Political Science Department
Andrew Green (chair), Keith Yanner, James Zaffiro
Government is the process through which people pursue collective goals, allocate scarce resources, and attempt to establish justice. Government decisions affect life and death, wealth and poverty, crime and punishment, individual freedom, opportunity, and happiness. Students in the political science program learn about government and how individuals and groups interact with government in the United States, other countries, and international organizations. Student learning focuses on theory and experience. In their courses political science students confront classic as well as contemporary political questions: Is there a best political order; how can hunger be eliminated; what are the causes of political violence and terrorism; what is the citizen’s responsibility to the environment; what is the most efficient way to fund local schools? Political science students also learn how to do original research and citizenship projects that apply their theoretical knowledge to questions and concerns of personal interest. This is accomplished through the required research sequence, supervised independent study, service learning, and internships. Many of our students study abroad to learn firsthand about foreign and international politics, or intern on one of Central’s programs in Washington, D.C., Des Moines, or Chicago to learn about federal, state, and local government in the U.S.
Oral Communication and Writing skills are an integral part of a major in political science and for careers which political science majors will pursue. Political science majors will have their own communication and writing skills assessed on an annual basis and will be provided feedback from the department’s faculty members. The final evaluation of the major communication skills will occur while the student is enrolled in POLS 489 after successful completion of the following:
a) A professional research project
b) A professional presentation of the research project’s findings
Complete six Political Science courses with a six s.h. of internship credit in POLS 397/497 counting for up to two courses.