Political Science

Political Science (POLS) Courses

POLS 301 Introduction to Government: United States

  • Units:3
  • Hours:54 hours LEC
  • Prerequisite:None.
  • Advisory:ENGWR 300 with a grade of "C" or better
  • Transferable:CSU; UC
  • General Education:AA/AS Area V(a); AA/AS Area V(b); CSU Area D8; CSU Area F2; CSU Area F3; IGETC Area 4H
  • C-ID:C-ID POLS 110
  • Catalog Date:June 1, 2020

In this course, students will examine principles and problems of government, the political process, and democracy as practiced in the United States. This course fulfills federal, state, and local government requirements.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • demonstrate comprehension of the complexity of the American democratic system.
  • define key terms used in the study of the American system.
  • explain the conditions and values necessary for political democracy to exist.
  • illustrate the relationship between national, state, and local governments and evaluate the effectiveness of the federal system.
  • explain how the American system affects the student's life in terms of freedoms, restraints, and public policy.
  • apply knowledge to become an active and informed citizen.
  • identify and evaluate institutions and political processes within the United States and California.
  • discuss and analyze contemporary political issues and operations in the United States and California.
  • analyze the role of culture, diversity, and ideology in shaping public opinion and public policy in the United States and California.

POLS 302 Comparative Politics

  • Units:3
  • Hours:54 hours LEC
  • Prerequisite:None.
  • Advisory:ENGWR 101 or ESLW 320 with a grade of "C" or better
  • Transferable:CSU; UC
  • General Education:AA/AS Area V(b); CSU Area D8; IGETC Area 4H
  • C-ID:C-ID POLS 130
  • Catalog Date:June 1, 2020

The political systems of selected nations such as Great Britain, France, Germany, Russia, Japan, Mexico, People's Republic of China, India, South Africa, and Cuba are analyzed. The course will also compare the formation of language, culture, religion, and political institutions, and the role of political culture, political parties, and public policy.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • analyze, synthesize, and explain the differences and similarities of world governments as to their composition, function, and policies.
  • develop and demonstrate an understanding of cultures through politics, political culture, popular civic participation.
  • compare specific countries by identifying common denominators and symbiotic relationships.
  • identify problems and prospects of specific nations by utilizing comparative data analysis or demographics.

POLS 303 Contemporary Politics of Africa

  • Units:3
  • Hours:54 hours LEC
  • Prerequisite:None.
  • Advisory:ENGWR 101 or ESLW 320 with a grade of "C" or better
  • Transferable:CSU; UC
  • General Education:AA/AS Area V(b); CSU Area D8; IGETC Area 4H
  • Catalog Date:June 1, 2020

Area Studies courses cover the government and politics of selected nations within a distinct geopolitical area of the world in order to provide understanding of the institutions and dynamics of the area. This Area Studies survey course is designed to give students an understanding of past and contemporary African politics. The impact of language, culture, religion, colonialism, neo colonialism, free market, ideology, liberation and revolutionary movements, ethnic conflict and resolution, rise of populist leadership, indigenous politics, impact of global economic integration, and foreign and domestic policies will be examined in the region on a country-by-country basis. The course includes an examination of dominant political institutions, actors, processes, and belief systems within the context of political culture and an analysis of area political economy and foreign policy in the environment of global interdependence. Countries to be covered include but are not limited to Algeria, Angola, Egypt, Nigeria, Namibia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Ghana, Democratic Republic of Congo, South Africa, and Zimbabwe. The course concludes with a summation of the region as it stands today and an assessment of where it is likely to go in the near future.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • explain the origins, evolution, and influence of the organization of African cultures and politics.
  • compare, define, and contrast theories and concepts utilized in the disciplined study of countries and regions.
  • describe the dynamics of the area's political processes in the contexts of social and economic forces of globalization and regional integration and disintegration.
  • synthesize and refine processes of thinking and communicating with regard to other nations in the region enhancing critical thinking analysis skills and independent action.
  • evaluate texts and other sources critically, and be able to draw rational conclusions from that reading.
  • research information concerning the politics and cultures of Africa, and produce a research paper based on this information.
  • evaluate what is or what ought to be from a comparative political or theoretical perspective.
  • compare leadership forms and content of policy formation and implementation in African states.
  • demonstrate an informed understanding of Africa as a continent comprising diversity.
  • examine the impact of British, French, Italian, the Portuguese colonial practices on race, religion, and language.
  • evaluate post independence policies of selected African states.
  • demonstrate visual, mental, and recall capabilities of country identification.
  • demonstrate basic knowledge of the subjects unique to the African and the African diaspora.

