Foundation Communication

Currently, the ISUComm curriculum can be understood as composed of four components:

Foundation Communication. The two required ISUComm courses (English 150 and 250) have now replaced the former English 104 and 105, providing a more rigorous, more multimodal learning experience. ISU Instructors, along with many faculty from Iowa’s community colleges, have been trained in WOVE pedagogy through ongoing professional development workshops and presentations.

Advanced Communication. Upper-level courses in communication departments help students develop competencies ranging from web design to report and proposal writing. Most are not discipline-specific, though projects allow students to draw on their majors. Where scheduling and staffing allow, ISUComm can tailor sections to specific disciplines.

Disciplinary Communication. Iowa State’s communication proficiency policy asks departments to determine the communication needs of majors, to develop communication activities to meet those needs, and to assess student communication learning. ISUComm consults with departments in this process, whether it is designing activities, developing courses, linking disciplinary and advanced communication courses, or assessing communication within the curriculum.

Professional Communication. ISUComm looks beyond graduation to the role of communication in lifelong learning. It surveys graduates and employers, collaborates with other institutions, and continually rethinks its curriculum to fit the broader mission of a land-grant university.

Curricular History

Following the adoption of the basic principles by the Faculty Senate in 2001, ISUComm was asked to provide a detailed curricular plan that filled out the commitments made in the Principles. In Fall 2001, ISUComm sent a detailed questionnaire about communication instruction to all university colleges and departments, and members of the ISUComm Steering Committee met with all college curriculum committees to discuss the details of a curricular plan. This Curriculum Overview was first circulated in February 2002, following which the Steering Committee discussed the plan again with college curriculum committees and made changes as recommended by those groups. It is important to keep in mind that since 2002 changes have been made in the plan. The most notable change has been the implementation decision to retain the present placement policies and class sizes for the two foundation courses.