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 CONSTITUTIONAL LAW  posted by  member7_php   on 4/4/2009  Add Courseware to favorites Add To Favorites  
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Offered every semester/JUS major core course

Office hours: as scheduled per semester
Office phone: (252) 985-5276
Office: Braswell 171
Textbook: Otis Stephens & John Scheb. (2003). American Constitutional Law, 3e. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth. ISBN: 0-534-54570-X

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COURSE DESCRIPTION (from College Catalog):
    JUS 410 Constitutional Law (3 semester hours) A survey of constitutional law emphasizing civil rights and individual liberties. The method of teaching will include reading and discussing U.S. Supreme Court decisions. (prerequisite: HIS 210 recommended)

    This course provides both traditional and multimedia instruction to promote the understanding of constitutional frameworks for criminal justice procedures and policies, not to produce Constitutional scholars per se, but to enable student proficiencies in the scholarly study of law and its application. Although not writing intensive, this course may be somewhat demanding in terms of reading and thinking. Students would do well to purchase on their own the plastic study guide/outline to Constitutional Law sold in bookstores, and perhaps additionally, one of the paperback dictionaries/glossaries of Legal Terms. Some of this reference material and other resources will be provided on the instructor's website.

    The College catalog also mentions HIS 210 as recommended preparation for this course, but it is not required, only recommended to have taken it. JUS 410 has no prerequisites; it is required for Justice majors, but all majors are welcome. Please take note that the level of difficulty for a 400-level course is designed for those at or near their senior year. This does not mean you have to be a senior, but it means you should have sufficient organizational and study skills so that things like pop quizzes, surprise homework assignments, and being called on to go beyond the call of duty do not bother you considerably if they should happen.

    This course is extensively Internet-augmented. Students will need to regularly use the Internet to review lecture notes, keep track of course announcements, get details on assignments, take some exams, check their grades, and interact with the instructor and other students electronically. This is NOT an internet or online course. It meets face-to-face each time as scheduled. The instructional supplements posted on the instructor's website are NOT a substitute for the textbook.

1. The ability to systematically analyze, synthesize, and apply policies derived from critical-analytic reasoning over selected portions of the U.S. Constitution
2. The ability to recognize important, relevant considerations over real-life issues and situations dealing with civil liberties and civil right
3. A working familiarity with key terms, clauses, cases, and chronologies in Constitutional Law

    (A) Assigned textbook(s), study guide, CD-Rom, and any companion websites
    (B) Stevens website for instructional supplements and other resources
    (C) Library website, holdings, reserve, and NCLive

    Most assignments will come from the book and/or websites. The book must be purchased, but the websites are free. Students are expected to not only attend class, but devote out-of-class time to reading, checking websites, and using other college resources. A Library card, and at least access to a computer equipped with Microsoft office (Word), Internet access, and a web browser such as Internet Explorer will need to be obtained by the end of the first week of class.  Students are also expected to have an NCWC email address since outside addresses (e.g., Hotmail, Yahoo, etc.) are not supported by college distribution lists.  Students should check the Instructional Supplements for pertinent information at least once every 48 hours. 

    There are basically two areas of required assignments: exams and practicums. There are three to four exams (explained below), and about four practicums. A practicum is the name for any sort of short project the instructor assigns, which may include written essays to Library work to web search assignments, or participation in a mock crime scenario. Among the Instructional Supplements, one is marked Announcements and another marked Assignments. Click on them regularly to see what assignments have been announced, their deadlines, and detailed instructions on how to do assignments.  Student teams are encouraged on some assignments, but not exams.  There is no Term Paper requirement in this course.