POLS 304 Introduction to Government: California

  • Units:3
  • Hours:54 hours LEC
  • Prerequisite:None.
  • Advisory:ENGWR 300 with a grade of "C" or better
  • Transferable:CSU; UC
  • General Education:AA/AS Area V(a); AA/AS Area V(b); CSU Area D8; CSU Area F3; IGETC Area 4H
  • Catalog Date:June 1, 2020

This course covers the essential organization, institutions, and processes of California state and local government. The state's diversity will be a key theme in explaining California's political history, participation, and policies.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • assess and critique the relationship between citizens and the state of California with emphasis on the impacts of cultural, economic, political, and social diversity.
  • compare and contrast the structure of California government and the federal model.
  • describe, discuss, and explain the various institutions of California government and how each functions in the policymaking process.
  • identify, formulate, and analyze the effects of structural differences between the federal model and the structure of California government institutions on the policy making process and political behavior.
  • examine and interpret public financing in California and analyze the interconnectedness of federal, state, and local budgets.
  • compare and contrast the California and US constitutions and the effect of these differences on policy making, civil rights, civil liberties, and political behavior.
  • recognize and analyze public opinion and the political behavior of California citizens.
  • apply knowledge to become an active and informed citizen.

POLS 310 Introduction to International Relations

  • Units:3
  • Hours:54 hours LEC
  • Prerequisite:None.
  • Advisory:ENGWR 300 with a grade of "C" or better
  • Transferable:CSU; UC
  • General Education:AA/AS Area V(b); CSU Area D8; IGETC Area 4H
  • C-ID:C-ID POLS 140
  • Catalog Date:June 1, 2020

In this course, students will examine the problems, motivating forces, and techniques of conflict resolution among actors within the global nation-state system. Particular emphasis is placed on comparing perspectives among developed and underdeveloped nations.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • comprehend the complexity of the global nation-state system.
  • define key terms used in the study of International Relations.
  • compare and contrast regional, cultural, and ideological perceptions of global politics.
  • explain the conditions and values necessary for resolving conflicts in the global nation-state system.
  • explain how the global nation-state system affects their lives in terms of freedoms, restraints, and public policy.
  • apply effective tools of global participation, critical thinking, and research.

POLS 312 Politics of the Middle East

  • Units:3
  • Hours:54 hours LEC
  • Prerequisite:None.
  • Advisory:ENGWR 300 with a grade of "C" or better
  • Transferable:CSU; UC
  • General Education:AA/AS Area V(b); AA/AS Area VI; CSU Area D8; IGETC Area 4H
  • Catalog Date:June 1, 2020

This course covers the government and politics of selected nations within the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) in order to provide an understanding of the institutions and dynamics of the area as a whole. It covers the region's political history through the Ottoman Empire, colonialism, independence, and the modern-day challenges of economic globalization and foreign intervention. The impact of economics, colonialism, struggles over natural resources, religious movements, social and cultural struggles, and ideology will be examined in the region on a country-by-country and regional basis. The course will also analyze ethnicity, ethnocentrism, and/or racism and how they shape and explain ethnic experiences. The question of Palestine and the Palestine-Israel conflict will be closely examined as a core issue in the politics of the region. The course includes an examination of dominant political institutions, actors, processes, and grassroots movements within the context of political culture and history and an analysis of area political economy and foreign policy in an environment of global interdependence. Countries to be covered include, but are not limited to, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Egypt, Palestine, Israel, Jordan, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Tunisia, and Algeria. In this course, students will be introduced to the comparative politics of the Middle East and North Africa with a heavy emphasis on the political and economic roots of contemporary events.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • explain the origins, evolution, and organization of area cultures and politics.
  • describe the major political events in the history of the Middle East and North Africa.
  • compare and contrast the impact of historical events on specific aspects of the cultural and political development of the Middle East and North Africa.
  • describe the dynamics and assess the impacts of the area's political processes in the contexts of social and economic forces of globalization and regional integration and disintegration.
  • compare and contrast political, social, and economic theories and concepts, such as dependency theory, utilized in the disciplined study of countries and regions.
  • synthesize and refine the student's knowledge of area politics and cultures.
  • evaluate texts and other sources critically and be able to draw rational conclusions from reading.
  • communicate effectively about cultures, nations, and regions both verbally and in short and long written formats.
  • research and gather credible information concerning the politics and cultures of the Middle East.
  • demonstrate independent and critical analysis skills.

