Communication

OVERVIEW

Welcome to the Communication Department of Alvernia University. We hope you’ll take some time to get acquainted with our B.A. in Communication major.

Communication is critically important in nearly every aspect of society. Communication majors tend to be very curious about the world and what’s happening within it. They are seekers and tellers of information. Students who develop strong skills in the area of communication are valued in the marketplace for their ability to effectively relay messages.

They are recognized for their writing expertise and ability to think critically about a wide range of issues; skills that are vital to areas such as law, government, international relations, health and human services, social services, education, arts, entertainment and speech and language disorders.

The study of communication has never been more important than it is right now. As our world becomes increasingly interconnected and complicated, the ability to effectively express ideas and communicate information is vital.

Majors in communication not only prepare for graduation from Alvernia University, they prepare for life.

WHY AU

Why should you study communication at Alvernia University?
Because at Alvernia you get all the benefits of an outstanding university education in a manageable setting with personal attention and unique opportunities that can benefit you as you move toward your career.

Small Class Size
Alvernia has a 12:1 student-faculty ratio, and most classes contain less than 20 students. This facilitates valuable, professional relationships among faculty members and students. In these small class settings, you get individual attention to help you excel.

Faculty Who Care
Alvernia’s Communication program is staffed by dedicated, highly qualified professionals who are committed to sharing their expertise and knowledge with students. Faculty members have extensive experience in various aspects of communications and bring their expertise to the classroom. They often work one-on-one with students to enhance the student’s learning experience, and serve as mentors to aspiring students.

Many faculty members in the Communication program are actively engaged in research, have written articles that have appeared in prestigious publications and have presented nationally and internationally at conferences.

Click here to learn more about Communication faculty members and see some faculty videos.

Research Opportunities
Communication majors at Alvernia may have opportunities to undertake significant projects that result in research papers and presentations. You may, for example, explore the history of a specific area of the communication arena, and then present your findings in a research paper.

Honors Program
Alvernia’s Honors Program is for students who are academically gifted and highly motivated and is designed to allow students to work at their own pace and to recognize and encourage academic excellence. Honors students interact with one another to exchange ideas and information across a wide range of disciplines and interests.

The Honors Program offers co-curricular activities, service opportunities and intellectual and social support to encourage students to exceed their own expectations.

Learn more about Alvernia’s Honors Programs at www.alvernia.edu/academics/honors.

Get Real
Classroom learning is valuable and necessary, but out-of-the-classroom, experiential learning provides communication students with hands-on, real world learning opportunities that enrich your educational experience and are highly valued by employers.

Communication majors have participated in internships at many locations, including TV stations, newspapers, advertising agencies and publishing companies. You’ll also have opportunities to participate in field experiences, community service, campus events and other experiences to help you stretch and grow toward your full potential.

Learn more about Alvernia’s Get Real program at www.alvernia.edu/getreal.

Study Abroad
Living and studying outside of the United States can change you in ways you can’t begin to envision. Students who study abroad typically gain immeasurable confidence and experiences they could not have imagined.

Many communication majors have benefitted from participation in a Study Abroad program in countries including New Zealand, Italy, Spain, England, Ireland, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Morocco, Palestine, China and Mexico.

Learn more about Alvernia’s Study Abroad program at www.alvernia.edu/studyabroad.

YOUR CAREER

Communication is a major that prepares students for a variety of careers and opportunities. You might be interested in working in television or for a national magazine. Maybe you’re drawn to theater or film, or want to write for an online news provider. Perhaps you’re thinking about a career in public relations, or would like to write speeches or direct communication for business and political leaders.

Communication is at the core of many jobs and professions, and Alvernia communication graduates work in a variety of fields.

A sampling of employers of Communication Program graduates:

  • CNN Washington Bureau
  • ESPN
  • The Reading Eagle
  • C-SPAN
  • The Learning Channel
  • Reese Advertising
  • The Reading Phillies
  • The Rachael Ray Show
  • Sportsradio 94WIP
  • The American Diabetes Association
  • UGI Utilities
  • Arrow International

For more information about the study of communications and to get an idea of some jobs available in the field, go to the National Communication Association at www.natcom.org.

Some communication students pursue graduate degrees after graduating from Alvernia.

A sampling of graduate schools:

  • Temple University
  • Villanova University
  • The New School
  • The University of Pennsylvania

For more information about Alvernia’s Communication Program contact the Admissions Office at 1-888-ALVERNIA or 610-796-8269 or admissions@alvernia.edu.

