Strategic Communication

Program Description

The Master of Arts in Strategic Communication is a 36-credit program for people who wish to improve their communication skills and understanding of communication issues and practices within business and professional organizations. It is designed to be broad in scope but provides sufficient depth for students to explore issues that meet their interests or needs.

Students may elect to complete the M.A. program in one of two ways.  First, students in the One-Year M.A. program complete their degree within 12 months.  Students in the One-Year program may take courses during the day and evening.  Second, the part-time program allows working adults to take classes during the evenings and weekends, progressing through the program at a pace of their own choosing.

Mission

Guided by Lasallian values, the Communication Department integrates liberal arts education with theoretical knowledge and practical experience in the communication field, and challenges students to demonstrate communication competence. The Department seeks to develop graduate students who engage in informed civic participation and progressive leadership in professional and community settings.  Beyond assisting students with finding and advancing in meaningful careers, we seek to provide students with the communication knowledge and skills needed/necessary for meaningful personal, professional, and social relationships.

 

Program Goals

  • Recognize and articulate the communication principles and processes involved in creating and sustaining meaning
  • Recognize, articulate, and demonstrate the influence and power of messages
  • Demonstrate effective communication, in both written and spoken form.
  • Apply theoretical, conceptual, and skills-based course knowledge to experiential learning environment(s) and/or professional situations
  • Communicate strategically

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Students will compare/contrast approaches to organizational communication (e.g., classical, human relations, human resources, systems, cultural, and critical approaches).
  • Students will provide systematic understanding of a professional situation by applying communication theory to a case study.
  • Through case study analysis, students will identify productive and unproductive communication patterns.
  • Students will complete a project in which they assess a professional and business communication challenge and justify an appropriate research method design to gather data related to the challenge.
  • Students will individually prepare and deliver an 8 – 10 minute presentation that identifies an organizational challenge and argues for a specific course of action.
  • Given the details of a communication challenge, students will be able to formulate recommendations for (re)solution based on communication best practices.

Program Specific Information

Because oral communication is an integral part of most courses in the program, students must be able to communicate clearly in English. International students must achieve a minimum TOEFL score: CBT 230/PBT 575/IBT 88. 

Academic Requirements

One-Year Program

The One-Year Master of Arts in Strategic Communication is a 36-credit program intended to be completed within 12 months. Students may be required to continue their studies beyond one year if they withdraw from a course or if their grades require courses to be repeated. Students complete the program in a cohort, and there will be limited choices in electives.

Core

(5.5 courses,  16.5 credits)

  • COM 600 - Applied Communication Theory
    COM 601 - Professional Communication Ethics (1.5 credits)
    COM 602 - Effective Presentations
    COM 604 - Applied Communication Research Methods
  • COM 612 - Approaches to Organizational Communication
    COM 620 - Strategic Communication Capstone ( may only be taken after the completion of 27 or more graduate credits and successful completion of COM 600,  COM 604, and COM 612)

Possible Electives

(6.5 five courses, 19.5 credits)

  • COM 608 - Intercultural Communication and Organizational Life
  • COM 610 - Leadership and Interpersonal Communication
  • COM 613 - Approaches to Public Relations
  • COM 614 - Communication and Conflict
  • COM 615 - Persuasion
  • COM 616 - Group and Team Communication
  • COM 619 - Public Relations Campaigns
  • COM 641 - Social Media
  • COM 670-677 - Topics in Professional Communication

Part-Time Program

The part-time Master of Arts in Strategic Communication is a 36-credit program requiring all degree recipients to complete the following course:

  • The core
  • The completion of 19.5 credits toward electives

Core and Degree Completion

( 5.5 courses for 16.5 credits)

  • COM 600 - Applied Communication Theory
  • COM 601 - Professional Communication Ethics (1.5 credits)
  • COM 602 - Effective Presentations
  • COM 604 - Applied Communication Research Methods
  • COM 612 - Approaches to Organizational Communication
  • COM 620 - Strategic Communication Capstone (must be taken after completing 27 credits and COM 600, COM 604, and COM 612)

Course Sequence

Students enrolled in the one-year M.A. program in Strategic Communication complete coursework as follows:

  • One 3-credit course during the first summer
  • Four 3-credit courses during the fall semester
  • One 3-credit course during the winter intersession
  • Four 3-credit courses during the spring semester
  • Two 3-credit courses during the summer session(s) in the second summer

Degree or Certificate Earned

M.A.

