Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)


A four-credit basic speech course as a required part of the core curriculum at South Dakota State College became effective at the May 25, 1960, faculty meeting. Those members of the Ad Hoc committee studying communication had received from the Speech Department a recommendation that the department be allowed to explore the adoption of a procedure by which “students of exceptional ability in speech be excused from the basic speech course if suitable measuring instruments and a feasible plan can be developed by the speech department.” The committee verbally approved and encouraged that recommendation. It was the aim of this paper to investigation the problem of student exemption from the basic course in order to determine: (1) the extensiveness of such a policy in other institutions, (2) the measures used by other institutions in carrying out such a policy, (3) the most reasonable standard to measure the objectives of the basic course at South Dakota State College, (4) the ability of speech staff members to identify students who should be exempt, (5) the relationship between a measure of an oral performance and certain other available measures, and (6) the desirability of an exemption program. This paper involved two major methods of investigation, a field questionnaire and a controlled experiment. The questionnaire was a two-step fact-finding questionnaire, and the controlled experiment involved the comparison of several possible measures of exemption, including a judgement by staff members of an oral performance with a standard established previous to the experiment.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Speech -- Study and teaching


Includes bibliographical references



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University