“Over the years, we found that there was enough student interest in public relations to sustain its own stand-alone degree,” explains Lori Bindig, program director and associate professor in Sacred Heart’s School of Communication & Media Arts. “At the same time, the field of strategic communication and public relations has grown and is now indispensable for the success of any organization. Our new SCPR program is a response to both student interest and industry demands.”
The SCPR degree will offer three concentrations: corporate communications and public relations, digital multimedia public relations and political communication and multimedia production. “This will allow students to tailor their educational experiences to their personal interests and career goals. Regardless of which concentration our students choose, the program provides the knowledge, skills and experiences to become successful communication professionals in the 21st century,” Bindig says.
Like many programs at Sacred Heart, SCPR will blend theory with valuable hands-on learning. “This is a unique program because of its balance of theory and practice and its emphasis on the need for ethical, honest and transparent communication in democratic societies,” says Professor Bill Yousman. Students will learn to navigate the latest multimedia tools and social media platforms to create real-world materials for organizations on Macbook Pro laptops, which will be theirs to keep upon graduation. Traditional courses will be paired with internships and capstone projects, with an abundance of real-world opportunities locally and just a short train ride away to the media capital of the world, New York City.
Students will be able to complete the required 36 credits in one or two years by attending night classes once or twice weekly during eight-week sessions. Award-winning scholars and media professionals who are leading experts in strategic communication and public relations will teach the SCPR courses.
Yousman says he is looking forward to developing excellent writers, speakers and thinkers who “will be devoted not just to personal advancement, but also to making positive changes in their workplaces and communities.”
Bindig shares his sentiment. “My hope is that with a degree in SCPR, graduates will be thoughtful, ethical communicators who use their knowledge and skills to make a difference,” she says.
To learn more about the SCPR degree, visit www.sacredheart.edu/mascpr.
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