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Applied Communication Studies

MAJOR TRACKS

Interpersonal Communication Track

This track provides students with a thorough theoretical and practical understanding of the ways in which verbal and nonverbal communication are used in creating, defining, negotiating, and modifying relationships. This track also increases students’ awareness both of the many types of, and the myriad influences on, interpersonal relationships. A thorough, systematic examination of relevant theory and research regarding interpersonal communication is provided. Students in the interpersonal communication track are generally attracted to it for the solid preparation it provides for graduate school. Students who select this track as pre-graduate study preparation will find themselves with an excellent foundation upon which to begin careers in the academic community, such as professor, researcher, or administrator. Those choosing this track will also be well prepared for positions in the business sector such as recruiters and trainers.

Corporate and Organizational Communication Track

Students who choose the corporate and organizational communication track focus on communication within the context of businesses and other organizations. Effective communication in organizations is necessary both for the attainment of organizational goals and for individual productivity and satisfaction. This track is designed for those who will work in organizational settings and who want to become more effective in their interactions with others for a more successful and fulfilling work life. This knowledge is especially important now that the “world of work” is undergoing such rapid change. In addition to learning, understanding, and applying organizational theories and research, students will develop important organizational skills such as conflict management, decision making, goal setting, and team building. Students completing this track will be prepared for careers in a wide variety of organizational settings and roles (sales, management, human resources, and training), as well as for graduate study in communication or business.

Public Relations Track

Students in the public relations track will study under a model program, designed to meet and exceed national guidelines for undergraduate public relations education described in “Public Relations Education for the 21st Century: A Port of Entry,” sponsored by the Commission on Public Relations Education. This track stresses written, oral, graphic, and technological applications of communication skills to an array of for-profit and nonprofit contexts. Elements of the program are designed to keep entry-level students in touch with upper-division students, and past graduates in touch with all students. In addition, students will experience the “paired course” concept, an idea that helps students integrate materials across their sequence of study. And finally, students may join SIUE’s award-winning chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America, which is affiliated with the national professional association, Public Relations Society of America.

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