Politics

  • JOE P. DUNN, chair
  • ANGELA E. ELDER
  • JEFFREY POELVOORDE
  • JOHN M. THEILMANN
  • EDWARD C. WOODFIN

Department Mission Statement

To develop students with the traditional liberal arts skills: to read and analyze challenging material within their discipline, to write coherently, and to articulate their views competently. Through this preparation, our students will have the skills to pursue graduate study in various fields or to enter the job market successfully.

Politics

The department offers a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in politics that consists of a minimum of 36 hours of course-work as distributed below. Internships do not apply to the 36 hour minimum.

Student Learning Outcomes for Politics Majors

Because no common core of specific content knowledge is expected, each student through the individual course curriculum that she selects will pursue a somewhat different path. However, whatever the mix of specific study in the various areas and subfields of political science that she follows, she will develop the liberal arts skills designated in the department mission statement. We trust that each student enhances her capabilities in the learning outcomes as she gains experience through completion of individual courses. The department’s assessment of the fulfillment of the learning outcomes resides in the Senior Capstone Seminar in which each student is expected to validate that she can:

  1. Read and interpret political science material and demonstrate how a student of political science approaches political phenomena.
  2. Conduct research by formulating valid research questions, identifying source materials, organizing data, and completing an article length paper that reflects proper documentation and citation practices.
  3. Demonstrate the oral skills to present and defend research conclusions in a presentation before peers.

Consistent with the emphasis on preparing students for graduate study in a diverse array of fields or for success in whatever vocational fields that they pursue, a secondary identification that reflects that the department’s mission statement is being achieved is the annual record of our students’ post undergraduate accomplishments. Traditionally our majors have pursued law, international diplomacy, public policy, public administration, business, teaching at the secondary or college levels, the nonprofit sector, library science, and many other fields too numerous to list. The department maintains records of the next step in the life process for each member of each graduating class of majors.

The General Education Program is a requirement for all degrees. The requirements listed below are approved for the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, and Bachelor of Fine Arts.

ENG 101 3 hours
Language and Culture 9 hours
MTH 108 or higher 3 hours
One course designated as Quantitative reasoning 3–4 hours
Health and Well-being Wellness 2 hours
Activity course 1–2 hours
Humanities 6 hours
Literature 3 hours
Fine Arts 6 hours
Natural Science 7–8 hours
Social Science 6 hours
Total 49–52 hours

Graduation requirements but not a separate course:

  • First Year Seminar
  • Writing Intensive course
  • Non-European/non-Anglophone course Capstone experience.

Degrees and Certificates

Classes

POL 101 : INTRODUCTION TO AMERICAN GOVERNMENT

A survey of policy-making, institutions and controversial issues in American National Government. Offered annually. If offered in Jan term, 4 credit course. The department accepts AP credit. AP hours do not count toward the minimum hours for a major or minor.

Credits

3 - 4

POL 102 : INTRODUCTION TO INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

An introduction to foreign affairs and current world events. Special attention is given to the Post-Cold War, Middle East conflicts and Third World issues. Offered annually. Non-European/non-Anglophone.

Credits

3 - 4

POL 125 : FIRST YEAR SEMINAR IN POLITICS

A course on a special topic in politics, designed to fulfill the FYS GEP requirement. First-Year Seminars constitute a common and academically significant experience in a student’s first year at Converse University. All incoming first-year students are required to take a 3-credit hour FYS in the fall semester, choosing from a variety of discipline specific topics. Each FYS carries the corresponding departmental prefix, but with the common course number (except for designated honors sections). Each FYS course is designed to have no more than 18 students, and counts in some designated category of the General Education Program. Strong writing and speaking components are required elements of the course. Open only to freshmen. Offered on demand.

Credits

3

POL 199 : FRESHMAN HONORS SEMINAR

A study of a selected subject within the discipline which will vary from term to term. The course is designed to encourage student participation in the intellectual processes through class discussion, research and writing, special projects, problem solving, and evaluation and defense of positions. When the subject matter duplicates that of another course, credit toward graduation will be granted for only one of the courses. Offered periodically in rotation with seminars in other disciplines. Offered Fall Term.

Credits

3

POL 299H : INTERDISCIPLINARY HONORS COURSE

This course is team taught by members in two departments and is open to Nisbet Honors Program participants and to others who meet Honors Program guidelines. All students registering for these courses must register not only through the Honors Program but also with their adviser and the Registrar’s Office.

Credits

3

POL 300 : SCRIPTURE AND POLITICS

An examination of the foundational texts of Western Revelation that undergird the political vision of Western humanity: the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, the New Testament and the Qur’an. Interfaith Studies.

Credits

3

POL 301 : THE AMERICAN CONGRESS

A study of the legislative process and its relationship to the other branches of government, political parties, interest groups and the electorate.

Credits

3

POL 303 : SOCIAL STATISTICS

A study of statistical techniques commonly used in the analysis of data in politics and economics as well as the sciences. Students will become familiar with the use of statistical packages in data analysis. Offered Fall, Jan Term or Spring. Quantitative GEP requirement. Can be cross-listed with ECN/BAD 300.

Credits

4

POL 308 : SPECIAL STUDIES IN THE POLITICAL PROCESS

Selected topics in the American political process with particular attention to political participation and public policy. Since the content will vary, it may be taken more than once for credit. Writing Intensive.

