“Major” Changes for Communication Department at SJC

July 10, 2014

Students entering Saint Joseph’s College now have two new degree options to consider. A Communication major with emphasis tracks in Theatre Arts and Communication and a Digital Media & Journalism major with emphasis tracks in Digital Production and Digital Journalism will begin in the 2014-15 fall semester.

“This is a response to the need for strong interpersonal communication skills and to the dynamic changes in the electronic media industries that call for skilled, multimedia professionals able to work in a variety of platforms,” said SJC Associate Professor of Communication and Chairman of the Communication Department Fred Berger. “Our alumni have provided valuable feedback about the value of multiplatform production and reporting skills, and research continues to point to the importance of interpersonal communication skills in the workplace.”

The new Digital Media & Journalism major allows students to emphasize Digital Media Production or Digital Journalism in their studies. The program change coincides with a converged campus newsroom project, where campus student media outlets combine their newsgathering staffs and share media using portable media devices and cloud-based storage.  

Students will learn digital media editing using industry standard software, such as Avid Pro Tools and Avid Media Composer, taught by faculty who include an Avid Certified Instructor. Additionally, social media continues to grow as a means for newsgathering, branding, and connecting with audiences.

SJC alumnus R. Efrain Ayala ’07, an account supervisor for Ogilvy & Mather in Chicago, emphasized the importance of the social media aspect of the program. 

“Today, it is the norm to tweet, post, share, and engage with peers, brands, and organizations online. To set students up to succeed, it is imperative to ensure they understand how the evolving digital and social landscape impacts behaviors of peers and organizations so they can bring value to future employers.”

The Digital Media and Journalism major will emphasize three elements: process, production, and storytelling. The major redesign is the result of three years’ worth of research among colleagues, alumni, and media outlets to determine the best way to prepare SJC students for real world challenges.

In the Communication major, students will have the opportunity to emphasize coursework such as public speaking, group, intercultural, interpersonal communication, and persuasion.

“Communication is always on the list of what people who do the hiring feel are the most important skills to possess,” said SJC Associate Professor of Communication and Theatre Arts John Rahe. “No matter what you do after graduation, communication is going to play a major role in what you do.” 

“A major in Communication offers students the opportunity to learn and practice skills that are endemic to successful personal relationships and professional success,” stated SJC Assistant Professor of Communication Dr. Rochelle Robertson ’93. “Ultimately, students who major in Communication are able to convey a personal and professional identity that is confident, compassionate, and charismatic.”

Named a "character-building college" by the Templeton Foundation, a "Best Midwestern College" by the Princeton Review, and “Best Value” and "Best Midwestern College" by US News & World Report, Saint Joseph's College is a four-year, Catholic college offering 27 majors, 4 group majors, 35 minors, and 9 pre-professional programs, complemented by the nationally acclaimed Core Program. Founded and sponsored by the Missionaries of the Precious Blood, SJC is located in Rensselaer, Indiana, approximately 90 minutes from both Chicago and Indianapolis, on a park-like campus of 180 acres and has an enrollment of nearly 1,200 students.

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  • Start Your Major Freshman Year

    Get a jump start on your career and have your resume ready to go at graduation.  

  • Mentorship

    Small colleges offer you personal attention; SJC professors do more for you—they serve as mentors.

  • High Quality Academics

    The Core Program is all about you and your role in the world.

     

  • Leadership

    You get more deeply involved at SJC, so you get more meaningful experiences that prepare you for career and life.

  • Real-life Skills

    Get real-life experience and become an excellent communicator.