Arceneaux, Craig  

Political Science

3.18/4.00

51 evaluations


POLS 215


Sophomore
A
Required (Support)
Feb 2004
He is a pretty good teacher who definitely knows his stuff but he boring though he tries to keep students engaged. He even tried telling jokes but I just couldn't help falling asleep. There were some progressive projects that I thought were great where you write an opinion essay, exchange it with another student and respond to them, and then make a research essay using everything you have gathered and the response you recieved from another student. You also have to keep up a current events journal to be turned in at the end, and while it is so hard to keep up, I do not suggest leaving it for the end because its a lot harder to find past news! Anyway, it was a good class and I plan to take him again as a teacher and just make sure to enter class caffinated!

POLS 225


Freshman
A
Elective
Apr 2002
Craig Arceneaux is a fairly softspoken guy. He presents material well and projects a very thoughtful and considerate personality. His class is very manageable and he gives you some good essay possiblilites to keep your mind stimulated. He teaches good information without making the class too much of a pain. I only wish he'd give his opinion a little more in class. He tries to be very even handed, but sometimes it is fun to have a professor generate some contraversy in a poli sci class. If you take him I am sure you will get along with him well and enjoy the class


Junior
A
Required (Major)
Apr 2002
The other student who rated Arceneaux must have been on crack! Dr. Arceneaux's work load for a 200 level course was ridiculous. His lectures were as dry as the Mojave and if you asked a question he didn't give you a straight answer. Dr. Arceneaux seems more impressed with his own research. If you check out his four-paged, single-spaced, 10-point font syllabus----talk about anal! He should have kept his nose in books and stayed at a research oriented UC Campus.


Freshman
B
Required (Major)
Apr 2002
Arceneaux was a nice professor who meant well, however his lectures are dry, and hard to sit through. The midterm and final were both difficult, however, he gives you a chance to bring up those grades by giving several (easy) homework assignments, and two or three papers, all of which he grades extremely easily. All you have to do is put a little thought into what you write, and you'll most likely get an A or a B on the paper. I did very poorly on both the midterm, and the final, but I still managed a B+ in the class thanks to his easy grading of the papers and homework assignments.


Freshman
A
Required (Major)
Jul 2002
arceneaux is a well educated man who knows his subject matter well, however in my opinion he is just too soft spoken. if he was better at presenting the class material which i thought was fairly interesting, he would be a much better professor. very easy grader, almost too easy, and to whoever said the amount of material was unbareable should probably drop the fuck out of school. i think arceneaux would be an excellent professor if the class size was about fifteen or less but until he learns to speak up, lose the monotonous voice, and become a louder, dynamic professor he isn't that good.


Sophomore
B
Required (Major)
Nov 2002
Having taken Arceneaux twice at Poly, his style has grown on me. I didn't appreciate how much I learned until after it was all over. He is too smart to be teaching at Poly. He has got to be a genious or something. I'll be taking him for a third time this winter too. Can't go wrong if you aren't afraid to put in the work.


Freshman
A
Elective
Jan 2003
arceneaux is a nice enough guy, he just was not an effective teacher. pols is not even my major, or anywhere near it as a matter of fact, but i was able to ace the class while simultaneously never opening the book or showing up to class. i didnt learn a thing, but if you want an a in this class its most definitely possible. all youve got to do is study the study guides he hands out before the midterm and the final. also, just do your papers and you'll be fine.


Senior
B
Required (Major)
Feb 2003
The midterm and final are cake. The papers are even easier, but they have to be concise for a high grade. He explains the material very well.If you go to class, you do not have to do most of the readings.


Sophomore
A
Required (Major)
Jul 2003
Yes, Arceneaux is boring, but if you give two shits about understanding what's going on the in world and WHY it is happening take this teacher. If you like taking notes better than reading the books, I even further recommed taking him. I read neither of the two books assigned and got an A. He does not expect a lot from you as long as you complete the few assignmets he gives. He doesn't take role nor does he expect participation in class. He is so incredibly smart and can answer almost any question. Overall I really liked him and am glad to have taken one of his classes.


