Zachary C. Gass

Dept:
Arts, Humanities & Social Sci
Title:
Part Time Faculty
Email:
Zachary.Gass@seattlecolleges.edu
Campus:
North Seattle College
Mailstop:
3NC2312

Courses

  • Course Title: American Government
  • Subject: POLS&
  • Catalog #: 202
  • Credits: 5
  • Class Day: TTH
  • Start Time: 09:00 AM
  • End Time: 09:50 AM
  • Building: Library Building (NS0LB)
  • Room: 1106
  • Section: H2
  • Class#: 26645
  • Course Title: Independent Study In Political Science
  • Subject: POLS
  • Catalog #: 298
  • Credits: 3
  • Class Day: ARR
  • Start Time: ARR
  • End Time: ARR
  • Building: To Be Arranged (NSTBA)
  • Room: 0TBA
  • Section: 01
  • Class#: 40530
  • Course Title: Independent Study In Political Science
  • Subject: POLS
  • Catalog #: 298
  • Credits: 3
  • Class Day: ARR
  • Start Time: ARR
  • End Time: ARR
  • Building: To Be Arranged (NSTBA)
  • Room: 0TBA
  • Section: 01L
  • Class#: 45188
  • Course Title: International Relations
  • Subject: POLS&
  • Catalog #: 203
  • Credits: 5
  • Class Day: ARR
  • Start Time: ARR
  • End Time: ARR
  • Building: Online (NSONL)
  • Room:
  • Section: D1
  • Class#: 26646
No classes were found this quarter.
  • Course Title: American Government
  • Subject: POLS&
  • Catalog #: 202
  • Credits: 5
  • Class Day: MW
  • Start Time: 10:00 AM
  • End Time: 12:50 PM
  • Location: ARR
  • Section: CH1
  • Class#: 27217
  • Course Title: The American Presidency
  • Subject: POLS
  • Catalog #: 111
  • Credits: 5
  • Class Day: MW
  • Start Time: 10:00 AM
  • End Time: 12:50 PM
  • Location: ARR
  • Section: CH1
  • Class#: 27222
  • Course Title: Integrated Studies
  • Subject: INTS
  • Catalog #: 100
  • Credits: 10
  • Class Day: MW
  • Start Time: 10:00 AM
  • End Time: 12:50 PM
  • Building: College Center (NS0CC)
  • Room: 2153
  • Section: CH1
  • Class#: 27149

Personal Statement

"Why did you decide to teach college politics?"

At the start of each quarter, I ask my students to ask a "WHY" question -- a question that, provided the proper toolkit, will provide context to the way the world works, broadening both their own understanding and their community's in the process.

And because I forgot to mention the question needed to be somewhat related to politics, a plurality of my students seemed to want to know about me. Luckily, applying the tools of the discipline can shed light on an otherwise short answer (I like it).

Indeed, my approach to teaching, no matter what the course or context, is to train students how to think like a political scientist. Doing so requires reviewing competing theories, collecting evidence, inputting variables, observing patterns, and studying the structures and processes that constrain them. Most importantly, it requires recognizing that political science, like all social sciences, is ultimately people studying people. The best political scientists keep that idea at the forefront of their research.

So if I was the UNIT of ANALYSIS in my own course, students might start by asking about certain VARIABLES that had an impact on my own journey as a college educator. Consider my EDUCATION -- a key variable that political scientists studying voting behavior recognize as having significant causal power in predicting whether or not an individual votes, participates in public life, or is simply interested in politics.

I began my journey into higher education at my own community college. Here, I encountered viewpoints and perspectives that went beyond my own, and all from people that basically lived down the street from me. In any other context, the likelihood that I would engage them in a discussion about politics was likely to be small. But as I remind students in my own classroom, engaging with others in a discursive, empirically- and open-minded manner can transform a community into a society.

Another variable worth looking at is INTEREST. Like education, an individual's interest in politics has much to do with their participation, at least in places that practice democracy. And my interest in politics grows every quarter I teach. The forces that shape political outcomes are always changing; the dialogue I have with my students often reflects this. Reflecting on those forces and connecting them to our own experiences can feel enlightening.