Political Science Academic Learning Compact

Committed to the liberal arts tradition of intellectual curiosity and diversity, the Political Science program at USFSP offers students a rigorous program of study that prepares them for successful careers in a rapidly globalizing world.  Students in the program examine basic questions of political science, including how nations struggle over power and wealth, how political communities reconcile claims of liberty, authority, and justice, and how governments and societies produce the laws and policies that influence our lives. Students choose courses from the major subfields of American politics, international relations and comparative politics, political theory and public law.  Students develop critical analytical skills that allow them to understand and to explain political problems and issues at the local, state, national, and international levels.  The USFSP program is unique in its focus on human rights and civil rights across the curriculum, as well as its commitment to civic engagement and experiential learning.  A degree in political science will prepare students for positions in public service and the private sector, for law school, and for graduate work in political science, international relations, public administration, and related disciplines.  https://www.usfsp.edu/hp/political-science/

  • Content/Discipline Skills

Demonstrate an understanding of American political institutions, culture and behavior.

Content/discipline knowledge about American political institutions will be assessed at the Department level in POS 2041 American National Government.  In the final examination for POS 2041 (American National Government), students will evaluate American political institutions, culture, and behavior.

  • Communication Skills

Demonstrate written communication skills through written assignments.

Written communication skills will be assessed at the Department level through papers completed in two different upper-level political science courses.

The Department maintains a portfolio of samples of outstanding, average and unsatisfactory papers written for upper-level political science courses (student identification is redacted). These papers serve as examples for students as well as a basis for measuring performance.

  • Critical Thinking Skills

Demonstrate ability to understand and articulate the philosophical, legal and political factors influencing the government and politics of nations

Critical thinking skills will be assessed at the Department level in political theory courses.  Students will write essays in POT 4064 Contemporary Political Theory in which they critically engage competing political and/or legal philosophies.

  • Civic Engagement

Relate theoretical knowledge with practical experience by engaging in internships in the student’s area of interest. Internships may be served in local, state, and federal governments; the legal field, campaigns or public service, or in international or non-governmental organizations.

Students must complete either POS 4941 Fieldwork or POS 3931 The Campaign Process, or complete a civic engagement project in another class (e.g., Law and Politics, American National Government, or the Road to the White House).

  • Multiculturalism/Diversity

Demonstrate an understanding of the diversity of peoples and cultures and the impact of this diversity in global and/or domestic politics.

Demonstrate an understanding of gender, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation and, as appropriate, other forms of diversity in domestic society in relation to American politics

The Center for Civic Engagement administers student surveys in Citizen Scholar courses that include questions regarding the learning outcome “understanding/appreciation of diversity.” We will use these survey results along with the pre-test and post-test surveys the instructor administers before and after students complete the project, in the Citizen Scholar courses that are offered in 2016-17

Students will write debate papers in CPO 2002 (Introduction to Comparative Politics) in which they present diverse viewpoints on contemporary global crises and events.