In fall semester of 2013, the Communication Arts Department at St. Francis College will be offering a new communication arts major with no concentration.

The current concentrations are advertising, public relations, film and broadcasting, English and performance studies. In the fall, the four concentrations will still be offered, but students who are unsure of which concentration they want to choose, will have the option of taking no concentration.

“I guess if you’re not exactly sure what you want to do in communication arts, having no particular concentration gives you room to be imaginative and innovative, in respect to what you want to do. This gives students more power to choose their individual path,” said communication arts major Michael Garay.

Not only will this allow communications majors to take courses from a variety of areas in communication arts, but it will also provide more flexibility in their schedule, with fewer requirements and more focus on preparing for a career in the communications field. Students who know which concentration they are interested in will also have the opportunity to have no concentration.

After taking the introductory level communication courses, Fundamentals of Speech and Mass Communication, students will be required to take one course from each Voice and Film, rather than several from the two, that is required when taking a concentration. They will then take a course from each concentration. These courses are News Writing, Basic Television Studio Production, Persuasion, and Advertising. These courses will prepare students for careers in print journalism, broadcasting, performance, and public relations. It will prepare a communications major no matter what career path they decide to take.
Students will then choose four out of eight 4000 level courses. At this point, if they have decided what concentration they want to focus on, they can chose courses from that concentration. If not, they can take courses from a few different concentrations.

With very little required courses, it will be easier for students to take more electives and even take a minor. The Communication Arts Department will be adding minors in drama and music.

“I would love to see students take demanding courses that are meaningful to them, once they have completed their general education courses,” said Lynne Jackson, Department Chairwoman of Communication Arts.

Jackson believes that the “no concentration” major will give students as much of an opportunity as taking a concentration and that a minor and wide range of electives will look impressive on a resume. She also believes that the more lenient major will help students succeed in their classes.

“It may help to have a concentration later in a student’s career, however, a high grade point average and strong education are more important, in my opinion,” Jackson said.

Jackson’s not the only one who thinks so. Professor Timothy Dugan said, “The non-track major will be a tremendous asset to St. Francis College and it will look quite attractive on a resume.”

Current communication arts majors who want to switch to the “no concentration” major should speak to their advisers before fall registration.

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