College of Communication & Education

BA in Communication Studies

Program Highlights

The Communication Studies program commitment to Student Success is best illustrated by our strong four-year graduation rate (75% complete degree in 4-years) and selection for participation in California Promise, where transfer students who take the pledge are guaranteed graduation in two years.

Darion Johnston is a Communication Studies graduate who provides an excellent illustration of active involvement, academic excellence, and civic engagement, all key goals in the Communication Studies BA program. Darion was nominated by then CSU, Chico President Zingg to represent Chico State at the Leon Panetta Institute as a congressional intern in Fall 2013(opens in new window), where she worked in the office Lois Capps, a congresswomen from California's 24th district.

Darion came back to Chico State and was elected as the Associated Students Director of Legislative Affairs. She went on to win the Jackie Farris-Rees Award for Leadership and was nominated and won a prestigious Rawlins Scholarship(opens in new window). As noted by her nominator, CMST faculty member Dr. Michelle Givertz, "In addition to her extensive extracurricular work, Darion has also maintained excellent academic standing and has been on the Dean's List every semester." Upon graduation with her double major in Communication Studies and Political Science, Darion was one of 18 individuals selected to participate in the 2015-2016 California State Assembly Fellowship Program.

Communication Studies Student Careers and Positions Across Professions

  • Inside Sales Executive at Los Angeles Clippers
  • Training Coordinator, Communication & Organizational Development at Pandora
  • Communication Manager at Apple, Inc.
  • Recruiting Coordinator at Facebook
  • Administrative Coordinator at Sonoma State University
  • Financial Advisor, Morgan Stanley
  • Human Resource Director at Boys & Girls Clubs of the North Valley
  • Chief Development Officer at The Child Abuse Prevention Center
  • Assistant Director of Community Alliance for Educational Excellence
  • Senior Recruiter at ITC Service Group, Inc.
  • Account Executive at TechValidate by SurveyMonkey
  • Human Resources Coordinator at Cushman & Wakefield
  • Social Media Account Specialist at Social High Rise
  • Communications Manager for Sutter EHR at Sutter Health
  • Assistant Branch Manager at Enterprise Rent-A-Car

Other employers of Communication Studies Graduates include:

  • Aerotek
  • Cal Fire
  • E & J Gallo
  • Enloe Medical Center
  • Hewlett Packard
  • com
  • Marriott
  • Oakland Raiders
  • PepsiCo
  • San Francisco Giants
  • Shaw Industries
  • Sherwin-Williams
  • Special Olympics World Games
  • Yelp

Communication Studies Students Apply Their Learning

Communication Studies major, international student, and Chico State Speech and Debate Team member Kanako Otari shows how majors develop their speaking skills into award winning presentations.

In September 2015, students in CMST 384: Advanced Interviewing Skills jumped on the opportunity to be action researchers in response to the devastating Valley Fire in Lake County, CA. Lead by Dr. Stephanie Hamel and including some CMST MA Graduate students, these students interviewed first-responders who were not only professionals managing the horrific fire, but also were victims of the fire as they too lived in the community impacted. The students not only completed research for their class, they also delivered donated goods and helped as volunteers in addition to collecting data.

CMST 384 Group Photo

A student taking in CMST 234; Gender and Communication for General Education, worked with other students and ultimately created a project for Ending Gender Equity Pay Gap(opens in new window). This story illustrates how communication can connect with other areas and stimulate a desire for change and impacting ones community.

Application of Learning: Internships

Every Communication Studies major completes the course, CMST 489: Internship Experience. By design, CMST students are expected to test out their learning and gain important experience in non-academic settings. Here is a sample of the organizations where our students have completed internships.

  • Action News Now
  • AS Sustainability
  • Bay Alarms
  • Butte County District Attorney - Victim Assistance Bureau
  • Butte County Behavioral Health - Prevention Unit
  • Butte County Emergency Medical Services
  • Butte County Sheriff's Office
  • Butte Environmental Council
  • Butte Humane Society
  • CAVE
  • Chico Bag
  • Chico Fire-Rescue
  • Chico Peace & Justice Center
  • Chico State Career Center
  • Chico State Speech and Debate
  • Chico State Office of Admissions
  • Chico State Safe Place
  • Chico State Study Abroad Office
  • Chico State Intercollegiate Athletics
  • Chico State's Forensics Team
  • Choice Communications Corporation
  • Paradise Alliance Church
  • Domestic Violence Services
  • Downtown Chico Business Association
  • Enloe Medical Center, Volunteer Services
  • Enloe Medical Center, Foundation
  • Frito-Lay
  • Gender and Sexual Equity Center
  • Hungry Wildcat Food Pantry
  • JP Environmental Group
  • Junior Leadership Development Program
  • KCSC Radio
  • Northwestern Mutual
  • PepsiCo
  • Prime Time Productions
  • STOP (Stop Trafficking of Persons)
  • Tempra Board & Associates
  • The Boys and Girls Club of Chico
  • The Orion
  • UMatter
  • Valley Oak Children's Services
  • The Orion

Communication Studies Student Academic Success

Students who have produced, submitted, and presented their scholarly works at regional conferences are another example of applying their learning and achieving success. Other students have gone on for further studies.

Conference Presentations

  • Caldwell, Kelsey. (2015). Freedom of Speech Analysis, competitive paper presented at Western States Communication Association, Conference.
  • Trevellyan, S. & Kettlekamp, H. (2013). Undermining Democratic Ideals: Bombing dissent (top debut paper and top student paper for the Freedom of Expression interest group). Western States Communication Association Conference.
  • Laczko, S. (2013). Threats over computer mediated communication. WSCA Undergraduate Scholars Research Competition.
  • Register, M. (2014). To live and die in Los Santos. WSCA Undergraduate Scholars Research Competition.
  • Vilulich, D. (2013). Strategic lawsuits against public participation. WSCA Undergraduate Scholars Research Competition.
  • Register, M. (2014). To live and die in Los Santos. Lambda Pi Eta Undergraduate Journal, 2, 80-90.

Advanced Study

Students also graduate and pursue advanced study, gaining acceptance into our own CMST MA program, as well as programs at San Diego State University, San Francisco State University, and others. In Spring 2015 Graduate Taewook Ham, went on to San Diego State University for his MA degree and started his Ph.D program as a doctoral student at the Department of Communication Studies, University of Georgia.