Communication skills

Overview of Communications Achievement Streaming Model

Starting in fall 2019, students in some certificate, diploma and advanced diploma programs will be required to take an introductory Communication Foundations course as part of their first-year, first-semester offerings. Students in the programs listed below will have their high school Grade 12 English reviewed (ENG4C, ENG4U or equivalent) and if their mark is less than 60 per cent, their program of study will include the course, Fundamental Communication Skills.

Course information

  • Communication Foundations (3 hours per week) – all students are required to take this course
  • Fundamental Communication Skills (1 hour per week) – students with less than 60 per cent in ENG4C, ENG4U or equivalent are required to take this course

What are the Communications Achievement Streaming Model programs that were selected for the 2020-2021 academic year?


Why does Durham College offer this model?

Communication skills are one of the top five skills that organizations and employers look for in entry-level and mid-level hires (BCS, 2018). Communication courses support student learning with written, verbal and interpersonal communication skills. Students also learn presentation skills, language essentials and professionalism. Communication courses at Durham College are developed to complement a student’s program choice and include content and assessments related to a student’s chosen field of study.

What do students need to do?

Students are required to provide, through the admission process, their high school transcript indicating the completed Grade 12 English or equivalent. All students, in these programs, will be registered into the Fundamental Communication Skills course at the time of registration. Once the grade 12 English grade is confirmed in the system and the student has met the minimum 60 per cent the one hour course will be dropped from the student’s schedule prior to the first day of classes.

Is Communications Foundations and Fundamental Communication Skills, if applicable, a pre-requisite for any other course?

Yes, depending on the program of study.

Will Communications Foundation and Fundamental Communication Skills, if applicable, be offered in the evenings, or in the spring semester?

These courses are built as part of your program blocks, recovery sections may be offered in the spring depending on demand, there is no guarantee these sections will run. As these courses are a requirement for your program of study, it is recommended that you take the course or courses as determined by your Grade 12 English grade or equivalent at the time they have been scheduled for your program.

What if a student does not want to take Communications Foundation and Fundamental Communication Skills, if applicable, in Semester 1?

Students who drop courses in semester 1 for a reduced load should not drop Communications Foundation and Fundamental Communication Skills, if applicable, as they may be prerequisites for future courses and it may be difficult to pick up the courses after semester two.

If a student wants to change their schedule what should they do?

Students should be able to add/drop courses themselves on MyCampus before the deadline. Students should ensure they are able to register into all required courses for semester one.  In-person, changes will require permission from the School of Interdisciplinary Studies.

I’m an international student and have already taken an English test as part of my admissions. Do I still need to take the course?

Yes. All students are required to complete this course in order to be eligible to graduate at the end of the program.

I have already taken a similar communication, writing, and/or English Course before or have the required skills, how can I apply for credit transfer or PLAR the course?

If you have completed a similar communication, writing, and/or English post-secondary course, please visit the credit transfer or PLAR webpage for more information or speak with your student advisor.

COMM 1810/1888 Fundamental Communication Skills is not eligible for credit transfer.

Please note: if you decide not to replace the communications course with another course, the reduced number of hours in your schedule may have implications for credit transfer eligibility. For more information please contact or speak with your student advisor.