Temple’s School of Media and Communication will be implementing a series of changes to its Department of Strategic Communication for the Fall 2017 semester. Among these changes will be renaming the program to the Department of Communication and Social Influence, creating a separate public relations major, and combining public relations and advertising into one single department.
Dean Boardman announced the plans on Monday, with an invitation to students to join faculty at two town hall meetings to discuss the department’s plans and to answer questions.
The department says it will be elevating public relations from a concentration to its own major to accommodate its growing demand and updated curriculum. Public relations will also be placed alongside advertising in a Department of Advertising and Public Relations because of the fields’ close professional relationship.
Faculty say this change will allow students to work across multiple disciplines in the department.
“I think it’s going to enable our students to get more exposure in other disciplines and make them stronger in the process,” Professor of Strategic Communication David Brown said. “If you only do one discipline than you think that’s the only solution but it enables you to start looking much broader.”
The newly created Department of Communication and Social Influence will focus on civic engagement, crisis and risk communication with an emphasis on the diversity of the urban environment.
“I think Communication and Social Influence will have a lot of courses that have relevance to today’s society and how to communicate in different facets of the field,” senior strategic communication major Maggie Wurst said.
Current students in the Strategic Communication concentration will be able to finish their education with equivalent courses created to fill requirements or they can switch their major entirely. It is recommended that students check with their advisor to discuss any changes.
Students who didn’t attend either of the town hall meetings can stay in touch by using the hashtag #BeyondStratComm on Twitter.