Political Science at Huntingdon College
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Political Science Courses:  Common Requirements

revised 20 June 2018, with slightly revised formula for summer courses-by-conference, by Jeremy Lewis.

On this page:
200 & 300 level courses | General requirements | 400 Level courses | Course-by-Conference
Moved to a separate page, on papers, presentations and tests:
Project | Presentations | Form of Project Comments| Advice on tests
On other pages:
Pre-formatted term paper template | APSA style | Grading Criteria Tables for Papers and Presentations

200 & 300 Level PSC Course Grade Formulae

Grade formula for PSC 201 and PSC 209 including 209 Honors section (these courses are partly populated with non-PSC majors)

Grade formula for other 200 level courses, plus 300 level PSC courses for Dr. Lewis.

General Requirements


You are expected to comply with the HC Honor Code [read College's statement, August 2009, of procedure for violations] and with specific rules placed on our Requirements page here.  You are also expected to comply with Huntingdon College's Code of Classroom Conduct, August 2009.

My Attendance Policy
While school sanctioned excuses will not count against you, absences reduce your potential contribution to class, and unexcused absences will reduce your class participation score.
HC's Policy on completion of absence related work
A specific policy for completion of absence related work is up to the individual instructor.  The instructor must state the policy in the course syllabus.  The specific policy must not penalize a student for participation in a documented College sanctioned event or for a documented medical, personal or family emergency.  [Also requires prior notification via a new online form, and verification by a coach, or similar]
My specific policy on late completion of in-class work
Late completion of tests or other graded exercises in class will only be permitted in cases with documented, prior notification and documented excuses from a coach, medical doctor or similar authority.

My Class Participation Policy
Class participation scores (see percentage weight in formula above) are awarded at the sole discretion of the instructor.  In addition to recognizing attendance, this assesses frequency and quality of presentations and comments in (and out) of class.  Poor attendance with unexcused absences will result in deductions for class participation.  Formal excuses for absences, on college business such as sports teams or conferences, as notified by the Academic Dean, will be respected.
Proper decorum in class is expected; sleeping, slumping, chattering, pulling faces, using rude language, taking bathroom breaks in the first hour, or wearing a hat over the eyes, for examples, are not proper.  You will be penalized for failing to show up regularly and punctually for class, especially when you have a presentation due.  Excessive tardiness may be counted as absence, and both may result in the class visiting your dorm room. Notebook computers in PSC classes are to be used for academic purposes only.  (It is rude to play games or use Facebook when some one is presenting; doing something like this may result in Failing on class participation -- or even Failing the entire course.)
Classroom decorum. As a courtesy to others who are concentrating, please do not take a bathroom break during the first hour of a class session or an exam.  Do not wear caps, especially not pulled down to shade the eyes and obscure the face when indoors.  Do not pull faces or chat with your neighbors during lectures or discussion.  Be respectful of the views of others, even while disagreeing.
Discourse ethics: infractions that may result in a lower grade for class participation, also include (for examples) frequent use of illicit or totally unreasonable arguments in discussion; misquoting or misrepresenting the instructor's arguments; attacks on the character of the instructor or other students; or rudely rejecting reasonable responses to an argument.
When giving a presentation - or when unavoidably absent from a presentation -- please provide in advance via e-mail or sharing via Google Docs a one page outline for the class web page.  The outline should indicate at the top which course, book and reading it refers to.  Since books change over time, the author and title should be followed on a separate line by the student's name and year of writing: "By Fred Bloggs, Fall 2005."  This will help me ensure that I give you credit for the outlines.
Paper writing decorum: Use standard pages (see above).  Quotes over 2 lines should be single spaced.  Long quotes should be avoided.  Hardcopy academic and official sources are essential, not merely short journalistic and encyclopedia articles. Tables and graphs are welcome, on separate pages at the end of the paper.  They are not included in the page count, but may add to the quality rating of the paper.
Academic dishonesty such as cheating and plagiarism may result in receiving a zero score for the assignment and an "F" grade for the entire course.  This includes (but is not limited to) looking at books or notes on a test or exam, turning in a paper or essay which is not your own work, or failing to cite sources properly.  A paper without citations or with references typed on different paper or in different style, or written in a style unlike your other work, for examples, may be suspect as plagiarized.  as a general rule, almost every paragraph of a paper (except the conclusions) should have at least one citation.
Exam decorum. You are requested during examinations to keep your books and bags closed, to store them at a distance from yourself, and to try not to leave the room until you have completed writing.  To do otherwise may set up a suspicion of cheating. The instructor may refuse to re-admit a student who leaves the exam room early.  Consequently, it is wise not to over-indulge in caffeinated drinks before an exam.
You are responsible for all chapters and readings indicated on the syllabus before a test date, even if that material is not discussed in class specifically. Essay questions will emphasize themes, key arguments, concepts and theories; major Acts or case law; and major political events and trends. The questions will usually indicate which chapters, readings or lectures they refer to.
Support Services for Students with Disabilities
"Faculty at Huntingdon College make every effort to accommodate unique and special needs of students with respect to speech, hearing, vision, seating, or other possible adaptions. Please notify the Disability Services Intake Coordinator, Ms. Camilla Irvin, as soon as possible of requested accommodations."
Staton Center for Learning Enrichment
"The Center for Writing and Critical Thinking, located in Jackson 112, provides support at all levels to students working to improve proficiency at skills associated with college-level reading, writing, and critical thinking. The Center offers an active interface among student, instructor, assignment, and tutor. Free one-on-one tutoring is available to all Huntingdon students, either by appointment or on a walk-in basis, Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Contact Ms. Vaughan Dickson, Director of the Center for Writing and Critical Thinking, at (334) 833-4454 or by email at vdickson@hawks.huntingdon.edu to schedule an appointment or for more information."
Medical Considerations
"If you have a medical condition that may preclude participation in this course or any aspect of this course, the College suggests you consult your physician. The College will work with you based upon physician recommendations to find the best means to address any concerns."
Title IX Statement
"Huntingdon faculty are committed to supporting students and upholding the College's non-discrimination policy. Under Title IX, discrimination based upon sex and gender is prohibited. If you experience an incident of sex- or gender-based discrimination, we encourage you to report it. While you may talk to a faculty member, understand that as a "Responsible Employee" of the College the faculty member MUST report to the college's Title IX Coordinator what you share. If you would like to speak with someone who may be able to afford you privacy or confidentiality, there are people who can meet with you. Faculty can help direct you or you may refer to Huntingdon's Sexual Misconduct Policy at http://www.huntingdon.edu/student-life/student-service/misconduct. You do not have to go through the experience alone."

