Two factors influence the variation in skill levels in COCC300. First, the course is both an elective and a requirement. Consequently, we sometimes have very strong writers, who want to hone their skills with a class in argumentation. On the other hand, we also have students who have barely passed COCC150 but who need this class to fulfill a core requirement. Second, we get lots of students with COCC150 transfer credit but without the experience in a CSU composition class. As a result, instructors can't assume that all (or even half) of the students will be familiar with terms like focus, development, and coherence, much less be able to apply the terms in their writing; yet at the same time, some of the students will come into the class writing extremely well and eager to be challenged further.
Your most challenging task, therefore, may well be to make the class flexible enough to meet the needs of all your students. Critically important is making sure unprepared students have a chance to learn key concepts. (See the discussion in "Classroom Materials" under "Critical Reading and Thinking" for suggestions.) At the same time, it is important that the well-prepared writers feel challenged. Fortunately, several elements in the current course description work toward flexibility: portfolio grading, the computer classroom, and the semester focus on argument that leaves lots of room to vary activities but gets students ready for more advanced writing.