CIS 201 Introduction To Computer Science

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Welcome Letter


Course Description

CIS 201 presents an introduction to computer science through solving problems using computers. Students learn the computer programming language JavaScript. They learn algorithmic thinking fundamentals to solve familiar concepts in everyday apps. 

Course Number: CIS 201
Instructor: Robert Sfarzo
Delivery Mode: Distance Education. Fully online, asynchronous, and no scheduled, required meetings.
Units: 3 credits
Expected Student Workload: 162 Total hours
Transfer: CSU, UC 

Instructor Contact Information

Instructor: Robert Sfarzo
Email: and Canvas Mail
Office Hours: Online only office hours on Zoom. Scheduled Thursdays 4-5 pm. One-on-one Zoom meetings can be scheduled upon request.
Best way to contact: E-mail and Canvas mail are preferred because I check them 7 days a week. My Pronto notifications are turned off and I check Pronto about 5 times per week. 


This course has no prerequisites.

Required Textbook

Title: Smarter Way to Learn JavaScript
Author: Myers
Edition: 14
ISBN: 9781497408180 
Price: $20 or less

Other Required Resources

    • Access to the Internet on a computer with one of the operating systems: Mac IOS, Windows, Chromebook
    • Zoom or ConferZoom

Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Describe the software development life cycle.
  2. Describe the principles of structured programming and describe, design, implement, and test structured programs using accepted methods.
  3. Explain what an algorithm is and its importance in computer programming.


    • Procedural versus object-oriented programming.  Survey of current languages.
    • Program design tools and programming environments.
    • Documentation.
    • Coding conventions.
    • Data types, variables, expressions, sequential processing.
    • Arrays Declaring and allocating arrays.
    • Control Structures Selective structures: if and switch, Repetitive structures: loops.
    • Algorithms such as simple sorting and searching.
    • Passing parameters by value and by reference.
    • Principles of testing and designing test data.

Course Grade Determination

    • 50% Assignments
    • 50% Quizzes and Final Exam

Expectations of Students Policies

Students must abide by the following policy criteria. Failure to comply will result in an instructor-initiated drop from this course.

Meet the Course Census Date Criteria

Students must attend and take part in the first week of this course. Failure to demonstrate meeting the course Census Date requirement will result in being dropped from the course roster. 

Maintain Regular Contact

Students are expected to log in to Canvas and demonstrate activity at least once per week by Friday of each week. Failure to do so without being excused by the instructor will result in a warning for the first occurrence, and an I instructor-initiated drop thereafter.

Late Policy: Maintain Timelines

Late assignments and quizzes without instructor approval will receive a 2-point deduction for each day late.

Maintain a 70% Grade Average

Students must maintain an overall grade average of 70% at all times. Failure to do so without a personal improvement plan that is approved by the instructor will result in an instructor-initiated drop from this course.

Add and Drop Policies


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 accommodation in this class such as extended time on exams or other resources. Please contact the instructor as soon as possible so you can receive appropriate accommodation promptly. You should also contact DSPS (Disabled Student Programs & Services) or at 805-546-3148.

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 (, or by typing the Canvas address ( 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 directions on the course home page. 

Technical Support

If you are having difficulty logging into Canvas after the course start date and need assistance, please email me or technical support at this email address:

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 12 hours per week on coursework for this class.

Academic Honesty Policy

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.

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