Courses and Descriptions

The University Catalog course descriptions offer a comprehensive list of the courses we offer. Filter your search using "COMM" as the course prefix.

Courses that enroll Instructor Assistants

COMM 450, COMM 451, and COMM 452 enroll undergraduate Instructor Assistants (IAs).

Frequently Asked Questions about Instructor Assistants (IAs)

In order to assist with the Comm 101 course, you need to have the following:

  1. taken the class successfully at Western,
  2. to have been recommended to the 101 director by your Instructor or Instructor Assistant,
  3. to complete an evaluative interview, and
  4. to receive an invitation to participate after these prerequisites are complete.

Then you will be given permission and an override code to add Comm 450 (first quarter IAs) or Comm 451 (returning IAs).

IAs serve as tutors for small sections (about 10-12) of students who are taking Comm 101. IAs listen to preliminary speeches, letting students know whether they need to retake a speech or move to the next speech. IAs provide feedback on speeches and written assignments, and they give coaching for improved performance on all course requirements. They explain assignments, readings and lectures. They facilitate activities and group projects. In addition, they keep records and document student progress through the course requirements. Occasionally, IAs participate in the large lectures.

After you have completed the prerequisites described above and received an invitation to be an IA, let the Director of 101 know when you want to register for Comm 450, 451.

You will attend an orientation session at the end of the quarter prior to serving as an IA, and at the beginning of your IA service quarters. You must be available to sign up for one of the 101 section times, as well as the weekly 450/451/452 meeting time.

Occasionally Communication Studies instructors request that outstanding students serve as Instructor Assistants in other courses. The student will typically have taken the course with the instructor in a prior quarter and shown strong ability and motivation.

This experience provides good training for students who expect to go on to graduate school. All assistantships are unpaid and receive course credit as Comm 339 - Practicum in Applied Communication.