Communication Studies to Launch Four Majors at SUNY Plattsburgh
PLATTSBURGH, NY __ Beginning this fall, the Mass Communication and Speech Communication
programs at the State University of New York College at Plattsburgh will merge to
form what will be known as the Communication Studies Program.
This new program will offer students four new majors to choose from including: communications studies; business and professional communication; TV-video production/broadcast journalism; and audio-radio/digital media production.
"The new majors will keep our communications program current in an environment of rapid change in technology and in people's expectations for the media," said Dr. Robert Golden, provost and vice president for academic affairs. "The new majors also give students the ability to focus their interests and develop greater depth in their field."
The program also includes seven different concentrations ranging from advertising to audio-radio production.
"The new majors provide students with a more concentrated area of study," said Peter Ensel '80, associate professor and chair of the communications department. "This will ultimately bring students better success in their careers."
The four majors will take the former mass communications and speech communications majors and define them into four specific career paths.
"The term 'speech communication' is outdated in the discipline," said Dr. Lori Walters-Kramer, assistant professor and coordinator for the communication studies major. "The term does not capture what people in the field actually do. Speech includes small group communication, interpersonal communications and media."
Along with the new majors and concentrations, the program will offer students a total of 20 new courses on top of over 60 courses already offered to communication students.
"I think the new majors are an excellent step in the right direction for the department," said Terri-Ann Venezia, a freshman mass communication major from Hauppauge, N.Y. " I am going to graduate with a more defined, detailed major, giving prospective employers a better idea of what I learned in college."
Although the switch does not officially go into effect until fall 2005, students are currently able to switch to one of the new majors now.
"Speech communication and mass communication will no longer exist here at Plattsburgh State in the year 2008," said Ensel. "Yet, students currently in those majors may still graduate with a bachelor's degree in speech or mass communications if they choose."
The speech communications program started at Plattsburgh State before 1969 while the mass communications program was started in 1985.
In the past 20 years, more than 600 students have graduated from SUNY Plattsburgh with an undergraduate degree in speech communications and more than 1,230 have graduated with a degree in mass communications.
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