Inquiry: The Journal of the Virginia Community Colleges

Author Bio(s)

Lindsey Interlante currently serves as the Executive Director of the Colonial Academic Alliance. Cynthia De Riemer, Ph.D., is Professor of English/Speech at J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College in Richmond, VA. Araceli Palomino, M.A., Communication Studies, is an Instructor at Northern Virginia Community College. Philip C. Tirpak, M.A., Communication, is an instructor of Communication Studies at Northern Virginia Community College.


A full-scale oral communication assessment was conducted by the Virginia Community College System (VCCS) during the academic year 2013-14. Key components of this assessment included faculty involvement at all stages of assessment and collaboration with assessment coordinators and lead staff personnel. The VCCS Office of Institutional Research and Effectiveness partnered with CST faculty experts to design the assessment. The Competent Speaker Speech Evaluation Form, a standardized and tested instrument used to assess public speaking competency in higher education, was used to evaluate student speeches. Designed by the National Communication Association, this instrument identifies eight competencies for measurement. The results of this assessment indicate that over 70% of students assessed who graduated with an associate degree from a Virginia community college have proficient oral communication skills. This project demonstrates that assessment can be a shared endeavor in which results can be understood and used to inform curricular planning by all major stakeholders.



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