Number of Courses Required for Program Completion

12

Number of Credits Required for Program Completion

36

GPA Required for Program Completion

3.0

Program Contact Information

Strategic Communication

Communication Center

gradcomm@lasalle.edu

(215) 951-1844

Staff Contact Information

Katie Dunleavy, Ph.D.

Director

Communication Center

(215) 991-3520

Faculty

Director: Katie Dunleavy, Ph.D.

Professors: Dainton, Lannutti
Associate Professors: Dunleavy, M. Smith, Texter, Zelley
Assistant Professors:  Daily, Lashley

Course Descriptions

COM 600 - Applied Communication Theory

This course focuses on the nature and function of communication theory. It examines the role of theory in understanding communication events and explores various advanced communication theories as they apply to professional communication.

Number of Credits: 3

COM 601 - Professional Communication Ethics

This course is designed to examine and critique a range of ethical theories regarding human behavior in interpersonal, group, professional, and mediated contexts.

Number of Credits: 1.5

COM 602 - Effective Presentations

This course focuses on the development and enhancement of public presentation skills. It presents theoretical background for speaking in different types of public situations, but concentrates primarily on speech preparation and skill development. Use of presentation graphics will be included.

Number of Credits: 3

COM 603 - Strategies for Professional Writing

This is an advanced writing course designed to show participants how to write the documents commonly usedin business and in the professions. The course is designed to develop writing and editing skills that participants can use in their professional lives. In addition, the course provides practical instruction in how to effectively manage the writing of others.

Number of Credits: 3

COM 604 - Applied Communication Research Methods

This course introduces graduate students to qualitative and quantitative research methods, particularly the practical aspects of designing and implementing surveys, focus groups, and content analysis. The course will examine how research can be applied in professional settings.

Number of Credits: 3

Prerequisites: COM 600

COM 608 - Intercultural Communication and Organizational Life

This course explores the issues that surround the notion of cultural diversity and form the basis for the study of intercultural communication. Special emphasis will be given to how culture is communicated and interpreted by persons of diverse backgrounds. Within this matrix, the course will explore a variety of communication issues pertinent to professional and organizational life.

Number of Credits: 3

COM 610 - Leadership and Interpersonal Communication

This course focuses on the nature and function of interpersonal communication. Content incorporates advanced theories and research on interpersonal communication and their application to the practice of effective interpersonal communication in everyday and professional life.

Number of Credits: 3

COM 612 - Approaches to Organizational Communication

This course provides advanced study of the theoretical and conceptual aspects of organizations and organizational communication and of their application to practice. The course explores methods for the analysis and evaluation of organizational communication networks and for the planning and development of communication intervention strategies.

Number of Credits: 3

COM 613 - Approaches to Public Relations

This course explores public relations as the management of communication between an organization and its various internal and external stakeholders. It examines theoretical and conceptual frameworks with an eye toward the practical application of appropriate ethics, decision-making, research analysis, design, implementation, and evaluation strategies.

Number of Credits: 3

COM 614 - Communication Conflict Management

This course focuses on the nature and function of healthy and unhealthy communication conflict. Content incorporates theories of conflict and the application of effective conflict management techniques.

Number of Credits: 3

COM 615 - Persuasion

The ability to win support for ideas and motivate others to action is an essential skill for communication professionals and managers. This course will explore the persuasion process in public, organizational, and interpersonal settings. Students will develop practical skills in message design and other techniques to become ethical persuaders.

