Communication Studies focuses upon the ways in which a culture communicates information—through book, newspaper, memo; telephone; radio, television and cinema; computer, Internet and fiber optics; conversation and conference—in order to help students determine their relationship to the world and understand the information society in which they live. The program believes that this society can be characterized by multicultural communication practices and the diffusion of information technologies. The program’s primary focus is media.
Communication Studies is both theoretical and practical. Students are expected to understand a set of interlocking concerns: how institutions shape the message and how people interpret the message; the possibilities and the limits of particular media; the influence of culture upon communication technologies; and the effects of technological change upon society as a whole. Additionally, students are expected to manage the tools of their discipline: computers, video, radio, print, and spoken discourse.
The Communication Studies program is divided into three tracks — Public Relations and Advertising, Media Production, and General Media Studies. In Public Relations and Advertising students learn the important aspects of the field and how media impacts the dissemination of messages. The Media Production concentration focuses upon behind the scenes skills and offers students a more hands-on approach to learning the media production field. The General Media Studies courses provide a theoretical understanding of the field and allow students to critically analyze media. The program also offers core courses in communication theory and writing, and requires students to enroll in a seminar and participate in an internship. In the seminars and internships, students will synthesize the knowledge and methodologies they have learned in all three program areas.
ADMISSION TO THE PROGRAM
The program in Communication Studies is open to any student with an interest in the discipline. A distinctive feature of Communication Studies is its preceptor/preceptee collaboration. Students’ cognate choices are the result of a careful negotiation between students and preceptors. Students wishing to major in the program are encouraged to declare their intentions no later than the beginning of their junior year. Intended majors must consult with a Communication Studies faculty member, who will explain the nature of the program and its specific requirements.
Qualified students may be assisted in obtaining pre-professional experiences in their fields of interest by means of internship opportunities with local and regional organizations. The proximity of Stockton University to Atlantic City and Philadelphia and major radio, TV and print media markets makes possible internship opportunities in the media, and in other areas such as public relations, advertising, and promotions for commercial, political and/or social programs and events. Students can also opt for an on-campus internship with the University radio station, WLFR, the University television station, SSTV, and the University newspaper, The Argo.
Interested students should contact the Communication Studies Internship Coordinator after discussing possibilities and requirements with their preceptors. Students who wish to be certified to teach in elementary or secondary schools may do so by satisfying the requirements for a degree in Communication Studies and the additional requirements necessary for teacher certification.