Departments and Administrators

The Subcommittee on the Communication Requirement approved revised descriptions and criteria for CI-H and CI-HW subjects in Academic Year 2011-2012. All subjects are expected to meet these criteria. If you have questions regarding these criteria, please contact the Office of the Communication Requirement.

CI-H subjects

The CI-H (Communication Intensive in the Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences) subjects provide a foundation in effective expository and argumentative writing and oral communication. CI-H subjects are classes appropriate for freshmen and sophomores in the HASS curriculum in which students plan, organize, draft, and revise a series of sequenced assignments based on course material. These subjects provide students with instruction, practice, and feedback in communication skills with the goals of achieving: clarity in writing; greater facility in oral communication; the ability to structure a persuasive argument; and an understanding of the use of sources and scholarly materials.

The Subcommittee on the Communication Requirement has established the following outcomes specified for CI-H subjects:

Mechanical Criteria for CI-H subjects

CI-HW subjects

CI-HW (Communication Intensive in the Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences–Writing Focused) subjects are a subset of CI-H (Communication Intensive in the Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences) subjects concentrating more particularly on the writing process and the rhetorical dimensions of writing. CI-HW subjects are required for some freshmen and appropriate for all freshmen and sophomores. In CI-HW subjects the primary focus is on writing, and the reading and discussion serve the purposes of students’ writing. CI-H and CI-HW subjects should provide students with instruction, practice, and feedback in communication skills with the goals of achieving: clarity in writing; greater facility in oral communication; the ability to structure a persuasive argument; an understanding of the use of sources and scholarly materials.

Students will be CI-HW required when they meet two conditions upon arriving at MIT:

(i) If their first CI-H subject were a standard CI-H, then their background in writing would not prepare them to engage with the content of the subject.

(ii) They will be better placed to engage with the content of their second CI-H subject by first taking a subject whose primary focus is writing, than by first taking a standard CI-H subject.

Students for whom English is a second language and who need instruction in writing may be placed in a specially designed class, 21F.222 Expository Writing for Bilingual Students. 21F.222 is a CI-HW subject specifically tailored for students who need instruction that takes into account the linguistic, cultural, and rhetorical differences among English as a second language and bilingual students.

In addition to the outcomes specified for CI-H subjects, CI-HW subjects have the following desired outcomes:

Mechanical Criteria for CI-HW subjects

Proposing CI-H or CI-HW subjects

CI-H subjects are reviewed and designated by the Subcommittee on the Communication Requirement. A list of current CI-H subjects is available online. Faculty members wishing to propose new CI-H subjects should contact their department head and the Office of the Communication Requirement.

CI-H subjects are typically approved for a term of 5 years. New subjects are often approved for an initial term of 3 years. As instructors change, SOCR expects the subject will continue to meet the criteria for CI-H subjects.

Relicensing CIH/HW subjects

All CI-H and CI-HW subjects are reviewed for relicensing by the Subcommittee on the Communication Requirement at regular intervals. Departments will be contacted at the start of each academic year with a list of the subjects due for review. Instructors will be asked to submit a completed CI-H/HW proposal form with an updated syllabus to commreq@mit.edu. A complete form and syllabus for each version of the subject is required. When possible, the Office of the Communication Requirement will send the materials submitted for the last review.

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