KC Speech Program Offers Courses To Assist Students With Communication Skills

May 14, 2018

The Speech Program at Kaskaskia College offers courses in public speaking and interpersonal communication in a variety of formats to meet student needs. Speech courses are taught by lead faculty Professor Brandi Wilkins and Professor David Quinn.

Professor Wilkins began her career 17 years ago as a teaching assistant while attending Murray State University. After receiving her Master’s in Communication in 2002, Wilkins continued teaching as an adjunct instructor at both Rend Lake and Kaskaskia College, winning the Adjunct Faculty award for her teaching. In 2004, Wilkins became a full-time professor and was honored with the Horizon award in 2007 and the Full-Time Faculty award in 2012. During her tenure at KC, Wilkins advised both the speech team and the student newspaper, the Scroll. The speech team traveled the state of Illinois bringing home individual and duet event awards in poetry, dramatic acting, public address, and prose. The Scroll newspaper staff won several awards from the Illinois Community College Journalism Association including overall excellence, web design, and layout.

Professor David Quinn has been teaching theatre and speech courses for 17 years at Kaskaskia College, but started his career 31 years ago. His teaching experience has included Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, Fontbonne University, and St. Louis Community College. Quinn has produced and directed plays as well as advised the theatre guild and speech team for the College. Professor Quinn has a passion for the stage, but he enjoys seeing the students that take public speaking become comfortable and confident speakers by the time they complete his courses.  Quinn was honored in 2007 by being named the Full-Time Faculty Member of the Year.

Professor Quinn says, “Zach McGeehon, a KC speech and theatre alum, was inspired as a student at KC to continue on at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville where he is now a teaching assistant in the Applied Communication Studies Department”.

The fundamentals of speech course (SPCH 103) is a general education requirement for the Associate of Arts, Associate of Science, and Associates of Applied Science degrees as well as a variety of certificates. SPCH 103 is also an option for high school students interested in the Jump Start Program which allows a 50% reduction in tuition and mandatory fees for up to 3 credit hours. For information on the Jump Start Program, contact Fran Windler at 618-545-3049 or fwindler@kaskaskia.edu.

According to Wilkins, “A public speaking course teaches students basic research and outlining skills to prepare as well as present a speech. Speech courses provide activities for students to overcome their anxiety and learn about visual aids, adapting to their audience, and how to speak for various occasions”. She continued, “We actually have a lot of fun in speech classes, once we get students through their initial anxiety”.

SPCH 103 is offered in a variety of formats such as face-to-face, online, and hybrid as well as at the Education Centers. The hybrid SPCH 103 course is offered in both the fall and spring semesters each academic year. For the hybrid section, students enroll in five predetermined face-to-face class sessions to deliver their public speaking presentations and then complete the rest of their coursework online each week through Blackboard, the College’s online platform. The hybrid course is offered for those students who are enrolled in extensive clinical based programs or that need a more flexible option to complete the SPCH 103 requirement for a degree.

The online SPCH 103 course is offered each fall semester and students gather their own public audience in a professional venue to submit video submissions and weekly assignments each week on Blackboard, the College’s online platform. According to Wilkins, the online section of SPCH 103 is offered for those students seeking a completely online degree.

The Interpersonal Communication (SPCH 204) course is offered as a hybrid course each spring semester. The course offers students the opportunity to explore topics such as self-esteem, self-concept, conflict management, relationship development & maintenance, language, non-verbal communication, and how mediated communication effects our interpersonal relationships. Students in the Dental Assisting Program are required to complete Interpersonal Communication (SPCH 204). For additional information on the requirements of the Dental Program, students can contact Lori Schmidt at 618-545-3320 or lschmidt@kaskaskia.edu.

SPCH 103 and SPCH 204 can be completed as part of a course of study for students that plan to transfer to a University to complete a Bachelor’s degree program in a Communication field. Please contact an adviser for further details. For additional information on speech courses at Kaskaskia College, contact Brandi Wilkins at 618-545-3368 or bwilkins@kaskaskia.edu.

Kaskaskia College is very proud of its faculty and the Speech faculty is no exception.  Kellie Henegar, Dean of Arts and Sciences says, “We have two incredible full-time faculty that teach speech for the College.   Students that take their classes are all very complementary of these professors and are very appreciative of the skills they learn upon completion of our speech classes.

To find out more about opportunities and activities available through KC’s Speech Program, contact the college at 618-545-3026.

Pictured is David Quinn and Brandi Wilkins