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The Baruch College Faculty Handbook

Tools for Clear Speech

Last updated on 8/3/2016

Baruch’s Tools for Clear Speech program (TfCS), was launched in 2011 as an ancillary unit within our Student Academic Consulting Center (SACC) with a mission to support the oral communication skills of our students. On July 5, 2016, TfCS became an independent academic support unit within the college under the direction of Dennis (DJ) Dolack and reporting to the Office of the Provost. Its administrative offices are in NVC 6-121.

In developing the TfCS program, DJ and Carol Morgan (SACC’s former director) built on the success of the ESL Speech Lab services overseen by SACC and by Professor Elisabeth Gareis of the Department of Communication Studies. Since 2011, student participation has grown enormously: in AY2015-16, TfCS supported more than 425 unique students in over 2,600 hours of instruction across services. The program’s multimodal approach includes small-group and one-to-one tutorial sessions, an expansive (and expanding) Workshop Series for collaborative learning, weekly Conversation Hours, online distance-learning resources, and the Oral Communication Video Assessment (using VOCAT), which features quantified feedback via scoring rubrics and holistic commenting. TfCS also continues to develop innovative online distance-learning platforms for student practice, and will launch a redesigned online interface in the fall semester.

DJ, who holds a Master’s Degree in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts, has more than ten years’ experience working directly with English Language Learners in higher education. He has been a member of the Baruch community since 2006 as an Adjunct Lecturer in the English Department, a Writing Center Consultant, and most recently as the Writing & ESL Communications Tutorial Coordinator at SACC. In Spring 2016, DJ was awarded the Baruch College Excellence Award for Innovation and Sustainability for his work with the Tools for Clear Speech program.

Through its focus on strengthening the cultural inclusiveness of Baruch’s campus, its dedication to distance-learning, and its focus on innovation, the work of Tools for Clear Speech firmly supports the goals of the College’s Global and Strategic Plans. Please feel free to ask DJ about the range of services provided by TfCS and to bring its existence to the attention of your students. He can be reached at 646-312-4834 or

For more information on TfCS, please visit: