Catalog 2014-15

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Communications Component

In addition to the College Writing Seminar, students will take at least four "C" courses (minimum 12 credits), two courses or 6 credits must be writing-based (CW) and the additional courses may be speech-based (CS). One CW course must be in the POE.


A CW course devotes considerable time to the development and assessment of writing skills. CW courses require multiple writing assignments that total fifteen to twenty-five pages during the semester, though these totals may vary by discipline. The methods of teaching writing often vary by discipline and by instructor, but all CW courses explicitly address the mechanics of writing and editing. Consequently, the syllabus of a CW course indicates the specific writing goals of the class, the criteria by which writing assignments will be evaluated, and the writing or style manual(s) that serve as the basis of instruction. A significant portion of class time is specifically dedicated to learning writing skills. At least 35% of the final course grade will be determined by writing assignments.


CW courses are intended to help students develop, compose, organize, revise, and edit their own writing. They develop a student's abilities to identify and define a thesis as well as to collect, organize, present, and analyze evidence and documentation to disseminate knowledge. CW courses are not limited to English only.

A speech-based (CS) course requires at least 25% of the grade be determined by two or more oral individual or group presentations, and it fulfills two requirements: (1) The course aims to develop rhetorical skills necessary for effective and creative speech in individual, group or public presentation. This may include one or more of the following: speech design and delivery, listening, negotiation, leadership, persuasion, collaboration, or decision making; (2) The course offers students at least two opportunities to demonstrate these skills. Evaluation of the first opportunity guides improvement of the second.

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