Communication Studies

Department of Communication Studies

(Applied Communication, Public Relations & Strategic Communication, Sport Communication)

The College of Arts and Sciences 


Chair

Deleasa Randall-Griffiths, Professor of Communication Studies

Faculty

Cory Hillman, Assistant Professor of Communication Studies

Olga Monacell, Assistant Professor of Communication Studies

Jaclyn Marsh, Visiting Assistant Professor of Communication Studies

Degrees Offered

Bachelor of Arts


Mission Statement

The Department of Communication Studies is dedicated to its students by providing innovative and diverse leadership, intellectual rigor, and collaboration in a culture of scholarship.


Experiential Learning

The communication studies programs offer off-campus opportunities in a variety of organizations including industry, non-profit, and government agencies. Practical research opportunities will be available to students desiring to apply their skills to actual organizations (serving as consultants and/or trainers) resulting in the student accumulating valuable professional experience and credentialing.

The sport communication program offers opportunities for students to work in cooperation with the Ashland University sports information office and with its NCAA Division II athletic teams in a wide variety of men's and women's sports. Sport communication students also have the opportunity to work with external amateur and professional sport organizations in the Cleveland, Columbus, and Akron areas.


Student Honor Society

Students who have excelled in communication studies are eligible for membership in Lambda Pi Eta, the National Communication Association’s Honor Society. This organization recognizes scholarly excellence in the field of Communication Studies. Qualifications for Lambda Pi Eta: 1. Communication Studies Major, 2. Have completed 60 semester credit-hours, 3. Have a minimum overall cumulative GPA of 3.0, 4. Have completed the equivalent of 12 semester credit-hours in Communication Studies, 5. Have a minimum GPA of 3.25 for all Communication Studies courses, 6. Currently be enrolled as a student in good standing, as determined by the institution's policies.


Description of Majors

Applied Communication

The Applied Communication studies major prepares students for a broad range of careers by providing a strong communication foundation involving speaking, listening, and writing. Students apply this foundation to the study of public relations, conflict mediation and negotiation, and risk and crisis communication. Students tailor their degree to meet specific interests by choosing classes from a wide range of institutional and relational contexts like: public speaking, small group, family, intercultural, organizational, and leadership communication. Students have the opportunity to build their portfolio consisting of research projects, accomplishments, and experiences. The program does require a minor or dual major. The Applied Communication student will:

  1. Critically analyze the complexity of human communication addressing the ongoing transaction between and among parties.

  2. Explain and apply theories and research to central questions of the communication studies discipline.

  3. Create informative, persuasive, and conversational messages by identifying and evaluating the audience, purpose, and context.

  4. Create and deliver effective written, oral and digital presentations for a given audience.

  5. Critically analyze messages through the use of listening skills.

  6. Explain the social, cultural, and ethical responsibilities of communicators.

Public Relations & Strategic Communication

Students majoring in public relations and strategic communication master the art and science of relating to diverse publics using a variety of media and communication strategies and vehicles. Students are prepared to work in public relations with a focus on message construction, reputation management, and building relationships between organizations and their public. An emphasis will be placed on leadership and organizational communication. Students will develop critical thinking, research, and audience analysis skills that are necessary for any organization. Students will be prepared to execute successful public relations campaigns for any organization or sector including corporations, nonprofits, government, education and healthcare. The Public Relations & Strategic Communication student will:

  1. Critically analyze the complexity of human communication addressing the ongoing transaction between and among parties.

  2. Explain and apply theories and research to central questions of the communication studies discipline.

  3. Create informative, persuasive, and conversational messages by identifying and evaluating the audience, purpose, and context.

  4. Create and deliver effective written, oral and digital presentations for a given audience.

  5. Critically analyze messages through the use of listening skills.

  6. Explain the social, cultural, and ethical responsibilities of communicators.

  7. Create public relations plans and campaigns that utilize research and include defined goals, measurable objectives, strategies, tactics and evaluation.

  8. Apply organizational communication strategies, problem-solving skills, critical analysis and ethical behavior to manage stakeholder relationships and enhance strategic communication within organizations.

Sport Communication

Sport communication majors focus on communication theory, research, and application that covers a broad range of communication phenomena within the sport industry. Students study sport culture, sport organizations, informatics, sport relationships, and fandom to prepare them for fields such as sport public relations, sports sales, marketing, management, coaching, and continuation in graduate studies. The Sport Communication Studies student will:

  1. Critically analyze the complexity of human communication addressing the ongoing transaction between and among parties.

  2. Explain and apply theories and research to central questions of the communication studies discipline.

  3. Create informative, persuasive, and conversational messages by identifying and evaluating the audience, purpose, and context.

  4. Create and deliver effective written, oral and digital presentations for a given audience.

  5. Critically analyze messages through the use of listening skills.

  6. Explain the social, cultural, and ethical responsibilities of communicators.

  7. Critically analyze the cultural, organizational, and interpersonal relationships that exist between the sports industry, its audiences, and its stakeholders.

  8. Apply relevant sport communication theory and principles in the discussion, analysis, and/or research of sport-related contexts, issues, and ethical concerns.


Degree Requirements

Assessment - Majors in the department will be expected to participate in programmatic assessment during the process of completing their degree requirements. This process includes, but is not limited to, the submission of writing samples and presentations. Faculty will inform the students projects will be collected for assessment.


COM Courses and Descriptions

See Course Descriptions section of catalog.