Communication Across the Curriculum

The Value of Integrating Communication Across Curriculum

Communication skills– including oral communication skills, written communication skills, team skills, leadership skills, research skills, intercultural skills, and others– are continuously rated the most important skills for college graduates that are hardest to find (Hart, 2015; Hart, 2018; Levy & Cannon, 2016; NACE, 2016).  While the introductory communication course that is a required component of general education is an effective way to build students’ communication skills, and the communication centers that exist or are being built on our campuses help to supplement those courses, a single communication course is not enough to build all of the communication skills that students will need in their future courses, careers, and communities.  Students benefit from multiple, scaffolded opportunities to practice and develop communication skills throughout their academic careers. Not only is it important for students to participate in foundational, general education communication courses, but also of equal importance are opportunities to learn communication skills as situated within their academic discipline. Such an approach, known as Communication Across the Curriculum, enhances opportunities for students to both strengthen their communication abilities and to engage in more in-depth disciplinary, or content area, learning (Dannels, 2001; Dannels & Gaffney, 2009; Norander, 2018).

What is Communication Across The Curriculum

Research suggests that many Faculty feel ill-equipped and unsupported in their efforts to integrate communication into course curricula.  Some faculty have expressed a need for more support teaching and providing feedback on communication skills (including presentations, team projects, interpersonal skills, and more) within their courses so that students can get more continued support and feedback on their communication. Therefore, Communication Across the Curriculum has created a robust set of flexible resources to support faculty and student learning, including online resources, individual and small group faculty curriculum consultations, and in-class workshop resources to help faculty embed communication skills development within their disciplinary courses that can be shared across our institutions. 


Dannels, D. P. (2001). Time to speak up: A theoretical framework of situated pedagogy and practice for communication across the curriculum. Communication Education, 50, 144- 158. doi:10.1080/03634520109379240

Dannels, D. P., & Gaffney, A. L. H. (2009). Communication across the curriculum and in the disciplines: A call for scholarly cross-curricular advocacy. Communication Education, 58, 124-153. doi:10.1080/03634520802527288

Hart Research Associates. (2015). Falling short? College learning and career success. Retrieved from

Hart Research Associates. (2018). Fulfilling the American dream: Liberal education and the future of work.  Retrieved from

Levy, F., & Cannon, C. (2016, February 9). The Bloomberg job skills report 2016: What recruiters want. Retrieved from

Communication Across the Curriculum & 4-VA