Course code:



M - Intermediate

Class size limit:


Meets the following requirements:

  • HS - Human Studies

This course will be an intensive workshop centered around the upcoming 2016 US Presidential election. This includes the ongoing party primaries that will continue throughout the Spring term, the lead up to the summer conventions, and the planning for the transition to the Fall general election cycle. The goal of the class is to provide an outlet for students to explore their interests in the coming Presidential election while also capitalizing on that interest to engage broader questions about the role of electoral campaigns in a democratic society. Students will work in teams to monitor, track, and report back to the class on various aspects of their “target” candidates. This will include in-depth research on campaign finance reports, platform issues, advertising and messaging strategies, recent polling data, earned media appearances, changes in campaign staffing, the utilization of social media, speeches, debates, and primary voting. As a group we will also monitor and track the ongoing state-by-state primary results and how the “delegate math” evolves for each party. While the specific issues of the 2016 cycle will be our starting point, we will also explore broader comparative questions pertaining to campaign finance regulations, polling methodologies, election procedures, party nomination and convention rules, and messaging strategies. Class sessions will be based on a workshop model that is heavily discussion and presentation based and involves term long student tracking and reporting. As such, students should expect to be engaged in monitoring the daily changing dynamics of the campaigns outside of class sessions. Students will also take part in planning voter education events that might be taking place on the COA campus and in the broader community. There will also be occasional guest presenters who will join us via digital teleconferencing. Depending on student interest, the course may involve building an optional online platform for team reporting and commentary. Evaluation will be based on class participation, team project research and presentations, individual short form response essays, and commitment to facilitating a constructive and collaborative workshop environment. There are no pre-requisites for this class, and prior political participation is not necessary.

Level: Intermediate. Prerequisites: none. Class limit: 14. Lab fee: none. Meets the following degree requirements: HS



Always visit the Registrar's Office for the official course catalog and schedules.