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North Idaho College • Coeur d'Alene • Social & Behavioral Sciences • Political Science

State and Local Government POLS-275

  • Fall 2012
  • Sections 1, 55, 77
  • 3.0 Credits
  • 08/28/2012 to 12/20/2012
  • Modified 10/30/2012

Contact Information


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Internet Office:
(9:00 AM - 1:00 PM)
HED 131
(8:00 AM - 8:50 AM)
SEC 204
(8:00 AM - 8:50 AM)
SVC 105
(8:00 AM - 8:50 AM)
LKH 237
(9:00 AM - 12:00 PM)
On Campus:
(12:00 PM - 1:00 PM)
LKH 205
(1:00 PM - 2:15 PM)
LKH 237
(2:15 PM - 3:00 PM)
MCL 103
(3:00 PM - 4:40 PM)
Internet Office:
(9:00 AM - 11:00 AM)
On Campus:
(11:00 AM - 2:00 PM)
On Campus:
(9:00 AM - 10:00 AM)
LKH 237
(10:00 AM - 11:00 AM)
HED 227
(11:00 AM - 12:40 PM)
LKH 205
(1:00 PM - 2:15 PM)
STR 102
(2:30 PM - 3:45 PM)

Instructor: John Reese Esq.

Meeting Times

This course meet once a week, in Hedlund buidling room 131 at 8 am every Tuesday.

The other half of the course will be online, via the Blackboard learning platform.

I am also freely available for appointments in my office.  Simply contact me (preferably via email) to setup an appointment.

All questions, comments or concerns that are class related should be directed to me via the Blackboard message system.  Other communications (not class related) can be directed to my NIC email, listed above



Using a comparative approach, this course examines the characteristics and qualities of both state and local governments. Emphasis is placed on how local and state governments are organized and how they operate. Additional issues that are examined from a state and local government context include: federalism, the role of political parties, participation, land use, finances and various policies that are important to government at the state and local levels. This course fulfills a social science requirement for both the A.A. and A.S. degrees. Lecture: 3 hours per week


State & Local Government Essentials

  • Author: Bowman
  • Publisher: Wadsworth
  • Edition: 5th
  • ISBN: 1-1113-4149-4
  • Availability: Campus Book store and Online

Other editions of the book may work.  However if you choose to purchase a different edition other than the one indicated in the syllabus its incumbent upon you to make sure you have access to all materials needed for the class.


Learning Outcomes & Objectives
The Political Science Department's philosophy reflects the belief that students should encounter political and social diversity. To achieve these ends, this course will emphasize a variety of institutional, philosophical and policy differences found within state and local governments. Students will be exposed different approaches concerning the size and mission of government. Additionally, special attention will be devoted to highlight social responsibility/citizenship, cultural differences and ethics.

As a result of taking this course students will:

● gain a greater understanding of their underlying philosophy of the role of government.

● be able to identify, understand and apply political science concepts and theories to historical
and contemporary issues in state and local government,.

● obtain a basic working knowledge about the evolution, differences and important functions of state
and local government.

● become knowledgeable in the election process, the various types of officials and the institutions
of state and local government.

● gain an understanding of what federalism is and how the bureaucracy functions.

● develop critical thinking skills and knowledge of specific policy areas affecting local and state
government. Examples of such policy areas include but are not limited to land development,
planning, judicial issues, taxation, civil rights and education.

● gain an understanding of the ethical and moral issues that are involved with government service
and citizenship.

● enhance their writing, presentation and research skills.

The assessment of these outcomes will include written exams, debates, student presentations, class and online discussions, class exercises and topical papers.


Grading Criteria

 I expect you to attend all lecture classes and use any unused class time as lab time.  A thorough understanding of the material can only come through class participation and part of your final grade depends upon your participation in class.  You are expected to read the assigned material BEFORE each class.  Students will be called upon for discussion.

