Political Science 150

California Government


Before deciding whether you would prefer to take POSC 150: California Government in the traditional face-to-face mode or online please compare your assumptions, skills and needs with the information that follows.  Professor Balma can be reached at


According to college guidelines, a student should expect to spend at least two hours studying outside of class for every hour in class for a three unit class.  For a 17.5 week course a student is expected to spend 6 hours studying in addition to 3 hours in class.  Students should expect to spend at least 9 hours per week on this course. 


This is an online course.  Contrary to what many anticipate, this does not make it easier.  This course is designed for self-motivated students who wish to proceed through the subject matter at their own pace.  Keep in mind that independent study is not the best option for every student.  The lack of scheduled class meetings means you are responsible for your own schedule and keeping on task.  To succeed in this course, you must be independent, motivated and well organized, willing to learn in isolation, and your reading, studying, and analytical skills should be strong.  Please give careful consideration to whether this is a format that will work for you.  Marginal students just taking this class to avoid attending class or because they think it will be easy are strongly encouraged to drop now and enroll in a traditional version of this class. 


There is only one in-person meeting for this class - an optional orientation on the first night of class. If you cannot attend the orientation, you should listen to the .mp3 audio file available on the course website. The date, time and place for the orientation session will be listed at the FC Distance Learning website and it is also printed in the regular class schedule.


You'll listen to lectures for each topic via .mp3 files (you must have sound capability for this class), view powerpoint slides that enhance (but not replace) your understanding of the lectures, read and understand the assigned chapters in the textbook, participate in class discussions on the discussion boards, submit a written paper, and take multiple-choice exams in this class.

This course is an introduction to the study of California state and local politics, exploring the political culture, processes, behavior, institutions, public policy, and distribution of power in California.  Topics include the political culture of the state, the process of change, policy agendas, budgeting, and the current status of states within the federal system.


This means that the class is full.  Please e-mail me at and ask to be added to the waiting list.  

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