Introduction to Business BUS 245 Fall 2020

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Welcome to BUS 245 Fall 2020 
Introduction to Business – Distance Education

Dear Student:

Welcome to Distance Education at Cuesta College and the online version of Introduction to Business. My name is Neil Higgins and I will be your instructor for this course. This letter is to inform you of some of the important details prior to the start of our Fall 2020 class.

Instructor Contact Information

Instructor:           Neil Higgins
Phone:                805.776.3008 (mobile)

Course Overview

Welcome to BUS 245 Introduction to Business, a Distance Education course.  In this course you will be exposed to key business disciplines including Economics, Finance, Accounting, Marketing, Human Resources, International Business and Ethics.  You will become familiar with concepts and current thinking in each area, and will have the opportunity to analyze and apply these ideas to the business world. This is a course where you will bring your own work experience to our virtual classroom to create a robust learning environment.  Expect your business acumen to grow through group discussions, and thought-provoking case study analysis.

Please be prepared to spend approximately 15-20 hours per week on coursework for this class. Are you wondering how successful you may be at a distance education course? Take the Self-Assessment Survey at to an external site..

This course is taught using Canvas and Connect.  These are Web-based tools used to facilitate teaching an online class. These platforms provide the framework for the BUS 245 class including PowerPoint presentations, student data files, the tools to receive and send course materials, and a grade book. Using Canvas, you can communicate with other students, and you can share materials and ideas with me the instructor and other course participants via the discussion forum.

We will be covering 1-2 chapters each week, you will be required to post your discussion responses by Thursday night at 11:59 PM and then respond to two other student's posts by Sunday night at 11:59 PM.  In addition there will be chapter readings along with reading comprehension questions due on Wednesday nights at 11:59 PM.  Chapter questions/assignments and quizzes along with your discussion replies to classmates are due each week on Sunday night at 11:59 PM.


Student Learning Outcomes

  • Understand and apply the various styles of leadership
  • Identify the major components of an Income Statement and Balance Sheet for the purpose of evaluating the financial performance of a business
  • Describe and analyze the elements of the marketing mix
  • Recognize, evaluate, and propose solutions to problems in personnel, ethics, and communication

Class Requirements

This class is entirely online with no in-person class sessions.

Textbook: Understanding Business 12th edition with Connect Access
Connect is the textbook’s online learning platform that will contain all of the course textbook reading, homework and exams.

Authors: Nickels

Publisher: McGraw-Hill

Course materials will be delivered digitally via Canvas through the Cuesta Inclusive Access program.  Students will access the course materials through the Canvas website on the first day of class to make sure there are no issues in the delivery.   Students will automatically have access to the course materials on Day One.  After the Cuesta add drop date, the student's bursar account will be billed at a discounted rate for the required course materials representing significant savings for students.   Click here or see the attached file at the end of this page for detailed instructions on how to gain access to the textbook on day one of class.

It is essential that you understand the basic concepts of email, web navigation and online communication to succeed in this course. Please visit Cuesta College’s Distance Education website at to an external site. for FAQs, online resources, and information on “how to survive an online course.”

First Assignment & Syllabus

I will be sending the class a welcome email in Canvas around the start of classes, August 17th (October 17th for the 2nd 9-week course) with details about your first assignment and the syllabus.

Computer Requirements

The browser requirements and minimum qualifications required for this class are detailed in the following link: to an external site.

Canvas Support and Connect Support

McGraw Hill Connect & Technical Support 800-331-5094

Canvas Support:

College Policies / Assistance

Each student is required to follow all school guidelines and comply with all school deadlines including personal responsibility for adding and/or dropping this class.  Drop dates are available on the academic calendar: to an external site.

Academic Honesty: 
Students are responsible for being aware of and complying with the Academic Honesty Policy (refer to Cuesta College Schedule or Cuesta College Catalog). At the discretion of the instructor, students being academically dishonest (submitting another student’s work as your own, e.g. copying a computer file that contains another student’s work) will be dropped from the course. If the drop deadline has passed, students will receive a failing grade in the course. In addition, a “Student Incident Report” will be filed with the Vice President of Academic Affairs office.

Students With Disabilities:
If you have a disability and need accommodations in this class, please contact Disabled Student Program & Services at (805) 546-3148 or (805) 591-6215 NCC as soon as possible to ensure that you receive the accommodations in a timely manner. Here is a link to their services: to an external site. 

You may also discuss your need for accommodations with me directly.

If you are a Veteran, please contact Karen Andrews, Cuesta College VA Certifying Official - 546-3142. The Veteran Center is in Room 6903. Here is a link to the Veteran Services: to an external site.

Counseling Center:

IF you need to talk to a college counselor you can use this link: to an external site.

College life can compound other issues in one’s life. If you are feeling overwhelmed and feel you need help to maintain your personal balance – please contact our counseling center at 546-3138 or click here: to an external site.

Library Services:

Here is a link to the Library and their services: to an external site.

Circulation/Reserves: (805) 546-3155 
Reference Desk - SLO: (805) 546-3157 NC: (805) 591-6200 Ext. 4410.

Student Services & Tutoring:
Promoting the academic skills, learning strategies and attitudes necessary for student success in all disciplines for ALL students are available online at this URL. to an external site.

If you have any further questions prior to the first day of class, please feel free to email me at Otherwise, I look forward to getting to know you during the course of the semester.

Thank you,
Neil Higgins

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