College of Business
Department Chair Melissa Sgroi, EdD
Dan Kimbrough, Assistant Professor, BS Manchester College, MS Central Michigan University
Melissa Becker Sgroi, Assistant Professor, BA Kings College; MS Ed, EdD Wilkes University
Rachel Urbanowicz, Assistant Professor of Communications, BA University of Wisconsin; MA Concordia University
The mass communications and design 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 Mass Communications and Design core courses, and an additional 12 credits in Mass Communications and Design elective courses. 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.
Incoming first-year students seeking admission as mass communications and design 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 mass communications and design major whenever they achieve an overall university GPA of 2.0 or better. Continuation as a mass communications and design 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 mass communications and design or approval of off-campus courses in communications rests with the department chair.
The Mass Communications and Design 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.
Mass Communications and Design Program Goals
The program goals help Mass Communications and Design majors to:
- Produce oral, written, virtual, and mediated communication that demonstrates coherent integration of communication theory and processes. (University Goals 7, 8)
- Apply, respect, and value the role of ethics and the law in mass media practices, procedures, policies, and issues. (University Goals 1, 2, 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)
- Combine the technical, theoretical, and aesthetic means to create effective messages for mass audiences (University Goals 7, 8)
Mass Communications and Design Program Learning Outcomes
- Demonstrate effective interpersonal, group, and public communication skills. (Program Goal 1)
- Write clearly and effectively in forms and styles appropriate for the professions, audiences and purposes being served. (Program Goals 1, 2, 4)
- Perform critical evaluations and offer judgments on media products and systems. (Program Goals 2, 3)
- Demonstrate the use of communication tools and practices both ethically and legally. (Program Goal 2)
- Conduct research and critically evaluate information using methods appropriate to communications professions (Program Goal 3)
- Develop expertise across media platforms to craft creative, aesthetically effective messages according to media industry standards. (Program Goals 1, 4)
Sport Communication Specialization
Sport communication is a growing segment within the communications field, as it involves the robust integration of multiple media products and platforms. Students who select the new specialization will gain instruction and experience in journalism, broadcasting, marketing, public relations, graphic design and electronic and social media in the context of sport media. Students will conduct analyses of organizations and audiences, write features and press releases, create and disseminate social media content, and design complete integrated media campaigns. Students will also explore careers in sports media as well as social issues, ethics, and law.