Welcome Letter 34383

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English 101 / 34383

Instructor: Dr. Sarah Miller

Welcome to English 101—I’m Dr. Sarah Miller, and I’ll be your instructor for this online course. Please read through this Welcome Letter carefully as it provides details about this course and its technological requirements. If you should choose to enroll, you will be sent more instructions before the course starts on January 17, 2023.

Even though we won’t meet in person, we will all get to know each other through our writing and other activities. I know that writing can be a daunting for most of us, but this class is designed to break writing tasks into manageable pieces and develop skills that can be applied to a number of writing situations.

Please Note

This course is a co-requisite with English 201A. You must be enrolled in the paired English 201A course in order to take this support course.

Contact Information

Email Address: sarah_miller4@cuesta.edu

Office Hours:

I will give you a number of options to reach me for office hours during the semester. More information will be provided closer to the start of the semester.

Instructor Contact Expectations: 

The best and fastest way to contact me is email.  I will generally respond to your emails within 24 hours during weekdays only.  During busy times of the semester, the response time may increase to 48 hours.  On weekends, I try not check email. If I receive an email after 5 on Friday, I probably will not respond until the following Monday. If you do not hear from me in 48 hours, please email me again to put yourself at the top of my inbox.

Course Environment

While we won’t be meeting in person this semester, we’ll be together online where we’ll exchange ideas, discuss reading, write drafts of essays, and receive feedback.

This online course will be using a Web-based Learning Management System Canvas as the method to disseminate information. Canvas provides the framework for the course including lecture material, student data files, the tools to receive and send course materials, and a grade book. Using the communication tools, you can communicate using e-mail, and you can share materials and ideas with other course participants via the discussion forums and groups.

Accessing the Course

You will see your course in Canvas on the first day of class. You can access Canvas by clicking on Canvas from the top bar of the Cuesta homepage (www.cuesta.edu), or by typing the Canvas address (https://cuesta.instructure.com/) into your browser address bar.

If you are not familiar with logging into canvas, please refer to the Canvas Quick Reference Guide. Once logged into Canvas you will be directed on where to get started. Be sure to read all the direction on the course home page.  

If you are having difficulty logging into Canvas after [Enter Date] and need assistance please email me or technical support at this email address support@my.cuesta.edu.   

Online Learning

If you have never taken an online class or this is your first experience with Canvas, please be patient with yourself. Online classes are not inherently easier, although they may be much more convenient for many students. You should expect to spend at least as much time, if not more on this course as you would on a course that meets face to face. Since there is no lecture component, much of this time will be self-directed and there will be a substantial amount of reading, viewing, studying, and writing required. This course is completely online using Canvas; all coursework (discussions, assignments, quizzes) is submitted online. There are no face-to-face meetings.  Please be prepared to spend 8 - 12 hours per week on coursework for this class


Go to the Cuesta College Canvas Tutorial (self-paced),  there are many resources that were designed to help you understand the basis for an online class and the skills necessary for success. (If the tutorials do NOT describe you, then taking this class online is NOT for you and I strongly suggest that you drop the online class and enroll in a traditional classroom section.)

Regular Effective Contact Policy

Regular and Effective Instructor Contact will be met through weekly instructor initiated threaded discussion forums; weekly announcements to students; timely and effective feedback on student assignments; email, phone or messaging to individuals; and virtual office hours.

In order to be successful in this course, you must be committed to working through assignments and turning them in on time. Each week you should log-in to Canvas consistently, and please know, that Canvas allows me to see your log-ins. If I notice you have not logged in to Canvas in more than two weeks, I will drop you from the course unless you communicate with me about missing “class.”

Course Description

NOTE: This course is a co-req with English 201A

Supports and develops the skills necessary to be successful in English 201A. Students will enhance their reading and writing skills through the practice of active reading, critical thinking, drafting, revising, and editing argumentative essays. Corequisites: ENGL 201A.

Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Develop college-level essays as a process that involves pre-writing, drafting, and revising.
  2. Write essays that have a clear thesis, supporting claims, and explanations of evidence that demonstrate critical thinking.
  3. Critically engage a variety of texts through evaluation, analysis, and synthesis of information.
  4. Demonstrate sentence-level fluency.


Text Book and Materials

  • You will need a weekly, reliable internet connection where you can access Canvas. All supplemental readings and materials, available online for free, will be available in Canvas.
  • This is a writing intensive course, and therefore, it cannot be completed successfully from a smart phone. Please make sure you have access to a device with a keyboard.
  • Final drafts must be submitted in Microsoft Word: Microsoft Office for Free (including Word and PowerPoint
  • Supplemental Materials:


Technical Support

Cuesta students are encouraged to direct all technical support inquiries to  support@my.cuesta.edu. If you are having issues with Canvas, you should contact the Canvas Support Hotline at (877) 921-7680, or click on the help button on the Canvas Navigation to report a problem.

If you are having difficulty viewing the course or logging in, it may be because you are not using the correct url: https://cuesta.instructure.com/ or you are using your phone or using an unsupported browser.


Your learning environment is best accessed from a desktop or laptop computer, using Firefox or Chrome.  This may solve your problem!  Please review the browser requirements and minimum computer specifications.


This course is designed using an accessible Learning Management System, and course materials have been created with ADA compliance in mind. If you have a disability and might need accommodations in this class such as extended time on exams or other resources. Please contact the instructor as soon as possible so that you can receive appropriate accommodations in a timely manner. You should also contact DSPS (Disabled Student Programs & Services) at 805-546-3148

College & Course Policies

Academic Honesty Policy: In addition to my course policy, which will be detailed on the course syllabus once the course begins, please note all students attending San Luis Obispo County Community College District at any district site and when representing Cuesta College in any off-campus activity, assume an obligation to conduct themselves in an acceptable manner compatible with the Student Code of conduct. Please review the Cuesta College Student Code of conduct.

Add / Drop Policy: Students who do not log in to Canvas for more than 2 weeks will be dropped from the course unless the instructor is contacted by the student before or during this period. It is the student’s responsibility to communicate with the instructor regarding consistent course engagement. It is also the student’s responsibility to drop the course before the drop deadline. In addition to my policy, please review the Cuesta policy for drops


Waitlist Policy: Please review Cuesta’s waitlist procedure and instructions.

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