Texas Government Syllabus for 2021-2022
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Instructor Information

Office Location

Dutton Hall 202A

Office Hours

Tuesday-Thursday 1:30-2:00 and 3:15-3:45

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-2306-001 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


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

Access Code     12th Ed.  2021

ISBN-13 9780136902027


Access to a reliable computer and reliable internet. Smartphones have numerous problems with the Exams and Quizzes in this course. All students should have access to a desktop or laptop computer with a reliable internet access when taking Exams and Quizzes.

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 debate can be heated; however, it is appropriate to attach a certain argument or point of view, but it is never appropriate to attach the person who is posting information with which you may disagree.

Students are not allowed to use online sources for the main exams in this course. Only course materials can be used. 

Grading Criteria

A = 90 - 100
B = 80 - 89
C = 70 - 79
D = 60 - 69
F = 0 - 59
Exams Average  –  40%
Chapter Assignments – 25%
Discussions Average  –  25%
Course Paper  –  10%


Attendance and/or participation requirements in courses delivered electronically (telecourses and on-line courses) will be unique to the individual course.


Welcome to Texas Government 2306-001

Read all of the information and instructions regarding this course on this page. Be sure to familiarize yourself with all of the information because it will help save you time later in the course.

Discussion Introduction in Blackboard

There is a Discussion tab on the left-hand menu in Blackboard. Click on that tab and then click on the Topic for Introduction. It’d be great if you would write an introduction of yourself. It does not have to be long and is not graded, HOWEVER, IF YOU DO NOT COMPLETE THIS INTRO ASSIGNMENT BY THIS TIME YOU WILL NOT BE COUNTED ON THE CENSUS ROSTER FOR THIS COURSE. Simply state a few things about yourself for the class. This will give you an idea of how the discussion works and give us a chance to get to know one another. The rest of the discussions assigned in this course are graded.

Course Information / Overview

Each week you will have work that is Due in Blackboard and on the Pearson site. In Blackboard you will have 4 Exams total and 3 Discussions total, as well as a short Research Paper. In Pearson, there are weekly chapter assignment. In some cases, you’ll have several chapters in one week. These chapters have several components that must be completed by the weekly deadline to receive any credit for the points related to those components. There will be one overall Assignment Grade that will count toward the final overall average for the course.

Each weekly assignment will be assigned on Monday of the week and will be due by the next Sunday. This will give you at least 7 days to complete the readings, quizzes, shared writing and Blackboard discussions, so there are no excuses for not being able to complete these on time. The only exception to this rule are the Exams. You will only have 3 days to complete the Exams and you are allowed only one sixty-minute session to complete the exam.

The Course paper will be assigned later in the semester, and you will have approximately THREE weeks to work on this assignment. There will be detailed instructions when the paper is assigned.

The average of the main exams will count 40% of your overall average in the course. The average of the discussion grades will count as 25% of your overall average. The Course paper will count 10% of your overall course average. The average of all of the weekly chapter assignments will count as 25% of your overall average.

Each Blackboard Exam covers the chapters and readings assigned up to that Exam. Example, Exam#1 will not have questions from Chapter 14, but only from Chapters 1 and 2 in the book. 

Assignments and Due Dates


  1. Intro Discussion Forum in Blackboard – Due 6/12
  2. Pearson Chapter 1: The Social and Economic Environment of Texas Politics – Due 6/12
  3. Pearson Chapter 2: The Texas Constitution – Due 6/12

*Census Day: Monday 6/13. Based on completion of Week 1 assignments.

Week Two


  1. Pearson Chapter 3: Texas Government and Politics in the Federal System – Due 6/19
  2. Pearson Chapter 4: Local Government in Texas – Due 6/19
  3. Discussion 1 in Blackboard – Due 6/19
  4. MAIN EXAM#1 (Will be available on 6/17 and is DUE on 6/19 by 11:59pm CST). You will have 90 minutes from the time you begin and you must complete the test within that 90 minute time frame. You cannot save your work and come back to it later. Once the clock starts, it does not stop until the end of the time limit.

Week Three


  1. Pearson Chapter 5: The Texas Legislature – Due 6/26
  2. Pearson Chapter 6: The Texas Executive – Due 6/26
  3. Discussion 2 in Blackboard – Due 6/26

Week Four


  1. Pearson Chapter 7: The Texas Bureaucracy & Policy Implementation – Due 7/03
  2. Pearson Chapter 8: The Judicial System in Texas – Due 7/03
  3. Main Exam#2 (Will be available on 7/01 and is DUE on 7/03 by 11:59pm CST). Same time rules as Exam 1 apply.
  4. Research Paper – Ethical Dilemma – You have two weeks to submit your paper – Due 7/17

Week Five


  1. Pearson Chapter 9: Political Socialization, Behavior, and Public Opinion – Due 7/10
  2. Pearson Chapter 10: Party System in Texas – Due 7/10
  3. Discussion 3 in Blackboard – Due 7/10

Week Six


  1. Pearson Chapter 11: Elections, Campaigns, and Voting in Texas – Due 7/17
  2. Pearson Chapter 12: The Mass Media in Texas Politics – Due 7/17
  3. Main Exam#3 (Will be available on 7/15 and is DUE on 7/17 by 11:59pm CST). Same testing rules as prior test apply.
  4. **Research Paper – Due 7/17**

Week Seven


  1. Pearson Chapter 13: Interest Groups and Political Power in Texas – Due 7/24
  2. Pearson Chapter 14: Contemporary Public Policy Issues in Texas – Due 7/24


 (Class ends on Wednesday)

  1. Main Exam 4 – Opens on 7/25 and is DUE on 7/27 by 11:59pm CST.

7/27 is the LAST day to submit work – in order to have grades turned in on time, there are no exceptions.

Additional Information

There is a Start Here page under the Lessons Tab when you log in to the course. All students should read and understand ALL of the information that is contained on that Start Here page. This will save ALL students a lot of time and frustration.

Syllabus Created on:

06/04/22 2:25 PM

Last Edited on:

06/04/22 2:41 PM