Mission Statement

The Department of Communication is an award-winning program where students major in one of two programs: Applied Communication or Public Relations and Strategic Communication. Students graduating in either program learn the skills necessary to be leaders of tomorrow through engaged learning practices developed and implemented by faculty with decades of experience both in and outside of the classroom.

Program Learning Outcomes

Public Relations and Strategic Communications

The Utah Valley University Strategic Communication and Public Relations major is shaping students to become the industry's next top leaders through rigorous courses and engaged learning experiences that are theoretically-driven, innovative, and applied. The major prepares students with the necessary skills to communicate visually, orally, and through the written word in traditional and digital mediums, as demanded by the ever-changing nature of strategic communication and public relations. Students are also equipped with a solid ethical foundation and an understanding of diversity, interdependence, and cultural perspectives in the global community.
  1. Students with Foundational Knowledge will have a 1) theoretical, and up-to-date understanding, of current research findings centered on the concepts, constructs, and principles discussed in the fields of strategic communication and public relations. Researcher findings are often collected through diverse methodologies; therefore, students will (2) demonstrate an understanding of the methodologies and instruments used by both researchers and practitioners. These findings are written by a myriad of authors and disseminated through diverse channels, thus students will (3) become familiar with, and judiciously examine, both authoritative and non-credible sources of information in order to become a more information-literate individual. Finally, as Foundational Knowledge is always changing, students will 4) recognize the impermanent nature of knowledge claims in order to initiate and adapt to new approaches of communication
  2. In order to obtain Professional Skills, students will be able to (1) demonstrate competency in oral, written, visual, and nonverbal communication both individually and (2) in a team setting using the acquired skills gained from strategic communication and public relations courses. From these skills, students will be able to (3) create multimedia content designed to achieve specific objectives for organizations, while simultaneously targeting a diverse set of audiences in addition to (4) planning, managing, and executing strategic communication campaigns. 
  3. The Application of Foundational Knowledge and Professional Skills Learning Outcome incorporates several different points. First, students, by the time of graduation, should be able to use the critical thinking skills obtained from coursework and classroom instruction to analyze and evaluate strategic communication and public relations messages from a theoretical and applied perspective. Further, students should (2) be able to employ basic research skills to gather data, synthesize the findings into a cogent message, and evaluate their importance in relation to campaign objectives. In addition, students, by applying the foundational knowledge and professional skills gained, (3) will be able to adapt their messages, based on previous case studies and research findings, over the course of a strategic communication and public relations campaign. 
  4. Students with an understanding in Diversity and Cultural Perspectives will have the ability to (1) apply ethical principled learned via class work by (2) demonstrating their competency in critically analyzing ethical problems from multiple and diverse perspectives both individually and in a team-setting. Further, students should have the (3) ability to understand, examine, and acknowledge the situatedness of cultural experiences, conflicting opinions, and viewpoints on issues and ethical dilemmas when interacting with stakeholders. Finally, by graduation, students will be able to (4) reflect upon the interconnectedness of local, national, and global issues. PLO#4 will also be assessed in COMM 4850 through a written exam. 

Applied Communication

The BA/BS/Minor will give students the opportunity to earn a full major/minor in the field of Applied Communication.1 This degree prepares students with the necessary skills to (a) examine a wide range of diverse issues, including the communication needs of organizations, effective social interaction, improvement of health care understandings or delivery, implementation of behavioral interventions, training to improve communication, and activist efforts to achieve social change, (b) methodological and (c) theoretical competence to address issues of applied communication, and (d) to practice oral, written, and critical thinking skills.2
  1. Foundational Knowledge: Students demonstrate knowledge of the field of communication and the meaning and purpose of communication at the individual, group, and societal level.

    Students with Foundational Knowledge will have the 1) theoretical and general understanding to explore how the concepts, constructs, and principles are interrelated in the field of communication at both a micro and macro level. In addition, 2) students will also be able to demonstrate competency in oral, written, and visual communication. As Foundational Knowledge is often created and applied in groups, students will have the 3) understanding of, and ability to, work productively in teams using acquired knowledge gained in their communication courses. Finally, as Foundational Knowledge is always changing, students will 4) recognize the impermanent nature of knowledge claims in order to initiate and adapt to new approaches of communication.
  2. Research Expertise: Students develop in-depth and critical thinking/professional skills.

    In order to obtain Professional Expertise in Applied Communication, students will (1) become familiar with, and judiciously examine, both authoritative and non-credible sources of information in order to become a more information-literate individual. Further, students will (2) gain an up-to-date understanding of current research findings on a wide cross-section of emphasis topics by (3) discovering the methodologies and instruments used by both researchers and practitioners. Finally, Professional Expertise requires students to (4) demonstrate and guide verbal and nonverbal messages within interpersonal and organizational situations, in addition to (5) creating effective content across a myriad of media while simultaneously targeting specific audiences.

  3. Application of Foundational Knowledge and Research Expertise: Students apply knowledge and expertise to real-world situations and/or research questions.

    The Application of Foundational and Research Expertise Learning Outcome incorporates several different points. First, students, by the time of graduation, should be able to (1) apply theory and research obtained from course work towards a myriad of situations and scenarios. Further, students should (2) highlight their ability to test and evaluate real-world research findings by (3) demonstrating critical thinking and problem solving skills through (4) synthesizing divergent research findings and ideas into a cogent and coherent thesis statement.
  4. Diversity and Cultural Perspectives: Students develop an understanding of diversity and cultural perspectives in local, regional, and global society.

    Students with an understanding in Diversity and Cultural Perspectives will have the ability to (1) apply ethical principles from the communication discipline obtained via course work by (2) demonstrating their competency in critically analyzing communication problems from multiple and diverse perspectives. Further, students should have the (3) ability to understand, examine, and acknowledge the situatedness of cultural experiences, conflicting opinions, and viewpoints on issues and ethical dilemmas. Finally, by graduation, students will be able to (4) reflect upon the interconnectedness of local, national, and global issues, and have the capabilities to adapt communication theories to engage in dialogue or participate in such issues.

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