As the movie ends and the credits roll, the audience files out, talks about the next thing—pizza, bowling, sleep, homework. But somebody remains. Always, somebody remains to sit through the credits before catching up to friends and redirecting
conversation away from the next thing and back to the last. This somebody analyzes, constructs arguments, weighs claims and counter-claims, moves friends beyond thinking of the movie as just brainless entertainment and helps them see what makes it curious, challenging, worth discussion and debate.
This somebody has the makings of a communication studies major.
In communication studies at Defiance College, classic rhetorical approaches to speaking and writing are melded with developments in media such as newspapers, magazines, television, film, radio, comics/sequential art, video games, and the internet. The broad exposure to many forms of communication prepares students to engage with many forms of public discourse including letters to the editor, speeches, advertising, public relations, videos, and blogs.
Communication studies students work closely with professors to gain the theoretical knowledge and practical skills needed in the communication field. Students are challenged to argue effectively, to understand society’s changing communication needs, and to use current media in ways that are innovative yet accessible to large groups of people.
As for movies? That somebody will still watch movies, maybe even turn them into a career.
The Communication Studies major aims to provide a quality and diversified education in communication studies that will produce graduates who meet superior standards of performance in oral and written communication, information processing techniques, business communication, interpersonal skills, and understanding basic communication theories.
Because a broad knowledgeable background is required for students in this major, the program requires students who major in Communication Studies with an emphasis in Public Relations to take a minimum of 36 hours of communication-oriented courses. Integrated Language Arts is a 60-hour major for those students who wish to become certified teachers.
1. To provide a flexible learning environment that will heighten the mastery of subject matter and specific skills within the related areas of communication studies.
2. To foster scholarship and provide learning experience that will prepare students for certain careers and/or provide them with the basic skills and knowledge needed to pursue higher or professional degrees.
3. To provide opportunities and skills for non-majors who wish to supplement and broaden their educational experience in communication studies.
Communication Studies is a major for those who:
Like to analyze and judge what other people say
Spend a lot of time talking back to television programs and professors
Feel they could do a better job creating a commercial, designing a newspaper, or writing a news article or a presidential speech
Enjoy arguing with friends
Thrive on government debate, television commentary, or the dissection of a sporting event
Find themselves leading a group project in class even when they swear they won't
Communication studies can prepare students for careers in such fields as education, journalism, public relations, sales, and speech communication. It can provide the basis for future graduate study in these fields and others—such as advertising or law. It can provide the student interested in a teaching career with competence in a number of areas. Others work in a wide variety of professional positions in business and industry, or some may enter graduate school programs.
Christopher A. Medjesky, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Communication Studies