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Welcome to the Communications Division!

Where Faculty and Students Read, Write, and Speak for Lifelong Personal and Professional Growth

Communications courses help students develop their

These interrelated skills are indispensable for academic success and do more to expand one’s employment opportunities than any other discipline.  Want to know more?  See below!

. . .much of our thinking, left to itself, is biased, distorted, partial, uninformed, or downright prejudiced. Yet, the quality of our life . . . depends precisely on the quality of our thought. Shoddy thinking is costly, both in money and in quality of life. Excellence in thought, however, must be systematically cultivated.
—The Critical Thinking Foundation

Critical and Creative ThinkingCourses in the Communications Division all contribute to the development of our thinking, leading us to an appreciation of the role of analysis, reflection, inquiry, logic, universal values, and evidence-based judgment.  There is perhaps no better sign of an educated mind than strong critical and creative thinking skills.

written communications
Exercise the writing muscle every day, even if it is only a letter, notes, a title list, a character sketch, a journal entry. Writers are like dancers, like athletes. Without that exercise, the muscles seize up.

—Jane Yolen

Written CommunicationWriting (Composition) courses are multi-faceted and technologically sophisticated. We are also offer an "accelerated learning program" which combines developmental writing and composition in paired, 6-hour sessions, helping all students succeed. Additionally, we provide a full-service writing center for students and faculty across the curriculum.

A speech is poetry: cadence, rhythm, imagery, sweep! A speech reminds us that words, like children, have the power to make dance the dullest beanbag of a heart.

—Peggy Noonan

Verbal CommunicationWhether it is a formal speech, an impromptu toast, or a contribution to a class discussion, public speaking is often viewed as one of most intimidating forms of communication.  Fortunately, that is an eminently solvable problem with the help of West Shore faculty.

When I look back, I am so impressed again with the life-giving power of literature. If I were a young person today, trying to gain a sense of myself in the world, I would do that again by reading, just as I did when I was young.

—Maya Angelou

Literary AestheticsReading and discussing literature helps integrate us into a very wide cultural matrix, enriching our communications and personal relationships with others.  Through close reading, discussion, analysis, and related writing experiences, students of literature acquire the ability to ask meaningful questions about the human experience and to answer those questions with greater certainty than those who do not read.

Digital Literacy
. . . technology skills are critical to success in almost every arena, and those who are more facile with technology will advance while those without access or skills will not.

—Johnson, L., Adams, S., and Cummins, M. (2012). NMC Horizon Report: 2012 K-12 Edition. Austin, Texas: The New Media Consortium.

Digital LiteracyThe academic and work worlds of the 21st century demand technological skill sets that bridge multiple traditional forms of communication.  These skill sets go beyond merely knowing how to use a computer or to use technology to search for information.  Digital literacy changes the lives of people all over the world.  As part of the College's continuing effort to assure student success and to
serve our entire community, the Communications Division is currently researching the feasibility of an Associate of Arts Degree in Digital Literacy.  If you are interested in such a program, we would appreciate your input on a very short survey.