YOUR CURRICULUM

All Alvernia students must successfully complete a minimum of 123 semester credits to receive a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science degree. Between 31 and 55 of those credits will be toward the Liberal Arts Core. View your Major Academic Plan (MAP) by year here.

Communication students choose one of six tracks in which to concentrate courses. The tracks are:

  • Corporate Communications
  • Film Culture and the Creative Arts
  • Journalism
  • Media Design and Production
  • Public Relations and Advertising
  • Theatre Studies

Courses that all communication majors must complete are:

COM 103 - Fundamentals of Speech
COM 122 - Mass Media: Theory and Application
COM 131 - Writing for the Media
COM 420 - Law and Ethics of Mass Communication
COM 480 – Research Seminar OR COM 481 – Internship

In addition, you’ll need to take 6 credits in Communication electives, 9 credits in English electives and 6 credits in related electives.

To minor in Communication, you’ll need to take 18 credits in Communication and/or English. To minor in Theatre, you’ll need to take 18 credits in related courses.

If you major in Communication, you’ll need to achieve at least a 2.5 GPA in your writing courses. You also must contribute for at least one semester to The Alvernian, the student newspaper.

You can learn more about all courses offered by Alvernia University by viewing the 2014-2015 Academic Course Catalogue at http://alvernia.edu/academics/catalogs/Catalog_2014-15/index.html.

Your Real World Learning Experience
Alvernia believes that real world experience is extremely important, as it can improve your confidence and introduce you to professionals in your intended field of employment. All Alvernia students participate in service learning, a teaching and learning experience that enables students to get real-world learning while benefiting a community partner. As a communication major, you might help produce a video for a community non-profit, or work on an advertising campaign to benefit a community organization.

Some communication majors earn up to 12 credits by completing an arranged internship pertaining to their specific interests. Other communication students choose to complete a research seminar instead of an internship.

If you choose to do an internship, you might work for a TV or radio station. Or, you might learn what it’s like to be a newspaper reporter by working for a local newspaper. Other communication students have served as interns in the communication divisions of corporations and non-profit agencies, or worked with marketing and advertising firms.

Jennifer Kaucher ’13 was the first Alvernia student to intern with the public relations department of The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. She currently is employed as a prevention specialist with The Council on Chemical Abuse, where she monitors social media accounts, designs marketing materials, edits the website and films, and edits and posts videos. Read more about her real world experience!

You’ll need to maintain a 2.5 GPA or get permission from the department chair in order to start an internship. Your advisor and other faculty members can help you decide what type of internship would make sense for you. Meanwhile, you can find out more about real world learning at www.alvernia.edu/academics/experiential_learning.

Research Opportunities
Research is a valuable aspect of any education. Communication majors who don’t participate in an internship must complete Research Seminar, a course you’ll take as a senior in which you’ll undertake a significant project that results in a research paper.

Your project may be a creative writing project, a mass media or audio-visual production project or an intensive study of a phase of communication. After completing the project, you’ll write about your experience and what you’ve learned in the form of a research paper.

Communication faculty at Alvernia have professional experience in television reporting, print journalism and theatre, and will help you decide what kind of project would be most beneficial to your career goals. Faculty members also conduct their own research in a variety of subjects. Many students benefit from Alvernia’s campus media center, which offers opportunities for hands-on experience.

The Honors Program
If you’re academically gifted and highly motivated, you may want to learn more about Alverania’s Undergraduate Honors Program. Honors students have opportunities to take courses dealing with unusual topics and participate in a variety of activities. You can learn more about the Honors Program and how to apply at www.alvernia.edu/academics/honors/index.html.

YOUR SERVICES

Alvernia is committed to serving the needs of its students. Whether you have questions or problems related to academics, life on campus, student activities, social activities or any other issue, there is someone available to help you. You can learn more about all student services at www.alvernia.edu/student-life/student-services.

Educational Planning Center
The Educational Planning Center offers advice and support to help you with any problems or issues related to your Alvernia education. It also assists with career exploration and preparation. The office is open every day and can be contacted at 610-796-8266.

Career Services
Staff members at the Career Development office will help you with any questions you have about exploring or planning careers. They also will guide you about how to look for and apply to jobs as you get closer to graduation. The office also has a career resources library. You can learn more about career services at www.alvernia.edu/student-life/career-services, or by emailing career.services@alvernia.edu.

