Overview Objective Materials grading Exam ELI Policies and Procedures Contacting the Instructor Beginning the Course
HIS 268: The American Constitution - 3 Credits
Professor: Dino DelGallo


This single document, with modifications (or amendments), has been the envy of nations around the world. The Constitution holds a unique place in U.S. and world history for its rights and privileges granted by our Founding Fathers.

However, its creation was not an easy process. Debates, disagreements, and heated arguments ensued in the same location the Declaration of Independence was signed 11 years earlier. Washington, Madison, and others saw the need to create an extended republic, in which a variety of opinions, passions, and interests would check and balance each other, supported by a governmental framework that endorsed a separation of powers between the branches of the general government. How this was accomplished is only one part of this course.




If you successfully complete this course, you will be able to:

  1. Discuss the origins of Colonial law and its impact on the Constitution.
  2. Discern the effects of the Constitution on slavery, the Civil War, civil rights decisions after Reconstruction, the Progressive era, presidential powers, religious liberty, and privacy rights.
  3. Explain how fundamental principles of governance affect people in their lives.
  4. Identify people, events, and terms in their historic context.




Your course grade will be determined by the assignments, 2 exams and project, according to the following points:

Weekly Assignments
50 points each
Miracle at Philadelphia
Midterm Exam
Final Exam
BB Discussions
5 bonus points each
Optional Assignments
25 points each
Special Project
50-100 points

Grading Scale



There are 2 exams in this course. You are expected to take your examinations at one of the NVCC campus Testing Centers. Be sure to allow enough time to complete your exam before the Testing Center closes; Testing Centers have specific policies relating to the administration of ELI exams. You will need to take a photo ID, your NovaConnect empl ID number, and the appropriate Exam Pass when you go to the Testing Center.  

For Testing Center locations, hours of operation and policies, click here.

For information on taking exams outside of the metropolitan area, click here.


ELI Policies and Procedures

This is an Extended Learning Institute (ELI) course. ELI courses differ from campus courses in several important ways, including enrollment dates, communication with faculty, assignment completion requirements, and exams. You must follow ELI's policies and procedures if you take this course. Read (or review) ELI's Policies and Procedures before you begin the course. If you have questions, call ELI at (703) 323-3347 or (888) 435-6822.

Contacting the Instructor


I am here to help you succeed in this course. Occasionally questions or problems may arise. Here is how to contact me when they do:

E-mail :ddelgallo@nvcc.edu
Telephone :
(703) 450-2506 x37220 (Work Phone)

Voice Mail: 703.450.2506, # 37220 (Office Location)
Division phone: 703.450.2505
Campus fax: 703.404.7368
ELI fax: 703.323.3392

You may also call me to schedule a meeting in person.


Beginning the Course


1. Use your web browser to connect to http://www.nvcc.edu/bbstart. Follow the directions to determine your email, Blackboard and VIVA account user names and passwords.
2. Access your email account and make sure you know how to use it; you will be required to use this account for all course-related email.
3. Log on to Blackboard at http:/learn.vccs.edu.
4. Click on this course under "My Courses." Review the entire course to make sure you understand what will be required of you. Then start completing the assignments.

Please note that account generation takes approximately one week from the time of your paid registration. If you cannot log on after one week, contact the IT Help Desk. If you can log on to Blackboard, but your course isn't listed, please contact ELI or your instructor.