LA GRANDE - Eastern Oregon University is offering a new minor in communication skills to help students hone their skills for the work world.

Courses began this fall under the direction of April Curtis, professor of theatre and speech, and Neil Gustafson, associate professor of media arts/journalism at EOU.

"Communications is arguably the most popular major offered by American universities," Curtis said. "EOU's minor is a multidisciplinary program that offers a great deal of choices. It's exciting because students can decide what they want to pair it with."

Curtis researched 42 different colleges and universities similar to EOU and formed a Communications Minor Task Force. The goal was to develop a program that would be of the most benefit to students at EOU.

The minor includes courses from speech, sociology, multimedia and writing. In addition, there are elective options from the business and media arts colleges. Two-thirds of the courses are offered on campus while the rest will be delivered online.

"For the student whose interest is in people, this program is ripe with skills for speakers and leaders," Curtis said. "It can be used in so many fields. If the student is a business major for example, this minor can help prepare him or her to work for a corporation where group presentations are common ... These courses provide the knowledge and skills necessary for success."

For more information, call the admissions office, 541-962-3393 or 1-800-452-8639, or e-mail to (

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