HSLDA Online Academy is the new Patrick Henry College Preparatory Academy. Read more >>

English Language and Composition

Master Teacher:  Aubrey Heki

McGovern Classroom Teacher

Aubrey Heki

BA, Patrick Henry College

Aubrey Heki is a graduate of Patrick Henry College with a BA in Political Theory, a major that furnished her with ample opportunities to sharpen her skills as a writer.

Through her studies, she has come to further appreciate capturing the beauty of transcendent truth through the written word. Prior to studying on campus in the fall of 2007, she spent two years in PHC’s Campus @ Home distance learning program, completing most of her required core courses online. Because of her experience as a distance-learning student, she is cognizant of the delight and challenge involved in replicating a “classroom” environment online.

With five years’ experience as a Classroom Teacher for the AP® English Language
and Composition course, her passion is to equip students with the ability to formulate thoughts concisely, persuasively, and to glorify the Creator through writing. In previous years, she has taught and evaluated writing both in the classroom and online. While in high school, she gained classroom experience as a teacher’s assistant for a high school debate class. Additionally, she taught a junior and senior high writing class for homeschooled students, using writing curricula to develop the coursework. For one year, she participated as a writing mentor in PHC’s Writing Mentorship program, offering feedback to help students improve their writing.

Aubrey and her husband Jason reside in Virginia with their toddler daughter. During her spare hours, she enjoys reading, running, hiking, making sundry crafts, and chatting with friends over a cup of coffee.

Master Teacher:  Erin Brown Conroy, MFA

Erin Brown Conroy Master Teacher

Erin Brown Conroy, MFA

MFA, Western State Colorado University
MA, Western Michigan University
BM, Western Michigan University

Erin Brown Conroy is a professional writer with several books and numerous publishing credits, including Simplified Writing 101: Top Secrets for College Success. She currently oversees two online writing programs and their instructors. The designer/professor for Patrick Henry College’s Distance Learning program for writing (6 years), she also taught composition, research, leadership, and strategic management with Cornerstone University’s Professional and Graduate Studies Division for associate, bachelor, and master’s students (7 years).

Professor Brown Conroy is a freelance writer/editor of website and marketing/social media text and has created over 35 online courses, including academic and fiction writing, research, reading, spelling, study skills, and ASL. Her learn-to-read program at www.truenorthreading.com teaches children how to read in recorded classes online. Professor Brown Conroy continues to write both nonfiction and fiction books, coaches writers, and is a member of the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW).

Classroom Teacher:  Janie Barbosa

Janie BarbosaClassroom Teacher

Janie Barbosa

BA, Northwest Nazarene University

Janie Barbosa graduated with her BA in education from Northwest Nazarene University. For 10 years she taught 6th–12th-grade students in reading, writing, and world history, with state teaching certifications in Washington and Idaho. She spent four more years as a lead curriculum writer for BOCES Geneseo Migrant Center in Geneseo, New York, and a part-time tutor at Tutor.com, working with students from middle school to postgraduate levels in English, literature, and composition. Her work with college and postgraduate students sparked a devotion to teaching skills for college preparedness. Since moving to Kentucky, she continues to teach secondary-level English classes at a local homeschool cooperative, while also homeschooling her own daughter.

Janie is passionate about fostering students’ literary analysis and technical writing skills. She believes her students each have something important to say that only they can say and seeks to equip them with the ability to engage and impact their world.

Janie’s personal interests include travel and culture (interests shared with her husband and small daughter), bilingual education, and continuing her own pursuit of learning. When she gets time alone, she looks for a piano willing to share it with her.

Classroom Teacher:  Jenni VanCuren, MA

Jenni VanCuren Classroom Teacher

Jenni VanCuren, MA

MA, George Mason University
BS, Old Dominion University 

Jenni VanCuren discovered her passion for teaching through tutoring her peers.  She realized her calling and continued to pursue her education at Old Dominion University, where she took courses both online and via satellite.  During this time, Jenni also developed and taught a public speaking course for local high school homeschooled students.  After receiving her BS in Professional Writing from ODU, Jenni immediately enrolled in George Mason University to earn her MA in English.  Since graduating, Jenni has taught English Composition and American Literature in various community colleges, being nominated for Outstanding Adjunct Instructor of the Year. 

In addition to teaching, Jenni works heavily with Lord Fairfax Community College’s Writing Center, in Virginia, having developed a website full of resources, including an online tutoring submission and a self-assessment quiz.  She also enjoys combining disciplines and exploring the variances of writing, once joining forces with a psychology professor to develop and to teach “The Psychology of Edgar Allan Poe” at her college.  Additionally, she mentors honors students as an advisor in the Phi Theta Kappa Honors Society.

When she is not working with students, Jenni delights in reading classics and mysteries, writing her own characters, enjoying time with family and friends, and watching football games and competitive cooking shows on Food Network.

Classroom Teacher:  Katie Leber, EdS

Classroom Teacher


Katie Leber

EdS, Walden University
MEd, Norwich University
MA, National University
BA, New York Institute of Technology

Katie Leber discovered her passion for education as a young child. She has fond memories of lining up teddy bears and stuffed animals and “teaching” them with a chalkboard easel.

