Capstone Course In Politics

POL 499 EW

Spring, 2009

Initial Mandatory Meeting:

Tuesday (1/13), Aspen Room, Carroll Hall, 3:10-4:25

Professor:   Jim L. Riley, Ph.D.

Office Hours
 Monday & Wednesday:   11:00- - 2:00
Tuesday &Thursday:  1:00 -4:00
Friday:  By Appointment  
 Office Phone: 303/458-4974

web page --

The first sentence in the Regis Mission Statement reads:   "Regis University educates men and women of all ages to take leadership roles and to make a positive impact in a changing society."  Understanding the nature of politics in its broadest sense is crucial to this goal.  This course seeks to expand the political knowledge of students such that each of them is better able to become capable and responsible leaders in our society that is so deeply penetrated by things political.

Text:  None

1.    COURSE DESCRIPTION:  This upper division seminar provides majors in Politics the opportunity to work closely with the professor in an examination of selected topics.  This work will culminate in the production of a major research paper equivalent to a senior thesis.  Utilization of professional literature, both printed and electronic, will be required during the research process.

2.   COURSE THEME:  Everyone in this class will complete a major research project  focusing on the topic of political leadership.   Under this unifying theme students will select a primary perspective from which to explore the subject.  The various approaches selected will ultimately enable everyone in the class to better understand various dimensions, implications and perspectives on the subject under consideration.  Approaches may include but are not limited to:  theoretical; psychological; constitutional/legal; historical; international; national; local; institutional, bureaucratic.

3.    PROCEDURE:  Each student will work closely with Dr. Riley in the completion of this project.  Students are strongly encouraged to communicate and collaborate with one another during the semester in an effort to share information regarding progress, problems, valuable sources of information, ideas and any other matters pertaining to their efforts that are deemed appropriate.   However, each student must complete his/her own individual research project.

4.    WRITING CENTER:  The Regis Writing Center is a free resource for all Regis College undergraduates. At the Writing Center, a trained undergraduate writing consultant will work individually with you on anything you're writing (in or out of class), at any point in your writing process, from brainstorming to organizing to polishing. You will get immediate and personal feedback about your writing as well as answers to your questions. Appointments are recommended. Drop by the Writing Center in Loyola 1 or call (303) 458-4039.

5.    RESERVE MATERIAL:  On reserve in the Dayton Memorial Library is various material that may be of help to you in your research and writing. 

6.    CONCEPTS & LEADERSHIP:  Leadership is a relationship process in which followers are influenced by someone acting in a leadership role, so that the followers genuinely want to accomplish a shared goal, vision, or mission. Leadership is not synonymous with management; it has more of an emotive quality and is less quantitative. Leadership occurs in families, communities, civic clubs, organizations, states, and nations. Leadership is a function of the persons involved, situation, leader practices, and follower behaviors. Leading involves achieving change through shaping vision, values, and culture; and establishing trust.

Possible Areas of Exploration (these are intended to be suggestive only - definitely not inclusive)



  1. Regular meetings times will be arranged with me. 
  2. Benchmarks and dates for completion of the project  will be determined after a few initial meetings.
  3. Each student must prepare a prospectus of the project.  It will include tentative title, table of contents, at least 5 anticipated sources to be used, and a brief narrative description of the topic, major questions to be researched, and basic assertions to be considered.  It should be no more than two pages in length.  This is due at our first one-on-one meeting in February.
  4. The final paper will include title page, table of contents, pagination, footnotes or end notes, headings within the body of the paper corresponding with the table of contents and bibliography with no less than ten sources indicated.
  5. Technical errors, such as typographical mistakes, misspellings, sloppy erasures, sentence fragments , incorrect or missing footnotes, incorrect or missing bibliography, incorrect or missing table of contents, etc, will result in significant grade penalties.   The final paper should be no less than 20 pages of content (exclusive of title page, table of contents, and end notes. 
  6. The final paper will be polished, thoughtful, and thoroughly researched. 
  7. Papers should utilize a professional form acceptable to both you and me.
  8. All students will gather at the end of the semester to present the results of their research to the group.  Attendance at these final meetings is required of all students.
  9. Grade reduction may result from a failure to meet any of the deadlines set forth herein.
  10. If you have questions about procedure or content, feel free to bring them up with me at any time.


      For those papers which are deemed to be of the  highest quality, I will, with the permission of the writer, publish the paper on my web site and other locations deemed appropriate.  This may serve as significant recognition for the writer.     

10.  ACADEMIC INTEGRITY:  It is expected that students will act honorably in all activities related to this course and will refrain from any form of academic and professional dishonesty or deception in the classroom, clinical, and other learning settings. These behaviors include cheating, plagiarism, falsification of data, falsification of records, and aiding and/or abetting dishonesty.

11.    ACCOMMOCATION OF DISABILITIESFor information regarding Regis disability services policies, visit the web site of the Office of Disability Services.