POLS 313 Latin America

  • Units:3
  • Hours:54 hours LEC
  • Prerequisite:None.
  • Advisory:ENGWR 101 or ESLW 320 with a grade of "C" or better
  • Transferable:CSU; UC
  • General Education:AA/AS Area V(b); CSU Area D8; IGETC Area 4H
  • Catalog Date:June 1, 2020

Area Studies courses cover the government and politics of selected nations within a distinct geopolitical area of the world in order to provide understanding of the institutions and dynamics of the area. This Area Studies survey course is designed to give students an understanding of past and contemporary Latin American politics. The impact of language, culture, religion, colonialism, neo colonialism, free market, ideology, revolutionary movements, conflict, and resolution, rise of populist leadership, indigenous politics, and foreign and domestic policies will be examined in the region on a country-by-country basis. The course includes an examination of dominant political institutions, actors, processes, and belief systems within the context of political culture and an analysis of area political economy and foreign policy in the environment of global interdependence. Countries to be covered include but are not limited to Brazil, Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Peru, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Haiti, Jamaica, and the Dominican Republic. The course concludes with a summation of the region as it stands today and an assessment of where it is likely to go in the near future.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • explain the origins, evolution, and organization of area cultures and politics.
  • describe the factors that influence the development and organization of cultures and politics;
  • compare and contrast theories and concepts utilized in the disciplined study of countries and regions.
  • compare and contrast the impact of political factors on specific countries.
  • describe the dynamics of the area's political processes in the contexts of social and economic forces of globalization and regional integration and disintegration.
  • assess the impact of social and political forces on specific countries.
  • compare and contrast theories and concepts utilized in the disciplined study of countries.
  • synthesize and refine processes of thinking and communicating with regard to other nations in the region enhancing critical thinking analysis skills and independent action.
  • evaluate texts and other sources critically and be able to draw rational conclusions from that reading.
  • communicate effectively about the political culture of the region both in articulation and written format.
  • research information concerning the politics and cultures of Latin America and produce a research paper based on this information.
  • evaluate what is, or what ought to be from a comparative political or theoretical perspective.
  • compare leadership forms and content of policy formation and implementation in Latin American states.

POLS 320 Introduction to Political Theory

  • Units:3
  • Hours:54 hours LEC
  • Prerequisite:None.
  • Advisory:ENGWR 300 with a grade of "C" or better
  • Transferable:CSU; UC
  • General Education:AA/AS Area V(b); CSU Area D8; IGETC Area 4H
  • C-ID:C-ID POLS 120
  • Catalog Date:June 1, 2020

In this course, students will examine theoretical approaches to politics and ways of thinking about politics, covering important thinkers and topics during the ancient, medieval and modern periods.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • demonstrate an understanding of the Greco-Roman and Judeo-Christian origins of the Western political thought.
  • explain the development of a particular category of thought in its own historical context.
  • recognize the life and times of various political thinkers.
  • describe the logical coherence of a particular category of thought from time to time.
  • verify thought empirically, testing the philosophical underpinning of a particular thought through observation.
  • distinguish continuity from changes in the respective transitions from classic to medieval to modern and to postmodern periods.
  • compare the predominant thought with alternative thoughts in a particular period of time.
  • evaluate significant historical events that give birth to the fundamental assumptions of a political thought.
  • integrate thought with practice, using thought as guidance to critically analyze current affairs.
  • determine which political thought offers more promise, best responds to particular challenges, and best meets the needs of the people.

POLS 322 Political Ideologies

  • Units:3
  • Hours:54 hours LEC
  • Prerequisite:None.
  • Advisory:ENGWR 300 with a grade of "C" or better
  • Transferable:CSU; UC
  • General Education:AA/AS Area V(b); CSU Area D8; IGETC Area 4H
  • Catalog Date:June 1, 2020

In this course, comparative, conceptual, and historical analysis of competing ideological approaches to government will be covered. Emphasis will be on the theories, values, and assumptions that make up a political ideology and the effect of such theories on a political system.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • examine and define the nature and functions of ideology.
  • demonstrate an understanding of various types of ideologies and their impact on political actors and political systems.
  • compare and contrast the ways in which ideologies affect practice and justify political actions in different regions and in different times.
  • evaluate the historical, social, and economic settings that determine the broad outlines of the way people think.
  • describe the philosophical underpinnings of selected political ideologies.
  • analyze the clashes of ideologies in the 21st century and fundamental beliefs used to justify terrorist acts of various forms.

