Communication

Communication

Welcome to the Department of Communication!

The department offers the Bachelor of Science (B.S.), the Bachelor of Science in Education (B.S.E.), and the Master of Arts (M.A.) degrees within a collaborative and collegial environment. Our top-ranked faculty are highly active in their professions and stress the importance of fusing theory with applied skill. Our majors number more than 250 spread across the 5 emphasis areas of human communication, media production, multimedia production, strategic communication and theatre. The department stresses an integrated and active approach to learning. Please explore our website and let us know if there any questions we can answer for you. 

Connect
with Communication

Department of Communication Promotional Video
  • Mission and Vision
  • Undergraduate Program
  • Undergraduate Emphases
  • Graduate Studies
  • Internships and Scholarships
  • Alumni Testimonials

Mission

The Department of Communication at Pittsburg State University provides an integrated program of preparation for careers in strategic communication, multimedia journalism, media production, human communication, theatre, and communication education. The activities and programs uniquely available from the department reflect a multicultural and interdisciplinary perspective commensurate with the goals of a liberal education for students. The same unique activities and programs provide services for the University, the community and the region. The department is committed to promoting the ideals of freedom of expression, and at the same time developing an understanding in our students of the significance of responsible communication in society. The department fully endorses an active approach to learning.

Vision

It is the vision of the Department of Communication to provide a high quality, individualized education that prepares our students for a professional life in Communication and its cognate disciplines.  We envision our students developing the ability to understand and critically analyze their worlds to provide a base for life-long learning.  Our vision includes support for ongoing contributions to our discipline and to the citizens of the region from our faculty and students. We seek managed growth consistent with the support provided by the University.

Stay tuned for new curriculum in 2018-19. Revised, streamlined, easier to plan, and current with best practices in the field!

Information below is for curriculum precious to the 2018-2019 academic year.

The structure of the Communication major allows students to select a specialized emphasis area but also allows enough electives to create a broad career path. The structure reflects career opportunities that increasingly call for flexibility, adaptability, and a wide range of communication skills.  Undergraduate courses range from 100 level through 700 level courses.

The Core Requirements (15 credit hours)

The core for all majors includes courses that provide a theoretical and historical summary of the communication field while enhancing written and oral communication skills. There is also a strong emphasis on career development and understanding the integrated nature of the various communication disciplines. Advanced courses such as COMM 629 Theories of Human Communicaiton are required of all students. In addition, all students are required to take a senior capstone course, COMM 699 Communication Careers, in which they prepare a portfolio that is assessed by a faculty committee. The core requirements help students prepare for entry-level positions while developing a comprehensive understanding of the role communication plays in our society.

Professional Career Emphases (12 credit hours)

This section provides a 4-course block in one of 6 career tracks -- advertising, broadcasting, journalism, photojournalism, public relations, or theatre. A seventh emphasis area, communication education, follows separate curriculum requirements leading to the B.S.Ed.

Applied Communication (6 credit hours)

Two courses selected from an extensive list of applied, experiential classes designed to enhance students' skills in specific areas of communication.

Communication Management (3 credit hours)

One course, from a list of 16, designed to introduce students to management-oriented careers within specific communication fields.

Communication and Society (3 credit hours)

One course, selected from a list of 11, designed to increase students' awareness about the effect our discipline has on society.

Communication Practices (3 credit hours)

Practical experience in either on-campus department activities such as theatre, student publications, and radio/television, or off-campus internship programs. Students are highly encouraged to seek an internship experience prior to their senior year.

Free Elective (3 credit hours)

Students are urged to consult with their advisors to select an additional course that would strengthen their career preparation.

Learn About the Program and the Degree and Career Options

Undergraduate Emphases

Human Communication

Students in the human communication emphasis often work in management, leadership roles, politics, or continue on for advanced studies in the field.  This emphasis examines the comprehensive role of human communication in everyday life. Students will learn to understand and analyze communication in a variety of contexts, including interpersonal relationships, workplace teams, and community and cultural groups. 

Contact: Dr. Joey Pogue, jpogue@pittstate.edu

Media Production

Media Production prepares an individual for a career in the field of producing, editing and directing both live and recorded audio and video content for multi-channel distribution. Students will learn the art of planning, script writing, sound engineering, camera usage and electronic media distribution techniques. Practical experience is offered through our student-produced cable television station, CAPS-13, Gorilla Radio, KRPS, our 100,000 watt FM public radio station. 

