Feb 29, 2024  
2021-2022 Catalog 
2021-2022 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

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POLS& 200 - Introduction to Law: United States

Credits: 5
Introduction and Survey of the Legal System of the United States through an examination of several substantive areas of law.  Focuses on the Judicial Branch of Government utilizing a critical thinking perspective which covers Legal procedure, jurisdiction, Constitutional law, Introduction to Criminal and Civil law, torts/ product liability, and property.  Uses a case method approach which considers the historical and social context within which  U.S. Law has emerged.  A comparative law approach may be used to compare and contrast the Common Law with other systems. 

Enrollment Requirement: Eligible for READ 104 .

Satisfies Requirement: Social Science

Course Outcomes:
Students who successfully complete this class will be able to:

  1. Display a working knowledge of the functions of law in society, and the factors that effect the evolution of laws over time.
  2. Understand the fundamental Concepts of Criminal Law, Torts, Civil Procedure, Property, and how they fit under the umbrella of historical Common Law and Constitutional principles.
  3. Demonstrate an ability to concisely articulate the specific holdings and reasoning in given assigned cases.
  4. Work cooperatively and effectively in group presentations.
  5. Articulate and use several balancing tests commonly used in the resolution of public policy and Constitutional law cases.
  6. Understand, appreciate, and reflect on the elements of thought (using the Paul-Elder Model) as they are applied to legal case analysis.
  7. Be familiar with certain intellectual criteria used to evaluate the merit of particular legal arguments.

Program Outcomes
Recognize and use critical thinking elements and standards as they apply to the study of legal content.

College-wide Outcomes
  • Critical Thinking - Critical thinking finds expression in all disciplines and everyday life. It is characterized by an ability to reflect upon thinking patterns, including the role of emotions on thoughts, and to rigorously assess the quality of thought through its work products. Critical thinkers routinely evaluate thinking processes and alter them, as necessary, to facilitate an improvement in their thinking and potentially foster certain dispositions or intellectual traits over time.
  • Responsibility - Responsibility encompasses those behaviors and dispositions necessary for students to be effective members of a community. This outcome is designed to help students recognize the value of a commitment to those responsibilities which will enable them to work successfully individually and with others.
  • Quantitative and Symbolic Reasoning - Quantitative Reasoning encompasses abilities necessary for a student to become literate in today’s technological world. Quantitative reasoning begins with basic skills and extends to problem solving.
  • Written Communication - Written Communication encompasses all the abilities necessary for effective expression of thoughts, feelings, and ideas in written form.

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