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POLISC-150 - Intro-Amer Government/Politics - Steven Reti

Course:Intro-Amer Government/Politics
Professor:Steven Reti
  • Online
Course Length:
  • Applies to All Course Lengths
  • 16 Week


At last!  A Political Science course with free textbooks! In this course, we will examine how American politics works, develop our own opinions and share them with one another, and consider how we can improve the American political system.   

We begin by determining our own ideologies. Are you a  socialist?  A liberal?  A conservative?  A libertarian?  An independent?   It's okay to not know who you are.  We study how the ideas of the Framers shaped the U.S. Constitutional system.  Next, we examine all the different ways to get involved:  voting, interest groups, political parties, campaigning, etc.   I ask you to relate what we are studying to current political events.  Third, we study how the institutions of government process all of our demands.  Are Congress, the Presidency, and the Courts doing a good job?  

Course Description

This class is a full semester course.  After reading textbook chapters and sometimes from additional readings, I ask you to write short analytical essays and share your opinions with me and with your classmates on discussion boards. There are also three essay exams that help you synthesize what you have learned in each unit.

Most students excel in this course.  If you like reading and writing, and can work independently, you will be happy!

I have taught the online PS 150 for several years now.  Additionally, I teach the in-person or Zoom online Political Science 150 course at the College of the Canyons.  I always enjoy the discussions that we have together.  

I have a Ph.D. in Political Science from UC Santa Barbara.  I emphasize critical thinking skills and treat the course as an opportunity for you to better know your political selves, rather than a course just about political facts.

What to Expect in this Course

Expect to engage in a great deal of exploring how American and California politics works and quite a bit of reading and sharing of your analyses and opinions. You will learn more about yourself and your own perspectives as well as those of other students.  

Types of Assessments

Each week there are a few questions to address with a few paragraphs. This work is based on the readings, some research on your own, and your own thinking. There are three unit exams that involve writing full essays.  There is one discussion board each week asking you to share your opinion and reply to other students. 

Textbook Information

Free textbook materials:  For the US government book, please go to:

For the California politics and other materials, see links under each module.  All materials are no-cost. 

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: 05/25/2021 Sub#: 32