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Course Title: US Political Institutions

Instructor: Ms. Kelli Wilbert Department: American Studies, Alexandru Cuza University Meeting: Wednesday, 2-4pm Multimedia Room Email: kelli.wilbert@gmail.com Year: First Semester 2011-2012

Expected Learning Outcomes: To become familiarized with various political institutions of the US and their role in society. You will learn how institutions function as a separate entity, as well as how they function together. We will examine traditional American institutions, the Executive, Judicial and Legislative branches, as well as the unofficial institutions that include Civil Society, Political Interest Groups and the Media.

Evaluation: 1. Attendance 2. Participation 3. In Class Assignments 4. Mid-Term Exam 5. Final Exam 25% 25% 15% 15% 20%

Policies: General Class Behavior: I expect all students to treat myself and others with a level of respect. I will not tolerate disruptive behavior such as non-class related discussion, text messaging and answering phone calls during class time. If you are expecting a phone call please inform me before class or kindly exit the classroom to answer it.

Attendance: If you attend class, then you will get a ten for the day. If you are absent, then I will mark a zero in the grade book for the day. I will distribute a roll sheet for each class to measure your attendance. Too many absences will result in a low or failing grade. If you know you must miss a class please inform me.

Participation: Over the semester you must participate at least four times. I will keep score of your participation.

Late Assignments: If you miss a class assignment, it can be made up the following week but only half credit will be awarded. After one week no late work will be accepted for that particular assignment. If you know you need an extension please inform one week before the assignment is due.

Examinations: For a section on your Final exam, you have the choice to either write a short essay or do an oral assessment

Mid-Term: Wednesday, 30 November Multiple choice and short answer questions from weeks 2 to 8.

Final Exam: Multiple choice, short answer and short essay or oral response Short Essay or Oral Response can be on 1 of 2 topics: Discuss the importance of the idea of Separation of Powers, and how the executive, legislative and judicial branches work, and how balance of powers is achieved. Describe the role of non-traditional institutions such as political groups, the media, and civil society; and their relationship with the executive, legislative and judicial branches.

**Reading, Handouts, and Course Outline available online at: http://www.scribd.com/kelli_wilbert**

Course Outline: Week 1 (3-7 October): NO CLASS ( Out of town)

Week 2 (10-14 October): 12 October Introduction: US Government Trivia Quiz and Separation of Powers

Week 3 (17-21 October): 19 October The Constitution Part I: Discussion of Articles, Bill of Rights and Civil Liberties

Week 4 (24-28 October): 26 October The Constitution Part II: The Constitutions Losers-Those Who Do Not Have Rights

Week 5 (31 October-4 November): 2 November The 3 Branches: Congress, The Presidency, and the Supreme Court Happy Halloween!

Week 6 (7-11 November): 9 November NO CLASS (Out of town)

Week 7 (14-18 November): 16 November Precedent Setting Supreme Court Cases

Week 8 (21-25 November): 23 November

Present Reality of the Institutions and Injustices Mid-term Review Happy Thanksgiving!

Week 9 (28 November-2 December): 30 November ~In Class Mid-term Exam~

Week 10 (5-9 December): 7 December Other Types of Institutions: Civil Society, The Media and Political Interest Groups

Week 11 (12-16 December): 14 December Other Types of Institutions Continued Happy Christmas and Enjoy the winter holiday!

Week 12 (3-6 January) No Class (Out of Town)

Week 13 (9-13 January) 11 January Relations Among the Branches of Government and Non-traditional Institutions

Week 14 (16-20 January): 18 January Review Session

Week 15 (23-27 January): 25 January ~Final Exam~

Week 16-17 (30 January- 13 February): ~Re-examination Period~