    Although each exam has 100 possible points, some exams are worth more than others, and the exam average counts 50% of the final grade. They are almost always in Multiple Choice (A-B-C-D) format with occasional essay questions (see sample exam). The lowest score (one column only for a 2x exam) in the exam category is thrown out. Each exam generally consists of 30-50 questions at a rather high degree of difficulty, and reflect your understanding rather than ability to memorize and/or look up information.  In other words, you will not easily find the correct (or best) answer by looking in the textbook or on the websites, and certainly, none of the sample exam questions are recycled.  Those resources may guide you to the right answers, but are not a substitute for thinking, intuition, or understanding.  The instructor reserves the right to override any disagreement over right answers.  Exams are unproctored and open book, open note, and open internet.  You are NOT allowed to work together, work in groups, or receive any outside help on exams. Violation of this honor code will result in a final letter grade drop each time it is observed.  Exams are generally posted online as an Instructional Supplement every four weeks (every two weeks in ADP) according to the following Schedule of Exams and Weights, with a deadline of a week from posting to submission (turning in answers by email is allowed, as is turning them in by hand).  In fact, both methods of submission are encouraged, as the Instructor is NOT tolerant of "lost email" or "lost under door" excuses.  Grades are posted on the grades page no later than 24 hours after submission, with online grade posts serving as your only receipt.  This means that those who wait until the last day to take an exam will not see their grade (receipt) until after it is too late to claim any "lost" excuse.    

Schedule of Exams and Weights 

A. Fourth week exam
B. Eighth week exam
C. Twelfth week exam
D. Final week exam
A. counts as a quiz
B. counts as a midterm (2x)
C. counts as a quiz
D. counts as final exam (2x)

    All practicums count equally and have 100 points each, and the practicum average counts 50% of the final grade. There are about 3-4 practicums in this course, and each are evaluated differently, but grading rubrics, detailed instructions, and templates are usually provided as an Instructional Supplement (see assignments page). The general evaluation criteria are Neatness (always typed) and application of the REOS grading rubric (Reasoning, Evidence, Organization, and Substance). There is also an overall discussion score that is recorded in this category and cannot be thrown out even if it is the lowest grade, so participation is expected. There is a practicum scheduled about every third week in this course, according to the following Schedule of Practicums.

Schedule of Practicum Assignments

A. Third week practicum
B. Seventh week practicum
C. Tenth week practicum
D. Thirteenth week practicum
A. Personal morality exercise
B. Get out of jail exercise
C. Multimedia sentencing exercise
D. Crime control scenario (TBA)
E. Additional overall participation score

    It is important to note that although the lowest score is thrown out in both areas of graded assignments, it is up to the instructor to decide which assignments those are from the student's completion of ALL assignments. Students who deliberately do three out of four assignments (in any category) in order to do less work will be penalized by a full letter for their final grade, regardless of their scores on other assignments. There are no bonus point exercises in this course, and there are no grading curves.  

    There are eight graded assignments, but ten scores for each student because the midterm and final count twice.  Since exam and practicum categories count equally (50%), each assignment in this course counts the same (12.5%). At the end of the semester, a letter grade is determined by the average on all assignments.  The lowest two scores (in separate categories) are thrown out, resulting in an average based on eight scores.  Two examples should suffice:

Student A (with lowest scores on Q1 and P4)
Q1 MT MT Q2 FE FE P1 P2 P3 P4 Avg.
72 94 94 80 87 87 92 94 94 90 90
Student B (with lowest scores on MT and P3)
80 70 70 90 94 94 94 95 90 94 89

    Note only one of the columns for the MT with Student B is struck out.  The MT and FE count twice, but if either one is the low score, only one column for them is struck out. This has the effect of reducing the harm of doing poorly on the MT and FE, but it also rewards high scores on the MT and FE. The Grade Scale used in this course is as follows: 

Grade Scale Used in Course

94-97 A 77-79 C+
90-93 A- 74-76 C
87-89 B+ 70-73 C-
84-86 B 67-69 D+
80-83 B- 64-66 D (Below 64 is F)

    There is a one week grace period (with penalty) after all deadlines (except the final). Try not to fall into the Grace Period, as there is a 1/2 letter grade penalty per day for each day into the grace period.  Students are also discouraged from turning in assignments too early. The announcements page always indicates the start and end of an assignment period.  An "X" on the grades page means the student hasn't yet done the assignment and is in the grace period. A "0" means the grace period has elapsed, and too late to turn anything in.  The accumulation of a "0" by missing the grace period can NOT be part of any lowest grade thrown out.

