Brianna Whittaker

Brianna Whittaker '17

Major: NSFIA
Hometown:Twinsburg, Ohio

The people that go to Mount Union are the most genuine people I have ever met.

Second Year Written and Oral Communication (WOC) Portfolio

Every day, people need to “read” numerous and varied situations and respond by considering their purpose, their intended audience, and the context, making smart rhetorical choices that effectively convey messages of all sorts. In order to learn how to make these rhetorical choices, students must have many opportunities to hone their skills and abilities as 21st-century communicators.  

At the University of Mount Union, all students practice the art of communication, both orally and in writing, in every course they take. The Writing and Oral Communication (WOC) program is an integral part of the Integrative Core (IC), which is Mount Union’s general education program. At the minimum, students complete eight courses that are to emphasize learning through writing and speaking assignments, but most students take many more courses than the required minimum, since many classes count as IC and classes for a major or minor. 

Writing assignments require research, sometimes scholarly, sometimes original, sometimes both; and students learn how different disciplines communicate, both by reading scholarship from various disciplines and by writing in these differing disciplines. The result is students who can see and follow the subtle yet significant differences in format, tone, approach, and style that various scholars and professionals use when they communicate in writing. 

Oral communication assignments follow a similar pattern. Students learn how to deliver effective oral presentations, pitches, policy speeches, lab explanations, and more, with the additional layer of learning how to use multimedia effectively. All significant oral communication assignments are videotaped so that students can see how they sounded, what their body language said, and how effectively they incorporated multimedia as part of their work.

After two years at Mount Union, students are required to submit a WOC Portfolio, which needs to show an “end-of-second-year-college-student” proficiency. This portfolio is electronic and is evaluated by numerous trained faculty and staff using the WOC Rubrics.

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