English and HUM 101 Courses

ENGL 98 – English Brushup

3.0 units; 3 hours per week in class; 1 self-scheduled hour per week in lab; 4 – 6 hours of homework per week

This is a writing and reading course that ramps up to 2- to 3-page academic essays.  This class starts with how to write academic paragraphs and moves into writing short, 5-paragraph essays (with introductions, thesis statements, body paragraphs and conclusions). Students learn how to use quotes in an academic essay. Students also learn college-level reading strategies to help them connect their essays to the texts they read, and develop stronger vocabulary skills. Over the semester, students write 3 to 4 academic essays.

Best Fit

English 98 is best for students who are not yet comfortable writing a full essay and want time to learn how to structure strong body paragraphs and essays while focusing on building reading and vocabulary skills.

Students Say

This course introduces how to write an academic essay with intro, thesis, topic sentences and body paragraphs, and a conclusion paragraph. The teacher helped with grammar and writing about ideas, and talked to us about vocabulary and taking notes, too. It was a nice intro to essays, not too stressful or too fast.

Representative Readings (not all instructors will assign these)

Jackie Robinson: An American Hero, by Anne Schraff Townsend Press. 

Reviving Extinct Species: We Can. But Should We?” National Geographic. April 2013 

ENGL 120 — Introduction to College Reading and Composition II

Recommended high school GPA of 2.2 — 2.7
3.0 units + lab time; 3 hours per week in class; 1 self-scheduled hour per week in the Writing Center; 4 – 6 hours of homework per week

Most English 120 instructors assign 4 essays, 2 to 5 pages each. Some include in-class writing or an in-class essay. One or two of the essays may be research-based. Weekly activities may include writing journals or reading logs to respond to readings, and participating in class discussions of readings and the writing process, and receiving feedback on drafts from other students. Essays incorporate and/or respond to ideas from texts and research sources. Most instructors allow one revision. Students read college-level articles for each assignment and some instructors have students read one non-fiction book. This course prepares students for English 150.

Best Fit

English 120 is best for students who know how to structure and develop a 2- to 3-page essay and want more practice in reading and quoting academic texts, using sources and MLA format, and developing research-based essays.

Students Say

English 120 is a good course to refresh and strengthen your reading, get better at writing essays, improve your research skills and get used to college-level work.

Representative Readings (not all instructors will assign these)

Alfie Kohn “No Contest: Play, Fun, and Competition”  

David Berreby, “It Takes a Tribe” 

David Brooks, “Our Sprawling, Supersize Utopia” 


Becoming Dr Q: My Journey from Migrant Farm Worker to Brain Surgeon by Alfredo Quiñones-Hinojosa

The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg 

ENGL 150 — Reading and Composition (1A)

with ENGL 150C/NC— Practice and Support in College Reading and Writing (Corequisite support course)

Recommended high school GPA of 2.2 — 2.7
6 hours per week in class; 6 – 8 hours of homework per week. Students receive 4 units for English 150 and either 2 units of credit or 2 hours of noncredit for the corequisite support course.

The supported English 150 combines a regular 150 course with supplemental support called a corequisite. Students enrolled in English 150C or 150NC will remain with the same instructor and classmates.  See the English 150 description for details about that course.  The corequisite support class provides additional time in order to help students succeed in English 150, offering extensive practice in activities such as close reading and comprehension; critical thinking; research and information literacy; and academic essay development, including brainstorming, outlining, drafting and revising. Students may work individually, in small groups, with the instructor, and with tutors on essays and readings assigned in English 150. The small class size (20 students) provides for more one-on-one time between instructors and students.

Best Fit

English 150C or 150NC is best for students who feel they need extra support to learn and practice concepts and skills to succeed in English 150.

Representative Readings — See English 150

ENGL 150 — Reading and Composition (1A)

Recommended high school GPA of 2.8 – 4.0+
4.0 units; 4 hours per week in class; 6 – 8 hours of homework per week

English 150 is an academic writing and reading course that develops and refines students’ writing, reading, and critical thinking abilities for college-level work. Students read and discuss shorter and longer college-level essays and articles; participate in class discussions and small group work; complete journal entries and other activities. Students write 4 to 5 expository and argumentative papers, including a lengthy research paper (7 – 10 pages). The course emphasizes gathering, evaluating, synthesizing, and documenting research and evidence. Students write a total of between 8,000 – 10,000 words over the semester.  Some instructors also require in-class essay writing.

Best Fit

English 150 is best for students who have experience writing essays of 4 or more pages; tackling and taking notes about articles and books on a variety of topics; sharing complex ideas; using a writing process (brainstorming, outlining, drafting and revising essays); completing challenging writing assignments; and writing clearly worded and structured sentences and paragraphs.

Students Say

To succeed in English 150, students should have a strong understanding of how to properly structure an essay, what a powerful thesis looks like, and how to tie everything together. I felt that I needed to be able to have a good grasp of English language and grammar in order to write solid sentences.

Representative Readings and Videos (not all instructors will assign these)
Books and Articles:

They Say/I Say: The Moves that Matter in Academic Writing, Cathy Birkenstein and Gerald Graff

Happiness is a Glass Half-Empty” by Oliver Burkeman 

Skills and strategies:  Fake news vs. real news” 


We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie 

HUM 101 — The Human Condition

3.0 units; 3 lecture hours plus one additional lab hour required weekly; 4 hours per week in class; 4 – 6 hours of homework per week

Want to know how Sociology views sports? Curious about how an art historian finds sexism in food ads? Interested in creating activist art for social change? Eager to learn and choose your major but don’t know where to start?  Passionate about equity and social justice? Then this is the class for you!

HUM 101 is a themed, inter-disciplinary course where you will explore one topic through readings and concepts from a variety of different college classes. You will practice writing college essays, work on exciting group projects, create an educational plan with a counselor who comes to you, and strengthen your skills for college success

Best Fit

The beauty of this class is that one size fits all. Just out of high school? Ready to transfer? Returning student? Need a brush-up? Join us!

This class is also recommended for advanced ESL students who would like to be supported while practicing reading and writing with native speakers in a transfer level college class.

Students Say

“This class completely changed the way I looked at food forever.”

“This class gave me the confidence I needed in writing essays to finally take English 150.”

“This class opened my eyes to injustice in the world and what we can do to fight back against it.”

Representative Course Content

College Sports: The Ugly Truth – a HUM 101 class all about sports.
Unit 1 – Statistics: Content analysis of Athletic social media

Get up, Stand up – a HUM 101 class all about activism
Unit 2 – History: #Representation Matters and the whitewashing of history

Equity on a Plate – a HUM 101 course all about food.
Unit 3 – Political Science: Policy, ethics and everyday imported foods

Wilderness – a HUM 101 class all about nature
Unit 4 – Yoga and mindfulness in the great outdoors