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HC policy: a course-by-conference is the term for a standard course taken without being able to participation in scheduled class time.  An individual study is a rare opportuniity to pursue customized research.

This is only a last resort for exigencies, available only for good cause and with the permission of the political science faculty and academic dean; depending on the current structure of the faculty, it may require approval also of the school /division dean.  Good cause may include a competitive Capitol internship; a travelling internship; a substantial job in poliitics or law; or where a student is otherwise unable to take a needed political science class before graduation.

A political science course-by-conference normally requires the same tests, papers and examinations as the regular course, except that any class session that is missed, shall be replaced with an essay of one typed page, single-spaced  on the session's reading or topic -- or, at the discretion of the instructor, by a tutorial session.

Note that to apply for a course-by-conference the Provost will expect the salmon-colored form plus a specific syllabus for the course, converted to C-by-C and even to the five-week format of summer term if needed.

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PSC 499, Senior Capstone Research Seminar
Approximate grade formula: Your capstone presentation of research findings is expected to be a fuller presentation of up to 20 minutes before a class of students and faculty.  It should use audiovisual aids appropriate to the material.  These may include a web page and powerpoint file, data tables and graphs or images. You will be expected to answer questions about your research methods, sources, theories and findings.  You should rehearse this presentation with trusted friends beforehand.

For either an individual study or a capstone research ePaper, you will be expected to begin with a research prospectus consisting of:

At 400 level, this must be accepted as a competent and feasible proposal in order to proceed with the paper.

Other 400 level PSC Courses

For individual study at any level and for any 400 level course except the senior capstone, there may be no simple formula; research, writing and oral participation are heavily weighted.  400 level courses may include internships, individual study, topical seminars, honours and senior capstone projects.  Consult the current syllabus for each.

At this level, your original commentary and insights are expected to range beyond simply summarizing the readings, and you will be expected to be active in pursuing scholarly inquiry in the form chosen for the course.

An internship paper of analysis and reaction is about 5 standard pages, accompanied by a weekly journal and any written reports completed as part of the internship duties.

When taking a 400 level course, remember that this is seen as the bridge between undergraduate and postgraduate study -- be prepared to take the initiative yourself and pursue research with vigor.

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