Welcome Letter HEED 203 CRN 71070: 9 week Fall Session

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This is an online course

Women’s Health Issues: HEED 203: CRN 71070: 9 weeks: Fall  Session

Instructor: Michelle Zulim-Clark

Email: michelle_zulimclark@cuesta.edu


I am your instructor, Michelle Zulim-Clark. I teach a variety of health education, kinesiology and kinesiology activity classes on the San Luis Obispo campus and online.

This semester you will have the opportunity to learn more about major issues of special relevance to women with an emphasis on chronic disease prevention, promotion of positive body image, application of self-empowerment strategies, and global issues related to women.

This course is fully online- there is no mandatory face-to-face meetings. However, this is not a self-paced course.

You will have weekly readings and assignments.

To be successful in the class, you need to stay on top of coursework, quizzes, and exams.

Keep in mind that you have 2 weeks of classwork each week of a 9-week course. 

How much time should you expect to spend on this class?

Your weekly time commitment is determined by the term length of the course.  Students taking the course during a standard 18-week semester should plan on six hours per week dedicated to the class.  This includes 3 hours per week in lectures and three to six hours working on discussion questions and preparing for assessments and quizzes. 

Students who take the course during a shorter term should plan on taking the ratio of 18 divided by the shorter-term length and multiplying it by the hours to compute the time commitment for non-standard terms. 

For example, a nine-week term requires approximately 10 hours per week dedicated to the class with 6 hours per week in the lecture and approximately 4 hours per week working on discussion questions, reading, and preparing for assessments and quizzes.

Is Distance Learning for You? 

You CAN succeed in an online class, but it does take extra self-motivation and organization.  Before enrolling in a distance learning class, students should make an honest assessment of their level of personal discipline and the ability for the independent learning style that an online course requires.

You will be working on your own and teaching yourself with the help of Internet forum discussion questions, tutorials, and videos. You have to be proficient with and enjoy working with computers. Please take the following exploratory Self-assessment survey Links to an external site.

Necessary Computer Equipment/Skills:

You must have a computer, either a PC with a recent version of Windows or a Mac, as well as internet access and e-mail.  You can find specific requirements at the Technical FAQs. You will need an internet connection to complete the online lessons and access the course Canvas. 

Computer skills required are downloading and printing documents, using your Cuesta email account, accessing your Canvas account, uploading documents to Canvas, posting discussion questions, and watching videos. 

Assistance with basic computer skills are not provided.  You must also have the ability on your computer or phone to scan a document as a pdf (there are free apps for phones).  

Accessing the Course:

The course will be available through Canvas on the semester start date. Students must activate their Canvas account and complete assignments that are due during the 1st week of class.  Failure to do so will result in the student being dropped from the course.  

Class Participation/Late Work:

All students in this class must work through the material at approximately the same pace so that they can help each other and participate in class discussions.  Therefore, it is important to keep up with the material and submit all assignments on time. 

Late assignments will be penalized, and some late assignments may not be accepted. 

If you have an illness or other serious issue that keeps you from keeping up with the material, contact me as soon as possible so that I can work with you on any possible accommodations.


I will provide discussion forums for you to discuss the course with your peers as well as with me.  I can be reached via email, which I regularly monitor.  I also will provide virtual office hours via ConferZoom.  There will be a link within the Canvas page that will take you to virtual office hours which will be scheduled once the term begins.  

How to Get Help with Course Material:

I am here to help you learn and enjoy the course material.  If you are having trouble, please contact me early, and often.  Free online tutoring is available at Net TutorLinks Links and Cuesta Student Success Center: Student Resources


The content for the course will be delivered through Canvas in Modules.  Modules are designed for the student to complete the material in a specific order.  The course schedule and approximate assessment dates are contained in the course syllabus.

Course Description:

Presents major health issues of special significance to women cross-culturally. Emphasis will be placed on current trends in the prevention of chronic diseases and health disorders, the promotion of a positive body image, and self-empowerment.

Identification of significant cultural obstacles of access for women's health care by non-dominant groups is presented. In addition, traditional, as well as experiential and cooperative teaching/learning strategies will be used to explore the application of lifestyle changes to individual health beliefs and practices.

Required text:

I will be utilizing the OER (Online Educational Resources), so you do not need to purchase a textbook. All reading will be provided online via links or .pdf format. 

