Course Summary
Credit Type:
Organization's ID:
8 weeks (18 hours a week of inside and outside class time)
Dates Offered:
Credit Recommendation & Competencies
Level Credits (SH) Subject
Lower-Division Baccalaureate 3 Introduction to American Government


The course objective is to provide knowledge about the function and structure of American Government, answering questions such as: What is the correct function of government? Why or where did diverse forms of government originate? What is the paramount form of a nation’s government to serve its citizens? Is government really essential? And how does government influence my life?

Learning Outcomes:

  • Comprehend and explain the Founders’ established and dynamic system of federalism as a central issue in the study of American government.
  • Illustrate and measure how the three branches of government (legislative, executive, and judicial) engage in the model of separation of powers – a source of our government’s strength, and at times, a basis of conflict. Detect how checks and balances, closely related to the notion of separation of powers, affects each governmental branch.
  • identify and summarize the events leading to the American Revolution
  • identify and summarize the events leading to the American Revolution
  • Identify and summarize the events leading to the American Revolution. Highlight and correlate the precedent of historical colonial representative assemblies to revolutionary principles and action.
  • Explain the contribution of Enlightened thought to the Founding Father’s ideology as exemplified in the foundation of America; validate examples in the Articles of Confederation and Constitution.
  • Deconstruct Constitutional interpretations of the Founders’ language of flexibility to deal with unforeseen changes. Assess how the founding beliefs and ideals of the United States have continued to impact our political institution
  • Comment on America’s long history of civil liberties; our history of the struggle to preserve and extend (and at times limit) personal freedoms. Reflect on the development of our civil rights – our guarantee of equality under the law.
  • Understand our responsibilities as a citizen, and understand how civic participation is critical for a democratic system to survive. Debate how our civic participation affects our governmental structure and operations.
  • Compare, contrast, and explain the structures of the federal, state, and local governments.

General Topics:

  • The Background of American Government
  • Formation of a New Government
  • The Legislative Branch
  • The Rules and Operations of Congress
  • The Executive Branch
  • The Judicial Branch and Civil Liberties
  • Political Socialization
Instruction & Assessment

Instructional Strategies:

  • Audio Visual Materials
  • Discussion
  • Lectures
  • Practical Exercises

Methods of Assessment:

  • Written Papers

Minimum Passing Score:

Supplemental Materials

Other offerings from Distance Learning Systems Indiana, Inc