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Philosophy & Policies

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Our Commitment

The faculty is committed to shaping minds to master tomorrow's communication challenges in the fields of Journalism, Mass Media, Organizational Communication, Public Relations, and Health Communication. We emphasize the practical application of communication principles, theories, and strategies to resolve real-world communication challenges. In fact, 100% of our faculty members have industry experience serving as practitioners, consultants, or advisors.

Our Expectations

We expect every student to be committed to continuous improvement, collaboration, and professionalism. This means respectfully responding to personal feedback. Our expectation is that students use the feedback to elevate their skills, thinking, and expertise. Likewise, we expect our graduates to excel in collaborating with others to complete a project. Why? Most organizations resolve complex challenges with teams of experts. We want our students to excel at this vital task. Finally, we expect all our students to behave in a professional manner. See the next page for details.

Our Program

Our applied communication program "stair-steps" young professionals to excellence in their area of expertise (Journalism, Mass Media, Organizational Communication, Public Relations, and Health Communication). Step one builds students' basic oral, written, visual, and research skills (e.g. COMM 100 – 200 classes). Step two develops students' professional expertise in their area of emphasis or emphases (e.g. COMM 300 classes). The final step provides capstone experiences designed around learning to embrace complex communication challenges that integrate students’ skills, professional expertise, and critical thinking abilities (e.g. COMM 400). In short, our program is fun, challenging, and often life changing.

How Professionals Behave

Our best graduates realize their personal reputations are enhanced -- or diminished -- by their everyday interactions with faculty and fellow students. In short, they show respect for everyone by:

Keeping commitments

For instance, if you set a meeting time with a faculty member, then be there. If you have to break the commitment, then let the person know ASAP.

Showing regard for other people's time

This means that all group meetings and most one-on-one meetings should have an agenda.

Using the proper form of address in e-mails, text, and classroom

It is best to avoid starting e-mails with "hey" or other unprofessional greetings. No greeting at all is also unprofessional. Most professors prefer a more formal address such as, "Dear Professor X" or "Dr. Y."

Using the proper channels

Many simple requests for information can be handled via lean channels such as e-mail. Reserve face-to-face discussions (a rich channel) for more complex and nuanced issues such as career advice, concept clarification, personal development, and group conflicts.

Taking the initiative

Read your e-mails and follow directions. Do not expect professors to fill out forms or walk you through application procedures that have been clearly explained in professional communication (read your e-mails) or available on our Communication website.

Citing your sources

Professionals do not duplicate others' work or thoughts without attributions. In fact, we've asked repeat offenders of this guideline to leave our program.

Learning, laughing, and moving on

Professionals learn from their inevitable mistakes, reveling in the joys of continuous improvement, but always moving forward.