This is our catalog of courses. We will occasionally adjust the course listing to reflect the addition of new courses and the retirement of others. 

Recorded HS
Political Science

In this advanced course designed to introduce the field of Political Science, students will take a deeper look into the American political system and will be required to think critically about it. The course is also a solid preparation for a future rigorous college course. It is also good preparation for students planning to take the AP US Government and Politics test.

Total classes: 15

Prerequisite: None. However, an interest in politics and the social sciences will be helpful.

Suggested grade level: 11th to 12th grade. An advanced, enthusiastic 10th-grade student could do well in this course.

Suggested credit: One full semester Political Science (college preparatory)


The nature of our world can be quite confusing. Sometimes, in order to see through that confusion, we need to get down into the gritty details. This is precisely what this course seeks to do with the American political system. We will be seeking to thoroughly understand the nature of how politicians wield power, looking at examples from today and throughout American history. This course will give a young person the confidence to engage with the political world around them and prepare them for collegiate-level instruction.

Special Notes: This course includes a writing component.


Week 1: Politics and Political Science – What is it and why does it matter? – Topics discussed: Introduction to studying political science
Weeks 2 & 3 Foundations of the United States Constitution – Topics discussed: American Philosophical roots, Principles of Government, The United States Constitution
Week 4: Federalism – Topics discussed: The Constitutional Basis of Federalism, How Federalism works, National Supremacy, What Federalism looks like today
Weeks 5, 6, & 7: The Legislative Branch – Topics discussed: Structure and organization of Congress, Elections, Leadership, Committees, Staff, Roles, Privileges, Powers, Lawmaking process, Tactics, and interest groups
Weeks 8 & 9: The Executive Branch – Topics discussed: Origins of the Presidency, Becoming the President, Vice President, Presidential Powers, Limits on Power, Presidential character, Bureaucracy, Executive Office of the President, Departments
Week 10: The Judicial Branch – Topics discussed: Federal Court System, Structure of the American Judicial System, Judicial Selection, How the Court works, Judicial Philosophy
Week 11: Rights and Duties – Topics discussed: Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, Duties as an American citizen
Week 12: Ideologies and Beliefs – Topics discussed: The difference between philosophy and ideology, Political values, Socialization, Public Opinion
Weeks 13 & 14: Political Participation – Topics discussed: Campaigns, Elections, Voting, Political Parties, Interest Groups, and Mass Media
Week 15: Public Policy – Topics discussed: Policymaking process, Domestic Policy, Economic Policy, Foreign Policy

Materials and Homework

Course materials: We will be utilizing an AP Government textbook from McGraw Hill, ISBN: ISBN-10: ‎1264267665, ISBN-13: ‎978-1264267668 (https://amzn.to/35VYZoi). We will also utilize a series of primary sources that will all be accessible through sites like https://www.archives.gov/. Additionally, from time to time, we will utilize news articles from events that are going on currently to discuss the American political situation in real time.

Homework: Homework will consist of 14 discussion forum assignments, a midterm, and a final. The discussion forums are meant to get students to engage with their classmates in responsible discussion and debate. The assignments call for students to restate, in their own words, what our founding documents, and other sources, are saying. Then, they will look for examples of how this structural aspect works throughout history and in our lives today. After they have done this, then they will be able to interact with their classmates in responsible discussion and debate on each issue. Each assignment should take about an hour to complete. The midterm and final exams will be multiple choice exams that are meant to be a review of the material covered in the course.

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