Customizable, interdisciplinary Communications major will feature 13 all-new classes

Katie Amundsen, Staff Reporter

The addition of a Communi­cation major is expected to be finalized this fall.

The major is currently under review of the Higher Learning Commission, whose members are the ones that grant accreditation, according to John McKenzie, in­structor of Communication at Lakeland.

The final decision will be made on Oct. 22, and Lakeland faculty and students will be in­formed of the decision within two weeks of that date. McKenzie says that students will be able to regis­ter on the day the news is received.

The previous curriculum only offered a minor in Communication and, before last year, the Commu­nication minor mostly consisted of courses in writing and a few art classes. The minor has since been redesigned to compliment the ma­jor.

McKenzie said, “Those who take the minor are still going to get a lot of the meat, the same content that people in the major do. Those who enroll in the major, however, will partake in more senior-level experiences.”

There are also several new classes that will be added to the curriculum. Some classes that al­ready exist have changed their names to become Communication classes specifically. For example, the class Introduction to Mass Media (or WRI 100) will now be called COM 100 and Fundamen­tals of Public Speaking (or GEN 111) will become COM 111.

Thirteen completely new courses will also be available. Among these courses are Interper­sonal Communication, which will be taught by Charlie Krebbs, and Persuasion and Advocacy, which will be taught by McKenzie in the spring. Another class that will be offered is New Media and Digital Communication, which will allow students to design, write, and cre­ate their own professional blogs. Other class titles include Com­munication Theory, Rhetorical Criticism, and Critical Communi­cation Approaches to New Media, which is a senior-level course.

According to McKenzie, the major will have two primary fo­cuses, the first being on Rhetoric and Public Communication and the other on Professional Com­munication. McKenzie says that students interested in the profes­sional emphasis are looking to have jobs in the fields of business, corporation, or journalism.
He described the emphasis on rhetoric and public commu­nication as “revealing the way in which our communication is con­nected to everyone else’s commu­nication.” These students may also take courses in politics, social and cultural issues, design, and speech writing.

McKenzie believes that stu­dents can greatly benefit from a major in Communication. He says that the number one quality employers are looking for in col­lege graduates is communication skills, and majoring in Communi­cation would prepare the student to enter the job field with the skill set desired by employers nation­wide.

He also stresses the interdis­ciplinary nature of the major, stat­ing that it can “be whatever you want to make it.” It can lead to a broad set of careers after gradua­tion, including those in marketing, advertising, journalism, writing for the web, public relations, hu­man resources, or designing and administering informational cam­paigns.

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