Changes in department will create more opportunities for Public Relations students.
Cedar City, UT- Some may be nervous about the department’s decision to combine the Public Relations and Advertising emphases, however, more opportunities will be available for Public Relations majors beginning Fall 2012.
The communications department has decided to combine the Public Relations and Advertising emphases to become Strategic Communication. Many students have expressed their concerns with the change saying that they may lose the specialization and specific knowledge for the individual fields. The department has made changes to the course requirements to make up for this. In previous years, Public Relations students have not had many opportunities to gain real life experience in the classroom.
Beginning in the Fall 2012 semester, each Strategic Communication student will be required to take the Practicum Lab. Although the lab has always been offered to every communications student, it will now be required.
The Practicum Lab is a student run advertising agency where students are able to work with real clients to produce advertisements. Students learn how to work with clients as well as learn how to design logos, flyers, and billboards. Beginning in the Fall, the lab will offer clients Public Relations campaigns. Students will be able to use the tools they learn in their classes and apply them to real clients. They will learn how to work with clients as well as learn how to create a Public Relations campaign.
Students will also come away from the class with a portfolio they can show future employers. Art Challis, the professor in charge of the class suggests that each student take the class more than once during their undergraduate degree to enhance and build their portfolio. A portfolio is a vital tool for public relations professionals to obtain jobs. A portfolio may be the one thing that sets one prospective employee apart from another.
Students in the communication department should be excited about the changes that will be occurring in the department next year. The department is focused on creating the best educational experience for students and the changes and opportunities that are being presented will help all students in the future.