The New Communication Department

As of this semester the Communication Department at WCU is in the midst of major changes. No longer is the major under the College of Fine and Performing Arts along with motion picture, but has found a new home under the College of Arts and Science. This change, while still under some minor adjustments, will bring better communication between students and professors. The new department began this semester with Acting Department Head Don Connelly. According to Connelly, “The change was made because the old department was too large and going into too many directions. It is part of the College of Fine and Performing Arts reorganization. Before this change there were well over 300 majors with one person in charge of all departments.” The new Communication Department now houses Broadcasting, Broadcast Sales, Print Media, Public Relations and Communication Training and Development. The department now has over 230 majors in various concentrations. This change also brings higher standards for those under the program which requires that all students must maintain a GPA of 2.5 or higher in order to stay under the program. The higher GPA is a way for the department to keep up with increasing academic standards among other universities and future employers. Under this new department there is the Broadcast Sales major. According to the sales webpage, “The Broadcast Sales program at Western has been recognized as possibly the first of its kind in the country and is highly regarded by members of the broadcasting industry. Both a major concentration and a minor in broadcast sales are offered. Western is one of less than 10 universities to offer industry-recognized professional certification prior to graduation. Our broadcast sales grads are in high demand.” The Communication Department also has professional certification for the Broadcast Sales and Broadcasting majors. The first certification is the Radio Marketing Professional certification exam which is recognized under the marketing industries of both radio and TV. The second certification is the Television Operator Certification which declares students capable of operating a main control room and technical operations. The certifications are recognized by the Radio Advertising Bureau and the Society of Broadcast Engineers. Students under the communication majors will have the chance to attend prestigious conventions such as the Broadcast Education Association (BEA) and the National Association of Broadcasters’ (NAB) which is held in Las Vegas. These conventions give students the opportunity to create professional relationships with people in radio, TV and International companies. Amongst the new department and majors is a new class offered to all students at Western called Introduction to Communication (CMHC201). This class, which is required by all students, differs from the other speech classes in that it assists students who have extreme difficulty with social settings such as classes or giving speeches. Though the transition of this department may have gone unnoticed by most, the changes that were made will give those under the program greater opportunities and experiences.