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Male and female student walkingDiscipline description

The purpose of the communications department is to promote skills with language, critical thinking, effective writing and speaking, creativity, moral discernment and wisdom. The Communications department promotes skills needed for academic and professional pursuits by offering courses in composition, creative writing, film, literature, peace and social justice, and public speaking. The Communications department recognizes that while writing and speaking serve as the principle forms of communication between peoples, they are also art forms.  Therefore, the department strives to impart to students an appreciation for literature and other creative media as a means of understanding the human experience. Students thereby gain insight into worlds different from their own and come to perceive similarities among people as well as socially constructed, ethically questionable differences determined by gender, race and class. These insights foster cooperation and community, both in the classroom and in the larger world, as students develop the skills required for informed citizenship in a democracy. The complexity of the communication process and the consequent co-creation of social realities are key concepts in the curriculum.

Learning objectives:

  • Use conventions of Standard American English to write and speak effectively and grammatically with an awareness of audience and rhetorical purpose
  • Comprehend and apply basic principles of critical thinking and analytical skills to various forms of discourse
  • Conduct research on both literary and non-literary topics, using  traditional and technological tools to integrate research into their own work with appropriate documentation in a standard scholarly style
  • Use language creatively for self-expression and communication
  • Understand language in its cultural and historical context
  • Distinguish the various demands and expectations inherent in different speaking situations
  • Realize the moral and ethical implications of communication practices
  • Comprehend the aesthetic and moral value of literature and related creative media, such as film
  • Differentiate literary genres and devices of figurative language
  • Recognize common elements in imaginative literature and related creative media, such as film