"In Communication we understand that excellent communication skills in relationships, interculturally, in group discussion, in argumentation, and in public speaking prepare you to navigate relationships in a profound way. Our dedicated faculty prepare you to continue your communication studies in a four year program or to work in a wide range of disciplines."

-Michelle Bennett, Faculty and Program Head Communication

Program Overview

Employers often rank strong communication (both written and verbal) as the most desired job skill for their employees. With an understanding of how important communication is, this program takes an approach to education that combines academic theory and real-world application. Upon completion of the program, you will have the chance to develop skills in public communication, interpersonal communication, and group interaction. You will also gain a critical understanding of social issues, new media, and effective writing and speaking skills.

An Associate of Arts degree in Communications prepares you to complete your education at a four-year college or university. You may pursue careers in a variety of areas, including but not limited to: journalism, consulting, marketing, motion picture/television/music industry, radio broadcasting, public policy and administration, international relations, public relations, counseling, human resources, and nonprofit fundraising.

Program Mission

The mission of the communications major at the College of Western Idaho (CWI) is threefold.  Students will become competent in critical thinking, communication, and information literacy.  Beyond the core skills, students will gain a firm foundation of communication principles, research methods, and applications in public speaking, organizational, small group, interpersonal, intercultural, argumentation, mass communication, and group communication.  Finally, students will be prepared for junior-level transferability to a four-year institution.

Why Communication?

After completing the Communications program at CWI you will be prepared to transfer to a four-year college or university and begin specialized courses at the junior level. This degree is not meant to prepare students for employment immediately after they complete their degree at CWI.  If you do not want to pursue a four-year degree, this associate degree will enhance employment opportunities; however, most communication professions require a bachelor’s degree as a minimal education requirement. Communications majors often find employment in such areas as advertising, broadcasting, marketing, corporate training, education, law, public relations, sales, conflict management, consulting, and human resources.

Additional Educational Opportunities at CWI

  • National Champion Speech and Debate Team (2011, 2012, and 2013)
  • CWI Media Club
  • Communication Portfolio provides a “for-credit” opportunity to gain on-the-job experience in an internship.


Course Descriptions

Included in the curriculum are required courses covering the General Education Core classes. 

  • Communication 101- Fundamentals of Oral Communication
  • Communication 102 – Interpersonal Communication
  • Communication 171 – Introduction to Mass Communication
  • Communication 209 – Critical Thinking and Argumentation
  • Communication 220 – Intercultural Communication
  • Communication 280 – Communication Portfolio

You may select one additional Communication course from the following:

  • Communication 105 – Intercollegiate Tour Speaking
  • Communication 201 – Business and Professional Speaking

Degree Plan

Advising Information

Please contact a full-time faculty member for academic advising:

Michelle Bennett – michellebennett@cwidaho.cc
Randall Reese – randyreese@cwidaho.cc
Johnny Rowing – johnnyrowing@cwidaho.cc

University Transfer

Look beyond your degree at CWI and plan for continuing your education by working closely with your CWI advisor and with representatives of your intended transfer school. Learn more about the articulation agreements CWI has with other institutions.

Instructor Info

Full-Time Faculty:

Michelle Bennett – Faculty, Program Head – Director of Speech and Debate

Randy Reese – Faculty – Media Club Advisor

Johnny Rowing – Faculty – Speech and Debate Coach

Adjunct Faculty

Ashley Duchow-Moore
Gary Daniel
Helen Thueson-Stone
Hilda Fyock                                                  
Janice Lung                                             
Jennifer Etter                                                
James Gatfield                                              
Jonathon Lundy                                             
Joni McCormick                                            
Kathleen Rose                                                
Kevin Skidmore                                              
Kristin Green                                                  
Makenzie Phillips                                            
Margaret Sass                                                
Marisa Hill                                                     
Marvin Cox                                                   
Mary Rohlfing                                                
Matthew VanderBoegh                                
Megan Holbrook                                             
Megan Hudson                                               
Michael Strickland                                          
Michelle Landa                                               
Michelle Mahoney                                          
Neva Geisler                                                  
Robin Rausch                                                
Roya Camp                                                   
Shannon Anderson-Trimboli                           
Stephanie Jones                                             

Career Info

Most employers prefer candidates to hold a Bachelor’s degree in Communication.  Your Associate of Arts in Communication will transfer to Boise State University, Idaho State University, and University of Idaho where you may finish upper division course-work toward this pursuit.

Areas of Employment for Communication majors:

  • Corporate communications
  • Public relations
  • Media management and media criticism
  • Human resources
  • Marketing
  • Strategic planning
  • Training and consulting
  • Media literacy
  • Community college teaching
  • Ph.D. work in Communication
  • Healthcare
  • Entertainment
  • Journalism
  • Hospitality management or promotion
  • Non-profit organizations


The Bureau of Labor and statistics gives just some of the occupations available to communication majors:

Personnel Recruiter
Benefits Administrator
Admissions Counselor
Vice-president Human Resources
Director of Training and Development
Labor Relations
Contract Administrator
Labor Relations Specialist
Union Representative
Chief Negotiator
Corporate Communications
Newsletter editor
Public Information Officer
Media Relations Specialist
Speech Writer
Public Affairs Officer
Director Corporate Relations
Director Corporate Communications
Director Media Relations
Vice-president Corporate and Community Relations
Sales Representative
Communication Technology
Insurance [requires licensing]
Real Estate [requires licensing]
Financial Industry (Stocks and Bonds) [requires licensing]
Health Professions
Account Executive
Assistant Account Representative/Executive
Customer Sales Representative
Brand/Division Manager
Vice-president Sales
Manufacturer's Representative
Sales Manager
International Business
Foreign Relations Officer
Corporate Representative
International on-air media talent
Media Planner/Buyer
Media Sales Representative

Advertising Director
Creative Director
Advertising Manager
Account Manager
High School Teacher
Admissions Counselor
College Recruiter
Resident Director
Associate Director/Assistant Director/Administrative Assistant (admissions, alumni relations, development, University Affairs)
Development Officer
School Administrator
Director/Dean etc. of Administrative Offices (housing, admissions, alumni relations, etc.)
Vice-president University Relations
Vice-president University Relations
Project Director
Speech Writer
Legislative Assistant
Legislative Liaison
Elected Official
Research Specialist
Campaign Director
Information Officer
Social Service
Case Worker
Computer/High-tech Communication
HTML Designer and Programmer
Multimedia designer/producer
Technical Copywriter
On-air Talent
Camera Person
Assistant Producer
Floor Director
Religious Professions Minister
Account Executive
Hospitality Manager
Sales Representative
Editorial Assistant
Advertising Manager
Hotel Manager
Personnel Specialist

Association Administrator
Special Events Coordinator
Political Aide
Promotions Manager
Speech Writer
Consumer Affairs Specialist
Public Information Officer
Communications Director
Public Relations Specialist
Radio/TV Announcer
Technical Writer
Telemarketing Specialist
Customer Service Rep.
Fund Raiser
Training & Development Specialist
Events Planner
Flight Attendant
Youth Worker
Media Manager
Market Research Analyst
Community Action Director
Recreation/Attractions Manager
Restaurant Manager
Campaign Manager
Development Director
Script Writer
Advertising Copywriter
Museum Director
Greeting Card Writer
Production Assistant
Actor, Mime
Stage Manager
Make-up Artist
Stunt Coordinator
Booking Agent
Talent Scout
Drama Coach
Stage Manager
Movie Theater Manager