INCOMPLETE POLICY (and Withdrawals):
    Incompletes (a grade of "Inc") and Withdrawals (a grade of "W") are not automatic, and never given as a substitute for missing makeup periods or low scores.  To receive an incomplete, a real emergency must exist for which the student misses a series of adjacent assignments, such as the last quiz, final exam, and 4th practicum, but this is only an example, as circumstances vary, and in all cases must involve notice beforehand and instructor approval of the emergency. Incompletes must be removed before eight weeks after the semester ends (otherwise they convert to a grade of "F").  In some cases, the instructor supports extensions beyond the eight week period, but a Work Needed for Incomplete form should be filled out, and the student must request such extension (in writing) to the VPAA.  Instructors can also change a grade of "F" to some other letter. Students with incompletes are ineligible from registering for Independent Study, Unscheduled Courses, and Special Topics courses. 

    Withdrawals arranged between the student and Registrar are allowed up to the midpoint of a semester (or whenever scheduled in the college's Academic Calendar). For Fall, 2002, that date is October 11.  After that date, any withdrawal is processed as a grade of "F" unless extenuating circumstances exist which are discussed with the instructor, the Registrar, and/or VPAA. Withdrawals do not compute into grade point averages, but do appear on transcripts, and may affect academic standing and/or financial aid. Tuition refund policies are set by the Business Office, with strict deadlines. 

    If pass/fail, audit, or other grade notation scheme is chosen by the student at registration (up to the end of the Drop/Add period), then it should be understood that the instructor expects that student to complete ALL assignments that the regular students have to do.  This also applies to any ADP, Online, Non-Degree, or High School students in the course.  Work must be turned in by the same deadlines, and all policies (including absenteeism) are in force. Even though the College Catalog says a grade of "D" is passing, the instructor reserves the right to require an average of "C" work for a grade of "P" or "AU."   

    The 20% Rule is applied. For a course that meets twice a week (over fifteen weeks), that is a total of 30 class meetings. 20% of 30 is 6.  After that many (6) absences, the student will be administratively withdrawn (grade of "W") from the course.  For a course that meets three times a week (over fifteen weeks), that is a total of 43 class meetings (45 minus Advising Day and Break), and 20% of 43 is 9.  These numbers amount to three weeks of absences.  If a student manages to bypass administrative withdrawal, and has accumulated 20% absences by the end of the course, a final letter grade of "F" is turned in.  There are additional procedures, as per the College Catalog, and as follows:

Schedule of Absenteeism Penalties

A. Three (3) absences A. Half letter grade drop; instructor will speak with student about absences; student is dropped from any course that meets one day a week (8 week courses)
B. Four (4) absences B. Full letter grade drop; instructor notifies Advisor, Student Support, and speaks with student again
C. Five (5) absences C. Two letter grade drop; instructor notifies Advisor, Support, VPAA, Registrar, and student 
D. Six (6) absences D. Student is dropped from any course that meets two days a week (15 week courses)
E. Nine (9) absences E. Student is dropped from any course that meets three days a week (15 week courses)

    Excuses are only allowed for cases of illness, unavoidable circumstances, or college extracurricular activities approved by the VPAA.  Illnesses should be documented by a medical professional or by the school's Wellness Center.  Unavoidable circumstances should be described in writing, and the Instructor reserves the right to override what the student deems as unavoidable.  Extracurricular activities are normally notified to the faculty via email from the organization's advisor or coach.

    The Three Tardies Equals One Absence Rule is applied.  Tardiness is defined as twenty minutes of any class meeting time, regardless of whether it occurs at the beginning of class (late), the middle of class (break), or end of class (leaving early).  Anyone suspected of abusing or exploiting this definition by deliberately and repeatedly keeping it just under twenty minutes will be penalized the same as others, and referred for behavioral disruption. No sleeping, music, TV, or electronic devices are allowed in class.  Follow the calendar religiously; do not skip chapters or assignment sequences.  Read everything and pay close attention (taking notes) to what the instructor says in class.  Each student is responsible, on their own, for obtaining material they may have missed in class. Do not ask for the instructor's notes.

    Roll is taken every class meeting by signature.  Use a distinctive signature consistently, and do not print or make other marks on the roll sheet (unless instructed to do so).  Above all, do NOT sign for someone else, as this constitutes a serious offense (cheating), and any suspected cases of it are fully investigated. If an asterisk (*) appears behind your name code on the grades page, that means I want to speak to you, and that absenteeism penalties are applying.