Sophomore
A
Elective
Jan 2005
This is a good class, I learned so much. It is a lot of work and I was intimidated at first, but it was fine. You write a series of related papers about current events and a journal paper thats due at the end of the quarter. His tests are long and take the whole two hour period and consist of a mult choice section and two essays to which he gives you possible prompts beforehand. I really likes this class and prof and recoment it.


Freshman
B
Elective
Dec 2005
I didn't realize how much I'd learned in this class until I started watching the nightly news again and realized how much more relevant the information seemed and how much more familiar I was with the terminology. Professor Arceneaux really knows his stuff, and he brought a lot of interesting topics to the table. Having said that, he is a little soft spoken, and I made a point to sit at the front of the class so that I could hear him better. The class could also have benefited from a little more political debate, but that's partly the fault of the students too. He's a pretty tough grader when it comes to the essays on the midterm and final, and the tests are fairly detail oriented. There is a lot of reading required also, but I found it pretty interesting anyway. I highly recommend this class to anyone wanting more insight into politics at the global level.


Junior
C
Required (Support)
Dec 2005
Arceneaux is a good teacher that knows his material, but he is boring. He doesn't take attendence which is nice, so I hardly went and I still passed. I just wanted to pass because the class was so boring and I did with not much effort. If you really want to learn you can do that too. There's just a few quizes, midterm, final, and a journal which is kind of a waste of time because it's all bs. Overall it was ok, I have had worse.


Senior
A
Elective
Feb 2006
This class is awesome, and this teacher is awesome. Arceneaux knows his stuff, lectures are kind of boring, but if you are actually interested in the material they are totally worthwhile. I took this class even though it didnt fufill any of my GE or elective units, but I'm totally glad I did, because I learned a ton from this class. It's pretty easy to do well in this class provided you aren't retarded and actually put a little bit of time into studying. There are multiple choice quizzes, which can be kind of tricky, but he curves them. Just look at the key words in the back of the book and you'll usually do okay. The midterms are multiple choice + 2 essays. But he gives you 3 essay prompts ahead of time, and basically tells you almost EXACTLY what he's looking for. So as long as you put some research in ahead of time and actually think through, or even write a draft of the essays before hand, you'll do okay. The only kicker is that he has some "current events" journal that you are supposed to keep the entire quarter. But NOBODY keeps up with it, and you will end up having to stay up all night before its due writing 10 pages of crap like I did. Or you could be responsible and actually just write 1 page every week for the 10 weeks, but we both know thats not gonna happen. Synopsis: This course is bomb & so is Arceneaux. Take this class.

POLS 229


Sophomore
B
Required (Major)
Dec 2013
Given that he hasn't taught this class in a number of years, I can understand why it was so rough. The assignments were ridiculously long & asked way too much. An 8 page single spaced paper on vocabulary words and a 4 page single spaced paper on a comparative analysis. The final consisted of 4 separate essays that were required to be 3-4 pages in length. The midterm was multiple choice, t/f, short answer, and 3 essays. A RIDICULOUS AMOUNT OF WORK. On top of that, he lectured and was obviously extremely smart but couldn't convey the material in a manor that was understandable or cohesive to someone in an introductory class. Great, nice guy. Hard, and a ridiculous amount of work... Especially for a 7am class.


Junior
A
Required (Major)
Jun 2015
Arceneaux is a very educated man. And he seems genuinely enthusiastic about comparative politics. I did have a hard time learning some of the material he presented in class. I got an A because I studied for the midterm and final like crazy. The work load was also very high. 3 focus question papers that had to have a 12 questions, each answered in half a page single spaced, a movie assignment, a 15 minute presentation on a current event that included another single spaced, one page paper, and then the midterm and final. I really liked Arceneaux as a person. He's a very nice person who understands student difficulties and will help you out if you ask. As a lecturer, somewhat hard to understand some of the concepts.


Freshman
A
Elective
Jun 2016
I took this class at 7 AM for a Free Elective after being screwed in registration... and I really enjoyed it. You really don't have to go to class to do well on the tests but if you do you can learn so much "real life" stuff. I learned so much that I will use in everyday conversation and general common knowledge. He is funny, will show videos/movies almost every class, and really cares about the material. There are three tests (one of them a non-cumulative final) which are easy and only over the study guide he gives you, two paper (both very do-able and interesting), and a 15 minute presentation with a group that takes 15 minutes to prepare. Take him and you won't be disappointed!


