The Bachelor of Science in Strategic Communication combines public relations, advertising and other communication disciplines. To be successful in the 21st Century requires that students still learn how to identify key stakeholder publics and determine how to reach them. But the integration of media platforms and the proliferation of new media technologies have made that a more complex process requiring much more strategically focused approaches. In addition to learning how to write and develop materials for the traditional media, students will learn how to use social media and other emerging technologies to ensure that all appropriate publics are reached.
As important as classroom instruction is, students need practical, hands-on experiences in as real world a setting as possible. They will get those experiences through The Strategy Shop, a School of Global Journalism and Communication in-house strategic communications operation. Students will create real communications campaigns for real clients in a faculty-supervised setting.
Finally, because the world is interconnected in ways never dreamed possible in earlier decades and because so many businesses and organizations operate across national boundaries, the major in Strategic Communication has an important global focus. That focus has two directions. First, students will learn about creating and executing communications campaigns for targeted audiences in different parts of the world in ways that recognize the diversity of those audiences. Second, students will learn how the strategic communications process is viewed in other nations and how that affects how the process is done.
The following are the broad educational goals for the major in Strategic Communication:
- to increase the numbers of highly trained strategic communication professionals, especially from among minorities and urban citizens;
- to provide students with a understanding of strategic communication and the role it plays in identifying stakeholder publics and in designing and creating ethical messages to inform, to persuade, to manage crises and more;
- to provide students with a global perspective about strategic communication and how it is perceived and accomplished in nations other than the United States;
- to provide students with an understanding of strategic communication ethics and with basic media law, and
- to provide students with hands-on experiences with strategic communications processes.
The following are the learning outcomes expected for students in the Strategic Communication major.
- Students will be able to craft compelling, accurate and ethical messages that adhere to styles appropriate to the media for which they are writing and to the stakeholder publics for which they are intended.
- Students will be able to communicate messages in multiple formats, including mobile devices, social media and other new technologies.
- Students will be able to demonstrate proficiency in research and information gathering techniques, including the wide range of digital sources that are available.
- Students will be able to demonstrate proficiency in the various techniques of presenting messages including, but not limited to audio/video recording and editing, print media and digital media.
- Students will be able to demonstrate proficiency in identifying stakeholder publics, developing campaigns to reach those publics and in creating messages that use the appropriate means of reaching those publics by their participation in The Strategy Shop.
Requirements for the Strategic Communications Major
The Bachelor of Science degree in Strategic Communication requires students to complete 48 credits in the major. These include 24 credits of core courses required of all students in the SGJC along with 12 credits of required courses in the major and 12 credits of major elective courses. In addition, students must complete all General Education, University Requirements. To ensure that all Strategic Communication students have the opportunity to gain a genuine global perspective, six credits of the same foreign language or courses focused on a global culture are required. Finally, students must also complete 24 credits of free electives from outside the School of Global Journalism and Communication This is a requirement for accreditation by the Accrediting Council for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. It is strongly recommended, but not required, that those free electives be concentrated in a single discipline.
Requirements for the B.S. Degree in Strategic Communication
A minimum of 120 credit hours are required to graduate with a B.S. in Strategic Communication. These credit hours are distributed as follows:
General Education and University Requirements 42
Foreign Language/Global Culture Requirements 6
School of Global Journalism Core Requirements 24
Required Courses for the Strategic Communication Major 48
Total Credits 120