POLS 340 Women in Politics

  • Units:3
  • Hours:54 hours LEC
  • Prerequisite:None.
  • Advisory:ENGWR 300 with a grade of "C" or better
  • Transferable:CSU; UC
  • General Education:AA/AS Area V(b); CSU Area D; IGETC Area 4H
  • Catalog Date:June 1, 2020

In this course, students will learn about current problems affecting women's political participation, particularly running for office, in the United States. Students will analyze the role and impact of cultural attitudes and traditions, self-perceptions, and political groups affecting women’s political participation in America. Students will also critique current studies of eligible women candidates and the decision to run for office, including political ambition, familial issues, political recruitment, perceptions of the electoral environment and campaign process, and gender gap to determine future goals of improving women's representation in electoral politics.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • describe the present state of women's political participation in American politics (all levels of government, but in particular, the federal level) and how we compare to women's level of participation in other countries.
  • critically analyze the problems and impact of women’s political participation in America.
  • assess how self-perceptions affect women's political participation.
  • analyze how cultural attitudes and traditions affect women’s political participation.
  • explain and judge the role and impact of political groups on women’s political participation.
  • critique current studies of women in politics, specifically involving gender gap, representation, traditional and emerging family roles, political attitudes, and self-perception.
  • create future strategies for improving women's political participation.

POLS 350 Environmental Politics

  • Units:3
  • Hours:54 hours LEC
  • Prerequisite:None.
  • Advisory:ENGWR 300 with a grade of "C" or better
  • Transferable:CSU; UC
  • General Education:AA/AS Area V(b); CSU Area D; IGETC Area 4
  • Catalog Date:June 1, 2020

This course is an introduction to environmental political thought and politics. Students will gain a deeper understanding of the theoretical roots, including capitalism, industrialism, and liberalism, of current arguments in environmental politics and policy. Students will analyze how competing perspectives in environmental politics inform policy processes, both in the United States and globally.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • identify, analyze, and evaluate environmental political thought on capitalism, industrialism, and liberalism, promoting critical awareness of the theoretical roots of current arguments about environmental politics and policy.
  • assess how certain political theories of the past apply to the current debate in environmental politics and policy.
  • identify and analyze past and present goals and strategies of the environmental movement.
  • investigate key environmental problems facing the world in the 21st Century.
  • describe, explain, and critique the different perspectives, from grassroots to international, that constitute current debates in environmental politics.
  • analyze how competing perspectives inform policy processes in the U.S. and globally.
  • identify, critique, and defend different stakeholder positions with regard to environmental problems.
  • assess the difficulty in reconciling environmental and development or economic growth viewpoints.

POLS 480 Introduction to International Relations - Honors

  • Units:3
  • Hours:54 hours LEC
  • Prerequisite:None.
  • Enrollment Limitation:Eligibility for admission to the Honors Program.
  • Advisory:ENGWR 300 with a grade of "C" or better
  • Transferable:CSU; UC
  • General Education:AA/AS Area V(b); AA/AS Area VI; CSU Area D8; IGETC Area 4H
  • C-ID:C-ID POLS 140
  • Catalog Date:June 1, 2020

In this course students will examine the problems, motivating forces, and techniques of conflict resolution among actors within the global nation-state system. Particular emphasis is placed on comparing perspectives among developed and underdeveloped nations. This honors section uses an intensive instructional methodology with extensive research projects on international institutions designed to challenge motivated students.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • demonstrate comprehension of the complexity of the global nation-state system.
  • define key terms used in the study of International Relations.
  • compare and contrast regional, cultural, and ideological perceptions of global politics.
  • explain the conditions and values necessary for resolving conflicts in the global nation-state system.
  • explain how the global nation-state system affects their lives in terms of freedoms, restraints, and public policy.
  • apply effective tools of global participation, critical thinking, and research.

