April 19, 2007
SPRINGFIELD, Ohio - During chapel hour on April 19, 2007, while most students were making their way to Post 95 for lunch, Kristen Scheerer was speaking to professors and administration in hopes of changing Wittenberg curriculum.
As part of her two-credit independent study for this semester, Scheerer wanted to focus her efforts on Oral Communication. A co-manager of the Oral Communication Center (OCC), Scheerer was disappointed about administration’s decision to close the OCC for the upcoming school year.
Instead of surrendering, she decided to research universities across the United States in hopes of proving the importance of oral communication to a college curriculum as well as life after college. She investigated how 41 schools address oral communication within their general education curriculum and institutional goals. In addition, she wanted to understand how these Oral Communication Centers, already in place at other schools, help to support their students and faculty in completing the university’s goals.
In her 20 minute presentation, she explained her research and the support she found for addressing oral communication in General Education across a multitude of differing institutions.
“I feel, as a liberal arts institution, Wittenberg needs to address oral communication at a general education level,” explained Scheerer. “It will help during college education, but its real importance is after college, when students are entering the business world.”
Overall, Scheerer’s presentation was met with adulation from the professors, students, and administration. Scheerer feels confident that her research provided the first steps toward change in Wittenberg’ curriculum. Dr. Cathy Waggoner, Scheerer’s advisor for the independent study, agrees.
“Her independent study had great application for the department as well as the general education curriculum. She provided concrete evidence that oral communication curriculum is widely used and important in today’s society. She made great strides in discovering which direction our curriculum should go in the future.”