Illinois Government

I.     Course Prefix/Number: PSC 104

       Course Name: Illinois Government

       Credits: 3 (3 lecture; 0 lab)

II.    Prerequisite

Consent of instructor

III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course examines the organization of Illinois Government at the state, county, and municipal levels. Content includes the relationship between the various levels of government; may involve direct observation of governmental units in action.

IV.   Learning Objectives

  1. Identify and describe how the political system in Illinois operates at the state, county, and municipal levels;
  2. Describe and explain the structure, power distribution, and functioning of the system;
  3. Analyze and evaluate the interrelationships between and among the various levels of government in Illinois;
  4. Evaluate the interactions between elected officials and their various constituencies in Illinois;
  5. Evaluate and interpret the nature of the problems that confront elected officials at various government levels in Illinois.

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at

VI.   Sequence of Topics

  1. The Foundations of Illinois Government
    1. The Illinois Constitution
    2. The state in relation to the federal system
    3. County and municipal governments as creations of the state
  2. The Institutions of State Government, including interactions with the county and municipal governments
    1. The General Assembly
    2. The Office of the Governor
    3. The bureaucracy
    4. The court system
  3. The Institutions of County Government, including interactions with the state and municipal governments
  4. The Institutions of Municipal Government, including interactions with the state and county governments
  5. Politics and Policy
    1. Political parties and interest groups
    2. The campaign process, voting, and elections
    3. The news media
    4. Current policy issues

VII.  Methods of Instruction

Classes will include a variety of instructional methods such as: lectures, in class discussions, group activities, document and film analysis, and the use of new technologies.
Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

Students will be required to:

  1. Read a standard textbook and research materials.
  2. Write outside of class the equivalent of 12-14 double-spaced typed pages in the form of a term paper, summaries of journal articles, short research papers, and/or other kinds of writing.
  3. Participate in in-class and out-of-class activities.

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

The most current editions of the following texts are being used:

Bowman and Kearney,  State and Local Government, Houghton-Mifflin, 1999.
Gray, American States and Cities, Addison Wesley, 1997.
Van der Slik, et. al., Lawmaking in Illinois, University of Illinois Press, 1989
Nowlan, A New Game Plan for Illinois, Chicago: Neltnor House, 1989.

Supplementary readings will also be assigned as appropriate.

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

At least two exams will be given in addition to other required papers and assignments.

Students will also be evaluated on a combination of written assignments and in- and out-of- class assignments.

XI.   Other Course Information

Support Services: Tutoring is available in the Learning Center.

Important Dates: *

XX/XX:    Last day to withdraw and have course dropped from record
XX/XX:    Last day to change to Audit
XX/XX:    Last day for students to submit materials to make up incomplete from the previous semester
XX/XX:    Last day to withdraw from classes with a "W"

*These dates differ for each semester. You'll find the correct dates on the Academic Calendar.

If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at

Electronic video and/or audio recording is not permitted during class unless the student obtains written permission from the instructor. In cases where recordings are allowed, such content is restricted to personal use only. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited. Personal use is defined as use by an individual student for the purpose of studying or completing course assignments.

For students who have been approved for audio and/or video recording of lectures and other classroom activities as a reasonable accommodation by Oakton’s Access Disabilities Resource Center (ADRC), applicable federal law requires instructors to permit those recordings. Such recordings are also limited to personal use. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited.

Violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action through the Code of Student Conduct.