This course aims to provide students with opportunities to become engaged in the political process
by acquiring the knowledge and practicing the skills necessary for active citizenship. Participation in government and in our communities is fundamental to
the success of American democracy.
In this course we will cover:
FOUNDATIONS of AMERICAN DEMOCRACY: The principles of American democracy are
reflected in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights and in the organization and actions of
federal, state, and local government entities. The interpretation and application of
American democratic principles continue to evolve and be debated.
CIVIL RIGHTS and CIVIL LIBERTIES: The United States Constitution aims to protect
individual freedoms and rights that have been extended to more groups of people over time.
These rights and freedoms continue to be debated, extended to additional people, and
defined through judicial interpretation. In engaging in issues of civic debate, citizens act
with an appreciation of differences and are able to participate in constructive dialogue with
those who hold different perspectives.
RIGHTS, RESPONSIBILITIES, AND DUTIES OF CITIZENSHIP: Active, engaged, and
informed citizens are critical to the success of the United States representative democracy.
United States citizens have certain rights, responsibilities, and duties, the fulfillment of
which help to maintain the healthy functioning of the national, state, and local communities
POLITICAL AND CIVIC PARTICIPATION: There are numerous avenues for engagement
in the political process, from exercising the power of the vote, to affiliating with political
parties, to engaging in other forms of civic participation. Citizens leverage both electoral
and non-electoral means to participate in the political process
PUBLIC POLICY: All levels of government—local, state, and federal—are involved in
shaping public policy and responding to public policy issues, all of which influence our lives
beyond what appears in the Constitution. Engaged citizens understand how to find, monitor,
evaluate, and respond to information on public policy issues.