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Philosophy and Goals of the Ph.D. Program

Philosophy & Goals

Philosophy of the Ph.D. Program
The evolution of communication technologies and digital information systems has narrowed traditionally held differences among the academic disciplines represented within CCI. The College of Communication and Information provides a unified structure that promotes research, teaching, and application of the social-scientific, humanistic, critical, visual communication and psycho-social principles of communication and information in the digital age.

CCI is one of only a handful of similarly organized colleges of communication and information in the United States. As such, it can be an academic leader in research, teaching, and application related to changes in the information and communication landscape and can enhance Ohio's response to the growing information economy.

Collaboration by faculty members across traditional disciplinary lines is the key to the success of CCI and its component schools. Such interdisciplinary groundwork was laid in the years leading up to the establishment of the CCI doctoral program. Examples of such work include projects in: media use and effects in changing media environments, patterns of use of digital media, health information literacy, information usability, information architecture, wayfinding in the physical and digital environments, and visual communication. These research and creative projects also provide a foundation for the blending of established theoretical and research paradigms in the component schools. They suggest the need for development of new or hybrid paradigms and methods that capture more fully the information and communication practices in a digital environment.

The development of a convergent doctoral program is consistent with other instructional and curricular innovations in the college. At the baccalaureate level, a cross-disciplinary concentration—Applied Communication, housed in the School of Communication Studies—was approved in 2005. In addition, students pursuing undergraduate majors in one of CCI's three baccalaureate degree-granting schools (COMM, JMC and VCD) are required to take one or more courses from the other two schools. At the Master's level, the interdisciplinary M.S. program in Information Architecture and Knowledge Management has been offered since 2001.

Curriculum Philosophy
The College of Communication and Information doctoral curriculum provides exposure to theoretical fundamentals in both communication (broadly defined to include mass communication and journalism as well as other communication specialties) and in information science. In order to emphasize and facilitate interdisciplinary study within CCI, the doctoral program is administered through the college office rather than any its the constituent schools. The program of study begins with an interdisciplinary core and then leads to specialization in either a traditional single discipline or an interdisciplinary focus according to each student's interests. In fact, specialization after the core is expected, as long as grounding in the foundations of both communication and information is present. The program is receptive to intellectually innovative students who plan to create new and different combinations of these disciplines in their programs of study.

Goal of the Ph.D. Program
The goal of the College of Communication and Information's Ph.D. program is to develop each scholar's ability to generate knowledge by conducting, analyzing and presenting research in one or a combination of the CCI disciplines. Each scholar will demonstrate achievement of this objective through:

* Creating a critical analysis and synthesis of existing research,
* Mastering techniques for data collection and analysis,
* Identifying research questions that need to be answered,
* Designing, implementing and reporting independent research, and
* Constructing a personal research agenda.

Mission of the Ph.D. Program
The mission of the Doctor of Philosophy degree program in the College of Communication and Information (CCI) is:

  • * To explore the convergence of theoretical and research models from the college's component schools,
  • * To promote the development of new or hybrid models appropriate to information and communication practices in a digital environment, and
  • * To realize the advantages of interdisciplinary collaboration within the College of Communication and Information.

This program is designed to prepare individuals for careers in research, teaching and administration in the rapidly converging fields of communication and information through a prescribed core of interdisciplinary courses and approved selection of additional coursework within and across disciplines.

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