PACE The Political And Civic Engagement Program is an interdisciplinary 25-credit undergraduate certificate program. Its courses and activities develop students communication, organization, decision- making, critical thinking, and leadership skills; and PACE motivates them to be knowledgeable, effective, and committed citizens. The PACE certificate prepares students for a lifetime of participation in American political and civic life.
PACE: Learning Goals Understand the American political process and the operation of American civil society. Understand different styles of public leadership and the role of political and civic leaders. Understand the processes of decision-making and implementation in governmental and non-governmental organizations. Understand the core concepts and working vocabulary of American public and civic life such as citizenship, non-governmental agency, federalism, social movements, and deliberative democracy. Analyze and use the products of American political and civic life such as legislation, government reports, judicial decisions, non-profit organization websites, newspaper stories, and advocacy group manifestoes. Analyze and use the scholarship on American political and civic life and understand the relationship between theory and practice. Seek out various perspectives, engage in dialogue, analyze the effectiveness of policies, and take informed and principled stands on vital public issues. Work with those who hold opposing views and devise effective solutions to public problems through democratic decision-making. Communicate in an effective and persuasive manner in a variety of public venues.
PACE: Curriculum PACE C210: Public Leadership PACE C211: Making Public Decisions PACE Electives: (4 courses required) PACE C400: Issues Forum PACE C410: Internship in Political and Civic Engagement PACE C450: Capstone Seminar
PACE 211 Learning Goals A basic understanding of the primary institutions of the American polity and civil society and the actors, institutions, and organizations involved in public decision making. A basic understanding of the core concepts and working vocabulary of American public and civic life. The ability to use interdisciplinary research on American political and civic decision-making to analyze public issues. The ability to use the key sources for public decision- making such as legislation, government reports, judicial decisions, newspaper and other media articles, and non- governmental agencies and advocacy group websites. The ability to work with those who hold opposing views and devise effective solutions to public problems through democratic decision-making. The ability to take informed and principled stands on major public issues and to communicate them in an effective and persuasive manner in a variety of venues.
PACE 211 Assignments Decision-Making Project: At the end of the semester, students will participate in a collective decision making project. First, each student will find 3-5 sources on the issue and prepare a written position paper. Second, the class will be divided into decision making groups. The groups will read and evaluate each other’s position papers and then devise a collective resolution to the problem. Third, group members will share their resolutions with the rest of the class and then all class members will participate in a Town Hall discussion in which they will reach a common position and design a plan to implement it. Finally, there will be concluding class discussion about the project itself as exercise in democratic deliberation.
PACE 211 Assignments Scholarship Review: Students will be asked to a write a critical assessment of one of the theoretical readings about American decision making presented in the first part of the course. Source Review: Students will write four short papers analyzing key sources of information about political and civic issues. Response Statements: Students will write a number of short in-class reaction pieces. They will write responses to particular issues raised by course materials and activities. Decision Making-in-Action: Attend the meeting of the Bloomington City Council on Wednesday, Feb. 8 th and write an analysis of the event.
PACE 211 Assignments Course Review: During finals week, each student will submit a paper that draws on the course materials and their own experiences in the class to evaluate his or her success in achieving the course learning objectives.
PACE 211 Grading Scale The course grade will be determined by student achievement in each of the course requirements and by their active participation in the class sessions and course activities. Scholarship Review: 10% of the final course grade. Source Reviews: 20% of the final course grade; 5% per assignment. Response Statements: 25% of the final course grade; the statements will be graded on a pass/fail basis. Decision-Making in Action Analysis: 10% of the final grade. Decision-Making Project: 25% of the final course grade; the individual position paper 10% of project grade; group decision making exercise 5%; and the class town meeting 10%. Course Review: 10% of the final course grade.
Source Review: Assessing a Supreme Court Decision Select a United States Supreme Court decision and write a two page, double-spaced paper [approx. 500 words] in response to the following question: Why is the Supreme Court decision you selected an example of a public decision? Your essay should identify the Supreme Court case name and the date of the final court decision. Your essay should develop a clear thesis, use examples, and arrive at a comprehensive conclusion.
Individual Position Paper Should Capital Punishment be Abolished? Write an 8-10 page, typed, and double-spaced position paper that answers this question. Your paper must include a bibliography listing the sources that you have used and footnotes or endnotes where appropriate. Your answer to the question should be an informed decision based on research. Your research should include an analysis of sources that both support and oppose the abolition of capital punishment. In addition, your research and bibliography must include at least one of each of the following sources: scholarly article, media piece, legislative bill, judicial decision, and non-profit website. You will likely need more of each of these sources and others as well to reach an informed decision. Your paper should develop a clear thesis, use examples, and arrive at a comprehensive conclusion. You can use headings and sub- headings throughout your paper to assist in the presentation of your argument.
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