Texas Government
GOVT. 2306 - Web












SYLLABUS

Fall 2010
Instructor:  Dr. Brian K. Dille 
Office: Deaderick Hall 209
Office Phone: 432/335-6592
Fax: 432/335/6667
E-mail: bdille@odessa.edu
Surface Mail: Odessa College
201 West University
Odessa, Texas 79764
Office Hours: Mon/Wed/Fri: 9-10 a.m.
Tuesday/Thursday: 9-9:30 a.m. & 11-12 noon
Tuesday: 6-7 pm
Blackboard: Click here to go to the Blackboard login page.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 2305", 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  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 several 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. 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 under "Assignments." Please see the discussion topics for detailed instructions. To enter into the discussion area you will go to Blackboard. Please follow the instructions as given.  If you have any questions, please contact your instructorYour grade will be based on the more detailed SUMMARY you will write on the discussion topic--elaborating on your initial comments and adding your views based on reading the posted comments of fellow students in the class. Points (up to a full letter grade) will be deducted if at least two postings on Blackboard's discussion board are not posted by the posting deadline.   To get a grade you MUST post your final Summary on Blackboard under "Assignments." 
All assignments MUST be done in Microsoft Word or RTF-Rich Text Format  

 

EXAMINATIONS

There will be four exams, each worth 100 points. They will consist of 50 two-point objective questions.  You will have 50 minutes maximum to take each of the four exams. You will be penalized two points for each minute you exceed the 50 minute time limit.  In the rare instances an exam is taken late, there is an automatic one letter grade deductionA 200 point comprehensive final exam composed of all objective questions will be given.  You must schedule the final exam to be taken on the assigned day in either the OC Student Success Center or a secure testing facility. Arrangement must be approved by the instructor.   In rare instances students encounter technical problems while taking an on-line exam.  The most common is being kicked out of the test.  I want to clarify the course policy.  If you are kicked out of an exam, notify me by email ASAP so I can remove the block and you can retake the exam by 10 pm of exam day. Failure to take the exam on the exam day will lead to a loss of a full letter grade.   It is not fair to students who took the exam on time to have others retake it several days later, giving them more time to review the material.  

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 one or two weeks and your final SUMMARY is due by 1 p.m. on FridayAll assignments MUST be done in Microsoft Word or RTF-Rich Text Format.

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--one from Unit 4 on political parties and one from Unit 6 concerning the Texas Legislature.   The other two Internet assignments can be selected from any of the others assignments listed under web activities.  The internet assignments are due--by 1 p.m.-- on the Friday of the last week on that unit.  All assignments MUST be done in Microsoft Word or RTF-Rich Text Format.

UNIT OBJECTIVE SHEETS

Unit objective sheets for all eleven units 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 Four Discussion Summaries = 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.

TEXT

Maxwell, Crain & Santos, Texas Politics Today, 2009-2010 edition

**The final exam must be taken at the Odessa College Student Success Center or in an instructor-approved proctored testing situation on the assigned day.

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

For help in determining WHO represents you and which district you live in, either click the links below to access the maps:

FEDERAL

Office Name Party Term Ends
 President  Barack H. Obama D Jan. 2013
 Vice President  Joe Biden D Jan. 2013

U.S.  Senate

 U.S. Senator  John Cornyn (TX) R Jan. 2015
  U.S. Senator  Kay Bailey Hutchison (TX) R Jan. 2013
 U.S. Senate Majority Leader  Harry Reid (Nev.) D Jan. 2011 by caucus
 U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) R Jan. 2011 by caucus

U.S. House of Representatives

 U.S. House Speaker  Nancy Pelosi (CA) D Jan. 2011 by caucus
 U.S. House Majority Leader  Steny Hoyer (Md.) D  Jan. 2011  by caucus
 U.S. House Minority Leader  John Boehner (Oh.) R  Jan. 2011 by caucus
 11th District
 (Ector, Andrews, Crane, Loving, Martin, Midland, Upton, Ward, & Winkler counties)
 Mike Conaway R Jan. 2011
 23rd District
 (Reeves, Pecos & Terrell counties)
 Ciro Rodriguez D Jan. 2011

U.S. Supreme Court

 U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice  John Roberts  

Appointed for life

 

