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Why Communication?

Why study Communication?

Communication is one of the most diverse and dynamic areas students can study. There are well over 300 definitions of communication. But, one of the most common definitions explains the process as “how to send a message to a receiver and the context that surrounds that,” or “it is the process by which human beings make and share meaning.” Still confused? Communication is a hard area to define in a short, concise definition since it is the foundation of all we do. Therefore, studying this field means students are exposed to a wide variety of information that allows them to be prepared for any career path. Students can take courses in intercultural communication to prepare them for working with diverse cultural groups and take other courses to teach them how to lay out web pages so they are prepared for communicating in electronic mediums. According to Philip Walzer, a writer for the Virginia Pilot, “Communication is a far-flung field that includes broadcast journalism, film studies and public speaking – is one of the hottest departments these days." In his article, “Popular Major Speaks to Local College Students,” he reports that colleges are reporting great increases in Communication graduates across the country as students learn about the flexibility and dynamic opportunities Communication degrees offer.


Communication Studies

What is Communication Studies?

“The ability to speak clearly, eloquently, and effectively has been recognized as the hallmark of an educated person since the beginning of recorded history. Systematic commitment on communication goes back at least as far as The Precepts of Kagemni and Ptah-Hopte (3200-2800 BC) under the label “rhetoric”, the study of the theory and practice of communication was a central concern of Greek, Roman, medieval, Renaissance, and early modern education. In the United States rhetorical training has been a part of formal education since Harvard’s founding in 1636.” (Friedrich, 1991). The ability to communicate ideas effectively is the key to success in our society. We know that those who deliver our news, make public policy and run our top corporations are individuals who communicate well. They understand the intricacies of how we think and speak. Contemporary studies in communication also stress the role of citizenship in a civil and democratic society, especially as related to freedom of speech. Contemporary students of communication draw on theories and practices common in the fields of: anthropology, psychology, sociology, linguistics, semiotics, and rhetoric. The study of communication considers how people communicate as individuals, in society, and in various cultures.

Academic Information
Career Directions in Communication Studies
  • Communication Teacher/Professor
  • Representative to Organizations (Spokesperson)
  • Speech Writer
  • Communication Consultant
  • Public Speaker
  • Political Campaign Director
  • Communication Statistician
  • Developmental Officer for a corporation
  • Director of Corporate Communication
  • Attorney
  • Human Resources Manager
  • Public Opinion Researcher
  • Customer Service Representative
  • Community Affairs Liaison
  • Training Specialist
  • Legislative Assistant
  • Public Affairs Director
  • Nonprofit Organization Director
  • Politician
  • Fund Raiser
  • Legal Communication Consultant
  • Government Lobbyist
  • Political Analyst
  • Communication Researcher
  • Business Manager
  • Human Rights Officer
  • Political Activist
  • Public Information Officer
  • Governmental Press Secretary
  • Community Relations Director
  • Employment Coordinator/Liaison
  • College Recruiter
  • Legislative Correspondent

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Convergent Journalism

Why study Convergent Journalism?

Convergent journalists tell stories through the written word, audio, video and still photos. Stories are presented in print newspapers and magazines, on the radio and on television and through various internet sites. Imaginative, talented artists, designers, photographers and writers create convergent journalism. When events occur that changes lives, the public wants to know the basics of who, what when and where. More importantly, the public wants to know how and why.

Convergent journalists crave variety. They meet the challenge of presenting information in a way that the public views as valuable and necessary. The convergent journalism emphasis is designed to help students to realize the various ways to present information, from print to electronic and to allow students to evolve with a growing field.

Academic Information
Career Directions in Convergent Journalism
  • Reporter 
  • Editor
  • News Anchor
  • News Director
  • Author
  • Publisher
  • Advertising Agency Copy Writer
  • Technical Writer
  • Photojournalist
  • Corporate Communications Director
  • Corporate Media Liaison

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Film Studies and Communcation

What is Film Studies and Communication?

This emphasis provides students with critical skills in analysis, script construction, cinematography and editing to make movies. Past productions available at www.scdigital.org/webcast include a serial drama titled After 7 and short films such as Fade to Black, The Devil Pays in Gold, and Boots in the Bed.

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General Communcation

What is General Communication?

Many students arrive at Southwestern, or at any other institution for that matter, and have a major in mind. However, as they begin to learn about other areas of study, they quickly learn that they want a variety, want to be more versatile in their future career, or can’t quite find their “fit” in their current major area of study. The General Communication major allows students to create their own program of study to fit their specific needs as they develop new talents and interests in the communication field. Furthermore, we live in a dynamic world in which careers and jobs are quickly changing to fit the needs of new technologies and career options, often times while students are still in college. The General Communication program offers students the flexibility to prepare for new job opportunities immediately.

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New Media

What is New Media?

These studies offer experience in the design of web sites, commercial printed material such as ads and flyers, media writing, and video messages. In each case, the design and organization of the communication is stressed as guiding the production in which ever medium is used.

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Professional Communication

What is Professional Communication?

A degree in Professional Communication means students learn about the research involved in developing public communication strategies including advertising, public relations campaigns, crisis communication, print and electronic representations of public relations information for private and public organizations. Students study marketing strategies, visual and print mediums. In this major students study communication situations, organizations and theories while gaining practical skills in visual and print mediums. Students will develop a professional portfolio for career opportunities after graduation.

Academic Information
Career Directions in Professional Communication
  • Publications Editor
  • Copy Writer
  • Public Relations
  • Media Sales Representative
  • Advertising Executive
  • Public Opinion Researcher
  • Market Researcher
  • Media Planner
  • Marketing Specialist
  • Sports Publicist
  • Publicity Manger
  • Advertising Manager
  • Marketing Specialist
  • Press Agent
  • Lobbyist
  • Corporate Public Affairs Specialist
  • Development Officer
  • Media Planner
  • Media Specialist
  • Public Opinion Researcher
  • Publicity Manager
  • Fund Raiser
  • Marketing Communications Director
  • Entertainment Director
  • Event Planner

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Radio/Television Production and Performance

What is Radio/Television Production and Performance?

Our radio signal is broadcast and streamed on line, offering field-realistic experience in music programming, sports and news. To listen online, go to: www.scjinxradio.org. Our television programs are streamed on line, and focus on remote production using a state-of-the-art portable studio with HD cameras, video processor, switcher, audio and lights. For a look at some of our productions, go to www.scdigital.org/webcast.

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Speech and Theatre Education

What is Speech and Theatre Education?

With current economic uncertainty, education is always a solid career choice. Although schools are undergoing budget cuts and many programs face uncertainty, this major offers students the opportunity to be prepared in multiple extracurricular programs. Several years ago the Kansas Department of Education merged the Speech and Theatre certification programs into one certification area. However, the student who certifies to teach in this area is prepared to teach: Debate, Forensics, Media, Newspaper and Theatre. Therefore, the program is rigorous and intense, but students will be well prepared for teaching at large public school programs in one area, or versatile enough to cover all areas in a small school that asks students to be multi focused.

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Minor Areas of Study

Why a Communications Minor?

A minor in Communication is always a good idea. Communication is the foundation for all careers and good communication skills are always in high demand. Our communication minor allows students to take a variety of courses in the division and tailor courses to best fit with any major on campus.

Additional minor areas of study:

  • Broadcasting
  • Communication Studies
  • Film and Television Theory
  • Criticism and Production
  • Journalism
  • New Media

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