The mission of the Communication Department is to empower students to become effective leaders and practitioners of communication that involves embracing a diversity of cultures, beliefs, and experiences in our increasingly interconnected world. Our courses engage our students in reflecting upon and critically thinking about all areas of human communication. We are committed to understanding and advancing the role of communication for social justice which includes exploring inequities of communicative power and resources, addressing their causes, and imagining their remedies.
We are a liberal arts department, with an approach that integrates diverse scholarly areas, including media studies, film, journalism, interpersonal, organizational, intercultural, health, and strategic communication, from global, social scientific, and critical perspectives. Our courses encourage social engagement and ethical reasoning about all forms of communication, the integration of theory and practice, the development of applied skills in human interaction and mediated communication, as well as critical understanding of the human communication process in contemporary social and mediated contexts. We value a wide range of research methodologies. Our classes emphasize active and engaged learning, offer learning opportunities outside of the classroom, and create opportunities for students to apply their knowledge and skills in creative student projects and research. The faculty of the department is dedicated to designing rigorous and comprehensive learning experiences for students, to contributing scholarly and creative work in the field of communication, and to providing meaningful service within our discipline and for local and global communities.
Goals and Objectives
Students who graduate in communication will be able to:
- Explain, apply, critique, and synthesize communication theories and concepts.
- Apply critical and analytic thinking to mediated and non-mediated messages.
- Analyze how communication shapes patterns of social interaction, the expression of cultural values and norms, or practices that affect relations of power, both locally and globally.
- Analyze the ethical dimensions of communication and form judgments and practices based on evidence and values.
- Demonstrate research skills including the ability to formulate research questions, interpret, and evaluate the quality of communication research.
- Demonstrate the ability to produce and critically reflect on effective oral, written, visual, and mediated communication that is adapted to diverse audiences within multiple contexts.
- Demonstrate the ability to accomplish a variety of interpersonal goals in relationships, groups, and organizations, including developing a compassionate understanding of diverse communication styles and goals of other people (gender, culture, ethnicity, or age).
- Design strategies for how communication can contribute to a more humane, just, or sustainable world.