Learning Goals of the Government Department

  • To place students in the midst of controversy over the great issues of politics and the differing understandings of those issues
  • To equip them to deal rationally and prudently with these issues
  • To assist them to communicate effectively


Equipping Students to understand issues of significant political controversy and deal with them rationally and prudently.

Students will be able to:

  • demonstrate an understanding and the ability to apply the literature and methods of ancient, modern, and contemporary students of politics and government to these issues, be they domestic or international,
  • substantiate their arguments soberly and logically,
  • inform their arguments with philosophic, theoretic, and constitutional principles and with an in-depth knowledge of relevant political institutions and public policies, and
  • employ quantitative and qualitative evidence where appropriate.


To assure consistency and objectivity, faculty will assess senior theses using a rubric to determine students’ levels of understanding and mastery of these objectives.

SLOs - Communication Skills

Students will be able to express themselves effectively orally and in writing. This may require the use of computer-based technologies, published sources, interviews, data sets, surveys, and primary documents.


To assure consistency and objectivity, faculty will assess the oral presentations of senior honors thesis students and written theses of all seniors for analysis and presentation using a rubric. Faculty will meet periodically to evaluate student progress and to determine what measures should be taken to improve analysis and communication.