College of Social and Behavioral Sciences2021-2022

Strategic Communication

Strategic Communication, Bachelor of Science

Learning Outcomes

Purpose Statement

Communication develop an understanding of communication theory and how messages are spread among groups of people. They apply analytical skills to the development and evaluation of communication plans. They also master practical skills needed for the implementation of those communication plans.

Upon graduation, students emphasizing one area of strategic communication will often find themselves working closely with other professionals focusing on skills in other areas of Strategic Communication. However, the emphasis areas tend to differentiate from each other in the following broad ways.

Advertising emphasizes the use of paid media in communication efforts and will often focus more on specific calls to action. These students focus on advertising campaigns for digital and heritage media. They will develop skills relevant to planning ad campaigns and important aesthetic concepts in advertising.

Public Relations focuses more on the use of earned and owned media for the development and maintenance of ongoing relationships with important publics. Courses tend to focus on understanding the dynamics of group communication and developing strategies for building strong relationships between organizations and important publics. Coursework tends to focus on writing and oral communication skills for digital and analog channels, as well as communication analysis skills necessary for planning and evaluating communication efforts.

Strategic Communication Program Values
  • Respect for the ideas and opinions of others
  • Active engagement in the classroom
  • Critical thinking in adapting to a rapidly changing media environment
  • Ethical behavior in the classroom and the profession

Student Learning Outcomes

Strategic Communication involves the development of planned communication efforts with target publics that focus on achieving a variety of communication outcomes. Students studying Strategic

Program Level Student Learning Outcomes for the Strategic Communication BS can be broken into three broad categories: Conceptual, Practical, Analytical.

  • Students completing the Strategic Communication BS will recognize key theoretical concepts related to communication among various communities in various commercial, political, and media contexts.
  • Students will summarize typical strategies used by organizations to communicate to target communities in order to achieve political, commercial, and humanitarian outcomes.

  • Students will implement communication plans through the mastery of industry-standard communication tools and strategies.
  • Students will produce communication material that conforms to industry standards in style, design, and display.

Students will develop skills in contemporary qualitative and quantitative research methods and apply their research findings to the development of effective communication plans.
Students will develop skills in contemporary qualitative and quantitative research methods and use those skills to evaluate the impact of communication plans.

Emphasis Level Learning Outcomes – Advertising
  • Emphasis Level Learning Outcomes in Advertising focus on the display of tightly controlled messages through the use of paid media.
  • In the conceptual sphere, students will describe typical strategies for segmenting audiences and delivering targeted messages through paid media.
  • In the practical sphere, students will master communication software and apply design standards to comprehensive communication efforts.
  • In the analytical sphere, students will use industry standard research tools to identify target audiences and appropriate media channels for reaching them. They will formulate paid communications and measure the effectiveness and efficiency of those plans through the application of best industry practices.

Emphasis Level Learning Outcomes – Public Relations
  • Emphasis-level learning outcomes in Public Relations focus on the use of earned and owned media for the development and maintenance of relationships between organizations and the publics that can affect their success.
  • In the conceptual sphere, students will identify strategies for developing and maintaining productive relationships with target publics through the use of owned and earned media.
  • In the practical sphere, students will apply writing skills that apply industry standards to various media channels. Students will master software used to create and deliver messages over various media channels.
  • In the analytical sphere students will implement quantitative and qualitative research methods in the formulation and evaluation of ongoing communication efforts.

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