Hosek enhances Communication 100 Program

Emily Files '14

October 14, 2011

Emerson College’s Communication 100 Program, also known as CC 100 Fundamentals of Speech Communication, is a class considered so important that it’s one of the few courses at Emerson that all students are required to complete in order to graduate, no matter their major. Several different directors have overseen the program in recent years. The program’s current director, Assistant Professor of Communication Studies Angela Hosek, is an expert in instructional and interpersonal communication and was hired to oversee the program in fall 2010.

CC 100, Hosek says, is about gaining voice and giving voice. In other words, it’s about each student’s own speaking abilities, but it’s also about listening to others and being able to critically analyze their words.

Angela Hosek
Angela Hosek is the director of Emerson's Communication 100 program. She also teaches several sections of the course, which has about 50 sections per academic year. Photo by Aja Neahring '14

The course’s main purpose is to help students gain public speaking and presentation skills, skills that are important for students to have whether they’re planning to become an actor, a director, an advertising executive, or a journalist. The curriculum is made up of five speeches, three written activities, and two exams. Speeches include two impromptu speeches, a persuasive speech, a rhetorical analysis, and a group speech.

Those involved in the planning and teaching of CC 100 believe that it is one of the most important courses Emerson students take. Communication Studies Chair Richard West says CC 100 not only gives students public speaking confidence, but also helps them with understanding the importance of adapting speeches to specific audiences. “One’s role as a speaker begins with the audience,” says West. “This course works toward the goal of understanding the audience in the speaking experience.”

According to faculty, Hosek has helped to improve the Communication 100 Program by standardizing the course across all sections. (There are about 50 sections of the course per year.) The course syllabus is standardized with five types of speeches and the same writing assignments in all sections. All the teachers of the course use identical grading forms.

“When you have so many sections, some students will get a professor who does it one way,” and some will get a professor who does it another way, says Communication Studies adjunct faculty member Spencer Kimball, who has taught the course for the past 10 years. “What we’ve done is really standardized it so every student is getting a more consistent approach to the speech course requirement.”

“With about one thousand students coming out of the course each year, it is important they all come out of it knowing they got the same skills and message and the same level of rigor,” Hosek says.

Additionally, West says, Hosek has brought sustained leadership to the program that has seen several changes in leadership over the past several years.

Hosek says she would like to find ways to incorporate new media communication into the CC 100 curriculum. Students could learn how to use speech skills during interviews via Skype, for example.

Hosek and West are also looking for ways for students to use their speech skills in a real-world setting, through community service. “We anticipate more civic engagement with the course, allowing for more real-world application and relevancy,” says West. “The course continues to move in a direction that allows students to make a difference with their knowledge and skills related to public speaking.”