Department Office: Gillum Hall, 3rd Floor
Web site: http://www.indstate.edu/cas/communication
The Department of Communication at Indiana State University offers a program that prepares students to become integral parts of the relational and collaborative forces that construct the social world. Our need to create, use, and understand effective communication is more important than at any point in human history. Communication technologies shape human action and interaction globally, impacting the lives of individuals and communities. The Communication program at ISU involves students in research, theory, and experiential learning through a course of study that includes common core requirements in culture, practice, research, theory, history, writing, multimedia production, and law. Concentrations in Communication and Culture, Journalism, Media Studies, Public Relations and Health Communication, are available, as are selected electives. The Department of Communication supports the liberal arts and sciences mission of the College of Arts and Sciences and Indiana State University by participating in Foundational Studies, Honors, Gender Studies and International Studies.
Candidates for the BA in Communication must complete the University requirement of a minimum of 120 credit hours, including Foundational Studies course work, as well as the requirements for the departmental major. Non-majors may also complete a minor in communication by completing one of the concentrations.
Department faculty encourage student research and practice through a robust multimedia production program, independent projects, and active chapters of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), and Lambda Pi Eta, the National Communication Honor Society. The Department supports student professional development and community engagement through internships, practica, membership in student chapters of organizations, and opportunities for client-based services and competitions. Our students benefit from cooperative relationships with ISU student media operations, including WZIS – a 24-hour per day student run operation, WISU-FM – a 24-hour per day NPR affiliate, Sycamore Video – a student video production program, SycCreations – a client-based web and PR design club, The Sycamore yearbook, and the Indiana Statesman – the campus newspaper. Students are assigned a faculty academic advisor, and they are encouraged to maintain good contact with this advisor during the year and to work with them prior to registration each semester. Students who do so are more likely to meet their goals and achieve academic success.
Description of Concentrations
Communication and Culture examines communicative practices as modes of action, ways of accomplishing social ends, the craft of communicative practice and performance, and both ordinary and spectacular cultural events and acts. Courses in the concentration utilize multiple methods to develop an understanding of culture. The concentration features ethnographic theory and method, involving students in participant observation, cross-cultural contexts, socio-political frameworks, and self-reflexivity to produce deeper knowledge about the ways in which culture is produced and re-produced by human action in multiple media.
Journalism explores the various skills, laws, ethics, power, and responsibilities of the news media in modern society. Courses in the concentration focus on the technical skills and theoretical understandings needed to successfully hear, interpret, and share the stories of diverse people whose circumstances are vital to understanding the changing and complex world in which we live.
Media Studies examines the social implications and responsibilities of the media and develops fundamental knowledge of media production theory and skills. Courses in the concentration challenge students to engage media messages critically rather than to accept them passively. Students learn to be both mindful consumers and responsible creators of mediated messages. Such messages are essential aspects of contemporary life. Knowledge of their complexity is necessary to those entering careers in media communication.
Public Relations explores how organizations build and maintain good reputations and communicate effectively with employees, the media, community groups, and others important to their success. Courses in this concentration emphasize the use of strategic communication to place messages in the media through media releases, editorial content, and promotion while broadening a student’s understanding of organizations, various media formats, and effective campaign construction.
Health Communication examines the production and dissemination of health information and how that information impacts individuals, small groups and communities, organizations, and public policy. Health Communication draws from the fields of interpersonal, organizational, and media communication, utilizing strategic communication to deliver evidence-based health information to various healthcare audiences. Courses in this concentration teach how to motivate individuals to be attentive and responsive to health information, as well as how to improve patient outcomes such as compliance, satisfaction, and quality of life through the use of targeted audience-specific texts which are frequently mass-mediated.