Page Header Logo Communication Center Journal

Building a Successful Communication Center at a STEM Institution through Multidisciplinary Leadership, Programming, and Strategic Partnerships

Meghan Velez, Alex Rister


Beyond the introductory public speaking course, communication centers can play a significant role in higher education through creating an institutional culture of communication that spans disciplines and through contributing to their institutional mission, strategic plan, and student success initiatives. To do this work, this article argues for the adoption of a multidisciplinary approach to communication centers, achieved through three key strategies: collaborative, multidisciplinary leadership; diverse communication center programming; and strategic partnerships. Implementing a Co-Director leadership model allows representation from multiple disciplines, resulting in a stronger communication center better able to innovate, refine, achieve goals, and respond to institutional needs. Using a three pillar center structure that incorporates multiple external perspectives and leverages outside knowledge can increase center reach, improve tutor training and tutee experience, grow faculty participation and buy-in, and raise the overall center profile. By prioritizing strategic, multidisciplinary partnerships, this article offers recommendations for new and established centers that can lead to expanded services and stronger support from campus stakeholders to meet changing institutional needs and to cement the center’s status as vital to that institution.


Communication Center, Digital Studio, Writing Center, Communication Across the Curriculum, Collaboration

Full Text:



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Communication Center Journal