Realizing that communication will play a significant role in whatever career one chooses, the Department of Communication offers a wide choice of courses designed to meet the complex communication skills required in today's society. The department promotes high standards, while seeking to promote a balance between a liberal arts education and professional preparation.
Courses of Study
The Department of Communication offers the following courses of study or emphasis areas:
- Mass Communication (covering the breadth of the discipline)
- Radio, TV and Web Broadcasting
- Speech and Forensics
In addition, the Department of Communication provides courses to support a Recording Industry Management course of study.
Careers in the communications field include television and radio broadcasting, public relations, corporate communication, education, print, radio or television journalism, photography, desktop publishing and writing.
Students of communication follow a variety of careers, including marketing, teaching, media operations, the law, finance, banking, public relations, policy analysis, government service, consulting, human resources, account management, advertising, brokerage, print and electronic media writing, performance, news production, management, real estate development and lobbying, to name a few.
Communication majors also regularly pursue advanced study in graduate schools of business administration, history, journalism, political science, fine arts and schools of law, in addition to graduate studies in different fields of communication.
Practical Experience is at the heart of each individual course and is also an integral part of each course of study. Communication majors have numerous opportunities for practical/job-related experience, not only in the classroom, but also through campus activities and organizations and within the off-campus larger community.
Activities have been created to make a student's educational experience exciting, practical, and valuable, as each student develops a portfolio of skills that employers want.
Journalism opportunities include the student-written campus newspaper, The Settler (with print and an online version) and the college magazine, The Pioneer (also with a print and an online version).
Mass Communications students program and operate WVCP-FM, the campus radio station and gain experience in video and television production. The Department also has video and television production studios and a commercial music studio.
Communication majors may participate as a part of the Pioneer Forensics Team and enter intercollegiate competition in any one or several of 10 individual events or parliamentary team debate.
Any student may participate in the Annual Hal R. Ramer Oratorical Contest in April. Speakers deliver prepared speeches on a variety of topics for cash prizes and awards. See Oratorical Contest Rules for more information. See Oratorical Form for a contest entry.
The Gallatin Toastmasters hold weekly meetings on the Volunteer State main campus. Weekly meetings are on Friday afternoons between 12:10pm and 1:20pm. Interested students, faculty, staff and administrative personnel are welcome to join this organization. E-mail the chapter contact.
All Vol State students, in addition to communication majors, are eligible to audition and work in the dramatic productions of the college. Dramatic productions, staged during the fall and spring terms, offer practical experience opportunities in acting and all aspects of production.
Activities, in addition to the practical experiences listed above, are also available to students. Communications majors, as well as non-majors, are eligible for membership in several honor societies and organizations.
Sigma Chi Eta is a national honor society for communication majors in two-year colleges which provides enrichment and networking opportunities. The minimum requirements are 3 courses completed (9 hours minimum), a 3.0 or better overall GPA and a 3.25 or better communication coursework GPA.
Phi Rho Pi is a national honor society for speech competitors in two-year colleges in the United States, while Alpha Sigma Iota is an organization for broadcasting majors that provides opportunities for experience, such as field trips and workshops.
In addition, Phi Theta Kappa is a national academic honor society open to students with the minimum course requirements and a GPA of 3.5 or better.