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, still photography, journalism (print, broadcast, and electronic), video and audio production, advertising, and writing for print and electronic media. 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 developing written and oral communication skills, acquiring professional-level experience across media platforms, and growing critical thinking skills.

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 program director.

Program Goals and Outcomes

The following are program goals for the Communications major, in which students will:

  1. Develop interpersonal, group, and public communication skills to work and live in complex social systems
  2. Understand concepts and apply theories used for informing, instructing, and persuading through communications media
  3. Appreciate the societal impact of mass media products and systems
  4. Understand the ethical considerations involved in mass media practices, procedures, policies, and issues
  5. Acquire craft and skill in designing and developing messages for a variety of media platforms

The Communications major program goals are realized in the following student learning outcomes:

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