Speech Communication



The Wayne State College Speech Communication Program trains individuals to serve in the public and private business sectors. Students completing the program are prepared to enter careers in corporate communications, public relations, and marketing communications. Graduates are also prepared for further academic study in such areas as Speech Communication, law, public service, corporate relations, community relations, public relations, educational administration, and marketing.


Relation to Wayne State College Mission


Wayne State College is an open-admission institution serving northeast Nebraska. The College’s mission is as follows:


Wayne State College has a two-fold mission: to develop students’ academic abilities by emphasizing student-faculty interaction both in and outside the classroom; and to enhance the quality of life in out service regions through community development, the arts, and cultural activity.


The Speech Communication Program addresses this mission in five essential ways:

  • The program provides academic options (the BS and BA in Speech Communication) that are not otherwise available in the Northeast Nebraska service area.
  • The program develops students’ academic abilities by emphasizing each student’s particular academic profile and abilities through teamwork, problem solving skills, and individual student presentations and research projects.
  • The program provides quality teaching and support through the efforts of an experienced core of faculty and through the contributions of faculty in other related programs
  • The program assists the development of its service region through public service activities.
  • The program provides the college with a core general education course, Principles of Human Communication, which emphasizes public speaking, communication theory, and group discussion, which are essential skills in a changing world.

In addition, communication studies offers elective courses for students in other majors, such as criminal justice, pre-law, counseling, business, sport management,sciences, and education.


Why study Speech Communication?

Historically, communication study has been recognized as central to work effectiveness and life satisfaction. Communications research surveying the attitudes of workers and managers have found that people in the workplace spend about a third of their worktime in conversations and meetings and that the most effective employers are those who spend the majority of their time listening and speaking. Research also shows that organizational productivity and leadership are tied to communication: as responsibility in an organization increases, the amount of time spent in communication activities increases as well.


A report in the Chicago Tribune (reprinted in the Omaha World Herald, 11/15/92) noted that communications programs provide backgrounds in theories of communications, research methods, public speaking, crisis management, organizational communication, leadership, mass communication, rhetorical analysis, and interpersonal skills. These are all skills central to public and private sector organizational communication.


Alumni are working as advertising copywriters, technical writers, attorneys, teachers,account executives, media personalities, college fund raisers, corporate trainers, business writers, bank managers, college administrators, and as professionals in public relations, civic promotions, student services, human resource management, and religious work.


Diversity and Global Awareness  

The Speech Communication program supports diversity in several ways: Faculty have been involved in annual Martin Luther King Day activities; they have given presentations and published on issues of diversity and its impact on the U.S., and they are involved in programs on the nearby reservations and in studies which have investigated discrepancies between different cultural groups’ community needs. In addition, senior research projects often focus on the role of culture and gender in communication. Courses which deal considerably with diversity include Intercultural Communication, Gender Communication, Public Address, Interpersonal Communication, Family Communication, Language and Human Behavior, Persuasion, and Instructional Communication.


Outreach and Regional Service  

While the program does not have formal partnerships with public agencies, faculty are active in public service activities. Community service has included work with many area businesses and institutions in class projects:

  • Haven House
  • Tarbox Hollow Prairie Preserve
  • The Skylon Ballroom in Hartington
  • Cedar County Sheriff’s re-election campaign
  • Shala Mobile Homes in Norfolk
  • The Magic Wok Restaurant in Wayne
  • The Wayne School District
  • Pac ‘n Save Market in Wayne
  • Wayne Chamber of Commerce
  • Waldbaum’s
  • Norfolk ’s Big Brother & Big Sisters
  • Target Stores

Students and faculty from the Speech Communication Program have attended meetings of the Siouxland Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America, the National Communication Association, and The Popular Culture Association.

Part of outreach is the ongoing connection between the department and students and faculty with off-campus visitors, guest speakers, and area experts in communication issues.


Strengths of the Wayne State College Speech Communication Program

  • The program provides a comprehensive, hands-on learning experience to students
  • Students receive extensive personal attention and supervision from faculty who have both academic credentials and practical experience in Speech Communication
  • Students have opportunities to hone their skills by participating in off-campus internships and research projects
  • The program is well supported with facilities, instructional equipment, and scholarship funds and has a role in the campus intellectual community
  • Placement of graduates is strong, with alumni finding good entry level positions in fields related to their majors

Contact Information
For more information, please contact:
Deborah Whitt, Ph.D.
Professor and Chair
Department of Communication Arts
HU 113C
1111 Main St .
Wayne State College
Wayne , NE 68787
(402) 375-7352
FAX: (402) 375-7130


Communication Arts Related Links

Mass Communication

Speech Communication


Cultural Events Calendar

Speech Communication Related Links

Degrees Offered

Intercollegiate Forensics

Lambda Pi Eta

Upcoming Events

April 20-August 31

WSC Juried Student Exhibit

Nordstrand Visual Arts Gallery

Opening Reception:

April 20, 4:30-6:00 p.m.


April 28

Joshua Calkin, tuba

Ley Theatre, 7:30 p.m.


April 29

Black and Gold

Show Choir

Ramsey Theatre,

7:30 p.m.


April 30

Plains Writers Series

Humanities Lounge, 2:00 p.m.

Fiction Slam

The Max Bar & Grill,

7:00 p.m.


April 30

Wildcat Big Band (Jazz)

Ramsey Theatre,

7:30 p.m.


May 2

Jerod Kohler, trombone

Ley Theatre, 7:30 p.m.


May 4

Honors Recital

Ramsey Theatre,

7:30 p.m.

See All Events
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