Freshman
A
Required (Major)
May 2017
I took this class at 8am the biggest warning I will give is be careful not to fall asleep. It's not that its a boring subject or anything Prof. Arceneaux just has a super chilled out voice and is very soothing it puts you to sleep. The midterms are not hard, they come straight from the book and he gives you a study guide for every term you need. The essays are fairly essay just read the chapter that pertains to the essay and same goes for the presentation. Read the chapter or portions you have to for the country and you'll be fine. Overall, easy class doesn't require too much work.


Freshman
A
Elective
Jul 2017
I actually really enjoy Arceneaux and this class. It was predominately based on the readings, with a small paper due every week on an article on something relevant going on in the world. The big one is a paper at the end of the quarter, but just make sure to do it in the right format and go in to talk to him during office hours, and you will be more than fine. I didn't really think that lectures were particularly relevant to anything, but they were very interesting in their own right. I honestly really liked the class, it definitely did not take a ton of effort to do well, and it was really informative in its own right.

POLS 285


Junior
A
Required (Support)
Jan 2011
I took Mr. Arceneaux for Model United Nations. His lectures left me a little sleepy and sometimes confused. He is obviously very smart, and as head of the department you probably want to stay on his good side - this isn't hard, the guy is a goober and loves cracking silly jokes and making elementary comments (all of which are still in good taste). Besides having boring and unfocused lectures, he is a great guy and he knows a lot about what he's teaching. I am currently taking him for POLS328 and he's clearly passionate about Latin America, so I'm hoping that might inject some excitement into his lectures. His quizzes are easy, and when the class as a whole screws up he just takes the questions off. He made it out like his final was going to be extremely hard and we all studied our butts off, but I think he actually graded it pretty easily. All in all, he's a nice guy and he grades fairly. If you can stand the occasional boring lecture, you'll learn a lot from this guy.

POLS 308


Sophomore
A
Required (Major)
May 2002
Dr. A is the best Pols prof at poly. His lectures are only dry to those who don't like to learn and only want to skate through class. The lectures are very informative and really gets the attention of the students who want to learn about international politics. He is a very smart guy and will help you out whenever you need it. The best thing about him is his objectiveness. He is not trying to shove that liberalism down everyone's throat and only present his opinion like EVERY other pols prof does at poly. As far as his grading, as long as you take good notes and pay attention in class you are fine.


Senior
C
Elective
Jun 2007
Arceneaux is one of the most boring, driest, teachers I have ever taken. The only time that class was interesting was during our discussion on Latin America. His focus should only remain in Latin America, and nothing more. His lectures were not clear, and his enthusiasm for the topic was terrible. Tons of people never showed up, and most were falling asleep. I'd say buy a few of the books and read them on your own rather than taking it with Arceneaux.


5th Year Senior
B
Required (Major)
Mar 2009
I have taken Arceneaux several times now and his classes are all pretty much the same as far as format. You can expect a midterm and final with heavy emphasis on essays, a fairly long term paper and quizes in some form. Be prepared to take LOTS of notes in his 2-hour long lectures. I actually enjoyed the material from 308 quite a bit as it dealt much less with IR theory and much more about real world issues.

POLS 310


Senior
C
Elective
Jun 2007
This guy is a jerk. He is not interested in helping you, he just wants to seem important. His lectures are VERY boring but he grades pretty easy. And he is kind of hot so it at least you can stare at his ass if you get bored.

POLS 324


Junior
A
Required (Major)
May 2003
I really liked this class. Dr. Arceneaux really knows what he is talking about. I have heard people complain that he is dull, but all you have to do to make the class interesting is engage him in class discussion. If you do your reading, the class is pretty easy and if you don't do your reading Dr. Arceneaux lectures really well so you'll get the idea. Just take detailed notes and don't be afraid to ask questions.