Katie earned two master’s degrees, one in education and one in English, and an Education Specialist degree in teacher leadership. She currently teaches as an adjunct at a few different universities and community colleges, both online and in the classroom. She has extensive experience with online education, including five years as an online teacher, ten years as an online student, and time spent as an online tutor.

Teaching is Katie’s passion and she enjoys sharing her love of English and composition with her students. Her favorite writers include Edgar Allan Poe, Nathaniel Hawthorne, JK Rowling, Emily Dickinson, and Shakespeare.

When she’s not busy teaching or spending office hours with students, Katie loves going to movies, reading, writing, spending time with her family and friends, and playing with her two dogs, Grace and Wilma.

Duration: Yearlong course offered in fall/spring (32 weeks)

AP® English Language and Composition
Live Online Class Session Schedule, 2015–16

Class Section

Weekly Meeting Time


Section 1
Mondays, 6:00–7:00 p.m.
(Eastern Time)
Prof. Erin Brown Conroy;
Mrs. Janie Barbosa
Section 2
Closed–section is full
Wednesdays, 1:00–2:00
p.m. (Eastern Time)
Prof. Erin Brown Conroy;
Ms. Katie Leber
Section 3
Closed–section is full
Wednesdays, 3:00–4:00
p.m. (Eastern Time)
Prof. Erin Brown Conroy;
Ms. Jenni VanCuren
Section 4
TBA Prof. Erin Brown Conroy;
Classroom Teacher: TBA
Note: Additional class times may be added to the schedule later in the registration period. If you have questions, please call 540-338-8290 or email academy@hslda.org.

Frequently Asked Questions

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  • What topics will I learn about in English Language and Composition?

    The core of the English Language and Composition course is writing and reading for analysis, synthesis, and argument. Through immersion in a variety of sources, students will learn:

    • To think critically about a written text’s purpose, particularly in relationship to the Christian worldview,
    • To analyze a written text with rhetorical understanding for content legitimacy, context, audience, and purpose,
    • To synthesize ideas and integrate personal experience within a unique writing piece, for a specific purpose,
    • To analyze and synthesize arguments, including their appeals, with the purpose of demonstrating effective written communication skills while constructing effective arguments, and
    • To produce documents that effectively communicate with mature readers.

    The purpose of the course is to acquire college-level rhetoric and composition skills for clear, effective writing, including:

    • Proper use of English grammar, vocabulary, and writing conventions,
    • Increased stylistic development through use of sentence structure, organizational techniques, illustrative detail, syntax, diction, tone, voice, and style,
    • Effective use of analysis, synthesis, and argumentation,
    • Ability to analyze and synthesize arguments, including their appeals, with the purpose of demonstrating effective written communication skills while constructing effective arguments, and
    • Integration of the dynamics of mature writing for effectual communication of the Christian faith.

    Course activities will focus on:

    • Writing essays in several forms, proceeding through several stages with feedback from instructor and course peers,
    • Writing in informal contexts (journaling, imitation exercises),
    • Assignments in effective sentence and paragraph construction, literary techniques, figures of speech/devices, organization strategies, and writing contrasts,
    • Analyzing visual media in relationship to written texts and as alternative forms of text (advertisements, streaming media, photographs, political graphics/cartoons),
    • Reading and analyzing a wide variety of prose forms, styles, and genres for the author’s use of rhetorical strategies and techniques,
    • Writing expository, analytical, and argumentative assignments based on readings representing a variety of prose forms, styles, and genres,
    • Researching library and internet sources using specific strategies,
    • Citing sources using the Turabian/Chicago style of citation, and
    • Rewriting text based on feedback.
  • Am I ready to take English Language and Composition?

    This is a rigorous, college-level course. To succeed, students should already have strong reading and writing skills. HSLDA Online Academy recommends that students complete at least one high school English course at an advanced or honors level before enrolling. Please visit the College Board page about AP® English Language and Composition for more information about the material and skills students will study in the course and will need to master for the AP® exam in this subject.

    Still have questions about whether you are ready for an AP® course? Please visit our Academic Readiness page for more information.

  • What if I have a schedule conflict with listed class times?

    All live class sessions are recorded for later viewing. While it is recommended that students attend each live class session, students can make arrangements with their instructors to watch the recordings and receive full participation credit.

    Students should contact their instructor at the start of their course to inform the instructor of any foreseen schedule conflicts.  

  • What is a Live Online Class Session?

    In every HSLDA Academy course, students meet weekly with their instructor and classmates in an online classroom for additional teaching, discussion, Q&A, or group activities. The class sessions are interactive and are conducted using a web meeting software with video, audio, chat, and application sharing capabilities.

    Scheduled, real-time sessions in the online classroom are not the only form of instruction available in a HSLDA Online Academy course, but are offered in addition to lectures or other instructional materials that students are able to access online at their convenience.

    When they register, students will need to select a particular class section and live class meeting time. Additional class sections may be added to the schedule at a later point in the course registration period. Registered students will be notified of any changes to the live session schedule.

  • What is the tuition for English Language and Composition?

    Please visit our tuition and fees page for a full summary of course costs.

    HSLDA members save $120 on yearlong AP® courses!