Texas Government Syllabus for 2021-2022
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Instructor Information

Office Location

Dutton 202P

Office Hours

Office Hours: I'm available in my office on Mondays and Wednesdays from 8:00-9:00am, and by appointment.

If you email me, I will get back to you as soon as possible.

Course Information

COVID-19 Protocols

Recording Policy

Disability Statement

If you have a disability (learning, mental, physical) that affects your ability to participate effectively and have access to any program or service at Amarillo College please contact Disability Services at (806) 345-5639 . Our offices are located in the Student Service Center office 112. More information may be found at www.actx.edu/disability.
Disability Services facilitates access to all programs and services according to the ADA, Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, as well as other federal and state laws.

Amarillo College Web Accessibility Policy Statement

Amarillo College is committed to providing equal access to all programs and services, including all working, learning, and service environments that affect equal access for persons with disabilities. This commitment to provide equal access and opportunity for persons with disabilities is in compliance with federal and state law. Amarillo College also strives to provide Electronic and Information Resources (EIR) that are accessible to all authorized users.

If you find you are unable to access material in an accessible format please contact the Disability Services Office at (806) 345-5639 . This office will work in conjunction with other campus resources to address and accommodate your issue in a timely manner.

Statement for Mental Health and Advocacy & Resource Center:

As a student you may experience a range of issues that can cause barriers to learning, such as strained relationships, increased anxiety, alcohol/drug problems, feeling down, difficulty concentrating and/or lack of motivation. These mental health concerns or stressful events may lead to diminished academic performance or reduce a student's ability to participate in daily activities. Amarillo College offers services to assist you with addressing these and other concerns you may be experiencing. If you or someone you know are suffering from any of the aforementioned conditions, you can learn more about the broad range of confidential mental health services available on campus by calling the AC Counseling Center at 806-371-5900. The AC Counseling Center website is https://www.actx.edu/counseling/ . Also, if you are in need of social services (affordable housing, utilities, transportation, food, clothing, childcare, medical/dental/vision, legal), please call the AC Advocacy & Resource Center at 806-371-5439. The AC Advocacy & Resource Center website is https://www.actx.edu/arc

Amarillo College Tutoring for Success Policy:

The Tutoring for Success policy applies to any student whose grade or performance in the course falls below a departmentally determined minimum threshold. In either of those cases, the instructor will direct the student to the appropriate tutoring service, which may be faculty-led, discipline-specific, and/or general. Under this policy, the instructor will follow specific departmental guidelines governing the use, duration, and grade component of the tutoring need.

Administrative Drop Policy

Students who do not attend class on or prior to the census date will be administratively dropped. Effective Fall, 2016

Student Withdrawal Procedures

Students who wish to withdraw from a course must complete all steps indicated on the Academic Withdrawal Request form by the course withdrawal deadline.

NOTE: Students who are attending Texas institutions of higher education, for the first time fall 2007 and later, may not withdraw from more than six courses during their academic career. This withdrawal limitation does not include dual credit or developmental classes (Senate Bill 1231 Rule 4.10.) For more information on Drop and Withdrawal Policies, please visit the Registrar's Office Web site.

Privacy Statement

The Amarillo College Privacy Policy is found at https://www.actx.edu/-amarillo-college-privacy-notice , and applies to all Amarillo College students.  If you have questions about this privacy statement or you believe that your personal information has been released without your consent, send email to humanresources@actx.edu .


GOVT-2306-002 Texas Government


Course Description

Origin and development of the Texas Constitution, structure and powers of state and local government, federalism and inter-governmental relations, political participation, the election process, public policy and the political culture of Texas.

Student ResourcesStudent Resources Website

Department Expectations

Occupational License Disclaimer

Notice to Students enrolled in an educational program for preparation of issuance of certain occupational licenses:

Students enrolled in an educational program in preparation for obtaining certain occupational licenses are potentially ineligible for such license if the student has been convicted of an offense. For further information, please contact:

Melodie Graves
Justice Involved Advocate
Student Service Center 117
Make appointment at https://melodiegraves.youcanbook.me

You can also contact the Legal Clinic, or the faculty member in charge of the educational program that you seek to enroll in. The further information you will receive will include notification to you of your right to request a criminal history evaluation letter from the licensing authority in order to clarify your particular situation.


(3 sem hrs; 3 lec)

Class Type

Online Course

Syllabus Information


Tucker, Gibson, et. al.,   Government and Politics in the Lone Star State       

REVEL Access Code ONLY - 12th Ed.  2022

ISBN#  9780134628073


Access to a computer and reliable internet.

Notebook and pen OR something else to take notes with.