Grades to be awarded are derived by dividing all points earned by the total points possible and applying the percentage result value to the following percentage scale:

 Weekly Assignments:                         20-30 points x 10-12 assignments   

In-Class Participation:                                                   50  Points

Periodic Exams (given with notice)                   50 points x 3 exams   

Final Exam (cumulative)                                               100 Points


Letter Grades

% of Points Possible

90-100%:    A

80-90:         B

70-80:         C

60-70:         D

(NOTE: plus and minus grades are not awarded)

Miscellanous Grading Concerns: 

Most weekly assignments and forums are participation oriented. If you follow instructions, do the assignment on time, and give a good faith effort then you will get the points. Points get docked when folks fail to follow instructions, turn it in late, or give a bad faith effort (one that clearly doesnt follow the spirit of the assignment).

EXTRA CREDIT available on a case by case basis (see me for details)

Late assignments will not be accepted without a prior authorization.

Participation is important. If I see good participation throughout the semester than I may be willing to bump a final grade up if its close to the next level.

ALL assignments must be typed and must be handed in via email or via Blackboard unless otherwise directed by the instructor. Please do not attach files to your assignments submissions unless the assignment directions specifically allow for that.

Grades are updated after each exam.  DO NOT send me emails asking what your grade is as it is available through Blackboard after each exam. Also it is your responsibility to make sure that grades are accurate. Luckily, Blackboard tracks everything so we will have a record to refer to in case of any errors or ommissions

The above points are only estimations and I reserve the right to change that schedule in my own discretion.

Course Policies

Attendance Policy              

This class is largely participation oriented.  Inorder to get a good grade you must regularly participate in all in class andonline activities.

 If an absence is anticipated, special arrangements may be made. 

 If you are ill, you must call or e-mail me before class time.  Even if we dont speak, your still need to give notice to me of your absence.

  These policies are non-negotiable.  Without compliance no make-up accommodations will be made.

Office Hours/Appointments

My profession is law, and as such I am happy to advise my students on any issues they may have, legal or academic.  

If needing to speak with me during office hours please try to make an appointment by either emailing (my preference) or calling. Thanks.



This class uses Blackboard as its platform for all assignments, tests, handouts, gradings and class announcements. (This doesnt mean that we wont also have in-class assignments, in fact we will definitely have some in-class assignments) Nevertheless its advisable that if you havent used Blackboard or have questions about certain features that you take one the training sessions offered by NIC's IT department.


This is a tentative syllabus. Schedules, grading criteria, assignments etc... may and usually do change slightly during the semester from the original syllabus.  As the instructor I reserve the right and discretion to alter it at anytime.   Any alterations will be posted on the online NIC directory version of the syllabus as soon as they are made and posted on Blackboard.


Week 1: Intro to Course, Syllabus, Chapter 1

Week 2: Chapter 2

Week 3:  Chapter 3

Week 4: Exam

Week 5: Chapter 4

Week 6: Chapter 5

Week 7: Chapter 6

Week 8: MIDTERM (Chapters 4-6)

Week 9: Chapter 7

Week 10:  No class 10.30.12 (Advising Day)- Chapter 8

Week 11: Chapter 9

Week 12: Chapter 10

Week 13: Exam (Chapters 7-10)- Thanksgiving

Week 14:  Chapter 11  

Week 15: Chapter 12

Week 16: Chapter 12- Final Review

Week 17: Final Exam

Division Policies

For a complete explanation of the North Idaho College Statement on Academic Honesty & Academic Integrity please ferfer to Policy 5.06 & Procedure 5.06.01: 

Academic Dishonesty
Violations of academic integrity involve using or attempting to use any method that enables an individual to misrepresent the quality or integrity of his or her work at North Idaho College. These violations include the following:

Cheating: using or attempting to use unauthorized materials, information, or study in any academic exercise.
Fabrication: falsifying or inventing any information or citation in an academic exercise.
Plagiarism: knowingly representing the words or ideas of another as one's own in an academic exercise.
Violation of Intellectual Property: stealing, altering, or destroying the academic work of other members of the community or the educational resources,materials, or official documents of the college.Facilitating Academic Dishonesty: knowingly helping another to attempt to violate any provisions of this policy.

Student Responsibility
As outlined in the Student Code of Conduct, all North Idaho College students have both rights and responsibilities: Please access www.nic.ferpa.StudentCode/index.htm for complete information that pertains to this subject.

