Introduction to U.S. Government (Self-Paced)

From: $110.00 / month for 3 months

Grades: 9th-12th

Class: No Live Class (asynchronous)

Dates (1st Sem):  Flexible start Aug 19–Oct 14, 2024. Must complete by Dec 31, 2024

Dates (2nd Sem): Flexible start  Jan 6–Mar 10, 2025. Must complete by May 9, 2025

Prepaid:  $299

Instructor:  Nate Gilbert

See Reviews of Instructor Nate Gilbert


Course Description

Course Syllabus

This is an asynchronous, self-paced course. For live instruction of the same course, visit our Government page for more information and to register.

Why should a high school student study US government? First, everyone in The United States will be thrust into the position of voter at the age of 18. Second, the growth of our national government has meant that the federal government reaches into more and more of our everyday decisions. Third, there are a variety of issues emanating from Washington, DC, and the state capitals every day. In order to not be swayed by every passing fad, it is crucial that students understand why our political institutions exist. Lastly, an educated citizenry is necessary to carry on good public discourse and maintain our republic.

The course objective is to introduce students to the principles behind the United States government and political institutions and to enable students to interact with various viewpoints. Students will understand the historical development of our current political situation, analyze the political process, and describe how various political groups function today. The goal is for students to become familiar with public policies, our Constitutional underpinnings, and political behavior in our society. Each student should then be able to appropriately apply their understanding to evaluate how just and appropriate various political actions are. The course will include engaging group discussions in the weekly live session.

Some weekly course concepts include:

  • What is a legitimate government, and how did the Founders envision it?
  • What different types of federalism have been debated and utilized in American government?
  • The three branches of national government (their functions, original design, and current practices)
  • Political parties and their role in American government
  • How does policymaking occur?
  • What is the role of the bureaucracy?
  • The Constitution and the limits it places on government activities
  • How does the media shape perceptions?
  • America’s role in the world (past and present)

Course Structure

Students will have weekly homework assignments. Regular assignments may include watching a video online, reading an article, or completing worksheets. Some examples of assignments include the following: playing a simulation game about the tasks of the president, writing an essay about the life of a founding father, comparing viewpoints about US foreign policy before WWII, evaluating media sources and their coverage of current events, and contrasting the platforms of various political parties. There is an estimated 4 hours of work per week.

Who should enroll?

This course is for students in grades 9-12 and is designed to fulfill the typical requirements of a high school government course.

Technology Requirements

  • Streaming video capabilities to watch recorded lectures

Evaluation and Feedback

Students will receive comments and individualized feedback on their assignments via Canvas. Work will be graded within one week of submission, and student questions will be addressed in a timely manner.


Parents do not need to contact me before registering for this class. I will confirm registration and provide a welcome email to students. All parents should join Canvas as observers, and I will respond to all parental questions.

Required Texts


No textbook purchase is necessary. Information will come from various resources and from free online textbooks, such as Khan Academy and CK12 FlexBooks.


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Instructor Bio

Nate Gilbert

Nate Gilbert graduated from Cedarville University in 2002 with a B.A. degree in secondary social studies education. Since then he has taught and tutored many students, primarily in the subjects of history, government, and economics. Nate has worked in a variety of settings, such as teaching in Beijing, China, and at some local schools. He now focuses on utilizing his passion for social studies to teach online classes that stimulate his students’ critical thinking skills and understanding of society. Contact: ngilbert[at]


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