Financial Aid
The Financial Aid office is the place to contact with any questions you have about the cost of an Alvernia education and options for paying for it. Nearly all undergraduates at Alvernia get some type of financial aid, and everyone is encouraged to apply for it. You can learn more at www.alvernia.edu/financialaid/index.html or by emailing financialaid@alvernia.edu.

Admissions Office
If you’re interested in applying to the Communication program at Alvernia, contact the Admissions Office at 610-796-8269 or at admissions@alvernia.edu or visit http://www.alvernia.edu/admissions.

GET INVOLVED

There is so much more to college than classes, and communication majors at Alvernia have some excellent opportunities to get involved in activities that are both enjoyable and provide beneficial, hands-on experience. Students who get involved and engaged in extra-curricular activities benefit both academically and socially, and open themselves to integral life lessons from beyond the classroom.

You’ll be encouraged to participate in a range of activities, including some rewarding and inspiring service projects. Some organizations and activities you might enjoy include:

  • Sigma Tau Delta is the International English Honor Society. You’ll need to exhibit high standards of academic excellence to qualify for membership. Alvernia’s Sigma Tau Delta chapter is extremely active and has been recognized at conferences and other events. For contact information and to learn more about what Sigma Tau Delta members do, go to http://www.alvernia.edu/student-life/activities/clubs/com-sigma-tau-delta-honors.html.
  • Learn first-hand about journalism by working on The Alvernian, the university’s student newspaper. If you are interested in writing, editing, design, photography and/or marketing, you’re encouraged to get involved. Editorial positions are available for qualified participants.
  • The Zephyrus is Alvernia’s literary magazine. Published each spring, it contains original poetry, fiction, essays, photography and artwork by Alvernia students. Sigma Tau Delta members serve as editors, with faculty members as advisors.
  • The Alvernia University Theatre Club is open to the entire Alvernia community, but may be of particular interest to communication majors. The club produces and performs theatrical productions, which are open to the community.
  • You can learn more about Alvernia’s Student Government Association, becoming a Student Ambassador, student trips and other activities at www.alvernia.edu/student-life/activities.
  • The Holleran Center for Community Engagement serves as a bridge between the University and the community. The Center partners with a variety of organizations to provide Alvernia students with opportunities to serve. You might assist with telecasts or cover community meetings for Berks Community Television, or serve as a community disaster educator for the Berks Chapter of the American Red Cross. Perhaps you would serve as a marketing and communications assistant for the Reading Berks Council of Churches. You can read more about volunteer opportunities at http://alvernia.edu/about/holleran-center.
AFTER AU

Amy Klatt ‘08
Thanks to the guidance of professor and mentor Dr. Jodi Radosh, Amy Klatt ’08 landed a prominent internship in the Mayor’s Office for the City of Reading during her senior year – and she credits that internship with giving her the confidence needed to secure a job after graduation. Read how real world experience got her to where she is today!

Emily Rabadi ‘12
From learning the basics of the industry at Berks County TV (BCTV) studios to interning as a marketing and public relations assistant for E! Entertainment and Style Network, Emily Rabadi was able to take full advantage of the practical knowledge gained in the classroom and apply it in professional environments, all before graduation. See what Emily is up to today!

Jennifer Kaucher ‘13
Jennifer Kaucher ’13 was the first Alvernia student to intern with the public relations department of The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. She currently is employed as a prevention specialist with The Council on Chemical Abuse, where she monitors social media accounts, designs marketing materials, edits the website and films, and edits and posts videos. Read more about her real world experience!

Chelsea Prosser ‘14
Being exposed to different internship opportunities with non-profit and for-profit organizations helped Chelsea Prosser find her niche in marketing and communications. Read how she continues to get real world experience after graduation!

Colin Donovan ‘14
A stand out member of the Crusader’s track team, senior Colin Donovan did not have much of an interest in golf prior to his three-week internship with MSG Promotions at the 2013 U.S. Open; however, his experience got him hooked on the game and booked for the 2014 U.S. Open in Pinehurst, North Carolina. Read more about Colin’s real world experience!

Jarred Merriweather ‘15
Jarred Merriweather ’15 always had a creative flare. When he began his collegiate career at Alvernia, he was able to put his artistry to work through graphic design, social media and as the vice president of a student-run marketing firm. He recently gained experience through his internship at the Greater Reading Economic Partnership. Check out Jarred’s experience!






communication

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