American Government –Online Program

Offered by: StraighterLine

College credits: 3

Course length: 8 Weeks



American Government - "We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union…" These are the first words of the United States Constitution, the country’s most important government document. What did the framers of this document envision as a "more perfect union?" In this course, you will explore the result of their vision—the American government. You will discover how the founders created a democracy based upon the ideals of liberty, equality, and self-government. You will explore how the government is structured and how it operates, and you will examine the three branches of government—legislative, executive, and judicial—that make up the system of checks and balances. You will find that although the Constitution in principle grants certain rights and liberties to the people, many groups have not been allowed those rights in practice and have had to fight for them. But as you will discover, the very nature of the United States government means that the people have a voice, and that the Constitution is a living document, because it can be adapted and amended to change with the times.

  • Describe the ideals that the United States was founded upon, and discuss their lasting influence on the nation's politics.
  • Distinguish between civil rights and civil liberties, and explain how these rights and liberties are achieved through politics.
  • Explain how citizens participate in public affairs during elections and through intermediaries such as political parties, interest groups, and the media.
  • Discuss the ways Americans think politically, and describe the effect their opinions have on government.
  • Describe the division of political power among the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government.
  • Debate the proper relationship between the people and the government.
  • Explain how the policies of the United States reflect the nature of its political system and its people, and why they tend to be piecemeal and reactive.
  • Compare and contrast the structures of the federal, state, and local governments.

Cost and Schedule

Guild provides reduced cost education for working adults. We’ll help you have an affordable path to move your education forward.


Frequently Asked Questions

What is StraighterLine?
StraighterLine is an educational provider that offers online higher education courses that are equivalent to general courses required for bachelor’s degrees. Their courses have been evaluated by American Council on Education’s College Credit Recommendation Service (ACE CREDIT) and have been recommended for college credit. They have partnerships with a number of accredited colleges and universities.

What is the application process like?
Your advisor will be in contact throughout the process to help you complete the application, as well as answer any questions you may have. In the meantime, here is a general outline of what to expect:
  1. Apply to this offering.
  2. Complete the SmarterMeasure assessment related to your online learning style.
  3. In certain cases, you will need to submit your unofficial transcripts to Guild.

What does a self-paced course mean?
You can take a course 100% online at your own speed, in the comfort of your own home. You can take the course exam whenever you are ready. If you dedicate 17 to 20 hours per week to a course, this should allow you to finish a course within a single month. 

Tell me more about Guild Education.
Guild Education partners with employers to offer a variety of online classes, programs, and degrees from top-ranked universities that you can complete while working.

You will get support from a Guild advisor, who will help you find the right program, navigate the financial aid process, and provide you with personal college and career advising to help you navigate the college process from day one to graduation.

To give employees a variety of options, Guild partners with a consortium of universities and learning providers, including Brandman University, Western Governors University, Bellevue University, and StraighterLine, in addition to offering custom content. 

Benefits of partnering with Guild include:
  • A path to finish your degree or take graduate courses, at little to no cost
  • A personal college and career adviser to help you navigate programs and offerings
  • Online classes that allow you to work at your own pace
  • Relevant classes and programs designed to help you advance in your career
  • Credit recognition for past college credits and corporate credits towards your degrees

What are Guild's guiding principles?
  • Students first: We're here to help you, and you come first in our world. In exchange, we expect you give your all and to support your fellow classmates.
  • We learn best by doing: Experimentation, learning by doing, feedback and reflection lay at the core of every learning experience with Guild.
  • Feedback makes us better, in fact, it’s a gift: Practice only makes perfect when we get feedback on how to improve.
  • Reflection is a need-to-have, not a nice-to-have: Reflection allows us to digest the learnings and feedback we’ve received.
  • Community matters: We’re all in this together and we expect all Guild members to appreciate the role we play in each other’s learning experience.