The Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication relies on an interdisciplinary curriculum, drawing from the theoretical and empirical approaches traditionally found in the humanities, social sciences and business. The Communication major provides students with a dynamic and comprehensive and understanding of the nature of human communication, from interpersonal to mass communication, and the skills to evaluate and create effective messages for diverse audiences in various cultural contexts. In other words, the Communication major is a generalist approach for studying the symbol systems of communication, the cultures or environments within and through communication occurs, the media used to communicate messages/concepts, and the effects of those mediated messages. The bachelor’s degree in Communication is a great choice for students who have strong verbal and written skills, are generally curious and creative, and would like to teach, inform, or persuade.
SVC prepares its Communication majors for a broad range of career choices. All businesses need effective communicators to thrive economically. Indeed, all humans need to be able to communicate their ideas for better quality of life. Upon graduation, a Communication major may seek work as a communication specialist in human resources, advocacy, research and development, advertising, sales and marketing, public relations/publicity, publishing, law, politics, journalism, or technical writing. Students who excel in their studies may also pursue graduate study, earning master’s degrees in those areas.
Communication majors are fortunate in that they can pursue diverse subjects in different academic divisions. Though housed in The Hunter Division of Humanities, the Communication major offers courses that share academic/disciplinary interests with academic divisions across Southern Vermont College. Students can, therefore, pursue a focus within the Communication major in areas such as cultural communication (taking courses in the fields of Creative Writing, English, and/or History and Politics), new media communication (taking courses in the fields of Information Technology and Management), business communication (taking courses in the fields of Business Administration, Build the Sustainable Enterprise, and/or Management), and healthcare communication (taking courses in Healthcare Management and Advocacy and/or Psychology). Students will discuss potential areas of focus with their advisors, putting together a plan typically in students’ sophomore year of study. Students and advisors are free to develop their own plans for an appropriate focus area.
In addition to receiving a broad theoretical and empirical foundation, Communication majors also complete two internships before graduation. Internships provide students with opportunities to apply theory and research and put them into practice for companies and organizations beyond the classroom.
All students complete their Communication majors in one of two ways: a Senior Project or a Senior Thesis. While both involve substantial study and writing, the Senior Project is understood to be an extended, applied project. The Senior Thesis is intended to be a more traditional academic capstone to coursework. Students should make decisions about senior projects or Senior Thesis in consultation with their advisors, considering the students’ area of focus and professional goals beyond SVC.
Communication Major Portfolio Requirement
Across Communication courses, students will compile a portfolio of their best work completed. As students move through their educational career, they will take the best of those portfolios to compile into a final graduate portfolio. This compilation should serve to demonstrate their proficiency in Communication and exemplify the skills mastered during their years at Southern Vermont College. This portfolio should also meet their career needs, whether they are headed to graduate school or directly into the job market. Communication faculty members will guide students through the process of portfolio construction both for the individual courses and with an eye on the student’s ultimate educational and career goals.
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