Shippensburg University offers a Bachelor of Arts in communication/journalism with an emphasis in print media, public relations or electronic media.
Communication/Journalism at Ship
The world is shrinking. It’s true. Thanks to the Internet and a series of satellites in orbit 23,500 miles above the Earth, we’re living in a global village. People can experience an event unfolding in Afghanistan, or Aruba, or even Zanzibar while eating a pizza and watching television, checking Facebook posts on their iPad, or listening to satellite radio. Greater details follow on the Web, in the newspaper the next day, and in news magazines a few days later. We witness events as they happen and hear experts comment on why they’re happening. Now add streaming video, social media, blogs, podcasts, books, recordings, DVDs, movies, photography, cable, advertising, and public relations, and you begin to see the pieces of the communication/journalism puzzle come together.
The Communication/Journalism Department at Shippensburg University is one of 108 programs accredited by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (ACEJMC). It is the only accredited mass communication/journalism program in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. Ship offers state-of-the-art facilities, reputation, and value. Our writing and desktop design computer labs, tablet lab, and radio and television studios are digitally outfitted with professional, industry-standard equipment. Students have access to these facilities right away through active participation in our student media organizations and courses. All of our faculty have advanced degrees and extensive experience in their fields. Most professors have doctorates. But see for yourself. Visit a class. Ask questions. Check us out on the Web. We’re eager to help future students.
Students have access to audio and video production studios, classrooms, and computer labs equipped with the latest industry hardware and software, including:
- Adobe Creative Suite with Dreamweaver and InDesign
- Apple Studio and Final Cut Pro HD
- Microsoft Office
- DVD Studio Pro
The audio suites in Rowland Hall are equipped with computer editing stations utilizing Adobe Audition and Apple Logic software. One suite, funded by the Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters, is a fully functioning MIDI recording studio outfitted with M-Audio ProTools recording software and gear, as well as electronic keyboard and drums.
The photography labs are equipped for digital and black-and-white processing and printing. Students may use departmental digital cameras, enlargers, and assorted film processing equipment.
The university’s TV studio in Grove Hall is a full-functioning TV production center equipped with
- Three Hitachi digital studio cameras with teleprompters
- A Grass Valley Kayak digital production switcher
- Final Cut Pro HD non-linear editing systems
- Panasonic A/B Roll editing stations
- DV and HD Panasonic ENG camcorders
- CNN Newsource
The TV production center also has a mobile TV production van equipped with four Sony VX1000 MiniDV cameras and Panasonic instant replay tape decks to produce live and live-on-tape events and sports contests for broadcast on Comcast Cable and on-campus TV.
Admission and Degree Requirements
Writing is the most important skill of a successful communicator. The Department of Communication/Journalism curriculum is built around writing. To be a good writer, you must also be a good reader. And, keyboarding skills are essential. So, get your language skills in good shape (grammar, spelling, punctuation, vocabulary, usage, etc.), and you’ll have a better chance for success as a communication/journalism major.
All our majors take several basic courses for developing general knowledge and skill, such as Introduction to Mass Communication and Media Writing. Then, students with a public relations emphasis, electronic media emphasis, or print media emphasis each take a series of required courses in their area of interest, such as Public Relations Writing, Electronic Media Writing and Public Affairs Reporting. And students can elect to take courses in another emphasis for a broader education. For example, a student with emphasis in print media can take several broadcast or public relations courses as well.
Careers in Communication/Journalism
Professional communicators find jobs in all branches of communication/journalism. Careers for graduates include:
- Web designers
- Radio and television reporters
- Sports directors
- Radio announcers
- Television producers
- Program directors
- Disk jockeys
- Advertising salespeople and copywriters
- Public relations professionals in business, industry, government
Excellent careers, if students are prepared. The mass media are powerful channels of communication that hire people with talent and experience, in good or bad economic times. But, as in other professions, tough times can hurt the communications job market. However, there’s always room for someone with the proper training and experience.
Hands-on experience is vital to entering the profession. Student media organizations provide such experience. All students are strongly encouraged to participate in The Slate (campus weekly newspaper), WSYC-FM (campus radio station), the Cumberland (campus yearbook), SUTV (campus and local cable TV channel), the Public Relations Student Society of America, SUPR (an official PRSSA student-run PR firm), and the National Broadcasting Society. Also, the department has a multicultural student group — the United Communication Association (UCA) — to function as a support and networking unit for the minority students in the program. Involvement in each of these groups also offers students several different leadership opportunities.
At Shippensburg, we think internships are vital to the success of a communication/journalism student. Internships allow students to use their classroom and student media experiences in a professional setting. Internships are a necessary step on the path to an entry-level job. We keep a searchable database of internship positions and urge students to take an internship in their junior or senior years after participating in student media activities like WSYC-FM, The Slate, or SUTV.
Recent interns have served with such organizations as:
- Fox Sports Net
- The Washington Center
- US Army War College
- Mode Magazine
- The Bravo Group
- USA Today
- Harrisburg Patriot
- National Public Radio
- Antietam Cable
- First Generation Video
Faculty are members of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC), the Broadcast Education Association (BEA), the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and the Society for Professional Journalists (SPJ); students and faculty regularly attend regional and national conventions and meetings.