US and Texas
Government 2301--Web











Instructor:  Dr. Brian K. Dille 
Office: Deaderick Hall 209
Office Phone: 915/335-6592
Fax: 915/335/6667
E-mail: bdille@odessa.edu
Surface Mail: Odessa College
201 West University
Odessa, Texas 79764
Office Hours: Mon/Wed/Fri: 8:30-9:00 a.m., 10-11 a.m.
Tuesday/Thursday: 9-10 a.m.
Blackboard: Click here to go to the Blackboard login page The OC webmaster will enroll you in this course on Blackboard.  Once that is done, you will only need to login each time, click "Courses", then "Government 2301", and you will be in my course for test-taking, assignments, announcements, etc. 

COURSE OBJECTIVES

1. To present the basic concepts of politics that will better enable you, the student, to understand American and Texas government and politics.

2. To motivate you, the student, to take an interest in and understand issues and problems facing the United States, Texas, and Odessa or city which you live in.

3. To stimulate you, the student, to exercise your privileges and obligations as a U.S. citizen, through participation in local, state, and national political activities.

DROP POLICY

You are responsible for dropping this class if you quit doing the work. The instructor will not do so . Failure to drop results in an F.

DISCUSSION GROUPS

We will have four discussion group topics in this course. The discussions are not 'at will' but are considered an integral part of your learning.  The selected topics will be posted online with specific instructions and due date. You will receive a grade for your discussion and responses to the other students' comments. Please see the discussion topics for detailed instructions. To enter into the discussion area you will go to Blackboard.   You must participate in all four discussion topicsAt the end of the discussion period, you must post your final "Summary" of the discussion topic on Blackboard.  Click on the "Communication" button and then on the "Discussion Board" and then on "Send Files" to post all assignments.  Please follow the instructions as given.  If you have any questions, please contact your instructor.

EXAMINATIONS

There will be four exams, each worth 100 points. They will consist entirely of objective questions.  A 200 point final exam will be given all objective questions. You must schedule the final exam to be taken on the assigned day in either the OC Testing Center or a secure testing facility. Arrangement must be approved by the instructor.

I RESERVE THE RIGHT TO DETERMINE IF YOU HAVE A VALID REASON FOR MISSING AN EXAM. YOU WILL NOT HAVE THE CHANCE TO TAKE A MAKE-UP FOR AN INVALID REASON.

MAKE-UP EXAMS AND QUIZZES

If you are unable to take a test during the assigned time period, you need to contact the instructor ASAP. Failure to do this will result in a loss of a letter grade on the exam. Otherwise, there are no make-ups. I RESERVE THE RIGHT TO DECIDE IF YOUR REASON FOR MISSING AN EXAM IS INVALID AND IF I SUSPECT IT IS, YOU WILL NOT HAVE THE CHANCE TO TAKE A MAKE-UP.

DISCUSSIONS

Four discussion topics will be posted and mandatory for all students to participate in as part of the discussion grade. Each question will be worth up to 50 (fifty) points. Discussion topics will be posted for a total of two weeks and your responses are due by 1 p.m. on  Friday of the second week.

INTERNET ASSIGNMENTS

Four Internet assignments will be required. Each will be worth a total of 50 (fifty) points. Two of the mandatory Internet assignments are listed in Unit 6, one on political parties and the second on liberalism/conservatism. The other two Internet assignments can be selected from any of the others assignments listed under web activities.  Your internet assignment will be due by 1 p.m. on Friday of the second week on that unit.  

UNIT OBJECTIVE SHEETS

Unit objective sheets are included in the lecture notes.  They will serve both as guide to what the instructor considers important from the texts, lecture notes, research, and discussions, and what the student is expected to know at the completion of the unit. They will also serve as a good study guide for the exams because the exam questions will be drawn from these objective sheets.

PROJECTS

Additional projects (research papers, book reports, etc.) beyond those assigned are optional. Topics or book must receive instructor approval. A written description must be submitted by the seventh week of class ( ). Projects are due one week before the last scheduled class  A "Project Handout" explaining specific rules to follow and describing how the project will be graded will be posted on line. A project does not and cannot be substituted for a test grade. The project grade will be counted as an additional grade to be averaged in with all other grades.

GRADING POLICY

The final course grade will be determined on a percentage basis:

90-100% = 900 points = A Exam #1 100 points = 10% of course grade
80-89% = 800 points = B Exam #2 100 points = 10% of course grade
70-79% = 700 points = C Exam #3 100 points = 10% of course grade
60-69% = 600 points = D Exam #4 100 points = 10% of course grade
Below 600 points or 60% = F Discussion Participation = 200 points = 20% of course grade
  Four Internet Assignments = 200 points = 20% of course grade
  Final 200 points = 20% of course grade

BONUS POINTS

Ten points for a current voters card will be given and added to your total point count before the course grade is averaged.

