Communications Major

College of Arts and Sciences

Degree BA, Communications

Department Chair Melissa Sgroi, EdD

Faculty

Dan Kimbrough, Assistant Professor, BS Manchester College, MS Central Michigan University

Melissa Becker Sgroi, Assistant Professor, BA Kings College; MS Ed, EdD Wilkes University

The communications major prepares students for careers in areas such as graphic design, public relations, journalism (print, broadcast, and electronic), video and audio production, still photography, advertising, writing for print and electronic media, and documentary film-making. The curriculum is specifically designed to help future media professionals develop the multiple skills required in a rapidly evolving and convergent media environment. Emphasis is on the development of written communication skills, visual literacy, ethical decision-making, and the acquisition of professional-level experience across media platforms.

Majors must complete 33 credits in Communications core courses, and an additional 12 credits in Communications elective courses and three credits of additional English coursework. Majors must complete three one-credit Practicum courses in newspaper, television, and radio during their first two years and one three-credit off campus internship at a professional media organization. The Practicum courses and internship provide valuable skills and contact with professionals in the media industry.

General Requirements

Incoming first-year students seeking admission as communications majors must meet the general and specific requirements as stated in this catalog, including a 2.5 GPA in high school. Where a student does not fully meet those requirements, they may become a communications major whenever they achieve an overall university GPA of 2.0 or better. Continuation as a communications major requires that the student maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0 or "C" average, both in the major and in the overall grade point average.

Transfer students must complete all of the requirements listed in the sequence of required courses in this catalog. Approval for transfer credits in communications or approval of off-campus courses in communications rests with the department chair.

Mission

The Communications Department provides an educational environment in which students analyze the theories and concepts of communication and mass communication, consider their history and impact, and develop proficiency in crafting media messages for multiple media platforms. The department fosters aesthetic awareness, creative expression, and professional development as it promotes the ethical judgment and service leadership necessary to prepare students for the global media environment of the 21st century.

Communications Program Goals

The program goals help Communications majors to:

  1. Produce oral, written, virtual, and mediated communication that demonstrates coherent integration of communication theory and processes. (University Goals 7, 8)
  2. Apply, respect, and value the role of ethics and the law in mass media practices, procedures, policies, and issues. (University Goals 1, 2, 3)
  3. Demonstrate critical discernment of mass media products and possess a system of scholarship and inquiry that informs and enriches professional preparation (University Goals 4, 5, 6)
  4. Combine the technical, theoretical, and aesthetic means to create effective messages for mass audiences (University Goals 7, 8)

Communications Program Learning Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate effective interpersonal, group, and public communication skills. (Program Goal 1)
  2. Write clearly and effectively in forms and styles appropriate for the professions, audiences and purposes being served. (Program Goals 1, 2, 4)
  3. Perform critical evaluations and offer judgments on media products and systems. (Program Goals 2, 3)
  4. Demonstrate the use of communication tools and practices both ethically and legally. (Program Goal 2)
  5. Conduct research and critically evaluate information using methods appropriate to communications professions (Program Goal 3)
  6. Develop expertise across media platforms to craft creative, aesthetically effective messages according to media industry standards. (Program Goals 1, 4)