Contact: Dr. Troy Comeau, tcomeau@pittstate.edu

Multimedia Journalism

Multimedia Journalism prepares students for careers in the news industry. Students take classes in news reporting, broadcast journalism, photojournalism, online journalism and media law, and get practical experience through on-campus media outlets. Students in this area learn to collect information through interviewing sources, interpreting and organizing information and presenting it to the public. MMJ students also learn about the rights and responsibilities of journalists in a free and open society. They find careers in digital media, radio, television, cable, print, and online news, as well as PR and other media-related fields.

Contact: Trent Kling, tkling@pittstate.edu

Strategic Communication

Strategic communication involves the applied research, creative development, and planned distribution of informational and persuasive communication messages across a wide variety of channels including: television, radio, print and digital journalism, mobile and social media platforms. Strategic communicators often work on behalf of public and private corporations and non-profit organizations, regionally and globally. Specialized career opportunities are available in many sectors such as: sports and entertainment, travel and tourism, health and wellness, policy and public affairs.

Contact: Dr. Alicia Mason, amason@pittstate.edu

Theatre

Theatre prepares the individual for work in the arts and entertainment industry across a broad spectrum of areas such as performance, technical production, design, and/or management. Individuals graduating in this emphasis area also work in many tangential industries such as hotel/restaurant management, event planning, and facilities management. At PSU, the theatre program, stresses a liberal arts approach that trains each student across the entire discipline in state-of-the-art production facilities. Participation, collaboration and service are integral components of the program.

Contact: Dr. Cynthia Allan, callan@pittstate.edu

Bachelor of Science Education- Communication Education

This degree opens the door for a rewarding career in teaching and directing Speech/Theatre programs at the secondary school level (grades 6-12). It leads to licensure in the State of Kansas and graduates may apply for a license in other states as well. Graduates of this program are qualified to teach speech communication, mass media, theatre, debate, and forensics. 

Contact: Gil Cooper, gcooper@pittstate.edu

Graduate Studies

The Master of Arts degree in Communication is designed to prepare graduate students for professional and academic careers. It also encourages thoughtful and continuing study in subjects of the student's interest. Working with an advisor, a master's degree student in communication can design a program to match an individual's career choice. Qualified candidates may be eligible for assistantships, which provide a tuition waiver and a graduate teaching stipend.

Learn More About Graduate Studies in Communication

Career Opportunities

Students who earn a master of arts degree in communication will gain skills in problem-solving, analysis, research methods and scholarly writing. Graduates find employment as

  • University Professors
  • Community College or High School Instructors
  • College and High School Administrators
  • Journalists
  • Public Relations Consultants
  • Television Production Directors
  • Business Managers

Internships

Experiential learning is at the heart of a communication degree and there are many ways in which students can gain practical experience in their fields. In fact, communication majors are required to demonstrate applied knowledge in their senior portfolio. Though practical experience can be gained through class projects, independent studies, and student organizations, one of the best ways to gain practical experience is through an internship. Internships provide experience and insight into your chosen area. They can be a means of developing contacts and the beginning of a professional network.

In the Department of Communication, the COMM399 Communication Career Development class is designed to help you learn the skills, such as resume development and letter writing,  necessary to find and apply for internships. Students are also introduced to the resources of the Office of Career Services. Internship opportunities are listed on department bulletin boards and are posted on the department’s Facebook page. Academic advisors can also be helpful in directing a student toward an internship opportunity. Up to 3.0 hours of academic credit can be earned for an internship by enrolling in COMM 690. Click on the following link to find more about enrolling for internship credit. 

Internship Information & Procedures

Scholarships

Every year, the Department of Communication awards over $17,000 in scholarships to Communication majors. The vast majority of department scholarships are earned scholarships, meaning that they are awarded based upon academic performance and/or participation while here at Pittsburg State University. There are scholarships awarded in every emphasis area and also for overall achievement in the department. Of note are the Pay It Forward scholarship, awarded to a rising junior by vote of the outgoing senior class, and the Faculty Select Scholarship, awarded to a student who best represents the spirit and integrity of the department.

However, scholarship awards cannot be made unless the student has APPLIED for financial assistance, so the department encourages ALL students to complete and submit an application for Financial Assistance through the PSU website. All applications for financial assistance must be submitted by FEBRUARY 1 for the following academic year.

Inquiries about departmental scholarships should be directed to the Department of Communication at 620-235-4716 or at the office in Grubbs Hall, room 215.