Sophomore
N/A
Required (Major)
Feb 2004
Prof. Arceneaux is awesome. Good communication skills, always happy and smiling. His lectures go real fast with tons of information, but he repeats himself on almost every thing he says, so when taking notes learn what to write down and what to ignore. one midterm, two eight page papers, and a final. not too bad. lots of reading....5 books for one class is the a little rediculous. has study guides for tests, and they arent too bad, but make sure you read...that was my mistake! over all good teacher and would take him again.


Junior
A
Required (Major)
Mar 2004
Arceneaux is awesome, he is by far the best professor I have had here at Poly. Granted he can be a bit dry at times, but you get more out of his classes than you will anybody else. He really knows what he's talking about, and he talks about a lot. I would reccomend him to anyone who has an interest in what is going on in the world.


Senior
A
Required (Major)
Apr 2005
Really nice guy. And I think everyone who has taken him is in agreement that he is extremely smart. His classes are tough but I think he grades a little easy to make up for the amount of work and studying you have to do. Lots of reading and the material is pretty difficult so you really can't slack off or miss class if you want a decent grade. He has a midterm, a final and two papers. Very accessible during office hours.


Senior
B
Elective
Apr 2005
Dr. A is a good teacher. He really loves what he is doing. He gives a lot of readings but it's worth it. His lectures could be a bit more entertaining.... Otherwise he's good.

POLS 325


Senior
A
General Ed
Sep 2006
Dr. Arceneaux is the BEST professor I have taken at Cal Poly. He is polite towards everyone and always makes sure that everyone understands the lecture material and readings. This class was the most interesting class that I have taken because I learned so much about other countries and their perspectives. The two hour class flew by because he presented such interesting material. The work in this course was: writing a 2-3 page comment papers about a question he gives about a film shown in class for the first 4 films; mid-term is 25 multiple choice questions + 2 essays which he gives 3 possible essay questions; final is 50 multiple choice questions; and a there is a 10 page research paper on a global political issue required. I was nervous about the research paper but it was fun and I learned a lot. I highly recommend taking this professor.

POLS 328


Junior
A
Required (Major)
Jul 2004
Arceneaux is a very well educated teacher. He does a great job of teaching the latest information, especially information related to his personal area of studies - Latin America. His lectures are fairly clear and easy to understand. However, he talks rather fast and can be rather dry. Overall, he is a good teacher and is interesting if you get beyond his monotone voice.


Junior
A
Elective
Aug 2004
craig is an extremely intelligent teacher, who is well-versed in the world especially latin america. He knows his subject but unfortunately it's easy to drift off in his class because he often lacks energy. He has some great jokes every once in a while and he has great hair. i'd recommend him as a teacher and this class; very informative. he is a hot babe


Junior
A
Required (Major)
Oct 2004
Arceneaux is the professor that I have been the most impressed here at poly. His lectures can sometimes be a little boring, but his knowledge seems to impress me more than any other professor. His test are pretty hard. I think he might forget that he is so much smarter than his test takers. Either way it was a very informative class and he probably the best and most recognized poly sci teacher at the school. He's also written a few books.


Senior
N/A
Required (Major)
Jan 2005
I rarely ever say this about Cal Poly professors, but this guy is too smart to teach. He seems to think that everyone in the class is as intelligent and as familiar with the subject matter as he is, so he moves very quickly and rarely stops to see if anyone needs clarification. He makes students write a 13-15 page paper; a very big assignment for people who have a lot of other things going on (i.e. other class assignments, senior project). He's a nice guy and, as I said before, incredibly smart, but if you sign up for one of his classes, be prepared for long lectures that are confusing at times, a lot of reading, and a big research paper.


Junior
A
Required (Major)
May 2005
He is an excellent teacher that knows an incredible amount about politics. His classes can be tricky and he usually requires a lot of reading, but I have never had a class in which I learned so much. His is not that boring, he just gives an insane amount of information every lecture, so be prepared to write. He is the most informative and well organized instructor I have had at Poly. Take him, its well worth it.


