Public Affairs (Civics)

  •  Public Affairs                                                                                                     Dr. Andrews


    Course Description: This course will examine fundamental political concepts important to America and the world and changes in America's politcs, economics, and society.  Considered the capstone course to the Social Studies curriculum, Public Affairs offers a broad scope of consideration of current events, the role of mass media in our society, the changing nature of our democracy, and the importance of active civic engagement. 


    Readings: various readings assigned in class 


    Grading: Each quarter may consist of a slightly different number of tests, essays, projects, and homework assignments depending upon how test days fall in the calendar, etc. 

    For any given quarter, add the following:                                                             Hypothetical numbers:

    Essays/projects (100 pts. each)                                                                     

                                                                                              if 3 essays/projects, up to 300 points

    Multiple Choice Tests

    (each 100 point test covers 1-2 chapter readings/topic areas)                                                       

                                                                                                if 3 tests, up to 300 points


     Class Participation                                                                              up to 100 points

                                                                                                                                     700/7 = 100 pts.


    The quarter grade will be computed by dividing the total number of points by the number of 100 pt. units assigned during a particular quarter.  A quarter that had more/less essays, tests, and/or other assignments than another quarter might have a different total number of points, such as 600-800 points and then be divided by 6 or 8 accordingly. 

    Class Participation                                                        

    (***Your attendance is very important.  You cannot participate if you are not here; class participation  includes in-class work, demonstrated knowledge of the readings in in-class discussions, and reaction papers to in-class videos.)

    Tests (&/or Pop Quizzes)                                             

    (Tests will be given every one-two weeks in the typical semester, usually on only one or two chapters  and usually in the objective (multiple choice or short answer) format.  While chapter tests &/or quizzes will usually be announced, they may be unannounced on occasion to ensure that readings are done in a timely fashion.) 

    Projects/Oral Presentations/Research Papers (details to be given in class)           

    News/Current Events Presentations (details to be given in class)                  



    It is the student’s responsibility, not the teacher’s, to find out about and makeup any missing work, projects, papers, in-class assignments, &/or tests/quizzes missed because of legitimate absence*** either on the day of the student’s return or within one day of the student’s return either after school or during a period of the teacher’s choosing (if that student does not already have another class).  Sports &/or other after school activities do not excuse a student from making up missed work.   Assignments not submitted &/or tests/quizzes not taken because of a “cut” will receive a grade of a “zero.”  Any “cut” during an academic quarter will have a serious and detrimental impact upon a student’s class participation grade for that quarter. 

    ***Absences, other than for illness or attendance at funeral services, must be pre-approved by the teacher to be considered a legitimate absence for missing class in this course.



    Students who are late must have a pass from another teacher.  Frequent lateness will have a negative impact upon a student’s grade.  Students who are scheduled to have a test or major assignment due that period are not excused from that period’s test or assignment simply because they “have a pass.” 

    Senior Research Paper

    Each student will be required to complete a 4-6 page fully documented research paper which examines some aspect of global, national, state, or local issue and how politics/government and/or public opinion   play(s) an important role in that issue. The research paper is required to be supported by utilizing at least four sources, at least one of which needs to be a non-internet source. Any internet source must be from a legitimate database. The format of the research paper should be in the MLA writing style and the paper should contain internal citations as well as a works cited page. The assignment will be broken into three parts. The first portion will be a formal one page topic proposal which will be due by the end of October (February). The second portion of the assignment will be an annotated bibliography of the sources to be used in the paper and will be due at the end of November, after Thanksgiving break (late March). The final portion of the assignment will be the completed paper and will be due before the end of the second quarter, the end of January (May). 



    Community Service:

    Seniors taking this course must complete 5 hours of community service no later than two weeks prior to the end of the semester.  (A total of 10 hours is required for Public Affairs and Economics.)  A signed* community service log sheet with contact information (*signed by the agency supervisor) or signed letter on agency letterhead and a two-page, typed student reflection paper on the experience submitted together will count as a second quarter grade worth 100 points. 

    The community service has to be unpaid volunteering at a non-for profit charity &/or public school or public service organization.  It is not a business internship. Volunteering to help a family member or friend, while admirable, does not constitute community service for the purposes of this course. 


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