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Why Orientation Letters

When students are looking to register for a course, or when browsing the schedule of classes, they are directed read their Instructor's Orientation Letter for more information. Orientation letters are a great way to humanize your course before it begins by introducing yourself to your students! Orientation Letters Help Students to:

  • Understand course requirements.
  • Plan their schedules around any mandatory OnlineLIVE class sessions they need to attend.
  • Anticipate the time commitments & how they can succeed in your class.
  • Prepare for any hardware / software they may need.

Access and edit your letters online via the NEW Orientation Letter portal. Give it a try!

View My Orientation Letters

Who Should Submit an Orientation Letter

Per the recommendation by the Academic Senate and requirements in teaching via Distance Education, all classes will need an Orientation Letter which describes for students: How the class will be taught (OnlineLIVE /synchronous, Online /asynchronous, or a combination of both), technology needs, and other relevant information necessary to meet the standards as outlined in the Course Outline of Record, while ensuring students have guidance on necessary virtual support services available to them. 

If you are scheduled to teach a class in an upcoming semester, please check the Orientation Letter site to make sure the letter(s) posted apply to your upcoming course(s). Read below on how to edit an existing letter, or submit a new letter.

College of the Canyons Instructor LetterHow to Post a New Letter

  1. Visit My Orientation Letters (Log-in using your CanyonsID).
  2. If you haven't previously submitted a letter for your course, click on the Orientation Letter Submission Form at the bottom of the page.
  3. Fill out the fields on the Orientation Letter form. Then click ‘Save’.

After you submit a new letter via the Orientation Letter form please allow up to five business days for your letter to be added to the Orientation Letter site where students can access it. 

How to Edit an Existing Letter

  1. Visit My Orientation Letters (Log-in using your CanyonsID).
  2. Click on the letter's Edit Link to open your letter.
  3. Make your changes, then click Save

If your letter is linked on the Orientation Letter site, you will be able to immediately see updates on your published letter. If you scroll to the bottom of your letter, note the “Last updated” date to verify your most recent changes were updated. You may use the same edit link to make changes to your published letter as often as you’d like.  

Note: If you make significant changes to your letter, such as modifying semester-specific information, or changing the length or format, please email the Online Ed team to let them know to update the link on the website.

In order to ensure students have access to orientation letters when they need them, the Orientation Letter website does not specify a particular semester, and displays letters that apply to all semesters.

 What to Include in an Orientation Letter

The Orientation Letter Form will prompt you to include information about your course. You may also use this Orientation Letter Template to create your draft letter first before uploading it to the orientation letter form

TipTo make your letter permanent (applicable to multiple sections, terms, and course lengths), you might consider wording like “I will send an email to the class one week prior to the start date with additional information” instead of “I will send an email on August 12th”. For classes that have specific meeting dates and times, we have included wording to direct students to refer to their class schedule for the meeting dates and times.

What Not to Include in an Orientation Letter

You do not need to include information about how to log into Canvas or how to access resources such as Online Education, The Learning Center, Academic Accommodation Center (AAC), Online Counseling, and the management of stress. This information is automatically added to the end of every orientation letter. 

Thank you so much for all that you do to support student success in your courses!

If you have any questions about your published letter or special requests, please email the Online Education team at or call 661-362-3600.