Mission Statement

The mission of the Department of Communication/Journalism is to maximize the intellectual, personal, and social capabilities of our students so each can contribute to the advancement of our dynamic society.

The Department of Communication/Journalism prepares students, both undergraduate and graduate, to:

  • Think creatively and critically;
  • Gather information in many ways from diverse sources;
  • Evaluate and select information;
  • Present information clearly in visual and verbal forms to defined audiences;
  • Use technology to effectively present this information;
  • Work in a collaborative setting;
  • Work within an ethical and legal framework;
  • Understand the social, cultural, and professional roles of mass communication in a diverse and democratic society.

Department Goals

To fulfill its mission, the Department of Communication/Journalism has established the following goals:

Goal 1: Produce students who understand and apply First Amendment principles and communications law and ethics appropriate to professional practice.

Goal 2: Produce students who demonstrate an understanding of the history and role of professionals and institutions in shaping communications.

Goal 3: Produce students who demonstrate an understanding of the diversity of groups in a global society in relationship to communications.

Goal 4: Produce students who conduct research and evaluate information by methods appropriate to the communications professions in which they work.

Goal 5: Produce students who write correctly and clearly in forms and styles appropriate for the communications professions, audiences and purposes they serve.

Goal 6: Produce students who apply tools and technologies appropriate for the communications professions in which they work.

Goal 7: Produce students who can work collaboratively as part of a communications team in a diverse workplace.

Teaching Philosophy

In support of these goals, the Department of Communication/Journalism practices the following teaching principles:

Provide stimulating and rewarding classroom/learning experiences. Teaching is understood by the department as its single most important responsibility. Therefore, the faculty commits itself to frequent assessments of its teaching, participation in teacher workshops, and training in electronic technologies to enhance classroom performance. The department strives to keep class size small, especially in upper level courses, in order to encourage discussion and to allow for personal attention.

Provide opportunities guidance for student access to campus media groups in preparation for meaningful, structured, professional internships.

Provide accurate and timely academic advisement to the department’s students.

Provide career advice to our majors by inviting media professionals for visits, by utilizing alumni contacts, by providing quality internship experiences, and by seeking faculty who have had significant mass communication industry experience.

Provide a reasonable level of training in the technical skills of the mass communication industry while still maintaining the primacy of a liberal arts education. It is expected that a graduate would have skills sufficient for a trouble-free entry into the industry with an ability to rapidly advance.

Provide our students the skills and insights necessary to become critical consumers of mass communication products.

Provide education in the legal and ethical aspects of the mass communication industry. Although students are required to take a dedicated communications law course, it is understood by the department faculty that all courses will have ethical components.

Recognize its connection to the larger academic community by active faculty involvement in research and creative productions, and participation in professional organizations. Although teaching is paramount within the department, the faculty understands that research, creative productions, and subsequent publication informs the quality of teaching and enhances the academic respectability of the department.

Recognize its obligation to respond to campus and community needs by providing departmental expertise in electronic media, print media, and public relations to those who request such advice and help.

Pay special attention to those economic, ethnic, and social groups traditionally underrepresented in the mass communication industry. By running workshops for minority students, along with active recruitment of minority faculty, and reaching out to minority students in high school, the Department aspires to be faithful to the principles of social equity established by the university.

Maintain links to our alumni and the industry with our website, newsletters, special events, and Professional Advisory Council. The Department recognizes the need to collaborate with alumni and professionals from the industry to build and maintain a vibrant and relevant program.

Regularly assesswhether department goals as outlined in this mission statement have been met. In particular, the department will pay close attention to suggestions and criticisms from our Professional Advisory Council, from practitioners in the mass communication industry, from alumni, and from current students.

The Department of Communication/Journalism views responsible communication as an essential tool for increasing global human understanding. Through quality teaching, research, and service, the Department of Communication/Journalism provides a foundation for truly informed and accountable citizens.