Competition in the workplace demands that today's students possess effective communication skills. At the start of a new century, the need to understand, produce, and use effective communication strategies is more important than ever. It is vital to the success of individuals, communities, states, and nations. The task is further complicated by the many new communication technologies now in use, and the increasing importance of working in the global context.
The Department of Communication at Indiana State University recognizes these changes and offers programs of study to prepare students to work in this new and evolving environment, while maintaining the traditions of a strong liberal arts education. Communication at ISU allows students to study both the practical and theoretical, while tailoring a program that maximizes personal growth and professional development. With this approach, students receive the best of both the professional and academic worlds.
Students may earn their degree in one of the areas of specialization in the department: Journalism, Human Communication, Public Relations, and Electronic Media.
In support of the liberal arts and sciences mission of the college and Indiana State University, the Department of Communication participates in the General Education Program, the Honors Program, the International Studies Program, the Women's Studies Program, and the First-Year Learning Communities.
Small Class Size
Smaller class size means more individualized instructions. One of the things students most appreciate in the Department of Communication at ISU is the fact that they do not feel lost in a sea of fellow students.
The average size for 100-200 level classes is 25.
The average size for 300-400 level classes is 30.
The average size for graduate classes is 15.
Smaller class size offers greater learning benefits and opportunities to get to know fellow classmates.
Access to Professors
Small classes mean greater access to professors. Unlike other universities, where auditorium size classes are taught by teaching assistance, many of the courses within the major are taught directly by professors. In a recent study, students listed their relationships with great faculty as one of the things they liked best about the department.
More Experiential Learning
Smaller class size creates an environment that makes it more possible for professors to provide experiential learning (i.e. learning by doing) opportunities. These include in-class and out of class activities and assignments.
More Discussion & Activity
Rather than sitting in a large auditorium and doing nothing but take notes, the classroom environment at ISU allows professors and students to interact more and engage a range of in-class learning activities that apply knowledge.
The Department of Communication at Indiana State University has been long-time believer in the concept of "learning by doing not just listening." Learning by doing comes out of the national educational movement to transform learning from a passive activity to an active participatory activity. Many of the department courses involve students through various curricular offerings.
Curricular offerings in these units are translated into practice through service-learning opportunities such as WISU-FM, Sycamore Video, the Educational News Service, the Indiana Statesman (ISU's campus newspaper), the Public Relations Student Society of America, the Society of Professional Journalists, the Otis J. Aggert Interpretation Lecture and performances of Sycamore Storytellers/Readers Theatre Ensemble. Additionally, the department supports an active student internship program, and many of its faculty regularly work with internal and external clients. These activities enrich the campus community and fulfill our institutional mandate to meet the needs of the citizens of Indiana.
Many of our alumni have used their education at ISU to pursue successful careers.
Students at ISU have access to several local professional opportunities. Terre Haute features 2 television affiliates (WTWO and WTHI), 1 newspaper (The Tribune Star) and several AM and FM radio stations. Several students in the department have interned or begun their first jobs at one of these outlets.
Many of the Communication concentrations require students to have a professional experience before they graduate. Students typically work for a professional media organization full-time during the summer or part time during the fall or spring semesters, generating a portfolio and receiving professional assessment that will help them land that all-important first job after graduation.
The department is committed to the belief that communication is central to human existence and that knowledge of it provides an essential foundation for enriched personal living and helps people improve the world in which we live. Faculty in the department help students become articulate participants in contemporary society and develop the analytic abilities and technical competencies needed to excel in communication-related professions, including those in the mass media.
The department is also committed to creating opportunities for innovative teaching, research, service and professional development that benefit its students, faculty and the citizens of Indiana. To that end, members of the department continually seek to develop and share knowledge and expertise in interpersonal, organizational, rhetorical, mediated, instructional and mass communication.
Ultimately, these commitments lead the department to a central mission of providing a model environment within which creative and dedicated faculty, staff and students work together to explore and expand the theories and processes of communication.