Alumni Testimonials

  • "This isn’t a field to go into where you are training for one job the rest of your life. You are training your brain and leadership styles to be successful in a variety of environments, so be open to opportunities, job shadow, ask questions, and ask your professors for advice. Get involved in theatre, clubs, internships, service—whatever it takes to build your resume and stand out. It’s usually those extra experiences that are going to make you stand out among other job candidates. Definitely don’t be afraid to learn new skills and take advantage of every professional opportunity to publish, research, or observe. Those experiences are resume builders. Finally, ask yourself who you want to become, not what you want to become. The Comm major prepares you as a person for success. The job title will fall into place." (Kristy M. MA, 2012)
  • "Never underestimate the value of your degree and knowledge! When people say “What can you do with a Communication degree?” you should always respond with “What CAN’T I do with a Communication degree?” The skills and knowledge you have obtained in your tenure at PSU are applicable across all fields of business, art, government...they are invaluable!" (Stephanie S. BSed, 2004 MA, 2006)

Get Involved


Extracurricular Activities
  • CAPS 13
  • Pitt State Theatre
  • Gorilla Radio
  • Campus Publications

CAPS 13, Cable Access Pitt State, is the Department of Communication's student-produced cable television station. Our students learn to use studio and portable video equipment, editing consoles, and a complete radio laboratory with two audio boards, including a state-of-the-art digital audio production facility.

Through CAPS 13, our students produce a live, 30-minute weekly news broadcast, "CAPS 13 News,” in addition to many other feature shows. 

cam

The Pitt State Theatre Company presents several plays throughout the year at the PSU Studio Theater in Grubbs Hall and at the Bicknell Family Center for the Arts. 

Merry Wives 14

Broadcasting from the coolest little corner of Pittsburg State University, Gorilla Radio features a selection of college rock music along with a variety of specialty shows. Tune in every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday night from 6:00 to Midnight on CAPS 13.

It's Radio...on TV!

Student Organizations
  • Lambda Pi Eta
  • Alpha Psi Omega
  • PR/Ad Club
  • Student Association of Broadcasters
  • Student Association of Photographers

The Nu Eta chapter of Lambda Pi Eta, is the Communication Department Honor Society. Founded at Pittsburg State University in 2001, under the advisement of Dr. John Couper, Nu Eta continues to flourish under the advisement of Dr. Joey Pogue. The organization promotes community service, public awareness, and a sense of camaraderie among Communication Majors.

The requirements for membership in Nu Eta are as follows: Communication Major, Junior or Senior in Standing, and a 3.0 GPA. The faculty advisors of Alpha Psi Omega are Dr. Shirley Drew and Dr. Joey Pogue.

Lambda Pi Eta

 

 

Pittsburg State University is the Alpha Epsilon Theta Chapter of Alpha Psi Omega National Theatre Honor Society. 
In 1921, at Fairmont State College in Fairmont, West Virginia, college theater took root. A faculty director was hired in 1923, and the Masquers were formed. The Masquers were charged with presenting a season of 4 to 5 major productions per year for students and the general public. In 1924, the Masquers began searching for a national honorary organization to join. As there was no truly national organization, Elinor B. Watson, Robert Sloan, and Fairmont faculty director Paul F. Opp researched forming such a national organization. The faculty advisor of Alpha Psi Omega is Dr. Cynthia Allan.

The Pittsburg State University Public Relations / Advertising Club is a student organization based out of the Communications Department. The PR/AD Club helps students enrolled in PSU receive experience in the Public Relations and Advertising field. The faculty advisor of PR/Ad is Dr. Alicia Mason.

PRAD

The Student Association of Broadcasters (SAB) is PSU's student association affiliated with the Kansas Association of Broadcasters. The faculty advisor for SAB is Dr. Troy Comeau.
Student Association of Photographers is an organization for students interested in photography at Pittsburg State University. Established in the Department of Communication, SAPS is intended to provide an opportunity for its members to share their work with other photographers. The faculty advisor of Student Association of Photographers is Kristen Livingston.
Helpful Gorilla Links

Contact Information

Chair: Cynthia Allen
Contact: Kristi Geier

Communication Department
215 Grubbs Hall
Pittsburg State University
1701 S Broadway St
Pittsburg, KS 66762

Phone 620-235-4716
Fax 620-235-4686

Communication Google Map | PSU Map (PDF)