Student Learning Outcomes: 

  1. Identify barriers women face when accessing or receiving health care in the United States today.
  2. Demonstrate how body image issues influence lifestyle choices.
  3. Describe lifestyle changes you have made or plan to make which promote personal health and mental well-being.
  4. Identify lifestyle choices that may reduce risk of major chronic or communicable diseases based on family health history, environment and/or current lifestyle choices.
  5. Evaluate contemporary media and societal institutions for discrimination and biased thinking process related to personal health.
  6. Analyze inter-group relations within categories of identity such as race, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation and identity, class, ability, nationality or age, and the impact on women's health.



Quizzes will be presented approximately every week to ensure that you are reviewing the material and linking class ideas/subjects together. 

Written assignments:

During the course of the class, there will be approximately 2-3 assignments in which students will explore a course topic, report on an out-of-class activity or apply a health principle in some way. These papers will require thoughtful reflection and analysis. A scoring rubric and more information will be provided.

Behavior change:

The behavior change project is a course-long goal-setting exercise. Part of this project will be to post to the class your progress on your goal(s).

Final Exam: 

There will be one final written exam this semester. The exam will be available during the last week of class. No early final requests will be granted. I reserve the right to include a midterm if I feel it will be necessary. If this happens, I will give a two-week notice. 

Participation/ knowledge demonstration:

Weekly blocks called 'modules' will contain the course discussion posts and cover all the class material including the reading. For each module (weekly block of work), you are required to post to the Class Discussion Question. This is a college-level course and, as such, work submitted should be thoughtful, complete and demonstrate attention to critical thinking. 


This class will not be curved. Grades will be determined from a percentage as follows (+/- grades given at the instructor's discretion):


Quizzes:           20%

A     (89.5-100%)

Participation: 30%

B     (79.5-89.4%)

Written assignments: 20%

C     (69.5-79.4%)

Behavior change: 10%

D     (59.5-69.4%)

Final Exam: 20%

F     (0-59.4%)

Academic Honesty:

Academic dishonesty in any form, including plagiarism, copying, using the internet when instructed not to or allowing another student to copy off of you will not be tolerated.  Do not copy anyone else's work!  This is not learning, it is cheating.  If you violate the academic honesty policy, you may receive a “0” for the assignment AND an equivalent assignment, or an F for the course.  See the Cuesta College CatalogLinks to an external site..

While you are encouraged to study in groups, assignments turned in must represent your own work, which means your own thoughts in your own words.

No one learns effectively by merely copying someone else's assignment or using the internet.

Drop/Withdraw Policy

Since participation is important in this course, students must continually participate in order to stay in the class.  Students who continually turn in assignments late, or who miss a significant number of assignments will be dropped if this occurs before the "W" date. If you decide to withdraw, you must do so according to Cuesta’s drop policy

Regular and Effective Contact:

Regular and effective contact will be met through threaded discussion forums, announcements to students, email contact, and office hours. I will do my best to respond to questions in less than eight hours. 

Authenticating Student Identity:

This will be conducted using the Learning Management System (Canvas) which requires students to log into the program using a secure login and password to access. You must use your official Cuesta College email address for the online system (like albert_einstein@my.cuesta.edu).

Netiquette and Online Course Participation:

  • Use respectful and professional language in your forum discussions. Respect the learning progress of your peers.
  • Please do not use texting language, lol (SCNR).
  • Use proper capitalization and complete sentences.
  • Avoid ALL CAPS as they come across like YOU'RE SCREAMING.
  • You are expected to read all forum posts and to make responses with specific details in the discussion forums.  
  • Make your posts and replies specific to a particular problem or issue.
  • Complete sentences and thoughts are mandatory for forum posts.
  • You must log into Canvas at least once per week.

Technical Issues? 

For issues related to accessing Cuesta's Canvas Site, email: support@my.cuesta.edu


If you have a disability that could affect your learning or participation in this course, please contact DSPS at 546–3148 as soon as possible. They will work with me to provide any necessary accommodations. 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. You should contact DSPS (Disabled Student Programs & Services)Links to an external site. at 805-546-3148.

Waitlist Policy:

I will email all the individuals on the waitlist the day our class starts. In addition to my course-specific procedures, please review Cuesta’s waitlist procedure and instructions


Thank you for reading my welcome letter! I am looking forward to working with you this semester.



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