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Faculty > Mary Paulson

Title: Adjunct Communication Instructor
Office Location: PB1
Office Hours: Before/after classes


My teaching philosophy for adults is to help students communicate effectively, develop critical thinking skills, listen well and open their minds to new ideas and perspectives from others.

My most important goal for my students is to express themselves in a way they can be understood. Also, they will become good listeners, open to the diversity and different perspectives than they have experienced, based on the multicultural, multilevel, and multidiscipline students they will meet in their classes. Students will learn techniques and skills that will help them become more competent communicators. Students' communication skills will help them in all their personal, educational and occupational endeavors. My androgogy incorporates a variety of ways to achieve these goals, in a brick and mortar institution, using classroom activities, sometimes in pairs, or groups and solo speaking. Most live activities are intended to improve oral techniques, with less emphasis on reading textbooks, lecturing and testing. Some lecture is necessary to teach new communication skills and techniques, however, competent oral skills derive from competent writing skills, including strong organization and critical thinking, so writing is required.

While online, I will kindle lively discussions that bring the course subject alive with content that is relevant to our lives. Group work is another way to build community online. Sharing each others' work will also keep students engaged.

My other goal is to build class community. Students will find that they will learn much more from their classmates, because as adults we all have experiences, ideas and expertise in many different areas. Students will find other students who share similar interests as well as new ideas or experiences about things they have never learned before. As a community, we learn from each other.


  • M.A. in Communication, ABT, SJSU
  • M.A. E. d. Adult Education and Training (AET), SJSU
    * all but the masters thesis, 29 M.A. units in Communication Studies

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