Austin Community College

Spring 2016

Dr. Edward J.  Mullen

Section 46913/001

Pinnacle 403

W 1:30 – 2:50  PM



GOVT 2389

19 January – 15 May


Required reading:  No text required.  Readings from current events will be assigned by the instructor.

Optional reading: Maxwell, Crain, Santos, Texas Politics Today, 2016 Edition, Cengage.


Grading criteria:    Grading will be based on student performance in the internship, a written essay on the experience, participation, attendance, evaluations, and oral presentations.

First presentation                10%

Second presentation          20%

Final Essay                           20%

Agency evaluation               20%

Attendance/reporting          10%

Discussion Boards             20%



Goals and Objectives This course consists of experiential learning as an intern in a government agency.  The goal of the course is to provide the student with first-hand experience in the daily workings of government.  Through self-study, seminars, actual work experience, and online discussion, the course introduces a framework for an in-depth understanding of Texas government and politics, its constitutional basis, and its processes, institutions, and policies.  The objective is to compare the intent of the original Constitution with the realities of modern economic and political life.  The student will analyze the effects of government structure and regulation on our society, compare those effects with the original intent, and determine why differences exist and how they affect the student’s world.


Course requirements and information

The course will be conducted as a work project at a government agency.  During the course, you will be required to attend scheduled classes and work 20 hours per week in a legislative office, local government or state agency.  You will be paid a stipend to work these hours.  You will coordinate the exact schedule with your agency supervisor.  Students will receive stipends for working in the internship: In the amount of $10.00/hour for twenty hours of work per week.


You will be graded on two oral presentations, one written essay, the evaluation of your legislative or agency head for whom you work, discussion board participation on Blackboard, and attendance /reporting throughout the semester.  You must enter A.C.C.’s classroom management website, Blackboard, Instructions for students are located at:



Office hours

Virtual Office:



Pinnacle 415;   telephone 223 8136

Home telephone: (254) 698 2304



MW       9:30 AM – 10:30 AM

MW        1:20 PM – 3:30 PM

Th & F by appointment


Attendance Policy    Failure to work the required hours will result in one percentage point deduction from your final grade for each day of absence.


Withdrawal Policy    The instructor will not withdraw you.  If you wish to drop the course, you must take action. The last day to withdraw from this course is 25 April.  Incompletes will be approved only for the most dire reasons.  See Dr. Mullen before the withdrawal date.


Academic Freedom

“Each student is strongly encouraged to participate in class discussions. In any classroom situation that includes discussion and critical writing, particularly about political ideas, there are bound to be many differing viewpoints. Students may not only disagree with each other at times, but the students and instructor may also find that they have disparate views on sensitive and volatile topics.  It is my hope that these differences will enhance class discussion and create an atmosphere where students and instructor alike will be encouraged to think and learn. Therefore, be assured that your grades will not be adversely affected by any beliefs or ideas expressed in class or in assignments. Rather, we will all respect the views of others when expressed in classroom discussions.”


Scholastic Dishonesty:  As described in the ACC Student Handbook, scholastic dishonesty constitutes a violation of college rules and regulations and is punishable according to the procedures outlined in the Handbook. Scholastic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, cheating on an exam (either providing answers to or stealing answers from another student), plagiarism, and collusion.  Plagiarism includes use of another author’s words or arguments without attribution.  Collusion is defined as the unauthorized collaboration with another person in preparing written work for fulfillment of any course requirement. If a student commits any of the above actions, the instructor may seek disciplinary action in the form of an academic penalty, which may include a course grade of ‘F’. Such disciplinary action will be in accordance with ACC Policies


Student Accessibility Services:

Each ACC campus offers support services for students with documented physical, cognitive, or psychological disabilities. Students with disabilities must request reasonable accommodations through the Student Accessibility Services on the campus where they expect to take the majority of their classes. Students are encouraged to do this three weeks before the start of the course.





My Sympathy Policy:


(We are all solely responsible for our own results.)

“It seems a shame,’ the Walrus said


‘To play them such a trick.


After we’ve brought them out so far,


And made them trot so quick!”


“I weep for you,’ the Walrus said:


‘I deeply sympathize.’

Lewis Carroll


Internship requirements:

1.  From the approved list, select an agency for which you wish to work.

2.  Prepare a resume, contact that agency’s staff, and interview for the position.

3.  Turn in a short written plan of your internship.

4.  Work as an intern for the required number of hours.

5.  Keep a journal of your activities.

6.  Obtain an evaluation of your work from a staff administrator.

7.  Give informal oral class reports of your experience during class meeting dates (to be determined).  During these class meetings, we will exchange experiences and encouragement and report mid-session experiences.

8.  Write a formal report of your internship experience.

9.  Give a formal presentation based on the report.


formal presentation:

The presentation should last five to ten minutes.  You will be evaluated on organization of the presentation, speaking style, use of visual aids, and the wild applause of your fellow students.


All papers done at home must be typed, double-spaced, and correct in grammar and spelling.  Any statements of fact must be properly credited.





20 January 2016



How to Write

5 February


Internship Plan Due

20 January – 9 March


Internship in Progress

9 March


First Presentation

21 March – 15 May


Internship in Progress

11 May



FINAL Presentation  All Papers and Evaluations Due


Discussion Board Schedule

Weekly, open on Sunday, close on Saturday.




Texas Government Internship

Government 2389

Spring 2016 Semester


To the Staff Administrator:


      Thank you for taking the time to coach and train the A.C.C student who is interning with you.  Please take a few minutes to complete this form.  Your evaluation will be part of the student’s grade.


Dr. Edward J. Mullen, Instructor, 512 223 8136


Name of student:  _______________________

Dates of participation:  __________________


What were the student’s duties? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


Were you satisfied with the student’s preparation and effort?  ________________________________

Please add any other comments that you wish.  ____________________________________________________________________________________

What is your position on the staff? __________________________________________

Your name _____________________

Number at which you can be reached ______________