2017-2018 Academic Catalog

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Communication

Program Overview

Communication skills are essential to sharing information. The communication program is dedicated to fostering understanding among individuals and groups, within communities and across societies. The program is sensitive to protecting robust individual freedom in the Digital Age as well as to promoting responsible communication. It recognizes that individuals play an essential role as information consumers and organizations play an essential role as producers.

Major

The Bachelor of Arts in communication prepares students by providing them with significant life skills as well as with a broad range of career choices. The communication major helps students develop oral, written, and visual communication abilities along with the knowledge of computer technology required throughout business and government. An important goal of the program is to graduate students who have well-developed critical thinking ability essential for pursuing 21st  century careers, but especially a career as a communication professional.

The communication major features specializations in mass media and broadcasting and public relations, but students interested in a more general communication preparation may decide not to declare a specialization by combing communication courses to meet their personal career objectives.

Minor

The communication program also offers a flexible 20-credit minor in communication.

A student may apply to become a communication major by obtaining an application from the program chair.

Outcomes

Students completing the major in communication are equipped with the experience and education to succeed in a broad variety of professional careers because of the major's emphasis on a liberal arts education that features strong oral, written and visual communication skills, along with a working knowledge of communication technologies. These careers include any profession that values highly-developed communication expertise. A communication degree is essential for professions in public relations, advertising, and print or electronic mass media.

The communication major stresses competencies in:

  • Oral communication as represented by students' ability to articulate the purpose and rationale for their senior project, explain its methodology and articulate their outcomes.
  • Written communication as represented by students' ability to plan, write and revise a substantive thesis-length project paper supported by evidence from library documents and other secondary sources.
  • Visual communication as represented by students' ability to design and construct a presentation poster in which they appropriately apply accepted principles of composition, semiotics, cognitive elements, image aesthetics and visual cues to convey information about their project and its outcomes.
  • Communication technology as represented by students' ability to use digital media as a tool to support the oral, written and visual communication outcomes of the capstone experience.

Mass Media and Broadcasting Specialization

Majors in the mass media and broadcasting specialization achieve all of the outcomes listed for the communication major, plus demonstrate the ability to:

  • Apply the techniques and strategies of journalistic writing and editing where appropriate – standard grammar, punctuation and spelling and Associated Press style – to all forms of written content for mass audiences, and demonstrate competence in journalistic broadcasting and media practices.
  • Evaluate the suitability of information content for a mass audience on the basis of its news value and for its compliance with accepted ethical and legal media practices.
  • Create original, factual, text-based content, as well as compelling broadcasting and visual media stories and reports using still and motion-imaging technology, including television production, and professional quality information "packages" for distribution to mass audiences.

Public Relations Specialization

Majors in the public relations specialization achieve all of the outcomes for the communication major, plus demonstrate the ability to:

  • Locate, synthesize, and evaluate information from relevant print, electronic, and human sources.
  • Understand and utilize oral, written and visual public relations tools needed to communicate successfully with an organization's internal and external publics.
  • Utilize critical thinking skills to conduct research using traditional and computerized methods as a means of evaluating and solving public relations problems.

Internship

Communication majors participate in a required off-campus professional internship. Popular internship experiences have included work with print and visual media, non-profit organizations, public relations agencies, with one of New Jersey's many radio stations, and frequently on television productions in New York City. Communication minors are required to take advantage of opportunities on campus to work with the campus newspaper, television studio, web publications or other communication-related activities.

Graduates

Students completing a degree in communication are equipped with the experience and education to succeed in a broad variety of professional careers because of the major’s emphasis on a liberal arts education featuring strong oral, written and visual communication skills along with a working knowledge of communication technologies. 

These careers include:

  • Human resources
  • Public relations
  • Marketing
  • Education
  • Mass media
  • And many other professions that place a high value on well-developed communication expertise.

Communication majors are also prepared for further graduate study.  Many communication graduates pursue a master's degree in a non-communication discipline at the College of Saint Elizabeth, while others have gone on to graduate study in communication at such prestigious institutions as Seton Hall, Columbia and Rutgers Universities.