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Introduction to Criminology

SOC 204 CRN 32347 Online

Spring 2023

Frank Ha, PhD

Required Hardware

A webcam is required for this course. See the section on Honorlock for more details.

Welcome and start date

Welcome! My name is Frank Ha and this is the fully online version of the Introduction to Criminology (Sociology 204) course that I teach. I am very excited that you chose to learn about criminology. This course is completely online using Canvas; all coursework (discussions, assignments, quizzes) is submitted online. There are no face-to-face meetings.

If you have never taken an online course or used Canvas, you will need a few hours to get familiar with the structure. If you have never taken an online class or this is your first experience with Canvas, please be patient with yourself. You will need a few hours to get familiar with the structure. 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 face-to-face lecture component, much of this time will be self-directed and there will be a substantial amount of reading, viewing, studying, and writing required. Again, if you put in the time, you can succeed, and I am here to help you!

You will be able to log on to Canvas (our learning management system that we will be using) on the first day of class, Tuesday, January 17.

About me

I have been teaching sociology full-time since 2001, when I first started here at Cuesta. As this is a criminology course, I work hard to create an environment where students feel safe enough to share their honest thoughts, but this requires that everyone is committed to being polite and respectful. Polite, respectful honesty is the standard I try to uphold in this class.

My wife and I live in Arroyo Grande. We have two kids who graduated from Arroyo Grande High School and are now away at college. In my spare time I love to hike and go to the beach.  

Waitlist procedure

If you are on the waitlist, please read the college waitlist procedure. If you are number 10 or lower (1 through 10) on the waitlist on the first day of class, you will be sent an add code in the morning. YOU MUST ADD THE CLASS BEFORE THE END OF THE DAY. 

Logging on to Canvas

This online course will be using Canvas where you will access lecture notes, discussion forums, quizzes, assignments, and gradebook.

Prior to the first day of class, you will receive an email to your my.Cuesta.edu address providing you with a reminder that class will be starting and log in procedures for Canvas. You can access Canvas by logging into MyCuesta, then clicking on the Resources Tab, then clicking on Canvas in the Online Learning Channel, or by going to the Cuesta Canvas page. Do not bookmark/favorite the Canvas site after you log in or you will get an error message next time you try to log in. You must access the Canvas login directly.

Once logged into Canvas you will be directed on where to get started. Be sure to read all the directions on the course home page.

Here is a Canvas Quick Reference (PDF file) guide with instructions on logging in.

Is an online class for you?

First, go to the Online Readiness Resources page to take a "self-assessment.” 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 describe you, you CAN succeed in this class! 

Contact information

  • I very much enjoy helping students learn about criminology and succeed in this course. Please contact me early if you are struggling.
  • Canvas Inbox is the best way to contact me. The Canvas Inbox page can be reached by clicking on the mailbox icon to the far left. I will generally respond within 24 hours on weekdays. Expect longer response times on weekends, holidays, and during the summer session.
  • Email: fha@cuesta.edu. If you contact me via email, let me know what class you are in including CRN.
  • Office phone: 805-592-9679
  • Office: SLO Campus Building 6200, Room 6213
  • Spring 2023 SLO Campus student hours: MW 10 to 11 am 
  • Spring 2023 Zoom student hours: I will hold student hours via Zoom MW 10 to 11 am and M 2 to 3 pm. However, I am available most any time. Make an appointment here or contact me to make an appointment. On the day and time of the appointment, you can join me on Zoom.

Problems logging on?:

If you are having problems logging on, go to Cuesta Technical Support for information on how to get help. You can also try calling the Help Desk in the Computer Lab, room 3400. Their phone number is 546-3100 ext: 2802. If no one is there, send an email to support@my.cuesta.edu.

Required textbook

Criminology (2023) 8th Edition. Larry J. Siegel. Cengage.

First Day Program

This course is participating in the First Day program. That means you will have immediate access to the ebook assigned in our course starting the first day of class through the Canvas course. To open the textbook, go to our Canvas course and click on Course Materials (First Day Access) on the left side. You will see the textbook and the price ($36.79).

You have until the Census date to decide if you would like to opt out of the program. To opt out, go to our Canvas course and click on Course Materials (First Day Access) on the left side. You will see the textbook and you can opt out from there if desired. If you opt out, you will need to purchase the course materials in another way.

If you do not opt out, you will be charged the reduced rate listed for the course materials to your campus student account. This charge comes after the Census date and will be listed as a course materials fee. If you have financial aid or textbook vouchers, you may be able to apply them to this fee. Check with the campus bookstore for more information.