Junior
B
Required (Support)
Jan 2007
I was very disappointed in this course because it is listed as entailing "The politics of developing countries." The course that Arceneaux taught was definately NOT centric on that topic. It was a complete misnomer. If you are interested in taking an intense Latin American history class, knock yourself out. He has a large amount of personal experiance with that continent, but you will not learn a damn thing about Africa, Asia, or the Middle East. (At least not from him.) There is a TON of reading, but the exams are not very difficult if you do it. Plus, he gives you a list of terms to study. Overall: it is NOT the course you think it is; you'll feel like you exerted a lot of effort and didn't learn much more about the topic you were hoping for.


Senior
A
Required (Major)
Jun 2008
This class wasnt too bad. He is very knowledgable on the subject of latin america and he will overwelm you with information. The hard part was the constant, fast-paced lecturing for 2 hours straight. The class consisted of a midterm and final, which we got study guides for, a 15-page paper, which was tough but I thought he graded pretty easily on, and really easy random pop quizzes. The class keeps you busy, but wasnt bad.


Sophomore
N/A
Required (Support)
Feb 2009
Arceneaux is rather soft spoken, monotone, and you write notes for two straight hours, BUT he is helpful when you actually go to him separately and you do learn a ton of material that is extremely relevant and (I think) fascinating. He grades fairly easily, so if you go to class, you should do well enough in the class. And he is very hot, in a sexy older superman sort of way.


Sophomore
A
Required (Major)
Mar 2010
Arceneaux is a G, I definitely agree that he is probably way too smart to be teaching at Cal Poly, that probably why he got promoted to Dean of the COLA. Anyway if you want to get some inspiration to study abroad in South America, TAKE ONE OF HIS CLASSES! Overall, a great guy and a very approachable , extremely knowledgeable professor as well.


5th Year Senior
B
Required (Major)
Jun 2012
328 is politics of developing areas, but should be called politics of Latin America (because that's all you talk about). That didn't really bother me in the slightest though. The class consists of 2 easy quizzes, a 5-minute presentation on an article you sign up for, a midterm, a final, and a 14+pg research paper. If he has pre-scheduled days he has to miss class, there will be a movie and the quizzes on those days and then you turn in a 1 page movie reaction. The midterm and final are 1/3 multiple choice and 2/3 short essay (1 pg front and back of a large blue-book). The study guides make it pretty clear what you need to know. When studying, bring in a quote or two from the books and put them in your answers on the tests because it helps your grade a lot. The paper is very tedious but not that difficult. The class itself is entirely lecture and gets very slow and boring. The class is not difficult, just boring, but Arceneaux is a nice guy and the class is worth taking if you have a random requirement to fulfill (don't make it your first choice).

POLS 338


Sophomore
B
Elective
Nov 2015
Professor Arceneaux is knowledgable and a very nice guy. His class wasn't very challenging, I put in minimal effort and ended up with a B+, a very doable A. We had a few small quizzes over the quarter (which many failed because no one went to class but he did curve them), about 20 pages answering review questions from his textbook, a longer paper and final. When we first got the syllabus with all the assignments it looked like a good amount of work but was not much in reality. He is also a decently easy grader on essays. His biggest downfall is being quite boring during lectures. He knows so much it feels like he wants to give his students a bunch of information throughout the quarter but it comes across as unorganized and bored me to death at times. I wouldn't avoid this professor and you may enjoy his style, but also prepare yourself and drink A LOT of coffee before class.

POLS 339


Senior
A
Required (Major)
Aug 2006
Dr. Arceneaux presents the material in a linear fashion. By this I mean outlines and daily subjects written on the board before classes. This also implies his class is very structered. He is challenging and requires several papers. However, he returns emails almost seven days a week. In sum, if you study and follow college level guidelines, an A is within your reach. Not to mention I learned more in this class than most other poli sci courses. I take this professor any chance I get.


Junior
A
Required (Major)
Mar 2008
This class was amazing. Arceneaux presents the material clearly, but he presents A LOT OF INFORMATION really quickly. Although you learn a lot during just one class, you really don't know what will show up tests...so you are compelled to take notes on everything. Even still though, at the end he gives you a study guide which outlines almost everything that will show up on the midterm/final. Overall, not to bad of a class at all, will defitely be worth taking again!


