth 100 points. The tests will cover lectures and reading assignments from the textbooks
All students are required to take the exams at the scheduled dates. There are no make-up exams and/or extended due dates.

There is a weekly essay assignment of varying length with a rubric to be completed independently by each student and submitted online on the due dates.

There is an instructor assigned weekly discussion board on current events. Each student is expected to write a short discuss to be posted and at least two replies to your peers' posts.

Textbook Information

Option A:
We the People: An Introduction to American Politics by B. Ginsberg, Norton and Company, 12th edition, 2019, ISBN: 978-0-393-69611-0.
Governing California in the Twenty-First Century, by Norton and Company, 7th edition, 2019, ISBN: 978-0-393-69609-7
Option B:
We the People: An Introduction to American Politics by B. Ginsberg, Norton and Company, 2019, ISBN: 978-0-393-43205-3. This is Custom Edition for College of the Canyons which includes both textbooks.

Other Relevant Course Information

Each student enrolled in the class must login to the course on the first day of class by visiting Default student login information is as follows: Username: your MyCanyons usename followed by your password: student.

  • Should you experience any technical problems with login in, please contact student technical support at (661) 362-3344 or
  • The course syllabus is located under "Course Syllabus" . 
  • Please review the course syllabus, reading assignments and deadlines.
  • Grades will be posted in the "Grade Center".

Additional Resources


This course can be accessed on the first day of class via Canvas at Log into Canvas using your CanyonsID single sign-on:

  • CanyonsID Username is your COC student email address (Ex:
  • CanyonsID Password is your COC student email password

Please visit the Get to Know Your Online Classroom page for help logging into Canvas and for tips on using Canvas and Zoom. Canvas Chat Support is also available 24/7 for any Canvas related issues.

Online Education

Check out the Online Education website for more information on a variety of topics that can help you be a successful online student such as: exam proctoring, learning styles, computer skills, and tips for student success. If this is your first online course, feel free to take our online learning readiness assessment to assess your skills.

The Learning Center (TLC)

The TLC provides FREE online tutoring resources to COC students!

Academic Accommodation Center (AAC)

College of the Canyons AAC provides educational services and access for eligible students with documented disabilities who intend to pursue coursework at COC. A variety of programs and services are available which afford eligible students with disabilities the opportunity to participate fully in all aspects of the college programs and activities through appropriate and reasonable accommodations. For more information on their services visit the Academic Accomodation Center website.

Online Counseling

The Counseling Department offers appointments online. You can schedule an appointment by visiting the Online Counseling website. Counselors can help you map out a plan to reach your educational goals as well as advise you on course selection and registration.

Management of Stress and Mental Health

Often the pressure on our students is very strong, involving academic commitments, relationships, outside jobs and family pressure to name a few. The staff and faculty of College of the Canyons are here to see you succeed academically and care about your emotional and physical health. You can learn more about the broad range of confidential student services, including counseling and mental health services available on campus by visiting the Student Health & Wellness Center in the Student Services Building (across from the bookstore). The phone number is 661-362-3259 that you can call 24/7. You can also e mail for an appointment at At the Canyon Country Campus the Health Center will be in the new Student Services Building.

Also, the National Suicide & Crisis Lifeline number is now 988. All students at COC are encouraged to enter that phone number in their cells. You can call it when you, or someone you know, is having thoughts of suicide or is in severe distress.

You can also now use the Crisis Text Line: Just text "Courage" to 741741. Someone will get back to you immediately. Its free, 24/7, and confidential.

Veterans Resource Center

The College of the Canyons Veterans Resource Center is a department within the Student Services Division at the college, created to help veterans and veteran dependents with applying to College of the Canyons, enrolling in classes, and requesting VA Education or Vocational Benefits. For more information please visit the Veterans Resource Center website, email or phone (661) 362-3469.


The Library provides live online and in-person research help, access to a full range of e-resources and physical materials that support the curriculum, individual and group study areas, and much more!

Last updated: 06/02/2021 Sub#: 177