ACADEMIC DISHONESTY

Online exams and papers are basically open book.  However, I would prefer that you attempt to complete them without using the text or lecture notes.  Exam taking should be done alone and not a collaborative effort performed with other students in the class or who have previously taken the class.  Cheating or plagiarism will result in the grade of 0. Remember, on your essays and papers, cite your sources and URL sites.

TEXTS

Cummings and Wise, Democracy Under Pressure, 9th edition
Maxell and Crain, Texas Politics Today, 10th edition

THE FINAL EXAM MUST BE TAKEN AT THE ODESSA COLLEGE TESTING CENTER (VCT STUDENTS CAN TAKE THE FINAL IN A PROCTORED TESTING SITE ON THEIR HOME CAMPUS

SOURCES FOR NEWS AND INFORMATION ON NATIONAL AND STATE GOVERNMENT 

1. National: CNN AllPolitics.Com and The University of Michigan Federal Government Resources and GovSpot.Com

2. State: The University of Michigan Federal Government Resources and GovSpot.Com

GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS LIST
(For bonus points on
the final exam ONLY.)

FEDERAL
Office Name Party Term Ends
 President  George W. Bush R Jan. 2005
 Vice President  Dick Cheney R Jan. 2005

U.S.  Senate

 U.S. Senator  John Cornyn (TX) R Jan. 2009
  U.S. Senator  Kay Bailey Hutchison(TX) R Jan. 2007
 U.S. Senate Majority Leader  Bill Frist (TN) R Jan. 2009 by caucus
 U.S. Senate Minority Leader  Tom Daschle (SD) D Jan. 2009 by caucus
U.S. House of Representatives
 U.S. House Speaker  Dennis Hastert  (IL) R Jan. 2005 by caucus
 U.S. House Majority Leader  Tom DeLay (TX) R  Jan. 2005 by caucus
 U.S. House Minority Leader  Nancy Pelosi (CA) D  Jan. 2005 by caucus
 19th District
 (Ector, Andrews, Crane, Gaines, Howard, Loving, Martin, Midland, Ward, Winkler counties)
 Larry Combest R Jan. 2005
 23rd District
 (Reeves, Pecos, Terrell, Upton counties)
 Henry Bonilla R Jan. 2005

U.S. Supreme Court

 U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice  William Rehnquist

Appointed for life

 

STATE

Office Name Party Term Ends
 Governor  Rick Perry  R Jan. 2007
 Lieutenant Governor  David Dewhurst   R Jan. 2007
Texas State Senate
 State Senator      
 Dist. 31 -- (Ector, Andrews, Crane, Gaines, Glasscock, Howard, & Midland counties )  Teel Bivins R Jan. 2005
 Dist. 28 -- (Reagan & Upton counties)  Robert Duncan R Jan. 2007
 Dist. 21 -- (Loving,  Pecos, Reeves, Terrell, Ward, & Winkler  counties)  Frank Madla D Jan. 2007
Texas House of Representatives
 Speaker  Tom Craddick R  Jan. 2005 by House
 State Representatives      
 81st District -- (Ector, Andrews, & Winkler Counties)  Buddy West R Jan. 2005
 82nd District -- (Crane, Martin, Midland, & Upton  Counties)  Tom Craddick R Jan. 2005
 74th District -- (Loving, Pecos, Reeves, Terrell, & Ward,  Counties)  Pete Gallego D Jan. 2005
 83rd District -- (Gaines & Yoakum Counties)  Delwin Jones R Jan. 2005

     

Local
Ector County Name Party Term Ends
 County Judge  Jerry Caddel  R Jan. 2007
 County Commissioner Precinct 1  Freddie Gardner  R Jan. 2005
 County Commissioner Precinct 2  Greg Simmons R  Jan. 2007
 County Commissioner Precinct 3  Barbara Graff

D

Jan. 2005
 County Commissioner Precinct 4  Wilmer Ray D Jan. 2007
 Sheriff  Mark Donaldson R Jan. 2005
 District Attorney  John Smith R Jan. 2005
 County Attorney  Tracy Worley Bright D Jan. 2005
 County Treasurer  Carolyn Sue Bowen R Jan. 2007
 County Clerk  Barbara Bedford D Jan. 2007
 County Tax Assessor/Collector  Lea Taylor D Jan. 2005

City of Odessa

 Mayor  Larry Melton - May 2004
 City Council District 1  Bill Cleaver May 2004
 City Council District 2  Cathy Herzog - May 2004
 City Council District 3  Royce Bodiford - May 2003
 City Council District 4  Bob Slider - May 2003
 City Council District 5  Berta Calzada - May 2003
 City Manager  Richard Morton  - Appointed by Council

 STUDENTS NOT LIVING IN ECTOR COUNTY OR ODESSA:
LEARN YOUR COUNTY AND CITY OFFICIALS.