North Idaho College, in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and Section 504/508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, provides both services and accommodations to students who meet the guidelines provided in these acts.  For a complete description, please see:

Please contact the North Idaho College Center for Educational Access in Seiter Hall, Room 100 for assistance.  Phone:  208-769-5947

To withdraw from all courses a student must obtain a college withdrawal form from the Registrar's Office, secure the signatures of those persons indicated on the form, and return the form to the Registrar's office. No student may withdraw from the college after the final date of withdrawal from courses except for compelling and extraordinary reasons. In such circumstances a student must petition the Admissions and Academic Standards Committee for late withdrawal from college using the college withdrawal form available in the Registrar's Office.

For complete information regarding student withdrawals, please see the North Idaho College Policy 5.04.01: 

Institutional Policies

Student Responsibilities

As students undertake to fulfill the obligations and duties outlined in this document, the college community of which they are a part undertakes to respect the basic freedoms of students. In recognition of students’ rights and dignity as members of the college, North Idaho College is committed to the principles found in the NIC Student Handbook.

Center for Educational Access/Disability Support Services

In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and Section 504/508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, North Idaho College provides accommodations to eligible students who experience barriers in the educational setting due to learning, emotional / mental, physical, visual, or hearing disabilities.  Instructors will provide accommodations to students only after having received a Letter of Accommodation from the Center for Educational Access. 

If a student would like to request accommodations, he or she must contact the Center for Educational Access so that a Letter of Accommodation may be sent to the instructor.  Students requesting accommodations must contact the Center for Educational Access at the beginning of each semester.


By registering at North Idaho College, you agree to provide payment by the due dates. You also understand that collection costs and legal fees will be added if the services of a collection agency are utilized.

If you are registered for a class and do not attend, you will still be liable for the tuition unless you drop the class.


Last day for students to withdraw from semester-length classes for the fall term: November 7, 2011. 

Instructor-Initiated Withdrawal: Instructors have the right to withdraw students for academic reasons up until the same date; in doing so, instructors must notify students through NIC e-mail within 48 hours of submitting documentation to the Registrar's office, and students have the right to appeal the instructor's decision. For more information, see the NIC Procedure:

Financial Aid Satisfactory Progress Policy: All withdrawals, whether for individual classes, total withdrawal from school, or instructor-initiated are not considered to be satisfactory progress for financial aid.  See the Financial Aid Satisfactory Progress Policy:

Additional withdrawal information:


An incomplete is assigned only if the student has been in attendance and has done satisfactory work to within three weeks of the end of the semester (or proportional length of time for a course of less than a semester in length).  Incompletes are issued only in cases of extenuating circumstances, such as severe illness or injury.  Incompletes are not issued in cases in which the student is simply unable to complete his/her work within the specified semester or session.  If a final grade of "I" is recorded, the instructor will indicate in writing to the Registrar what the student must do to make up the deficiency.  The instructor will indicate in the written statement what permanent grade should be entered if the Incomplete is not removed by the deadline.

All incomplete grades must be removed within six weeks after the first class day of the following term, excluding the summer session.  If the Incomplete is not removed by that date, the grade reverts to the grade indicated by the instructor's written statement authorizing the incomplete.

Discrimination and Harassment

North Idaho College has a zero tolerance policy for any acts of discrimination or harassment of any kind.  For more information, please see the NIC Student Handbook, Code of Conduct Article III and Article VIII. Compliance efforts with respect to these laws and regulations are the responsibility of each member of the campus community and are under the direction of the Dean of Students Office for Student Issues (2nd floor, ESU, 676-7156) and the Human Resources Office (Sherman Administration Building, 769-3304) for employee issues.

Institutional Statement

DROP FOR NON-PAYMENT:  By registering at North Idaho College, you agree to provide payment by the due dates. You will be dropped from classes if payment is not received by  5 p.m. Pacific Time on the third day of the semester. Students on the waitlist will be given the option to register for classes after students are dropped for non-payment.

DROP FOR NON-ATTENDANCE:  You must attend and participate in the first week of this class. Failure to do so will result in your being dropped from this class and may result in your financial aid award being reduced. For Internet classes, attendance is based on participation in an instructional activity; you must complete the first week’s assignment(s) by the assignment due date. Drop for non-attendance occurs at 5 p.m. Pacific Time on the second Tuesday of the semester.