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Department of Culture and Communication


The program in Culture and Communications houses Cal Maritime's Writing Program, foreign language offerings, and courses that have been traditionally housed within humanities and arts departments. Not only is the program an integral component of the School of Maritime Policy and Management, it also serves the entire campus community by providing CSU depth and breadth requirements in General Education areas A, C, and E and supports the mission of Cal Maritime through its deep commitment to intellectual learning.


To be capable, enlightened citizens in today's world, students must learn to understand other cultures, whether through speaking a foreign language or studying another culture's literature, beliefs, arts, and institutions. The objectives of the study of culture are as follows:

  • Develop global awareness through learning about the cultures, ethnic groups, and languages of other peoples and civilizations, ideally, participating in these cultures directly;
  • Develop a humanized awareness, appreciating the arts and being able to discuss them intelligently; thinking critically about human institutions and their importance; learning about psychological, social, aesthetic, and cultural processes and how they are constructed; and
  • Cultivate an interdisciplinary commitment to cultural awareness and an ability to communicate effectively across boundaries which must necessarily be fused with ethics to create a sense of oneself in the world, produce leadership traits, and foreground in all our students the need for critical, yet flexible and adaptive thinking.

Students must also learn to communicate clearly, whether in English or another language, with those whose assumptions may be very different from their own. To think, write and speak well are the hallmarks of an educated person. The objectives of the Study of Communication are as follows:

  • Write effective, undergraduate-level prose in English, with emphasis on mechanics, organization, and the rhetorical situation
  • Recognize that communication literacy is an ongoing, lifelong process of critical reading and thinking, and drafting and revisiting work
  • Give attention to oral expression, whether by discussion of important topics or in presentations using audience appeal, thoughtful and useful content, precise language, and logical organization
  • Use the technological and research tools necessary as appropriate support in written and oral communication and understand the conventions and significance of appropriate documentation guidelines.

In addition to an interdisciplinary commitment to cultural awareness and communication literacies, this program also strives to instill the following habits, traits, and affective dimensions:

  • Taking responsibility for one's own learning, exhibiting intellectual curiosity and independence, developing a commitment to lifelong learning and growth, and making judicious use of mentors, teamwork, and other resources where needed;
  • Developing a code of ethics that incorporates self-awareness, truthfulness, integrity, and service to the community, as suggested by the mission statement of this institution;.
  • Cultivating successful attitudes, such as self-confidence, self-discipline, respect for self and others, and cooperation with a group or team.