POLS 481 Introduction to Government: United States - Honors

  • Units:3
  • Hours:54 hours LEC
  • Prerequisite:None.
  • Enrollment Limitation:Eligibility for admission to the Honors Program.
  • Transferable:CSU; UC
  • General Education:AA/AS Area V(a); CSU Area D8; CSU Area F2; CSU Area F3; IGETC Area 4H
  • C-ID:C-ID POLS 110
  • Catalog Date:June 1, 2020

In this course students will examine principles and problems of government, the political process, and democracy as practiced in the United States. The classes are conducted in a seminar format and requires a higher level of student academic engagement and course preparation, with at least four texts and readers. This honors section uses an intensive instructional methodology with extensive research projects on American institutions designed to challenge motivated students.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • measure and demonstrate comprehension of the complexity of the American democratic system.
  • define and compare key terms used in the study of the American system.
  • examine and explain the conditions and values necessary for political democracy to exist.
  • demonstrate an ability to think critically about American democracy.
  • analyze complex readings and processes.
  • illustrate and appraise the relationship between national, state, and local governments and evaluate the effectiveness of the federal system.
  • evaluate and explain how the American system affects the student's life in terms of freedoms, restraints, and public policy.
  • analyze and apply effective tools of citizen participation.
  • identify and evaluate institutions and political processes within the United States and California.
  • discuss and analyze contemporary political issues and operations in the United States and California.
  • analyze the role of culture, diversity, and ideology in shaping public opinion and public policy in the United States and California.

POLS 494 Topics in Political Science

  • Units:0.5 - 4
  • Hours:9 - 72 hours LEC
  • Prerequisite:None.
  • Transferable:CSU; UC
  • Catalog Date:June 1, 2020

Content will differ each time course is offered. The objective is to focus content on topics and issues of local, national, or international significance at the time of offering course. (Credit may be earned for HIST 494 or POLS 494, but not for both.) UC transfer credit will be awarded only after the course has been evaluated by the enrolling UC campus. The units completed for this course cannot be counted towards the minimum 60 units required for admissions.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • compare and contrast theories and concepts utilized in the disciplined study of countries and regions.
  • synthesize and refine processes of thinking and communicating with regard to other nations in the region enhancing critical thinking analysis skills and independent action.
  • evaluate texts and other sources critically and be able to draw rational conclusions from that reading.
  • compare leadership forms and content of policy formation and implementation.
  • compare and contrast policy options.

POLS 495 Independent Studies in Political Science

  • Units:1 - 3
  • Hours:54 - 162 hours LAB
  • Prerequisite:None.
  • Advisory:ENGWR 300 with a grade of "C" or better
  • Transferable:CSU
  • Catalog Date:June 1, 2020

An independent studies project involves an individual student or a small group of students in study, research, or activities beyond the regularly offered political science courses. UC transfer credit will be awarded only after the course has been evaluated by the enrolling UC campus. The units completed for this course cannot be counted towards the minimum 60 units required for admissions.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • design and discuss a topical study with a supervising political science instructor.
  • demonstrate the ability to independently pursue a course of study or project in government.

POLS 497 Internship in Political Science

  • Units:1 - 4
  • Hours:60 - 300 hours LAB
  • Prerequisite:None.
  • Enrollment Limitation:According to Education Code Title 5 regulations, a student must be in a paid or unpaid job, volunteer position, or internship.
  • Transferable:CSU
  • Catalog Date:June 1, 2020

According to Title 5, code 55252, an Internship in Political Science is supervised employment extending classroom - based occupational learning at an on-the-job learning station related to the student's educational or occupational goal. This course is designed for students working in a paid or unpaid job, volunteer position or internship directly related to their major. The course will provide students with a structured program designed to teach them new soft skills and employability skills that will assist them in securing a job in the future and an opportunity to explore occupational interests that will assist them in the academic major and career decision making process. The student must have a job, volunteer, or internship position secured to remain enrolled in the course. Course content includes understanding the application of education to the workforce; responsibilities of an intern or employee in a workforce setting; completion of Title 5 Education Code documents (i.e. Student Application, Learning Objectives, Time Sheet, and Evaluation), that document the student's progress and hours spent in the workplace; and development of workplace soft skills and employability skills relevant to the 21st century workplace. Learning objectives will be developed between the student, employer, and Work Experience/Internship Instructor to best meet the students level of learning. The student will be required to attend an orientation at the beginning of the course and complete a minimum of 75 hours to a maximum of 300 hours of paid work; or a minimum of 60 hours to a maximum 240 hours of unpaid work per unit per semester. This course consists of a supervised internship and study in political, governmental, or related organizations.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • reinforce and complement classroom study through application of planned and supervised on-the-job experiences.
  • demonstrate practical workplace (soft) skills.
  • demonstrate knowledge of the political and government fields.

POLS 499 Experimental Offering in Political Science

  • Units:0.5 - 4
  • Prerequisite:None.
  • Transferable:CSU
  • Catalog Date:June 1, 2020