This article discusses the oral communication competence problem among students in public schools, colleges and universities in the U.S. In response to concerned administrators who question the value of the study of speech communication, communication specialists are providing definitions and assessment of oral communication competence in order to solidify the speech communication discipline's role in ensuring competence among students in higher education. Many of the schools fulfilling the mandate through English/Language Arts courses included initial statements in their documents explaining that the requirement is being met through communication courses. A major problem in monitoring the oral communication competency mandate, such as that required by SACS, is that the mandate is only a small part of what universities and colleges must fulfill in order to be accredited. Thus, little attention is given to oral communication outside the speech communication field. Blatant inconsistencies in self-study documents get by visiting team members who are not specifically trained in oral communication and have little understanding of the difference between what schools report and the intent of the mandate.
Fleuriet, C. A. (1997). The oral communication competence dilemma: Are we communicating competently about speech communication? Journal of the Association for Communication Administration, 26(1), 51–61.