Number of Credits: 3

COM 616 - Group and Team Communication

This course weds theory of small group interaction with a focus on the practice of participating in groups. Emphasis is placed on factors affecting and affected by symbolic exchanges in task groups. Specific topics include group climate, group decision-making, and leading groups.

Number of Credits: 3

COM 619 - Public Relations Campaigns

The course will introduce students to the process of planning and implementing public relations campaigns. Students will examine techniques for developing and managing public relations campaigns for internal and external audiences. Students will also review historic and contemporary public relations campaigns for both their effectiveness and their social implications.

Number of Credits: 3

COM 620 - Strategic Communication Capstone

This course prepares students for the role of communication expert for strategic communication management. Students will learn to diagnose communication challenges and propose solutions to address those challenges, synthesizing the knowledge and skills developed throughout the graduate program.

Number of Credits: 3

COM 621 - Communication Training and Development

This course provides students with a theoretical and practical overview of training and development. As a complement to the study of organizational communication, students will learn how professionals identify communication needs, and then design, deliver, and assess employee learning, training, and development initiatives.

Number of Credits: 3

Prerequisites: COM 612

COM 623 - Public Relations Writing and Media Relations

Number of Credits: 3

COM 630-635 - Topics in Professional Development

The field of communication is rapidly changing, with new issues and technologies emerging constantly. Moreover, there are some professional communication topics that require more depth than in a traditional course but do not warrant a full-semester course by themselves (such as crisis communication). It is assumed that the topics covered will relate to each of the tracks or be of general interest to all professional communication students. Students may repeat a module for credit as long as the topic is sufficiently different.

Number of Credits: 1.5

COM 640 - Professional Media Development

This course presents current audio and video practices and technologies used in corporate and institutional communications. Students will implement this pre-production, production, and post-production practices in developing messages for corporate and institutional audiences. Students will gain a general understanding of script-writing, lighting, audio, and editing tools used in media production to enable them to best communicate with professional videographers and audio technicians.

COM 641 - Social Media

The course will explore the new media landscape in terms of online expression, social networking, identity management, and community building. Central questions include: How is social media changing the way people work and live? What are the implications for individuals and for the organizations they work with? What opportunities and challenges do individuals, news organizations, and businesses face regarding communication, identity/brand management, and community building? This course is grounded in practice, and students will be required to participate in social networks, forums, blogs, wikis, micro-blogs, and other emerging forms of social media.

COM 645 - Special Topics in Social and New Media

Given the rapid change in communication technologies, this course provides an opportunity to examine 'state-of-the art' topics in social and new media. Sample topics are Content Development for Mobile Applications, Digital E-vangelism, and Social Media Metrics.

COM 661 - Graduate Internship I

This graduate-level course allows students to work in a professional communication position, requiring them to link their graduate coursework with professional communication activities. Students are expected to
work at least 75 hours over the course of the semester. To be permitted to enroll in the internship, students must:

  1. Be an M.A. student in Strategic Communication;
  2. Have at least a 3.0 G.P.A.;
  3. Have completed at least 12 credits of coursework, including Com 602 (Presentation Skills) and Com 603 (Professional Writing);
  4. Have permission of the graduate director.
  5. Students may NOT take internship credit with an organization for whom the student works full-time.

Number of Credits: 1.5

COM 662 - Graduate Internship II

This graduate-level course allows students to work in a professional communication position, requiring them to link their graduate coursework with professional communication activities. Students are expected to work at least 75 hours over the course of the semester. This course may be combined with Com 661 to create 3 credits during a single semester, or it may be taken as a second internship during a subsequent semester. To be permitted to enroll in the internship, students must:

  1. Be an M.A. student in Strategic Communication;
  2. Have at least a 3.0 G.P.A.;
  3. Have completed at least 12 credits of coursework, including Com 602 (Presentation Skills) and Com 603 (Professional Writing);
  4. Have permission of the graduate director.
  5. Students may NOT take internship credit with an organization for whom the student works full-time.

Number of Credits: 1.5