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POLISC 150 - Introduction to American Government & Politics - Brian Goldberg

Course:Introduction to American Government & Politics
Professor:Brian Goldberg
  • OnlineLive
Course Length:
  • 5 Week


Political Science150 is an introductory course that seeks to establish a foundation and basis for the understanding of the American government.  The course will cover various elements and dynamics of American democracy, the institutional and practical linkage between citizens and their government, and the roles and functions of the individual governmental institutions.  A portion of the course will be devoted to understanding the California State government and its relationship with the federal government.

Course Description

In order to prepare for the quizzes, mid-term and final students must maintain an organized outline of their course notes.  The notes should come from the class posts, reading assignments, discussions and any video presentations.  The multiple-choice portion of the exams requires the memorization of established doctrines and facts derived from these notes.  However, in those assignments students will be required to draw upon their own perspectives and positions in order to present their own thoughts in response to the assigned questions and topics.

What to Expect in this Course

Students will be able to speak knowledgeably of the following subjects: the United States Constitution, federalism, public opinion and the role of news media in government, political parties and interest groups, elections, campaign finance, congress, the presidency, the judiciary, contrasting political theories and American democratic values in general.  The learning process should sharpen and refine the students’ ability to understand everyday news and current events relating to the overall governmental structure in the United States.  Student participation in discussion is deemed necessary to enhance learning and allows for the continued development of individual speaking and oratory skills. In addition, the exchange of political opinions and experiences is vital to gaining a well-rounded understanding of issues that exist across the political spectrum.

Types of Assessments

online timed exams and quizzes. discussion boards assignments, and final paper.

Textbook Information

Textbook Title: We the People (12th Edition – Full Version) by Ginsberg, et. al.
Governing California (7th Edition) by Anagnoson, et. al.
You can also purchase a combined version of the two books at the bookstore which is based on the 12th edition and is cheaper than buying each book separately but you will need to look at the chapter topics to correspond to the syllabus.

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: 10/25/2021 Sub#: 946