Credits

3

POL 317 : GENDER AND POLITICS

An examination of the issue of differences and similarities between the sexes as it bears upon the question of the political identity and role of women (and men) in political and social life from the Greek thinkers to the Bible to modern feminist movements and their critics.

Credits

3

POL 333 : SOUTHERN POLITICS

An examination of the role the South plays in American political development, i.e. how southern political developments influence national politics and how national politics affects the South.

Credits

3

POL 335 : CONSTITUTIONAL LAW

A review of benchmark cases of the Supreme Court in the areas of the development of judicial review, federalism, the separation of powers, and the relationship between the government and the economy.

Credits

3

Prerequisites

POL 101.

POL 375 : THE VIETNAM EXPERIENCE

A study of the historical background of the Vietnam War with assessment of the American experience in Vietnam. Emphasis is on Vietnam as a case study in the American foreign policy/national security process. Attention is given to the “lessons of Vietnam” and to continuing contemporary events in Southeast Asia. Cross-listed with HST 375. Writing Intensive. Non- European/non-Anglophone.

Credits

3

POL 405 : STUDIES IN WORLD AFFAIRS

A study of selected topics in foreign affairs and current events. Since the content will vary, it may be taken more than once for credit. Offered on demand. Non-European/non-Anglophone.

Credits

3

POL 409 : POLITICAL VIOLENCE IN FILM

This is a course on political violence and genocide in the 20th century as depicted in film. This course focuses on very disturbing material, including institutional, personal, sexual, and other forms of violence.

Obviously, it is not for those who cannot handle this excessive violence.

Credits

3

POL 420 : MODERN RUSSIAN HISTORY AND POLITICS

A political history of the evolution of Russia from the early 19th century through the present and an analysis of contemporary Russian politics and foreign policy. Attention is also given to the contemporary politics of countries that were formerly part of the Soviet Union.

Credits

3

POL 442 : THE CIVIL RIGHTS ERA

A study of the black civil rights movement from the early 1950s through the 1970s and beyond. Cross-listed with HST 442.

Credits

3

POL 448 : PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION

A study of the various aspects of public administration, i.e. organizational theory, personnel policy, public finance and budgeting, policy analysis, and selected other topics such as ethics or administrative law. Offered on demand.

Credits

3

POL 455 : AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY

A study of the institutions and functioning of the American foreign policy/national security decision-making as well as of selected topics of the Cold War and contemporary events. Cross-listed with HST 455. Writing Intensive. Non-European/non-Anglophone.

Credits

3

POL 465 : COMPARATIVE GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS

A comparative political analysis of ideologies, systems, institutions, politics, and current affairs of selected western and non-western nations. Writing Intensive and Non- European/non-Anglophone.

Credits

3

POL 470 : ISLAMIC AND MIDDLE EAST POLITICS

An introduction to Islamic politics and to the comparative and developmental issues of the Arab world and the larger Middle East. The approach will be historical as well as contemporary. Cross-listed with HST 470 and REL 470. Writing Intensive. Non-European/non- Anglophone.

Credits

3

POL 480 : SENIOR SEMINAR

A course in methodology, research, and writing for history and politics majors. Cross- listed with HST 480. Offered on demand. Capstone. A student must have a 2.0 GPA in the major to enroll in this course.

Credits

3

POL 492 : MODEL ARAB LEAGUE

Preparation for and participation in Model Arab League by members of the Converse delegation. Offered annually during Fall, Jan, or Spring Term.

Credits

1 - 3

POL 493 : MODEL NATO

Preparation for and participation in Model NATO by members of the Converse delegation. Offered annually during Jan or Spring Term.

Credits

1 - 2

POL 494 : THE CONGRESSIONAL INTERNSHIP

A program of work in the office of a US Senator or Representative. Interested students should see the instructor early in the Fall Term. Pass/fail grading.

Credits

3 - 6

Prerequisites

POL 101 completed with B- or better or POL 101 completed with a C- or better AND a B- or better in a 300 or 400 level National Affairs course; 2.5 GPA; consent of instructor.

POL 495 : STATE LEGISLATIVE INTERNSHIP

A program of work in the office of a state legislator. Interested students should see the instructor early in the Fall Term. Offered Jan Term. Pass/fail grading.

Credits

3 - 6

Prerequisites

POL 101 completed with B- or better or POL 101 completed with a C- or better AND a B- or better in a 300 or 400 level National Affairs course; 2.5 GPA; consent of instructor.

POL 496 : PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION AND PUBLIC POLICY INTERNSHIP

Work in a public agency or in a private organization with an interest in public policy. Interested students should see the instructor early in the fall term to arrange proper placement. Offered Jan Term. Pass/fail grading.

Credits

3 - 6

Prerequisites

POL 101 completed with B- or better or POL 101 completed with a C- or better AND a B- or better in a 300 or 400 level National Affairs course; one other relevant course as approved by the instructor; 2.5 GPA; consent of instructor.

POL 498 : COURT AND LAW OFFICE INTERNSHIP

A program of work in a local law office. Interested students should see the instructor early in the fall term to arrange proper placement. Offered Jan Term. Pass/fail grading.

Credits

3 - 6

Prerequisites

POL 101 completed with a B- or better, OR POL 101 completed with a C- or better AND a B- or better in a 300 or 400 level National Affairs course; 2.5 GPA; consent of instructor or recommendation of a pre-law adviser.