Texas Government Syllabus for 2021-2022
Return to Syllabus List

Instructor Information

Office Location

Dutton Hall, Room 202C

Office Hours

By appointment only. I do not have campus office hours.

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-2306-007 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

On Campus Course

Syllabus Information


"Governing Texas" Fifth Edition, Champagne/Harpham/Casellas, by W.W. Norton & Co., Copyright 2017, 500 Fifth Ave. New York, N.Y. 10110.


Note taking paper, ink pens, No.  2 pencils, printing paper, access to the internet with a printer.

Student Performance

Upon successful completion of this course, students will:


1. Define and describe federalism and other ways of organizing government and know the status of the american states within the federal systems and the changing character and development of the Federal relationship.

2. List and describe the three branches of government in Texas.

3. Know the Constitutional powers and limitations of political actors in Texas.

4. Identify and describe 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 state government policy making and execution as well as critique and analysis of past and present policies.  The student will be able to evaluate and make independent judgements on current and past political problems faced by the state of Texas and conduct systematic inquiry through through objective examination of the issues.

8. Explain the structures and functions of political participation including parties, interest groups and elections.

9.Explain the historical development of constitutionalism as a basis for political society and the historical development of the Texas Constitution and the political society and developed under the Constitution.

10.Explain local government structure, functions and organizations 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 will be expected to follow the guidelines listed in the Amarillo College Handbook. Disruptive behavior is unacceptable and not allowed. In order to produce an environment conducive to learning one must be tolerant of different views, opinions, and perspectives from others. Treat people as you would want them to treat you. 

Cell phones will be allowed in the classroom but only in the silent mode.  Phones may be monitored but not answered during class.  If a student has an emergency they are to step outside of class for cell phone calls.

Grading Criteria

Grading Criteria:    A student’s final letter grade will be determined by the number of grade points they have earned during the semester.  A maximum of 330 grade points are possible.  Each exam has a possible one-hundred grade points.  A student’s attendance performance has a possible thirty (30) points.  The following point scale is used to determine a student’s final letter grade.

                                        A = 330 to 297 grade points

                                        B = 296 to 264 grade points                     

                                        C = 263 to 231 grade points

                                        D = 230 to 198 grade points

                                        F = 197 grade points or less

Students who do not finish the course and who do not formally drop the course through your AC advisor you could receive a failing grade. A request to drop the class must be done through your advisor by August 4, 2022 in order to drop passing.  Please state a reason for the request.  All requests will be forwarded to your advisor and the registrar's office.

Required Exams: There will be 3 exams during the term.  Each exam will have a possible 100 grade points.  Exams will consist of multiple choice and true and false questions taken from the assigned chapters, study outline material, and lectures.  Copies of the exams will be provided on line and scheduled by the instructor.   

One Makeup Exam: Exams will be scheduled throughout the term..  Students must request a makeup exam if they miss a scheduled exam.  If you know in advance that you will not be able to take a scheduled exam, early exam times may be scheduled.  For unexpected absences makeup exams may be scheduled with the Testing Center through the instructor.  Only one makeup request will be permitted during the term. A makeup exam must be completed prior to the next scheduled exam.  The instructor reserves the option to administer makeup exams in other forms.  There will be no makeup for exam 3.  Taking exam 3 early will be permitted upon request. Once an exam is taken there will be no retake exams.

Final Exam: The final exam will be exam four 3.  It will cover the chapters, study outline material, and class lectures presented after exam 2.  Attendance for exam 3 is mandatory unless students make prior arrangements with the instructor's approval.

ASSIGNMENTS: Ten (10) assignments will be made available during the term.  All of the assignments will be take-home open book and made up of key term questions taken from the assigned chapters.  The 10 assignment scores will be averaged for a final assignment average.  Each assignment has a maximum of 100 points.  The assignment average will replace the lowest exam score at the end of the term.  Assignments may be submitted ahead of schedule. 

  Assignments 1, 2, 3 3A should be done the date of exam one (1).

  Assignments 4, 5, & 6 should be done on the date of exam two (2).

  Assignments 7, 8, & 9 should be done on the date of exam three (3).

 Extra Credit: Students may earn 30 additional points that can be added to their exam scores by writing 3 letters to their elected or appointed representatives in any government (federal, state, or local) level.  The issue or topic of the letter must be related to the public official's authority or area of responsibility and the topics may not be duplicated to different officials.  One letter may be substituted by showing the instructor a valid voter registration card or proof thereof.  Each letter has a possible grade point value of ten grade points.  A maximum of 3 letters only.


Attendance Policy and Grade Points: 

Regular attendance is necessary for satisfactory achievement; therefore it is the responsibility of each student to attend all classes.  Attendance will be taken by the instructor before and after each class with an attendance roster.  Not identifying yourself during the lecture will be considered an absence.  Be sure to make your presence know to the instructor before signing off from the class.

Students are responsible for obtaining all class information and material covered for any absence.    There are twelve (12) class periods during this semester.  Grade points will be awarded accordingly to the following attendance performance.

Attendance:            Grade points:                  Attendance:                 Grade points:

12 - 11                             30                                 6 - 5                                          15

10 - 9                               25                                 4 - 3                                          10

8 - 7                                 20                                2 or less                                       0

 No grade points will be awarded for attendance records of 2 or less.  Grade points  will be adjusted in the event of class cancelation due to inclement weather or other cancelations.

Study Outlines are presented for each chapter covered in the textbook.  Students should print them out from the AC blackboard course account and bring them to the lecture.  The outlines contain blanks and may be completed prior to or during the chapter lecture. Questions concerning the material should be discussed during the class.


Course Calendar: The instructor reserves the right to change the schedule due to unforeseen circumstances.

Texas Government 2306-007 

Tuesday & Thursday: 5:30 p.m. to 9:15 p.m.

Classroom Lecture, Dutton Hall, Room 105

Part 1: The Foundations of Texas Government and Culture

Jul. 05: Review Syllabus & Chapter 1-the Political Culture, People, & Economy of Texas

Jul. 07: Chapter 2-the Texas Constitution

Jul. 12: Chapter 3-Texas in the Federal System & Review for exam 1

Jul. 14: Exam 1, assignments 1, 2, 3, 3A  should be turned in to the instructor

Part 2: The Influences on Texas Government

Jul. 19: Review Exam 1 & Chapter 4-Political Parties (Party Organizational Chart)

Jul. 21: Chapter 5- Campaigns & Elections

Jul. 26: Chapter 6-Interest Groups & Lobbying & Review for exam 2 

Jul. 28: Exam 2, assignments 4, 5, & 6 should be turned in to the instructor

Part 3: The Institutions in Texas Government

Aug. 02: Review Exam 2 & Chapter 7-the legislature

Aug. 04: Chapter 8-the Executive Branch

Aug. 09: Chapter 9-the Judiciary (Review for Exam)

Aug. 11: Exam 3, assignments 7, 8, 9 and all late assignments andd extra credit letters must be turned in to receive credit.


Additional Information

The objective of this class is to instill a basic understanding of our state and local governments and what they are based upon.  The material is presented in a framework to help the student organize and analyze the broad data necessary to formulate views about our government, politics, and their role in the Texas political system.  As individuals we function in terms of our self-interests.  But, a democratic republic depends on our willingness to subordinate ourselves to the interests of the common good that is necessary to balance and control the power of government.

  It is not the instructor's objective to convert a student to a particular political or partisan position, but encourage students to grapple with and engage in assessing the material to form their own position.

Syllabus Created on:

06/23/22 11:47 AM

Last Edited on:

06/23/22 12:12 PM