This course is a survey of the political institutions of the federal republic of the U.S.A. and their interaction, strengths, and weaknesses. The survey includes a description of the U.S. federal system contained in the Constitution as amended formally and through legislation, the institutions which make up the vertical and horizontal separations of powers, the role of interest groups and elections in society, and the concept of civil rights and equality as opposed to freedoms in the culture.
Prerequisite(s): ENG 121
Constitutional Law and Procedures
The focus of this course is the interaction, strengths, and weaknesses of the U.S. federal government. The course includes a study of selected Supreme Court cases which have clarified the roles of government and police power. It also includes a description of the U.S. federal system contained in the Constitution as amended formally and through legislation, the institutions which make up the vertical and horizontal separations of powers, the role of interest groups and elections in the society, and the concept of civil rights and equality as opposed to freedoms in the culture.
Prerequisite(s): POL 300 and ENG 122 or 102
Comparative Government and Politics
This is a survey that approaches different forms of government from a theoretical and structural basis. The survey includes a review of political ideologies and the resultant governmental institutions of selected nation-states from democratic, communist, and other governmental forms. The institutional aspects reviewed are the organization of nation-state governments, including the executive, legislative, and judicial branches; political parties; the role of individual leaders; and domestic policies and stability.
International Organization and Politics
This course surveys the international arena, with a focus on political relations among states. It includes a description of the international political environment and its historical development; the principal institutions; the American organizations that conduct foreign policy; the contemporary issues resulting in cooperation and conflict; and the nature of, and reasons for, war.
Public Policy and Social Issues
This course studies how American societal problems become public policy issues; how those issues become part of the public agenda; and how public problems reshape or reorganize governmental institutions, structures, programs, and budgets. It includes both the process and the principles–public and private.
Prerequisite(s): POL 300 or LES 316
Criminal Justice Policy
This course provides an overview of the policies and ethics surrounding criminal justice. Topics covered include capital punishment, drugs, violent crime, decriminalization, gun control, mandatory sentencing, public assistance, inequality, and redistribution of wealth.
Prerequisite(s): ENG 122 and (POL 326 or Criminal Justice major)
Economic, Welfare and Income Policy
This course provides an overview of the policies and ethics surrounding the economy, welfare, and income. Topics covered include taxation and tax reform, guns vs. butter, poverty, Social Security, public assistance, inequality, and redistribution of wealth.
Prerequisite(s): OL 326 and ENG 122
This course provides an overview of the policies and ethics surrounding education. Topics covered include federal, state and local involvement in education, school choice, student achievement, multiculturalism, and the No Child Left Behind Act.
Prerequisite(s): POL 326 and ENG 122
Energy and Environmental Policy
This course provides an overview of the policies and ethics surrounding energy and the environment. Topics covered include policies effecting the production, distribution, and consumption of traditional and alternative energy sources, natural resources, air pollution, water pollution, toxic wastes, the Clean Air Act, and the National Environmental Policy Act.
Prerequisite(s): OL 326 and ENG 122
Health Care Policy
This course provides an overview of the policies and ethics surrounding health care. Topics covered include managed care, quality of health care, cost of and payment for health care, access to health care, Medicare, Medicaid, the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, and health care reform.
Prerequisite(s): ENG 122 and POL 326 or Nursing or Allied Health Major
Special Topics: Chinese Politics
This course examines China’s political institutions and their interaction, strengths, and weaknesses, both historically and since 1949. The study includes the Chinese Communist Party, the National People’s Congress, and the Supreme People’s Court. Students will also examine the differences between the Mao Zedong era and the post-Mao Zedong era, including China’s status as an emerging superpower.
Analysis of Public Policy
This course combines theory and application. From a theory perspective, it evaluates the processes through which policy is created and the dynamics of power and access to the policy process. Measurements of policy success and ways to improve both policy quality and the efficiencies of its implementation are evaluated and explored. From an application perspective, each student selects a hypothetical new law that is of interest. Students conduct research, using primary as well as secondary sources, to justify and design their potential laws. They also analyze potential allies and foes, and develop strategies to get their issues on the "public agenda."
Prerequisite(s): POL 326 and junior or senior status
Writing for Public Policy
This capstone course examines the theories, principles and ethics of government writing. Students apply this learning to the potential laws they researched in POL 402. Specifically, each student writes press releases, memos, and speeches relating to building public awareness and support as well as drafting an original law.
Prerequisite(s): POL 402
Special Topics: Political Strategy
This course will give students an objective look at how candidates maneuver, plot, position, calculate, attack, defend, and strategize in order to give themselves the best chance at winning in November. Students will learn the power of perception over reality, the role of truths and half-truths, how to add up election math, how to use the media, how to win a debate, and identify parallels between this election and elections of the past.
Food and Drug Law and Policy: Who decides what we can eat, drink and ingest?
Drugs are one of the most complex and controversial societal issues. As such, students should understand the context and foundational aspects of drug law, including the entire spectrum of topics: How do governments determine which drugs should be legal and which criminal? How do tobacco, alcohol and marijuana play into the equation? As to legal drugs, what regulations and culpability should be imposed for research-and-development, patents, side effects, sales, service and advertising? Similarly, public policy surrounding food, beverages and health supplements touches more lives on a micro level than perhaps any other area of law. In their academic careers, students should grapple with a fundamental question: Who decides what we eat and drink?
Prerequisite(s): ENG 102
American Planning and Politics
While planning can be studied from a number of perspectives, such as the aesthetic (design), economic, environmental, fiscal, and social welfare perspectives, it is the political (sometimes described as 'behavioral') that is the perspective of this course. This course provides a broad overview of the methods and procedures used to develop policies and then implement plan and programs through a combination of implementation and regulation. Topics covered include plans affecting economic development and the environment, sustainable growth, growth management tools, transportation access and mobility, and urbanization in the United States and around the world.
Prerequisite(s): ENG 122
Public Policy Internship
This course consists of supervised, practical work experience in a government office, nonprofit organization, or another appropriate entity
Prerequisite(s): Junior status; POL 300 and POL 326; Approval from Program Chair is required prior to registering for this course.