American National Government –


(3 credits)

This course introduces students to the constitutional foundations and governing institutions of the federal government. Throughout the course, students address common political themes, such as the nature and scope of governance, democracy, and patterns of political behavior.
This undergraduate-level course is 9 weeks. This course is available to take individually or as part of a degree or certificate program. To enroll, speak with an Enrollment Advisor.

Introduction to American National Government

  • Discuss elements and challenges of democracy.
  • Identify important concepts in American government.

The Constitution

  • Determine the challenges leading to the ratification of the Constitution.
  • Discuss the significance of separation of powers and checks and balances.
  • Recognize formal and informal methods of changing the Constitution.

Civil Liberties and Rights

  • Describe civil liberties found in the Bill of Rights.
  • Identify struggles for equality.
  • Compare civil liberties and civil rights to public policies.

Political Participation and Elections

  • Summarize factors that affect elections.
  • Debate the merits of the electoral college.
  • Identify roles of the American citizen in the political system.


  • Identify the structure and organization of Congress.
  • Explain how a bill becomes a law.
  • Describe the role of Congress in the American political system.

The Presidency

  • Summarize the various roles of the president.
  • Recognize sources of presidential power.

The Bureaucracy

  • Determine the role of the federal bureaucracy in the American political system.
  • Summarize the bureaucracy’s job of implementation and regulation.

The Courts

  • Explain the importance of the Supreme Court.
  • Recognize the scope of judicial power.
  • Describe the structure of the federal court system.

Democracy in America

  • Evaluate the state of American democracy today.

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