Director's Note: Delivering a Nimble and Valuable Education
It is my pleasure to introduce our School of Communication Studies newsletter. I am even more excited to tell you about how your alma mater has been changing, reaching new students and remaining the innovative School from which you graduated. Like you, we have not let grass grow under our feet. In the constantly changing field of communication studies, we simply can’t do that. And, in this newsletter we wanted to bring to your attention some specific changes that are making the school more nimble, receptive, and valuable to our students.
For example, we have made the B.A. program much more flexible by reducing pre-requisite courses and permitting students to take more electives that enable them to acquire one, two or even three minors in other important interest areas they may have. The new flexibility guards against graduates getting stuck behind a series of prerequisites by allowing them to create a curriculum of study that is right for them and meets their goals and desires.
Our program also has been included into the Ohio Guaranteed Transfer Pathway (OGTP). This means students pursuing an associate’s degree at an Ohio public community college have a clear path to bachelor’s degree completion in Communication Studies.
We launched a new fully online B.A. degree program this academic year. We did this to increase accessibility and permit those who, for various personal reasons, may not be able to start or return to college in-person. It is one of the very few online undergraduate programs at Kent State, and is a nice complement to our traditional in-person degree options.
This year the School of Communication Studies also became one of only two programs at Kent State that is part of a partnership with the Air University Associate to Baccalaureate Cooperative (AU-ABC). Air Force members with associate in applied science degrees from the Community College of the Air Force can apply credit toward the Kent State Communication Studies degree, maximizing the application of military career education and training.
For those of you who are part of the great tradition of Communication Studies graduates who have gone on to careers as lawyers, we wanted to let you know that we are doing our part to make that pathway more convenient, as well. We now have a new 3+3 agreement with three law schools (Case Western University, The University of Akron and Cleveland State University). In this program, students can obtain both their B.A. and J.D. in six years (rather than the traditional seven years).
None of this is to suggest that we have in any way ignored our graduate program. At the graduate level, beginning this Fall we will begin offering a 12-credit certificate in Communication and Advocacy for those who may be working in or interested in working in various positions emphasizing advocacy in many contexts.
Needless to say, it already has been an exciting spring semester, with more to come. On March 10, we held our annual awards ceremony. Thanks to the gifts and generosity of our alumni and faculty donors, we were able to grant 15 scholarships and awards to a high achieving group of students with whom we are honored to be associated.
On April 12, we will be holding our Hyde Park Forum speech competiton. This is the first time since the start of the pandemic that we have been able to resume this traditional annual event. Students selected from our Introduction to Human Communication course will compete before an audience that generally exceeds 400 people. The panel of judges are comprised of alumni, faculty and Kent State University and community leaders. We are all looking forward to the chance to once again see this great event held in-person at Cartwright Hall on the University’s Kent campus.
In closing, I hope that you enjoy our School newsletter. Our plan is to keep you apprised of upcoming School events in future newsletters, and I hope to be able to see you soon at one of the many upcoming university, College or School events.