Communication Arts

Core—Communication Arts
1. What should be the characteristics of an ideal Gonzaga graduate?
 Broad, well-rounded perspective on the world
 Critical thinking
 Be prepared to move into society, get a job. This is not a job factory, but
students have to do something.
 If we are preparing “people the world needs most,” then they have to be
able to talk to people in the world. If our students are going out into the
world, they need to be able to speak other languages.
 Want to get into the world and make it better
 Ability to continue to learn
Should Gonzaga graduates be different from the graduates of other institutions?
 Better communication and leadership skills
 Have a specific perspective on the world—Jesuit
 The Jesuit stamp is the internalization of Social Justice and humanistic
values. These are not just resume lines, but internalized. Our graduates
need to continue to work in socially just ways, embraced as a lifelong
2. Please consider the attached Gonzaga Mission Statement and extract from it the
most important values for our students. What roles does our Core play in
inculcating these values?
 Does the core have the full responsibility for the formation of our students? A lot
of that goes on outside the core. Some of it occurs under Student Life. In a
number of ways, we allow them to direct some of their own formation.
 The core is a launching pad. Later on students can go back and read something
again. The exposure itself is valuable.
3. Are you satisfied generally with our current Core and its role in the formation of
Gonzaga students?
 The graduates we send on to other institutions are highly regarded.
 What comes from the core is ways to think and look at questions. Something in
the whole process has this result. But students don’t seem to be able to report
what they’re doing in core classes.
 How can someone be a good communicator without exposure to deductive
thinking or a sociological perspective? How can someone tell stories without a
background in history, government, and philosophy? How can someone who is
going to be in front of a camera know how to appear without awareness of theater,
speaking, and diction? Thought and Expression courses are necessary; students
leave these better prepared.
What role does your discipline play in the Core? What role should it play?
Ars eloquentia is in the Mission Statement. There is a limited view of writing and
speaking in the 21st century. Media literacy is the umbrella term for the knowledge of
mass media and visual communication that people need to understand and critique it.
Core—Communication Arts
If you could do so, what would you change about our current Core (see the
attached University Core)?
Core competencies that are needed:
 We say we educate leaders, but we don’t train students in leadership. (See
discussion of leadership under “general,” below.)
 Need to educate them in technical aspects—new technologies for communication
 The Arts and Sciences core includes courses where students’ imagination is
captured. I would like to see this in the university core.
How important would interdisciplinary work be in an ideal Gonzaga Core?
Students need to see the dimension of faith in various disciplines. That
integration is important, like the idea of the Thought and Expression block.
Integration of knowledge needs to happen more at the faculty level, then it will
happen in the courses.
A recurring thread in the discussion was “leadership”:
 Leadership needs to be embedded within the discipline instead of courses in
 Leadership isn’t something taught in a course but learned through a broad journey
over four years’ time. We are teaching responsibility, taking risks, inquiry, and
making decisions.
 Courses provide the experiences in which you will be a leader. Students prepare
for becoming a leader by being a leader in various contexts.
 An aspect of leadership is discerning when there is something at stake, when do I
take that risk, stand up and do something. Maybe we are not as conscious of this
as we should be across the faculty.
A practical matter we face in reviewing the core requirements is that if there is a
demand for greater proficiency [in some areas], what do you give up?
Somebody needs to help faculty value the core and learn how to support it. I
don’t remember being taught how to advise, and we are hired as specialists in our
What is the infrastructure to make interdisciplinarity happen? : We’re all
specialists. How do we know what others are doing? Could have informal faculty
conversations across the university (brown bags), but talking together takes time.
Regarding long-term effects of core,; Arts and Sciences core: Graduates make
decisions in their 30s that reflect their time here. Speaking as a GU graduate, what I
gained from GU didn’t sink in until later: my place in the world and an ethical
responsibility to do something about it, an ability to adapt in a rapidly changing
environment. Some of this occurs in the major, some in Arts and Sciences core courses.