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Short Course #1: Planning, Establishing and Operating a Speech Communication Center

Thursday, April 25, 1:00 - 2:15 pm

Planning, Establishing and Operating a Speech Communication Center


Cheryl Guy, Gannon University
Brent C. Sleasman , Gannon University



The establishment of a new Speech Communication Center provides both students and faculty with helpful resources for the classroom.  Using the Gannon University Speech Communication Center as an example, practical concerns such as developing a proposal, preparing a budget, and working with campus administrators will be explored in an effort to assist those interested in creating such a Center.  For those campuses that already have a Communication Center, this short course will provide a unique perspective on the supervision of the day to day activities.

Target Audience


This Short Course is primarily intended for those who are interested in developing a Speech Communication Center at their college or university.  Those who currently have a Center could benefit from idea sharing and learning about the approach taken by other institutions.

Outline of Topics


  • Planning the Communication Center includes
    • Researching the needs of campus including those of the student body and  Communication Department
    • Making contact with the appropriate decision-makers on campus such as Basic Course Director (if appropriate), Communication Department Chair, and other administrative officials such as the academic Dean
    • Developing a proposal and preliminary budget which reflects start-up costs
  • Establishing the Communication Center includes
    • Considering where the Center will be housed (i.e. within an academic department or within a student services setting)
    • Connecting the services of the Center to a specific academic course (i.e. a basic public speaking course)
    • Determining the role and time commitment of a (future) Director
  • Operating  the Communication Center includes
    • Involving student/peer consultants who can work with students visiting the Center
    • Building an assessment plan that captures the necessary data for the sustained success of the Center
    • Planning for the long-term growth and success of the Center

Learning Outcomes


At the completion of the short course participants will be able to

  • evaluate whether a Speech Communication Center fits the needs of their particular campus;
  • understand various ways to construct an initial proposal and budget for a new Center;
  • have various ideas for how to approach campus administrators with the idea for a new Center

Teaching Methods


            The main activities for this course will follow the general outline provided above (planning, establishing, operating).  Handouts for the course will include a bibliography of relevant sources providing the starting point for the theoretical discussion; a list of the various administrators that should be consulted in the process; sample budgets used at the starting phase of the Gannon University Speech Communication Center; and the original proposal for the Center.

            Each section will begin with the presenters providing the framework for the discussion followed by an opportunity for participants to interact with the ideas presented and work through the implications for their specific campus.