New communications course focuses on public speaking, professional relationships High student demand fills five sections in first year


Kamiran Hinton

CSN Jumpstart Communications 101 and 102 is now being offered for the first time to CCSD students. The course is being taught by Henry Castillo. 

“I wanted students to have a professional course with college level rigor that not only allow students to earn college credit, and become proficient in two kinds of communication,” Castillo said. “One, public speaking and two, interpersonal communication. Those are necessary skills, whether you’re speaking to the masses or you’re speaking to your significant other or co-worker.”

Castillo formerly only taught communication courses as a college instructor and now also teaches at the high school level. Based on CSN requirements that an instructor hold a master’s degree in the subject area, Castillo was deemed eligible to instruct the course.

“I wanted to improve my speech and debate skills because I really enjoy debates when it comes down to a group versus another group,” senior Jonathan Le said “I like to explain why I’m standing for what I’m standing for.”

For their first assignment, students attempted the ‘no ums or uhs challenge’ where they could not delay the speech with common filler words.

“It helps a lot to be able to speak to a manager or whoever or to communicate intelligently with your boss so you can let them know what you need help with,” senior Cody Ly said. “It just helps with communicating day to day with your friends. Say we disagree with a topic, I can explain my ideas and they can explain their ideas and speaking skills help us reach a consensus.”

During the first semester, students will be improving on public speaking through five speeches and a debate. In second semester, students will be learning about interpersonal relationships, including managing romantic, professional, platonic, and familial relationships. The speed dating activity semester two will break down stereotypes about dating and how relationships in the past decade have evolved.

“I feel that speech and debate would help me with speaking in front of large crowds and on an individual level,” Le said. “I’m going into the medical field, speech and debate could help with talking to patients and allow me to better explain their condition without stuttering or messing up what I’m talking about.”