College of Communication implements new changes

Photo by Rachel Anderson

The College of Communication is undergoing changes this year to help students be competitive in the job market.

This has caused Butler University community members to disscuss how these changes impact students.

Journalism Convergence
Journalism now combines print, digital and broadcast into one major, instead of separate majors for electronic journalism and print journalism.

Senior political science and journalism  major Katie Day said she finds the changes to be inconvenient.

Day said she feels like the administration is phasing out her major and are making it harder for her to schedule classes.

“It is a pain in the butt,” Day said. “But, in the long run, I am sure it will maybe be good in helping students compete in the job market by making Butler more competitive.”

Journalism professor Scott Bridge said the change is beneficial.

“In this day and age, print reporters need to know how to shoot and edit video, and broadcast reporters need to know how to write stories,” Bridge said. “So you learn a new skill which makes you more marketable, which is what we hope to do.”

Bridge said he thinks eventually there will be a convergence of journalism and public relations.

“In the future I think there will be a possible mix of journalism and PR,” Bridge said.

“I have seen that many graduates with a journalism degree [from Butler] are going into PR. Many do this because they may want to have more regular hours instead of a career in journalism where the hours are less set.”

Associate dean of the College of Communication Ann Savage said the changes were made to the major to reflect changes in the field.

New Majors
This year, public relations and advertising is a new major that combines three previous majors: public relations, integrated communications and public and corporate communication.

Interim Dean of the College of Communication Bill Neher said students under this new major will gain the same skills as previous students.

“Students will receive the same skills, but it will not be divided into three different majors,” Neher said. “It is always advantageous when it is not split into three different sections.”

Media, rhetoric and culture is also a new major taught by professors who were formerly part of the communication studies department and the media arts department.

Instructor Casey Kelly said he welcomes the changes.

“For me there are two things I find exciting from the development of the media, rhetoric and culture major,” Kelly said.

“The first thing is that many professors in both departments taught the same things but did not get a chance to work together on ideas which has changed since it is one major. The other point is that it has exposed more students to my classes which has a lot of benefits because now there are more people cooperating on projects that have relevance to both majors.”

Senior communication and biology major Lauren Lupkowski said that she is not under the new major but has received benefits from it.

“I think it is great that [the administration] adapted the program to fit new skills for the new students,” Lupkowski said. “I was even allowed to take one of the new classes in the media, rhetoric and culture major, which is good because it is nice to broaden my knowledge, since a lot of things learned in college become outdated by the time you graduate.”

Organizational communication and leadership is a new major that will be ready for faculty approval this fall.

Lecturer Janis Crawford, who teaches courses for the major, said  the changes will bring new growth options for students.

“It opens all kinds of opportunities for faculty to work together,” Crawford said. “It also broadens opportunities for students because it allows students to work more closely with faculty.”

Neher said the changes serve to help students.

“We hope that [students] will be good critical communicators but also good citizens,” Neher said.

“Another thing we hope for them to understand is ethical communications. We do not teach ethics in terms of yourself having ethics but [instead] the ethical demands in journalism, PR, organizational communication and communication sciences and disorders.”


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