Welcome to CSS 789, Summer 2023

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CSS 789 Integrated Reading and Writing / CRN 51359

Instructor: Rachel Pass

Contact information

Email Address: rachel_pass@cuesta.edu

Phone Number, call or text: 805-380-5283

Office Location and Student Drop-in Hours: My office is currently on Zoom. Student drop-in sessions will be on Tuesdays before our live class from 5:30 to 6:00 and after class from 8:50 to 9:20 p.m. I am also available to meet with you by appointment. 

Virtual Class Meetings: Tuesdays, 6:00 to 8:50 p.m. via Zoom

Zoom meetings: https://cuesta-edu.zoom.us/j/81799250033 Links to an external site.

Instructor Contact Expectations

The best and fastest way to contact me is through Canvas Inbox. I will generally respond to your emails within 24 hours during the week. I try to unplug on the weekends, so if you email me late Friday, Saturday, or Sunday, I will respond by Monday morning.  

Course Environment

This online course will be using a Web-based Learning Management System Canvas as the method to share information. Canvas provides the framework for the course including PowerPoint presentations, reading materials, the tools to receive and send course materials and assignments, and a grade book. You can communicate with me and with fellow students using e-mail, and you can share materials and ideas with other course participants via the discussion forums and groups.

Class opens/Accessing Canvas

Prior to the Monday that classes start, 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, the learning management system (LMS) used to deliver course content. 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 typing the Canvas address (https://cuesta.instructure.com/) into your browser address bar. Do not bookmark / favorite the canvas site after your login, or you will get an error message next time you try to log in. You must access the Canvas log-in directly.

If you are not familiar with logging into canvas, please refer to the Canvas Quick Reference Guide. Links to an external site. 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 and need assistance please email me or technical support at this email address support@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 are often 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 (though you may join the office hour as explained above). Please be prepared to spend 8–12 hours per week on coursework for this class

Is an online class for you?

  • Go to the Cuesta College Canvas Tutorial (self paced) Links to an external site; there are many resources that were designed to help you understand the basis for an online class and the skills necessary for success. 
  • If, after going through all of the tutorials, you do not feel that an online class will work for you, it may be best to sign up for an in-person class instead. 

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.

Timeline for assignment feedback

Quizzes are automatically graded and available for viewing in Canvas the Monday after they close. I grade writing assignments and discussion posts manually and they will be completed within 72 hours after the submission deadline. I will provide feedback for your discussion contributions by using the

Course Description

Noncredit Non-Credit Gradeable Course/SP

Develops essential reading and writing skills necessary to succeed in developmental and transfer level English. Increases reading efficiency, comprehension, and vocabulary skills as well as retention of textbook information. Introduces students to the sequential development of paragraph writing beginning with sentence structure. Repeatable.

Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Identify main ideas and details and analyze text components in a variety of college level readings.
  2. Employ the writing process to produce well organized and grammatically correct paragraphs. 

What we will do

During class, we will write in response to prompts, and then revise and edit our writing. We will share our writing with the class, and get feedback from other classmates and the instructor. We will also read different materials (usually short stories, newspaper articles, magazines, book chapters, etc.) and practice active reading skills. 

By the end of class, you should be more comfortable coming up with ideas to write about, adding onto and changing what you've written, and editing your writing for grammar and spelling all at a college-appropriate level. You should also feel more confident in reading college-level texts, understanding them, and remembering what you have read. 

Textbook and 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 email support@instructure.com.

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 Links to an external site.


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) Links to an external site. or at 805-546-3148.

College & Course Policies

Academic Honesty Policy: I expect all students to complete the coursework assigned to the best of their ability. This means turning in your own work, using your own words, and citing your sources to avoid plagiarism. Violating these policies will lead to a discussion with me and you may end up with a 0 for the assignment. In addition to my course policy, 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 (Links to an external site).

Add/Drop Policy: It is best to join online classes when they begin. However, if there is still space in the course, I will be happy to have you join us later in the term. Please contact me as soon as possible if you add the class after the first day so that I can help you get up to speed.

Please contact me right away if you are having trouble logging in or if you are experiencing other challenges that make it difficult for you to participate in class. I will work to help you overcome those obstacles and succeed in class.

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

Waitlist Policy: Please review Cuesta’s waitlist procedure and instructions Links to an external site.

Sample class topic schedule

Week 1: Introductions, self assessments, basics of college reading and writing

Week 2: College-level expectations for reading and writing, and how to meet them

Week 3: Reading and writing textbooks and other nonfiction

Week 4: Reading and writing persuasive texts

Week 5: Reading and responding to fiction

Week 6: Demonstration of learning (final project and presentation)

Get in touch

I look forward to meeting you on June 13! Please feel free to reach out before then with any questions or concerns regarding class.


Rachel Pass, MAT, MA


Instructor in College Success Studies

Cuesta College


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