The Communication Arts Department offers a wide variety of courses that focus on developing students’ reading, writing, speaking, listening, and viewing skills. In addition, students learn how to acquire, assess, and utilize information from a variety of sources. Our goal is to foster students who are critical thinkers that use their literacy skills to make meaning of the varied texts that they encounter.

Students must earn four Communication Arts credits in order to meet graduation requirements. To obtain these credits, students complete a series of core classes that provide a solid foundation in reading and analyzing fiction and nonfiction texts, writing and speaking in various modes (narrative, expository, and persuasive), and assessing information for merit, and seminars exist to help students reach success. Within the curriculum, students also have the opportunity to take courses that foster interests in film, creative writing, and journalism. In addition, two Advanced Placement (AP) courses (AP Language and Composition and AP Literature and Composition) provide students with an opportunity to take exams that may lead them to earn college credit.

The Communication Arts Department utilizes a college preparatory curriculum that serves students well as they move forward in their academic careers and lives. From American Literature to World Literature, students will experience many of the great authors and literary works that have influenced human thought and society.

At grade 9, all students will register for English 1 unless they choose to enroll in Honors English 1.
At grade 10, all students will register for English 2 or Honors English 2. Students may also choose English 2: Journalism or Honors English 2: Journalism.
At grade 11, all students will register for English 3, Honors English 3, American Studies, or AP Language & Composition.
At grade 12, students will register for two semesters of elective courses.

Communication Arts

Strand/Subject Grade 9 Grade 10 Grade 11 Grade 12 Prerequisites
REQUIRED COURSE OFFERINGS: College Preparatory
English 1 X None
English 2 OR English 2: Journalism X English 1
English 3 OR American Studies X English 2 or English 2: Journalism
REQUIRED COURSE OFFERINGS: Honors
Honors English 1w X Teacher Recommendation or IC Placement
Honors English 2w OR Honors English 2: Journalismw X Honors English 1 or Teacher Recommendation
Honors English 3w OR AP Language & CompositionwOR Blended AP Language & Compositionw (NCHS only) X Honors English 2, Honors English 2: Journalism or Teacher Recommendation
REQUIRED COURSE OFFERINGS: Advanced Studies
Honors Senior Rhetoricw X English 3, Honors English 3, American Studies or AP Language & Composition
English Literaturew^ X English 3, Honors English 3, American Studies or AP Language & Composition
Themes in Western Literature & Artw ^ X English 3, Honors English 3, American Studies or AP Language & Composition
AP Literature & Compositionw X English 3, Honors English 3, American Studies or AP Language & Composition
REQUIRED COURSE OFFERINGS: Special Interest
20th Century Literature X English 3, Honors English 3, American Studies or AP Language & Composition
Blended 20th Century Literature X English 3, Honors English 3, American Studies or AP Language & Composition
World Literature^ X English 3, Honors English 3, American Studies or AP Language & Composition
Traditions in Communication X English 3, Honors English 3, American Studies or AP Language & Composition
Writing Styles & Forms X English 3 or American Studies
Senior Rhetoric X English 3, Honors English 3, American Studies or AP Language & Composition
Blended Senior Rhetoric X English 3, Honors English 3, American Studies or AP Language & Composition
Creative Writing* X English 3, Honors English 3, American Studies or AP Language & Composition
Blended Creative Writing* X English 3, Honors English 3, American Studies or AP Language & Composition
Literary Themes X English 3, Honors English 3, American Studies or AP Language & Composition
Blended Literary Themes X English 3, Honors English 3, American Studies or AP Language & Composition
Online African American Literature X English 3, Honors English 3, American Studies or AP Language & Composition
Speech Communication X X X None
Advanced Speech X X None
Film as Literature X X None
Blended Film Production X X Film as Literature or Film & Video Arts 1
Mass Media X X None
Yearbook Production X X X X None
Advanced Media Lab X X X English 2: Journalism or Honors English 2: Journalism and consent of instructor
Newspaper Production (NCHS) X X X English 2: Journalism or Honors English 2: Journalism and consent of instructor
Blended Humanities Capstone X X None

w = weighted course
(*) These courses may be used to fulfill the Fine Arts graduation requirement, HOWEVER, if an English class is taken for Fine Arts credit, it does not also count toward the Communication Arts graduation requirement.
(^) This course qualifies for the Illinois Global Scholar Certificate.