    Plagiarism and Cheating (as per the College Catalog) are prohibited.  Plagiarism is defined as taking or using the thoughts, writings, or inventions of another as one's own.  It also means using direct quotations without credit and quotation marks, as well as using the ideas of another without proper credit.  Some ideas in criminal justice, however, are so general that credit need not be given.  Ask your instructor when in doubt.  Cheating is defined as any intent to deceive the instructor in his or her effort to grade fairly.  Anything that can possibly effect the fairness of grading is cheating, which I interpret to include any collaborative, mischievous, or disruptive behavior.  In this course, pay special attention to gleaning information off the Internet, and do NOT pass it off as your own, or without proper citation.  Learn to paraphrase ideas in your own words.  Do not purchase, borrow, or revise another student's work.  Do not "double dip" an assignment you did in another class to turn it in for this one.  The following penalties are applied, as per the College Catalog.

Schedule of Academic Dishonesty Penalties

A. First offense
B. Second offense
C. Third offense
A. Instructor gives no credit for assignment
B. VPAA withdraws student with grade of F
C. VPAA suspends student from college

Any student with a disability that is within the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act must inform their instructor at the beginning of the term of their special needs, including equipment, that they feel are essential for completing the requirements of this course.  Students with disabilities must self-identify before any accommodations can be made.  The Disabilities Coordinator in Student Support (985-5131) is the appropriate party to contact and prepare an accommodation plan.  The instructor will make every effort to provide reasonable accommodations when and where appropriate.

    In the event that the college cancels classes for any reason (e.g., weather, special holidays), the material scheduled for the cancelled date is automatically rescheduled for the next class meeting. This includes exams or other work due on the cancelled date.  In the event that the instructor cannot make it to a class meeting, there will be an announcement on the announcements page of the Instructional Supplements, and there will also be a note on the classroom door.  

    In the event you cannot get into my office area to drop off assignments, or the school loses it's email or Internet connectivity, send your work via Campus Mail (in the Administration Lobby, switchboard area) addressed to me with the date and time (staff will usually date/time stamp it also, if available).  If the school's Internet is down, be patient (and maybe try Campus Cruiser or a backup dial-up connection, if you have one).  ALWAYS place your (full) name on all assignments before turning them in, and always put your name somewhere in the body of your email message.  

Note: The instructor reserves the right to make adjustments to this calendar as necessary.

Week One

Structure of Constitution
Assigned Reading: Chapter 1
Online Lectures: Structure and Bill of Rights

Week Two

Interpretation and Jurisprudence
Assigned Reading: Chapter 2
Online Lectures: Supreme Court and Jurisprudence

Week Three

Liberty, Due Process, and Equal Protection
Assigned Reading: Chapter 3
Online Lectures: Liberty, Due Process, and Equal Protection 

Week Four

First Amendment Freedoms
Assigned Reading: Chapter 4
Online Lectures: Free Speech, Press, and Religion

Week Five

Second Amendment Freedoms
Assigned Reading: Chapter 5
Online Lectures: The Second Amendment

Week Six

Stop & Frisk Law
Assigned Reading: Chapter 6
Assigned Lectures: Stop&Frisk, Probable Cause

Week Seven

Search & Seizure Law
Assigned Reading: Chapter 7
Assigned Lecture: Search & Seizure

Week Eight

Compelling Government Needs
Assigned Reading: Chapter 8
Assigned Lecture: Affidavits & Warrants

Week Nine

Privacy & Technology
Assigned Reading: Chapter 9
Assigned Lectures: Privacy, CyberSpace

Week Ten

Freedom & Responsibility in Confession Law
Assigned Reading: Chapter 8
Assigned Lectures: Confession, Miranda

Week Eleven

Assigned Reading: Chapter 9
Assigned Lecture: Interrogation, Self-Incrimination

Week Twelve

The Right-to-Counsel Protections
Assigned Reading: Chapter 10
Assigned Lecture: PreTrial, Right to Counsel, Trial

Week Thirteen

Double Jeopardy Restrictions
Assigned Reading: Chapter 11
Assigned Lecture: Double Jeopardy

Week Fourteen

Humane Punishment
Assigned Reading: Chapter 12
Assigned Lecture: Death Penalty

Week of Fifteen

Humane Punishment (continued)
Assigned Reading: Chapter 13
Assigned Lecture: Cruel & Unusual Punishment

Last updated: 06/25/03   Tell A Friend