Communication Skills Department
is now part of the Education & Language Acquisition Department
Communication Skills at LaGuardia Community College prepares you to read and understand college-level material, including the COMPASS/ACT reading test, future coursework at LaGuardia, and classes at four-year schools.
For more information, please visit the Education and Language Acquisition Department website.
All Communication Skills courses have the prefix of CSE. For full list of courses/open sections visit the LaGuardia Schedule of Classes or contact the chair of department.LaGuardia Community College embodies
New York City's guarantee that all its citizens have the opportunity to get a
college education. LaGuardia, begun with only a handful of students and faculty
in 1971, was named for a mayor who cared about all New Yorkers, whatever their
station in life. The college is another in a long tradition of original
educational experiments in the United States, a world leader in public
To help fulfill the promise of Open
Admissions and to serve all New Yorkers, LaGuardia accepted the challenge of
teaching language skills, not only to the large numbers of high school
graduates who did not possess college-level reading skills, but to a large
foreign language population. The Communication Skills courses were created to
serve these students and our central goal has always been to prepare students
for the challenges of academic reading.
It should be obvious that reading is
fundamental to education; it should also be clear that college students do an
enormous amount of reading, and that reading is, for lack of a better word, a
"skill" that requires constant reinforcement and refinement. Higher
education demands differing levels of reading proficiency. A 50-page paper in
graduate school requires reading hundreds of pages of text; a dissertation,
thousands of pages. Experienced readers recognize degrees of difficulty and
levels of comprehension; they recognize that reading is referential, that
reading is always grounded in content. And, despite the wonders of technology,
reading is still fundamental, literacy still required.
The Communication Skills courses are
at the heart of LaGuardia's mission - to give New York City's citizens access
to higher education. Our mission within the college is to insure that once
students have been admitted, they succeed.
The mission of the Communication
Skills courses is to help students acquire the necessary cognitive tools to
read, comprehend, and retain the wide variety of college-level materials
necessary to succeed in LaGuardia's degree programs, and/or to move on to
four-year schools. We are committed to providing students with the background
knowledge and critical reading and thinking skills necessary to become an
The focus of a CSE course is
exposition though we incorporate other forms as well. Our courses prepare
students for their introductory courses in the majors. Thus students engage
with content, vocabulary, and study skills that they use to read their
textbooks, to listen to class lectures, and write class assignments. Our
classes consist of lively discussions, arguments, careful listening and
Our reading courses are
theme-centered. They focus on one or two themes per term; the readings, writing
assignments, projects, and research are all related to the topic; students are
held responsible for the content of their reading. Class and home assignments
are geared to all levels of cognitive activity - starting with simple
comprehension and moving up the ladder to sophisticated thinking tasks such as
analyzing arguments, synthesizing multiple ideas, and evaluating claims.
Theme-centered instruction gives the students a solid background, allowing them
to gain in-depth knowledge and a firm grasp of complex topics and arguments.
Moreover, we are aware that writing is the other side of reading, and crucial to
success in college. Therefore, our students are asked to respond to what they
read by writing response papers, summaries, and essays; they use the library;
they research their papers.
Many students' reading competence
needs to be reinforced after exiting from compulsory basic skills courses. To
prepare truly college-ready readers, we offer students a range of electives
that are designed to refine their skills. Our aim is to produce critical,
flexible, and fluent readers.
The CSE courses participate in community
projects, high school-college collaborations, learning communities,
conferences, scholarly research, grants, and events throughout the college,
CUNY and the community. The faculty is innovative and includes nationally
recognized experts in the field. If CUNY is the gateway to a wider world for
our students, the Communication Skills Program is the threshold.
The study of foreign languages and
literatures has been at the core of liberal arts studies for centuries.
Following that tradition, the Modern Languages and Literatures Program
emphasizes the development of cross-cultural communication, appreciation of
literature, multicultural understanding, and analytic and interpretive
capacity. The Modern Languages and Literatures Program offers students the opportunity
to study more than a dozen different languages and national literatures (i.e.,
American Sign Language, Arabic, Bengali, Chinese (Mandarin), French, Italian,
Korean, Japanese, Russian, Spanish, Tibetan, Polish, and Portuguese).
All Reading Courses have the prefix of CSE, CSX, or CSZ. These are basic skills courses. For full list of courses/open sections visit the LaGuardia Schedule of Classes or contact the chair of department.The Communication Skills Reading Lab is a part of the
Communication Skills Reading program offered by the Education and Language
Acquisition Department and contributes to students’ progress toward improving
their reading skills. The Lab is focused on providing the practical experience
to accompany the theoretical information provided by the instructor through
lecture and class discussion.
The Reading Lab is located in room E 114 on the first
floor of the E Building.
The major function of the Reading Lab is to serve as a
part of the 5- hour per week developmental reading course CSE 099. Placement in this course is based on a
student’s score on the entrance exam in reading. In CSE 099, students are required to attend a
regularly scheduled lab session one hour per week during the semester. Tutors
conduct the lab session and collaborate with the classroom instructor. The
instructor provides the tutor with assignments for each session.
While the primary focus of the Reading Lab is to act as a
part of the reading courses, the lab services students in several other ways