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 Core Classes Part 2: American Government (see previous post)

It’s your first semester at Messiah College. You’re thinking of majoring in politics, but you want to check out one of the classes first. You decide to see what American Government has to offer. What is the class like? What should a student expect to learn in the course?

American Government is a core curriculum course that each politics major takes. Taught by different faculty members throughout the years, the class was recently taught by Dr. Paul Rego. We interviewed Dr. Rego to get his perspective on the class:

How is the class formatted in American Government? What is the style of teaching?

As classes go, Dr. Rego emphasized that “there’s a historical focus to class”. Students learn about the history of the branches of government, the framing of political institutions, the historical evolution of American politics from the 1700’s to now. “It’s not history for history’s sake,” Rego says, but the historical focus allows students to see themselves in the whole American story.

What books do students read?

“Students are required to read ‘Classics in American Government,’ which includes writings by presidents and political scientist. This book compliments the main historical text ‘The Logic of American Politics’.”

What do you hope students learn in American Government?

“It’s important that students get a deeper appreciation for the institutions and practices that affect their lives every day…Hopefully they will become more involved with the political process, not necessarily running for political office. . . but going to vote and being engaged political ideas and events.”

Joseph Daniels, a junior politics major, shared his memories of American Government.

 “It was my first politics class so it gave me my first look at the rigors of the major as well as a glimpse of the expectations held for students in writing, reading, and critical analysis of the subject matter. I thought the level of detail and attention given to the subject matter was very helpful, it forced me to consider aspects of our American system that I hadn’t considered in detail.”

Any advice for students taking the course?

1. “Be prepared to give 100%, the class is far more demanding than your average high school government class so you need to study hard and come willing to do your best.

2. Also, class is more fun when everybody engages the subject matter so I would encourage consistent reading and participation in every class.”

Any questions on our other classes? Just ask us in a comment below…Have a great Christmas break!