 

OPTIONAL PROJECTS
To replace the lowest test grade. (EXCEPT Final Exam)

PURPOSE: To encourage personal involvement in a candidate’s campaign, the election, issue, or interest group activities.

100 points can be used to replace the lowest test grade.

 20 hours of work and written report  A - 90-100 points.
 17 hours of work and written report  B - 80-89 points.
 14 hours of work and written report  C - 70-79 points.
 11 hours of work and written report  D - 60-69 points.

OPTION 1: Work in a candidate’s or party’s campaign and hand in a 2-3 page-typewritten report of the work done, knowledge learned, and conclusions drawn.

OPTION 2: Work for an interest group and contribute your time and efforts to their cause and activities - letter writing, picketing, lobbying, petition drives, etc. (A list of interest groups - including local ones - are posted outside my office, DH 209.) Hand in a 2-3 page-typewritten report of the work done, knowledge learned, and conclusions drawn.

Arrangements must be made in advance,
with prior instructor approval.

As to which option is chosen and what campaign or interest group is being worked with and the instructor must be able to verify hours worked, for whom, and the nature of the work. A letter from the candidate or the organization you worked for must be mailed to the instructor for verification of your work.

 

FORMAT FOR ALL ASSIGNMENTS--WEB ASSIGNMENTS & DISCUSSION TOPIC SUMMARIES

  • All Assignments are to be posted in Digital Drop Box or sent to me by email as an attachment

  • All assignments must be written in Microsoft Word or Word Perfect.  

When posting an assignment in the Digital Drop Box (or emailing it to me as an
attachment in Microsoft Word or Word Perfect), please include the following
information in the body or text of your assignment and use the following format:

1. Name
2. Last 4 numbers of your soc. sec. number (ex.: #0138)
3. Unit # (ex. 1)
4. Type of Assignment (ex.: web or discussion Summary)
5. Title of Assignment (ex.: ACLU)
6. Date Submitted (ex.: Jan. 17, 2003)
7. Course (ex.: Govt. 2302 Web)

ODESSA COLLEGE CODE OF STUDENT VIRTUAL COLLEGE EXPECTATIONS

How well you do in college is connected, at least in part, to how well you can adjust to the various expectations attached to your new role as a college student. Teachers will judge you by how well or poorly you conform to their expectations of a successful student. These guidelines do not represent those of all instructors, but it pays you to know, in general, what behaviors define a good student. Obviously, I may have slightly different expectations that you should ask about if they are not made clear to you early in the semester. What follows is a general description of what I expect from my students:

  1. Good students behave in ways that enhance the learning experience for everyone in the class.

  2. Good students are engaged in the class, often actively participating in discussion.

  3. They use appropriate language in discussion: no profanity or foul language.

  4. Good students practice personal and academic integrity.

  5. They do not cheat on tests or other assignments.

  6. They do not plagiarize on assignments: hand in the work of others as their own.

  7. They do not lie or make excuses.

  8. They complete assignments, projects, papers, and exams in a timely manner.

  9. Good students respect the dignity and opinions of all people.

  10. They do not compromise or demean the dignity of others by taunting, teasing, insulting, sexually harassing or discriminating.

  11. They encourage the equal rights and treatment of all students, regardless of age, gender, race, religion, ethnic heritage, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation and/or political ideology.

  12. They recognize it is their responsibility to communicate any problems or concerns to the appropriate Odessa college personnel, such as instructors, counselors, and coaches. This includes extended absences, health problems, job conflicts, emergencies, incarcerations, family problems, and documented learning disabilities.

  13. They follow appropriate procedures if they a grievance. After discussing the problem with the instructor, coach, or counselor first, they proceed in a hierarchical order as diagramed below, following the steps outlined in the Student Right to Due Process, available in full text from the office of the Vice-President for Student Life.

Grievance Policy - Chain of Command

Student -> Instructor -> Department Chair -> Division Dean ->
 Vice President -> President -> Board of Trustees

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Copyright © 2000, 2001, 2002 Brian K. Dille. All rights reserved.