Employers want employees who can communicate effectively:
In 2014, the Association of American Colleges & Universities collected national survey data from 400 executives (e.g., owners, CEOs, presidents, vice presidents) at private sector and nonprofit organizations. The survey asked executives to "rate how important it is that recent college graduates they are hiring demonstrate proficiency in 17 different skill and knowledge areas." The most highly valued skills among the 17 skills were: "written and oral communication skills, teamwork skills, ethical decision-making, critical thinking skills, and the ability to apply knowledge in real-world settings" (https://www.aacu.org/leap/public-opinion-research/2015-survey-results).
In the Department of Communication, undergraduate students learn how to communicate effectively in organizational, school, family, and peer environments within and across cultures. By taking courses in Interpersonal Communication, Culture and Communication, Relational Communication, Conflict Management, and Organizational Communication, our Communication majors learn strategies for behaving appropriately and effectively to meet their objectives, while treating others in ethical and respectful ways.
Communication is ubiquitous, but effective communication is not:
As Professor Ron Rice wrote, "as everyone grows up with media and interpersonal communication, they (naturally) feel they understand everything about them (unlike studying physics, say). However, every aspect of communication has many dimensions, many possible influences and consequences, and varies across individuals, relationships, groups, communities, organizations, nations, and cultures. Further, nearly all human activity involves, or is created/represented by and through, communication. So a better understanding of communication can help us in all contexts, and all levels, from intrapersonal health and stress, through international negotiations and diplomacy, to nonprofits, corporations, and universities.
Rice, R. E. (2015). Some thoughts about studying communication. In V. Kishor (Ed.) Communication for the curious: Why study communication. The Curious Academic Publishing.
The Communication faculty at UCSB value inclusion:
At the University-level, UCSB was officially designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institute in 2016, and it received 4.5/5 stars on Gender Identity/Expression and LGBTQ Policy Inclusion from Campus Pride Index.
Faculty and students conduct research on a wide variety of topics related to inclusion that they often discuss when teaching undergraduate courses. For example, Drs. Jennifer Kam, Tammy Afifi, and Walid Afifi are interested in privacy management and coping strategies for immigrant families who experience discrimination, fear of deportation, or separation from a family member because of migration. Dr. Kam works with local middle and high schools to develop their Newcomers Program for immigrant students. Drs. Dana Mastro and Dan Linz study racial, gender, and LGBTQ stereotyping in the media. Drs. Giles, Mastro, and Reid are interested in attitudes toward ingroup and outgroup members based on linguistic features such as accents. Lastly, Drs. Michael Stohl, Cynthia Stohl, and Jennifer Gibbs study globalization and the use of technology to tie people together across national boundaries.
Comm majors can work with faculty on their research projects, and Comm majors also learn about cultural inclusion in the classroom. For example, our faculty offer courses in Cultural and Communication; Media, Race, and Ethnicity; Communication and Aging; Gender & Communication; Global Communication; and Communication and Language. Such courses offer ways in which students can communicate effectively in intercultural interactions within and across national borders, as well as be critical consumers of media's representations of different cultural groups.