Liberal Arts Degree with Area of Emphasis: Communications


The Associate in Arts degree in Liberal Arts with an Area of Emphasis: Communications is intended for students not planning to transfer to a four-year university. This degree is designed to prepare students for life in the global community by developing a core of knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary for personal and professional success.

Skills in communications, such as speaking, writing, organizing your thoughts, and understanding needs for a diverse range of environments or forums, are keys to mobility and success in your community, career, societal relations, and the world at large. Gain confidence with this Program. Improve your Spanish communications with language course options or polish your professional writing skills. The curriculum is designed to deepen your understanding, insight, and skills for improved personal and career communications, which could range from a focus on writing to sales and other public-facing presentations.

You will choose from courses in the Liberal Arts Area of Emphasis: Communications that emphasize the principles and applications of language toward logical thought, clear and precise expression and critical evaluation of spoken and written communication. These options include Business Communication; Composition and Reading; Critical Thinking, Literature, and Composition; Mass Communication and the Individual; Reporting and News Writing; Reporting and Feature Writing; News Media Practicum; Advanced News Media Practicum; Critical Thinking; Elementary Spanish I; Elementary Spanish II; Intermediate Spanish III; Intermediate Spanish IV; Group Discussion; and Fundamentals of Speech.

Earnings Potential

The California Community Colleges (CCC) provides the following five-year data on an associate degree in liberal arts. Different programs and areas of emphasis will have variations of this range. An associate degree in liberal arts and sciences offers the salary potential of $29,882 two years after graduation, with expected increases to $42,063 at five years. These do not reflect salaries with a four-year degree.1

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage is $69,510 for authors and writers; $48,370 for news analysts, reporters and journalists; $49,110 for interpreters and translators; $52,340 for advertising sales agents; $49,840 for insurance sales agents; $48,770 for real estate sales agents and brokers; $38,540 for travel arrangement and reservation services; and $49,470 for meeting, convention, and event planners, including cultural events coordinators. Some of these careers typically require additional training. Social media content writers are commonly expected to have training in public relations and/or marketing. Positions for writers, news analysts, reporters, and journalists typically require a four-year degree. The BLS notes, however, that writers, who develop written content for various types of media, can gain positions through on-the-job training and internships and that many authors and writers are self-employed.2

1 California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office. Salary Surfer. 2021. Accessed 19 April 2023.

2 “Occupational Outlook Handbook.” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. 8 Sept. 2022. Accessed 19 April 2023.

Program Requirements

To earn an Associate in Arts in Liberal Arts with an Area of Emphasis: Communications, students must complete: (1) all course requirements with a minimum grade of “C” in each course; and (2) complete General Education Graduation Requirements with an overall GPA of 2.0 or better.

See the degree requirements. Please note: This links to an external website, Taft College Catalog.

Program Learning Outcomes

After completing the Area of Emphasis: Communication courses, students will be able to:

  1. Prepare and present clear presentations.
  2. Evaluate, organize, and present information.
  3. Use cultural contexts to create appropriate presentations.
  4. Create evidence-based arguments.

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