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College of Communication & Education

BA in Communication Studies

Overview

Introduction

Students who major in Communication Studies gain a comprehensive and practical understanding of the power of communication. Majors actively explore the crucial role of communication in relationships, organizations, cultures, society, and civic affairs.

Majors develop highly valued skill sets including critical thinking, quantitative reasoning, presentational speaking, problem-based analysis and resolution, as well as data collection and interpretation. In addition, a variety of communication skills spanning personal and professional contexts are highly developed.

Communication studies faculty work to engage, challenge, and support students during their studies. The Communication Studies Program is innovative in its strong appreciation for how communication connects and applies to the many aspects of our lives and our communities. Students develop a distinctive communication perspective of the world they live in while also fostering a sense of curiosity about how as an individual, she or he fits into that world along side others.

Option in Communication and Public Affairs

The option of communication and public affairs provides the necessary training for civic engagement in the public sphere. Students in this option are equipped to address a wide variety of issues and problems at the local, state, national, and international levels of governance. This option addresses the need for an active and responsible citizenry. It provides training in the communication skills needed to successfully participate in public affairs and the challenges of a democratic society. The power of symbolic communication, public address, persuasion in the public sphere, public debate, and social movements are the cornerstones of this option. Students trained in this option are prepared for a variety of occupations that require strategic communication in public affairs.

Option in Organizational Communication Option

Organizational communication is the study of interaction between people working collectively to achieve individual, group, and organizational goals.

Organizations are studied from a communication perspective that is highly inclusive of multiple stakeholders, processes, and/or structures. This approach includes: interpersonal relationships, group and team work, leadership, cross-functional communication, communication networks and systems, internal/external influences, power, culture and intercultural communication.

Students in this option use their broad understanding of organizations as interactive and dynamic processes, along with their skills and experiences in communication, problem solving, critical thinking, and analysis to pursue a wide spectrum of career opportunities.

Mission

The Communication Studies program is committed to fostering an understanding and examination of the crucial role of communication in human relationships, organizations, cultures, society, and civic affairs, and to developing students' personal and professional communication skills.

We are committed to promoting ethical, responsible, and effective communication and to preparing students for their roles as citizens in a democratic society and as citizens of the world. Undergraduate students gain a comprehensive historical and theoretical knowledge of communication and a wide range of communication skills that are useful in their personal lives, community involvement, future careers, and as preparation for advanced study.

Communication Studies faculty seek to continually enhance the undergraduate and graduate programs through careful examination of student learning, curricular development, integration of technology, faculty research and development, and service to the community.

Goals & Objectives

  • Professional Identity: Articulating the value of communication scholarship and training
  • Critical Thinking: Critically interpreting and assessing messages across issues and contexts
  • Written Communication: Crafting effective messages
  • Oral Communication: Communicating in situ

Learning Outcomes

  1. Professional Identity: Articulating the value of communication scholarship and training
    1. Explain communication, perspectives, theories, principles, and concepts
    2. Articulate the importance of communication expertise in career development and civic engagement
    3. Identify challenges facing a variety of stakeholders and the role of communication in resolving those challenges
  2. Critical Thinking: Critically interpreting and assessing messages across issues and contexts
    1. Apply communication theories, perspectives, principles, and/or concepts
    2. Critique communication theories, perspectives, principles, and/or concepts
    3. Articulate the ethical dimensions of communication situations
    4. Explain the role of communication in the formation of individual, group, and cultural identities, and how identities influence communication
    5. Demonstrate the ability to research, analyze, and reason from evidence to reach an effective conclusion/outcome
  3. Written Communication: Crafting effective messages
    1. Formulate questions appropriate for communication scholarship
    2. Construct effective messages for a variety of contexts, situations, and audiences
    3. Demonstrate proficiency in the use of written English, including proper spelling, grammar, and punctuation
    4. Demonstrate proficiency in formal writing, including correct use of a designated style of source citations, such as APA
  4. Oral Communication: Communicating in situ
    1. Effectively deliver formal presentations before a variety of audiences
    2. Communicate competently in various settings (e.g., interpersonal, group, organizational, and public)
    3. Adopt and communicate a critical stance in relation to issues/topics/information
    4. Engage in active listening that demonstrates sensitivity to the needs of various situations and audiences