First Day access is often the most affordable option for your course materials, but you can decide what will work best for you.

If you have a print book you purchased elsewhere, you may opt out of First Day access. You do not need the ebook if you have a print version. 


This course will use Honorlock, a remote proctoring solution designed to protect the integrity of this course’s assessments. This proctoring service requires a webcam. Honorlock is for your convenience. You can also be proctored by me via Zoom or you can go to the SLO campus proctoring center and be proctored by someone there. Please contact me so that we can make the arrangements if you choose not to use Honorlock. Also, if you are a DSPS student, and would like to take the quizzes at DSPS, contact me to make arrangements. If you need help, look at the FAQ page.

Course description and objectives

Introduces the basic principles of criminology including the various theories of criminal
behavior and the processing of delinquency and crime including arrest, trial, detention and
release from prison. Advisory: SOC 201A. Transfer: CSU; UC. (Formerly SOC 4)

Student learning outcomes

  • Analyze the historical, political, cultural, and economic factors that shape the emergence, existence, and regulation of crime and criminal behaviors
  • Explain how social scientific theories are used to explain the existence of crime and
    criminal behaviors
  • Evaluate the research methods used in contemporary criminology research
  • Evaluate social scientific data and research findings related to crime, the criminal justice
    system, prisons, and policing

Course requirements

Proctored quizzes = 50 percent
Assignments = 30 percent
Final Paper = 10 percent
Discussions = 10 percent

I reserve the right to modify the grade scale when computing final letter grades to account for the level of difficulty of the course. I will not modify the scale to your disadvantage.

Instructor-initiated dropping of students who do not log on to Canvas by Sunday, January 22 at 11:59 pm:

Students who have not logged on to Canvas by Sunday, January 22 at 11:59 pm may be dropped from the course unless the student contacts the instructor before that day. If you do plan on dropping the course, you must drop it by yourself. It is the student’s responsibility to drop if you do not plan on taking this course.

Dropping the course

It is the student’s responsibility to officially drop a class by the withdrawal deadline.

NOTE: If you drop this class after the last day to drop without a "W," you will receive a "W" on your transcript. All courses in which you earn a grade of "D", "F", "NP" and/or "W" are counted as "unsatisfactory" attempts to successfully complete the course. You are only allowed 3 attempts to repeat courses for which you receive an "unsatisfactory" grade. A "W" on your transcript will count as an "unsatisfactory" attempt to successfully complete the course.

Academic integrity

Cheating is absolutely not tolerated. You are encouraged to study together for the quizzes. You are encouraged to discuss assignments with others, but you cannot work on the assignment together. Assignments should be written completely independently. Plagiarism will result in a zero for that assignment, at minimum. Also, asking someone who has taken an exam before you have about the content of the exam or receiving information about an exam that you have not yet taken is prohibited. After taking the exam, please do not discuss the exam with anyone who has not already taken the exam. Do not post or share the questions with anyone or anywhere. For more information on the college's policy regarding cheating refer to the Cuesta College Student Code of Conduct.

Students with disabilities

This course is designed using an accessible Learning Management System, and course materials have been created with ADA compliance in mind. Students with disabilities, whether physical, learning, or psychological, who believe that they need accommodations in this class are encouraged to contact Disabled Student Programs and Services (DSPS) or the instructor as soon as possible to ensure that such accommodations are implemented in a timely fashion. The DSPS phone number is 546-3148, and they are located in the Academic Support Center, Building 3300.

Student computer competency requirements

Students are expected to know how to use a computer and use an internet browser such as Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, or Chrome.

Computer requirements

Browser requirements and minimum computer specifications

College Support Services

  • Tutorial services are provided to students and can be found at the following link: Tutorial Services.

Help and Technical Support

  • For issues related to accessing Cuesta's Canvas Site or other technical issues, email: support@my.cuesta.edu.
  • If the Cuesta server goes down or the power is out, you are still responsible for accessing the course. When this happens, you can access the class through
  • 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.
  • For all other issues related to the course or course content, please email me.

Course and College Policies

  • Authentication policy: Authenticating student identity will be conducted through the use of the Learning Management System, Canvas. Canvas requires each student to log into the program using a secure login and password to access.
  • 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 office hours which may be asynchronous or synchronous.

Add/Drop Policy

In addition to my policy, please review the Cuesta policy for drops

Student Expectations

  • Students should log on to the course at least three times per week.
  • In order to succeed in the course, students should buy the required book listed above.
  • In order to succeed in this course, expect to spend at least 9 hours per week doing the readings, assignments, participating on the discussion forums, and preparing for quizzes.
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