Senior
A
Elective
Dec 2008
Pretty typical "Arceneaux" style course. two hour long lectures, midterm, final, and term paper, only he has a few other assignments thrown in as well for this class. My only complaint would be that the class seemed to be taught more for the political science major and while it was pretty easy, I could see how the non POLS majors could have a tough time with the material.


Junior
B
Elective
Mar 2014
Dr. Arceneaux is an incredibly smart man. I learned a lot in this class. Basically, the class learned how to be an effective dictator. The class consisted of 3 quizzes (10% each), a regime assessment paper (17%), a country engineering paper (12%), a small group project (6%), and a final worth 35% of your grade. The lectures were a bit boring since they were most slides and movie clips. However, Dr. Arceneaux seemed pretty enthusiastic with the material, so that helped. He does not take attendance for the class, so it is easy just to not go.. BUT GO! It will help you tremendously on the tests. There isn't a midterm, and the final was challenging. However, he is a fair grader and gives you study guides for the quizzes and final. There was a lot of nightly reading, but the reading was very helpful when trying to understand the concepts. Definitely take this class. It is a challenge (especially for also being a GE), but you learn a lot.

POLS 381


Junior
N/A
Required (Major)
Apr 2008
im not quite finished with the class yet, but i will definately never take a class from this guy again! He is dry and boring, but presents material very clearly, outlined before class and everything, but dont ask questions he hates being asked questions! Pop quizzes suck, there at least 8, only two questions long, so if you miss one you fail! theres a 12-14 page paper with at least 10 outside sources that is worth the majority of your grade, which totally bites! All i can say, is this guy makes a two hour class feel like ten years in a state prison.


5th Year Senior
N/A
Required (Support)
May 2008
i'm not done with the class yet but thank god this is the first and last time i will ever have to take this guy. lectures are dry and boring and these pop quizzes that he gives are absolutely pointless. arceneaux is awkward and doesn't seem to have an interest in wanting to know his students at all - he's a very nice guy, dont get me wrong - but as far as teaching goes, not my style. the midterm blows, the term paper is a pain in the ass (i've been working on it) and i'm not looking forward to the final either. if you enjoy taking insane notes for 2 hours straight then this guy is for you, if not, then take another teacher!


5th Year Senior
N/A
Elective
Feb 2009
Not done with the class yet, but I like Arceneaux. I think he does better in lecture when he kind of wings it, and isn't so involved with his notes...those were the lectures I find it easier to follow along with anyway. Also the more current the topics the more interesting class is too. And I've never said this about a class before, but he picks good books to read. Yeah, there's a lot of it, but if you're a POLS major, you'll enjoy it. They aren't these dry, super academic texts that I'll crack open once for the final. He has a pretty dry sense of humor that is kind of entertaining. And he's totally hot, so that helps too.


Sophomore
A
Required (Major)
Mar 2009
A very straightforward, easy going teacher. The tests are fair, and mostly taken from the lectures with some from the texts. The books are not dull, and even though his lectures can be dry at times, they pick up when he connects the theory to current events. No surprises or extremely difficult assignments. Highly recommend.


Junior
B
Required (Major)
Mar 2009
take copious amounts of notes in class! This is the main piece of advice I can give anyone aspiring to take arceneaux. He is a pretty chill professor, and obviously very smart. Just make sure to take plenty of notes and study those before the tests!

POLS 482


Senior
Credit
Required (Major)
May 2010
Dr. Arceneaux is the most intellectually sound, intelligent professor that I have had in my four years here at Poly, hands down. Take his classes if you have any interest in Latin America at all, I took his politics of developing countries: South America class and it inspired me to spend 5 months in Argentina last year. All in all, his classes are tough but if you want a challenge as a POLS major (and you should slacker!), take any of his classes, I promise you wont be let down! He is an easy guy to talk to as well and very receptive to his students. I\'m going to grad school for Latin American Studies after I spend 5 months in Brazil starting in January. Take Arceneaux you will not be let down!

STAT 984


Graduate Student
C
Required (Major)
Nov 2016
I learned that if I were to take up hunting, I should shoot deer, not bears, because a bear will hunt me back if I successfully wound it. Fascinating! I didnt know that the key to production and operations management was so brutally simple!