STATE

Office Name Party Term Ends
 Governor  Rick Perry  R Jan. 2011
 Lieutenant Governor  David Dewhurst   R Jan. 2011

Texas State Senate

 State Senator      
 Dist. 31 -- (Ector, Andrews, Crane, Gaines, Glasscock, Howard, & Midland counties )  Kel Seliger R Jan. 2011
 Dist. 28 -- (Reagan & Upton counties)  Robert Duncan R Jan. 2011
 Dist. 19 -- (Loving,  Pecos, Reeves, Terrell, Ward, & Winkler  counties)  Carlos Uresti D Jan. 2011

Texas House of Representatives

 Speaker  Joe Strauss R  Jan. 2011 by House
 State Representatives      
 81st District -- (Ector, Andrews, & Winkler Counties)  Tryon Lewis R Jan. 2011
 82nd District -- (Crane, Martin, Midland, & Upton  Counties)  Tom Craddick R Jan. 2011
 74th District -- (Loving, Pecos, Reeves, Terrell, & Ward,  Counties)  Delwin Jones R Jan. 2011

 

Local

Ector County

  Name Party Term Ends
 County Judge  Susan Redford  R Jan. 2011
 County Commissioner Precinct 1  Freddie Gardner  R Jan. 2013
 County Commissioner Precinct 2  Greg Simmons R  Jan. 2011
 County Commissioner Precinct 3  Dale Childers

R

Jan. 2013
 County Commissioner Precinct 4  Armando Rodriguez D Jan. 2011
 Sheriff  Mark Donaldson R Jan. 2013
 District Attorney  Bobby Bland R Jan. 2013
 County Attorney  Cindy Weir-Nutter R Jan. 2013
 County Treasurer  Carolyn Sue Bowen R Jan. 2011
 County Clerk  Linda Haney R Jan. 2011
 County Tax Assessor/Collector  Barbara Horn R Jan. 2013

City of Odessa

 Mayor  Larry Melton - May 2012
 City Council District 1  Bill Cleaver May 2012
 City Council District 2  James Goates - May 2012
 City Council District 3  Barbara Graff - May 2014
 City Council District 4  Dean Combs - May 2014
 City Council District 5  Roy Hunton - May 2014
 City Manager  Richard Morton  - Appointed by Council

     

LOCAL SPECIAL DISTRICT BOARD MEMBERS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DISTRICT

E.C.I.S.D. Board of Trustees

 

 

Odessa College Board of Trustees

 

 

Ector County Hospital Board of Trustees

 

 

 

TERM

 

TERM

 

TERM

1

Luis Galvan

2014

Bruce Shearer

2016

Judy Hayes

2012

2

Faye Batch

2012

Richard Abalos

2016

Mary Lou Anderson

2014

3

Donna Smith

2014

Ralph McCain

2012

Richard Herrera

2012

4

 Tom Pace

2012

J.E. “Coach” Pressly

2014

David Dunn

2014

5

Yollie Wilkins

2012

Ray Ann Zant

2014

Caretha Cartwright

2012

6

Ray Beaty

2014

Walter Smith

2012

Mary Thompson

2014

7

Donnie Norwood

2012

Gary Johnson

2014

Virgil Trower

2012

8

 

 

Tara Deaver

2016

 

 

9

 

 

David Turner

2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Length of Term

Term: 4 years

 

Term: 6 years

 

Term: 4 years

 

 

 

 

 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 and submitted in Microsoft Word or RTF-Rich Text Format.  

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

1. Name
2. Your OC ID number
3. Unit # (ex. 1)
4. Type of Assignment (ex.: web or discussion Summary)
5. Title of Assignment (ex.: Texas Political Parties)
6. Date Submitted (ex.: Oct. 17, 2009)
7. Course (ex.: Govt. 2306 Web)

THERE WILL BE A ONE LETTER GRADE DEDUCTION ON AN ASSIGNMENT GRADE FOR FAILURE TO 
INCLUDE THE ABOVE INFORMATION.

LATE POLICY:  Assignments will be accepted no more than 3 days late--at 1pm on the Monday following the Friday the assignment was due.  

 

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


Students:  If you know the terms and material contained in the Unit Objectives, you will be well prepared for the exams.  All exam questions will be drawn from these items.  The Unit Objectives are available by clicking on the "Unit Objectives" button.   


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