Certificate in Communications

The certificate program in Communications is designed to provide individuals with a strong foundation in speech and writing. The ability to speak and write effectively is a traditional goal of a liberal arts education; and, at the same time, it is important in all professions including journalism, public relations, advertising and other areas of the growing media field. The certificate may be taken separately from or in conjunction with a degree program in Continuing Education.


  • A study was conducted to analyze the satisfaction levels of Silicon Valley employers with the communication skills of newly hired college graduates. Employers reported that oral and written communication skills needed improvement in several areas, including the use of vocabulary and self-expression. College graduates' skills are not always adequate to perform the tasks required on the job. Employers said students needed stronger writing skills; more training on professional uses of e-mail; and additional education regarding self-expression, impression management, and avoidance of slang.
  • Employment counselors are well aware that communication skills are in demand in the workplace. Successful careers require the ability to communicate effectively both orally and in writing; these critical competencies will become more valuable as technology intensifies the significant role of messages in the workplace. Language is a powerful force. People in the workplace need to communicate quickly and effectively in messages sent by e-mail and handheld instant messaging devices; in meetings and dyadic encounters; and, of course, in letters, memorandums, and reports.
  • Data results showed that employers were less than satisfied with overall communication skills of their new hires and recommended that students receive more training in both oral communication and written communication skills. In addition, they indicated the need for increased facility in using electronic media, such as e-mail and PowerPoint, and training in self-expression and promoting a positive self-image.
  • Reports from the Department of Labor's Secretary's Commission on Achieving the Necessary Skills show that employers rate communication skills as a top priority for both securing and retaining employment (North & Worth,1996, 1998). Strong indicators continue to come from employers that oral and written skills are in high demand. Another analysis of Department of Labor data regarding future workplace skills determined that communication skills are essential workplace tools for the 21st century (Locker & Kaczmarek, 2001) and have been correlated with career success and increased financial rewards (Fisher, 1999). College alumni have ranked communication courses as the most important courses that led to their advancement and promotions (Gustafson, Johnson, & Hovey, 1993; Hinkin, 1996; Murphy & Hildebrandt, 1988).

- Journal of Employment Counseling

The certificate program consists of one prerequisite and eight required courses as follows. At least five courses must be taken at Assumption College.

Prerequisite (3 credits)
• English Composition

Core Courses (9 credits)
• Mass Communication in the 21st Century
• Effective Business Writing OR Professional & Academic Writing
• Speech

Four Electives (12 credits) chosen from:
• Marketing
• Communication Law
• Advertising
• Electronic Communication and Multimedia
• Introduction to Journalism
• Writing for Media
• Writing and Editing
• Public Relations
• Conflict Resolution
• Presentation Graphics with PowerPoint
• Advanced Professional Communication
• Communications in Contemporary Organizations
• Multimedia Development for the Web
• E-Commerce
• Internet
• Intercultural Communications
• Interpersonal Communication

Capstone Course (3 credits)
Communications Practicum
An individualized experiential learning project undertaken during final semester under the guidance of a faculty member. Director’s approval required.