Aug 18, 2018  
2017-2018 Catalog: August 2017 Edition 
2017-2018 Catalog: August 2017 Edition [ARCHIVED]

Communication Studies

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Dean: Joseph Poshek
Academic Chair: Gary Rybold, PhD
Faculty: Bill Neesen; Gary Rybold, PhD; Julianna Throckmorton-French, JD; Edwin Tiongson


The curriculum focuses on the study of communication, how meaning is exchanged in a variety of contexts to a variety of audiences. The basic course teaches students the skills required for presenting a speech-analyzing an audience, listening, coping with fear, using visual aids-as well as the skills they will need to prepare a speech-researching a topic, analyzing arguments and texts, and organizing and outlining material. Beyond that, advanced courses address issues such as conflict management and the communication that occurs in interpersonal relationships, small group settings, intercultural settings, public debate venues, and other performance environments. Courses offered through the program meet transfer requirements for general education, and they may be applied toward an Associate in Arts degree in Communication Studies for Transfer or the Associate in Arts degree with a major in communication studies.


Students majoring in communication studies at the lower-division level concentrate on learning the basics of public speaking and performance.

Program Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the communication studies program, students will be able to

  • Advocate a specific topic to an audience of any size.

  • Critically assess other speakers' format, content, and delivery and articulate constructive criticism in an oral critique.

  • Articulate and dissect models of communication and apply such methods in public speaking and interpersonal settings.

  • Research and construct positions on a set topic to communicate and advocate a particular point of view.

  • Critically think about how meaning is exchanged and the implications of our messages.

Speech and Debate Team

The Irvine Valley College Speech and Debate Team is one of the most respected and accomplished teams in the nation, competing against colleges and universities throughout the United States. Over the past 15 years, the team has placed in the top three at 12 state championships, while winning 12 league championships. Since 2000, the team was crowned the national champions in the community college division of the National Parliamentary Debate Association 11 times. The team also has an international reputation and has hosted debate teams from Europe and Asia 16 times. The team has traveled several times to China for debate demonstrations, competition, and study abroad programs.

The coaching staff takes pride in developing students to become better speakers and better thinkers. All majors are welcomed and encouraged to join. Interested students may contact Director of Forensics Julianna French at or forensics coach Bill Neesen at


    Associate in ArtsAssociate in Arts for Transfer

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