Accent on Communicating (AoC) is a university-wide initiative to provide instruction in, and opportunities for the practice of, written, oral, and digital communication skills across the disciplines and throughout a student’s career at Ashland University.
AoC is driven by the belief that, when students are given frequent opportunities to engage with various modes of communication and receive feedback from their instructors and peers, they will engage more deeply in their learning and be better able to transfer what they learn from course to course, context to context.
AoC focuses on providing support for student writing, speaking, and digital projects; helping faculty provide quality instruction in communicating, regardless of their teaching discipline; and making instruction in communication skills an explicit, frequent, and ongoing part of the curriculum. Our approach focuses on three foundational elements—one-on-one student support, faculty development, and curriculum enhancement— and is designed to align with core values of Ashland University as reflected in the initiative’s mission statement.
The mission of the Accent on Communicating initiative is to work collaboratively with faculty and students across disciplines to improve the development of students' written and oral communication, to encourage the use of written and oral communication as learning tools in all disciplines, and to support the integration of written and oral communication into all departments.
Why is AoC needed?
College graduates need to be prepared for life beyond college: for the workplace, the local community, and the broader world. Such preparation is essential for graduates, for prospective employers, and for society as a whole. Unfortunately, research suggests that too many students are graduating college lacking expertise in a critical area: effective communication skills.
In a highly competitive work world, being a poor communicator can cost employees hiring and promotion opportunities and employers clients and profits. Poor communication on the job can also result in increased misunderstandings, interpersonal conflicts, and poor morale. Some employers won’t even consider hiring someone with poor communication skills. And in today’s world, communication is diverse and challenging.
Today’s graduates must be able to write and speak not only in traditional formats, but in electronic, visual, and multimodal forms. In other words, students need to graduate with 21st Century communication skills, and Ashland University is committed to becoming a leader in ensuring that students graduate as skilled, confident communicators.