Introduction to Careers in Government and Public Administration

This course will provide students with an overview of American politics and public administration, including how political institutions and public management systems at the local, state, and federal levels exercise supervisory authority and maintain accountability. Students will learn about the foundations of the U.S. government, the separation of powers, the federal civil service system, and the relationship between the government and state and local officials. They will also learn about governmental powers of the states and of local governments, such as education, law enforcement, and transportation. Students will learn about politics in the United States and the electoral process, political attitudes and opinions, and American political parties. They will also learn about the structure of U.S. federal governmental institutions, the nature of bureaucracy, and the functions of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government. Students will also learn about policy making in American government, including discussions of foreign and defense policies. After completing this course, students will have a fundamental understanding of U.S. government and public administration. They will be able to explain the history and structure of the government, how the government functions and relates to state and local governments, and how the government creates and enforces public policies.

  • Administrative and Political Systems in the United States: This unit focuses on the foundations of the U.S. government, the evolution of democratic political institutions, and the power of the government. After completing this unit, students will be able to explain the role of the Constitution in the formation of the U.S. government and describe the guiding principles of U.S. government including the separation of powers, federalism, and checks and balances. They will also be able to outline the basic structure and qualities of the modern U.S. civil service and identify the disadvantages of the system.
  • Overlapping Powers of Government: This unit focuses on the importance of the organization of power in the U.S. government and how certain functions are divided among agencies and state and federal levels. After completing this unit, students will be able to discuss the importance of states and local governments (cities, counties, and special districts) within our Constitutional system of federalism and division of powers. They will also be able to recognize the distribution of power among the branches and levels of government and contrast U.S. federalism with other forms of government. They will also be able to explain the difference between state-centered and national-centered federalism.
  • The Politics, Elections, and Democratic Participation: This unit focuses on the process of political change and democratic participation. After completing this unit, students will be able to describe the formation of public opinion, socialization, and electoral processes in political campaigns and elections, as well as explain how individuals can influence selection of public officials. They will be able to describe how elections are conducted by states and explain the role of lobbyists and mass media professionals in politics.
  • Governmental Institutions: Executive, Legislative, and Judicial: This unit focuses on the structure of U.S. governmental institutions. After completing this unit, students will be able to explain the Constitutional stipulations for being president and recognize the different roles of the president. They will also be able to discuss the evolving role for the vice president as an advisor and successor to the president and explain the functions of agencies of the executive branch of the federal government.
  • Public Policy and Program Implementation: This unit focuses on the foundations and process of government policy making. After completing this unit, students will be able to describe the policymaking process including defining the problem, policy formulation, implementation, and evaluation. They will also be able to evaluate how policies such as immigration and health policies impact Americans and to examine the problems domestic policies are designed to address and to define regulatory policy.

State: National
Grade Level: 9, 10, 11, 12
Category: Government & Public Administration
Course Length: Semester