Metropolitan State University

POL 305 : Elections and Political Parties

A. Course Description
Credits: 4
Prerequisites: WRIT 131 Writing I or equivalent, or have instructor's permission.  
Lab Hours/ Weeks: Corequisites: None
Lecture Hours/ Week :  
MnTC Goals: Goal LS - Upper Division Liberal Studies , Goal 05 - Hist/Soc/Behav Sci , Goal 09 - Ethical/Civic Resp
This course uses the current campaign as the basis for studying voter behavior, polling, the impact and role of the media, political parties, and general election strategy on behavior. Special emphasis is placed on the role of race, class and gender in shaping political participation. Campaign involvement is encouraged.
B. Course Effective Dates: 09/06/1999 - Present
C. Outline of Major Content Areas:
See Course Description for major content areas.
D. Learning Outcomes (General)
  1. Understand and critically evaluate the components of the U.S. election system at an upper division college level.
  2. Apply and evaluate social science data relevant to understanding specific campaigns and the U.S. election system more generally.
  3. Evaluate contending ideas about the fairness and democratic efficacy of contemporary electoral practices at an upper division college level.
  4. Reflect on one's own values in relationship to political candidates and political party principles.
  5. Write essays and case studies that are clear, well organized and demonstrate critical thinking and analytic abilities consistent with upper division college standards.
E. Learning Outcomes (MN Transfer Curriculum)
Goal LS - Upper Division Liberal Studies
Goal 05 - Hist/Soc/Behav Sci
  1. Employ the methods and data that historians and social and behavioral scientists use to investigate the human condition.
  2. Use and critique alternative explanatory systems or theories.
  3. Develop and communicate alternative explanations or solutions for contemporary social issues.
  4. Examine social institutions and processes across a range of historical periods and cultures.
Goal 09 - Ethical/Civic Resp
  1. Understand and apply core concepts (e.g. politics, rights and obligations, justice, liberty) to specific issues.
  2. Analyze and reflect on the ethical dimensions of legal, social, and scientific issues.
  3. Recognize the diversity of political motivations and interests of others.
  4. Identify ways to exercise the rights and responsibilities of citizenship.
G. Special Information
Community Engagement
Note: Offered only in the fall of election (even-numbered) years.