Online Education

Online Education Center


Spring 2016 Syllabus for POLI-D001.-65Z
POLI-D001.-65Z - Ishmael Tarikh
American Government and Politics
Call Number: 40534
Term: Spring 2014
4 units
De Anza College Online Education Center • LC 107 • Phone: 408-864-8969 • FAX: 408-864-8245 •
Critical examination of the historical and contemporary struggle for the development of democratic political institutions in the United States at the state, local, and national levels. Particular emphasis given to the conflict between traditional elites versus historically disenfranchised social groups (women, people of color, and workers) in the conduct of U.S. political life.
Instructor Information: Ishmael Tarikh
*see De Anza Faculty website

Phone: (408) 864-8999 x3668
Office Location: Baldwin Winery, Carrel 24
Office Hours: Mondays: 2:15-3:15pm; Wednesdays: 5:30-6:30pm; and by appointment
This is an introductory course. As such, we will cover a great deal of material, but will not go into the depths that are available to you through more advanced Political Science course offerings. We will lay the basic foundation for understanding the creation, development, and perpetuation of our fundamental political institutions. This will be done with an initial focus on our national government, and a subsequent focus on our state government.

At the outset we will review the historical record of the founding of the American body politic, and will quickly move to a structural (what is the government made of), functional (how does its many parts interact), and practical (what is my role as an individual citizen) analysis. This course will expose enrolled students to the text of the United States and California State Constitutions; the evolution and interpretations of their texts; constitutional principles; key and current events; and finally, to the prospects and possibilities for a more inclusive and democratic society within the set framework.
This course is designed for any student who wishes to make a serious study of these issues, and is prepared to do the extensive reading, writing, and research that are course requirements. However, the most important objective will always be the encouragement and development of critical reading, writing, and thinking skills.

This course is for four units of academic credit in a distance learning format. It adheres to all of the dictates of the promulgated De Anza College policies outlined in the Schedule of Classes, and found in the current college catalog. Of immense importance and emphasis are the policies attendant to Academic Integrity and Academic Freedom. Strict adherence will be followed. Please read these passages in the most sober and careful manner. Unlike much of our contemporaneous society, in this course we will agree, disagree, and agree to disagree while maintaining the decorum befitting a fine institution of higher learning.

1) Schmidt, Gerston, Bardes, Shelley
American Government with California Politics, 6th Edition.
Cengage Learning, 2011. ISBN 978-1-133-35951-7.


2) Tarikh, I.
American Government: As It Truly Is
Kendall Hunt Publishing, 2013.
ISBN 978-1-4652-3202-1.
Written Assignments
Students must post the weekly written assignments for this class by every Monday @3pm. Late work should be submitted, but will be penalized a hefty 50% of attained grade.
Extra Credit
There are no extra credit opportunities for this course. As a UCLA Bruin I quote John Wooden, the "Wizard of Westwood":

"If you don't take the time to do it right, when will you have the time to do it over?"

If you perform when required there is no need for extra credit.
Exam Notes
As an online course, it is virtually impossible to restrict your access to extraneous materials. However, I guarantee you that the timed quizzes will not permit referencing, except in a counterproductive manner.
You will be informed of various information you will need to gather from suggested/required sources.
Additional Information
Respect your education:

“Code of Student Conduct: The college has an obligation to specify those standards of behavior essential to its educational mission and campus life. The following types of misconduct for which students are subject to disciplinary sanction apply at all times on campus as well as to any off-campus functions sponsored or supervised by the college: cheating, plagiarism or knowingly furnishing false information in the classroom or to a college officer.”
For additional information, see the Student Handbook Academic Integrity Policy.

"Note to students with disabilities: If you have a disability-related need for reasonable academic accommodations or services in this course, provide (name of Instructor) with a Test Accommodation Verification Form (also known as a TAV form) from Disability Support Services (DSS) or the Educational Diagnostic Center (EDC). Students are expected to give five days notice of the need for accommodations. Students with disabilities can obtain a TAV form from their DSS counselor (864-8753 DSS main number) or EDC advisor (864-8839 EDC main number)."

Testing / Grading
Most Quizzes (10 minutes timed) will be comprised of 20 multiple choice items that are largely (though not exclusively) taken from the Study Guides found at the end of chapters in the Tarikh text. However, due to the amount of information covered with some major topics (e.g. Civil Rights and Civil Liberties) there will be a greater number of items, and (proportionally) more time allotted.
Alternate Exams
There are no alternative exams.
Final Grades will be calculated on a straight grading scale. This means participation is worth 150 possible points; the Midterm Research Paper is worth 250 possible points; and each quiz is worth 100 possible points. The total possible points is 1000.

A+ = 950-1000 pts A = 900-949 A- = 875-899 B+ = 850-874 B = 800-849
B- = 775-799 C+ = 750-774 C = 675-749 D+ = 650-674
D = 600-649 D- = 575-599 F = below 575 pts
Assignments Schedule
Will be posted in the Forum section of Catalyst throughout the Quarter.
Policy on Copying and Cheating:Students who submit the work of others as their own or cheat on exams or other assignments will receive a failing grade in the course and will be reported to college authorities.
Catalyst Information
This course utilizes Catalyst, De Anza's Online Learning Community. Please view the Catalyst website at to login. Please note that you will be unable to login until the first day of class. Be sure you are using your correct username and password - do not use your social security number or international "99" number. If you need help logging in or finding your student ID, please view the short instructional video at: Additional instructions and assistance can be found on the Catalyst website.
De Anza College Bookstore Contact Information
Phone: 408-864-8455
De Anza College Library Services are available for all students and faculty, both on and off campus. Please consult the library website for a complete description of the library services and hours:

De Anza College Library:

Services of particular interest to off campus students include:
  • Access to the Library Catalog which includes books, DVDs, and course reserves. Here is a link to the library catalog:
    Library Catalog:
  • Article Databases and Research Databases The library subscribes to several electronic databases which provide access to thousands of full-text journals, newspapers, and magazine articles. Research databases include: LEXIS NEXIS Academic, Encyclopedia Britannica Online and a Practice Test Database which contains Nursing Exams, TOEFL Preparation, College Entrance Exams, and many more.
To use the article or research databases from an off campus computer, log in with your 14 digit library number or eight digit student id number. These instructions are repeated on the first page of the library website along with descriptions of all the online resources provided.

Online Education
Building: MLC 210
Email: onlineeducation

Phone: 408.864.8969

Last Updated: 1/27/16