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POLISC 150 - Introduction to American Government and Politics - William Mark

Course:Introduction to American Government and Politics
Professor:William Mark
  • Online
Course Length:
  • 5 Week


This course is a survey of the institutions, process, and problems of the American National Government and the California State Government.  Emphasis is on the development and principles of the American Constitution, the mechanics of democratic politics and policy-making, and the nations and the state's contemporary challenges.

Course Description

The Political Science Department has established the following broad guidelines as to what is expected that you will achieve upon completion of this course:

*Identify and explain the basic institutions of the government of the United States and the State of Califonia.  

*Compare and contrast democratic theories of American government. 

*Exhibit a heightened sense of personal efficacy and civic responsibility.  

What to Expect in this Course

There will be a total of 4 exams.  Every exam counts since I do not drop any grades.  A schedule sets out a date window (usually three days) to take the exams.  An announcement will remind you that an exam window is about to open and when it will close.  You must take the exam in one sitting and you will have 2 hours to complete the exam.  The questions on the exams will come from the lecture notes and from the quizzes at the end of each chapter in the textbook.  

Types of Assessments

As mentioned there will be 4 exams at various times during the course. In addition there will be Discussion Board Questions posted each week. You will have approximately 4 to 5 days to respond to these discussions. They vary in point value usually 20 or 30 points each.
Finally, there will be a research paper that will be worth 50 points.

Textbook Information / Link to ZTC Textbook

We The People. Ginsberg, Lowi, Tolbert. Custom12the Edition ISBN 978039343204-6. Norton. This edition is sold in the college bookstore and is a special edition that also contains the California Government text by Anagnosen et al 7th edition as part of the book.

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

College of the Canyons cares about your emotional and physical health. Learn more about the broad range of confidential student services, including free counseling and mental health services available during this time by visiting the Student Health & Wellness Center website or by calling them at: 661-362-3259.

The National Suicide Lifeline number is 1-800-273- 8255 (TALK). Please call it if you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide or is in severe distress - it could save someone's life.

You can also use the Crisis Text Line: Just text "Courage" to 741741. It's free, available 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: 10/26/2021 Sub#: 989