A new communications class at BC designed for associate’s degree

Cassandra McGowan, Reporter

Communication is a fast-growing degree for college students.  According to the Bakersfield College website, in the 2004-05 school year only two people graduated with a degree in communication.  In the 2007-08 school year there were 23 graduates with a communication degree.

To meet this demand, Bakersfield College added a new degree to its curriculum this year, Associate in Arts in communication studies for transfer. To aid in this degree, a new class has been added into the communication program.

Oral interpretation has been brought back in to the list of classes available to communication majors or students interested in bettering their communication skills.

“It was part of the curriculum awhile back and then they stopped offering it, but then with the new transfer degree they needed to add it back in.,” said Dr. Melinda Fogle Oliver.

There is a wide range of classes offered within the communication program, everything from interpersonal communication to public speaking and now oral interpretation.

“Just to give you an idea, they study poetry and drama, and prose.

“They pick their own selections and then we work on the performances and they do give performances, but it’s different than acting,” said Oliver.

At other colleges, this class is offered in a theatre department and is often referred to as performance studies, but these classes use different techniques to achieve the same outcome.

Oliver said, “I think it’s always a course people are interested in, but because it has that performance element a lot of times people don’t view it as essential.”

The students must use published material that is written by someone other than himself or herself.

Students cannot write their own material, as the point of the class is to see the world through the eyes of other people.

“I think a lot of times people don’t really think that it’s a job skill, but so many professions, teachers, librarians, preachers and lawyers actually have to perform that kind of material in their jobs,” said Oliver. “So it is directly transferred to a job situation.”

The class only has one course available this semester, but according to Oliver, they are hoping to have two courses available next semester.