Student Performance

  1. Define and describe federalism and other ways of organizing government and know the status of the American states within the federal system and the changing character and development of the Federal relationship.
  2. List and describe three branches of government in Texas.
  3. Know the Constitutional powers and limitations of political actors in Texas.
  4. Identify and define the rights of Texas Citizens.
  5. Evaluate the public policies of the government of Texas in comparison to ideals.
  6. Explain the protection of the individual through the limitations on government power through federalism, separation of powers, checks and balances, the Bill of Rights, and democracy.
  7. Explain the structures and functions of political participation including parties, interest groups, and elections.
  8. Explain the historical development of constitutionalism as a basis for political society and the historical development of the Texas Constitution and the Political system that has developed under that Constitution.
  9. Explain local government structures, functions, and organization in Texas.

Students Rights and Responsibilities

Student Rights and Responsibilities

Log in using the AC Connect Portal

In order to receive your AC Connect Email, you must log in through AC Connect at https://acconnect.actx.edu .

If you are an active staff or faculty member according to Human Resources, use "Exchange". All other students, use "AC Connect (Google) Email".

Expected Student Behavior

Students are expected to follow all Amarillo College policies and procedures.

During discussions in the course students are expected to be professional and follow common courtesy. The discussions in this class are meant to bring up various positions and sometimes the arguments presented can be challenging. In short, be respectful of other's opinions. When stating a claim, be prepared to defend it with evidence and facts.

Please never forget that we don't know who is in the room with us and what their experiences in life have been. That being said, all opinions that are voiced should always protect the safety of the learning environment for ALL students.

Grading Criteria

A = 89 - 100
B = 79 - 88
C = 69 - 78
D = 59 - 68
F = 0 - 58
Discussions - 40%
Assignments - 25%
Exams - 25%
Course Paper  –  10%

Makeup exams and discussions at professor's discretion.


This course is an online course, but requires a lot of effort and participation to do well. Please schedule your time appropriately.

In addition, be sure to finish the syllabus quiz before the end of the first week.


Welcome to Texas Government: Chapter Assignments, Main Exams, Ethical Dilemma, and Class Discussions

REVEL assignment due dates (this is work that is to be done online using the REVEL website):

Due June 12 – Chapters 1 and 2

Due June 19 – Chapters 3 and 4

Due June 26 – Chapters 5 and 6

Due July 03 – Chapters 7 and 8

Due July 10 – Chapters 9 and 10

Due July 17 – Chapters 11 and 12

Due July 24 – Chapters 13 and 14


Main Exam Test Openings and Due Dates (These will be done online using the Blackboard website):

July 1 through July 3 – Main Exam #1 covering Chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 is due

July 22 through 24 – Main Exam #2 covering Chapters 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, and 14 is due


Ethical Dilemma (Common Assessment) due date:

Due July 17 – Common Assessment Paper

The Common Assessment Paper assignment will be accessed through Blackboard and turned in through the drop box on its assignment page.  You will need to click on the button located on the left hand side of our course’s Blackboard site titled “Common Assessment” to access this assignment, as well as how to turn it in.


Class Meeting Schedule: Topics and Discussions

Week 1:

-The Social and Economic Environment of Texas Politics

-Discussion: Are politics in Texas different?

-The Texas Constitution

-Ethical Dilemma Topics for assignment due July 17 becomes available on Blackboard

-Discussion: Is the Texas Constitution a Jeffersonian legacy?

Week 2:

-Texas Government and Politics in the Federal System

-Discussion: Did “The Federalist Papers” come pretty close to predicting everything?

-Local Government in Texas

-Discussion: How do politics work at the local level?

Week 3:

-The Texas Legislature

-Discussion: Is the Texas Legislature a model for good legislative practices?

-The Texas Executive

-Discussion: Is a plural executive better than a unitary?

Week 4:

-The Texas Bureaucracy and Policy Implementation

Discussion: Do we ignore the hard and good work of the bureaucracy?

-The Judicial System in Texas

Discussion: Should politics be involved in judicial decision-making?

Week 5:

-Political Socialization and Political Behavior

-Discussion: Why do we think the way we think politically?

-Public Opinion

-Discussion: Is this really a good metric for judging representative behavior?

Week 6:

-The Party System in Texas

-Discussion: What role do parties play in politics? What role should they play?

-Elections, Campaigns, and Voting in Texas

-Discussion: Do we “feel” more than we “think” during elections?

Week 7

-The Mass Media in Texas Politics

-Discussion: What is the mass media in the Twenty-First Century?

-Interest Groups and Political Power in Texas

-Discussion: What is an interest group, and just how powerful are they?

Week 8

Public Policy making and Course Wrap-up

Where is Texas Headed??


Additional Information

The Instructor reserves the right to change dates and content around as necessary to meet the needs of the students and the curriculum.

All students should read and understand ALL of the information that is contained on that REVEL button link and Syllabus page. This will save ALL students a lot of time and frustration.



Syllabus Created on:

05/17/22 2:29 PM

Last Edited on:

06/03/22 2:00 PM