Strategic Communication

Program Description

The Master of Arts in Strategic Communication is a 33-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

  1. Adapt to the ways diverse perspectives affect communication.
  2. Construct messages to achieve strategic communication goals.
  3. Diagnose professional communication challenges and provide informed recommendations.
  4. Use reflective techniques to inform the development of communication skills.

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 33-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

(8 courses,  24 credits)

  • Com 602 Effective Presentations

    Com 604 Strategic Communication Research

    Com 612 Internal Communications

    Com 615 Persuasion

    Com 620 Strategic Communication Capstone

    Com 641 Social Media

    External Communication Requirement (Choose 1 of):

    Com 606 Integrated Marketing Com

    Com 613 Strategic Public Relations

    Com 619 Communication Campaigns

    Writing Requirement (choose 1 of):

    Com 603 Proposal Writing

    Com 623 Public Relations Writing

    *Note: alternative writing courses may be taken by permission of the Graduate Director.

Possible Electives

(3 courses,  9 credits)

  • Com 608 Diversity and Inclusion

    Com 610 Leadership Communication

    Com 614 Conflict Resolution, Negotiation, and Mediation

    Com 616 Group Decision-Making and Problem-Solving

    Com 621 Training and Development

    Com 630-635 Topics in Professional Development

    Com 640 Professional Media Development

    Com 661/662 Graduate Internship I/II

    Com 670 Special Topics in Strategic Communication

    *Note, students may take additional courses from the two “choose 1” required courses and those courses would count as an elective.

Part-Time Program

The part-time Master of Arts in Strategic Communication is a 33-credit program requiring all degree recipients to complete the following course:

  • The core (8 courses, 24 credits)
  • The completion of 9 credits toward electives

Course Sequence

Students enrolled in the one-year M.A. program (this includes BA/MA) in Strategic Communication complete coursework as follows:

  • 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)

Degree or Certificate Earned

M.A.

Number of Courses Required for Program Completion

11

Number of Credits Required for Program Completion

33

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: Daily, Dunleavy, M. Smith, Texter, Zelley
Assistant Professors:  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 - Proposal Writing

This is an advanced writing course designed to show participants how to write documents commonly used to acquire investments, donations and other types of funding for non-profit and for-profit organizations. This course focuses particularly on developing the skills needed for writing proposals for grants, including interpreting a RFP, identifying and gathering content and information from multiple sources, creating a budget, and developing narratives that are competitive and compelling.

Number of Credits: 3

COM 604 - Strategic Communication Research

This course focuses on the essential knowledge and skills needed to engage in data-based strategic decision making in communication professions. The course focuses on the role of research in setting and achieving goals, understanding research concepts, as well as the skills needed to conduct surveys, interviews, and focus groups. The course addresses how to translate and report research.

Number of Credits: 3

COM 606 - Integrated Marketing Communication

This course examines the ways in which various external communication elements (advertising, public relations, and marketing) can be coordinated in order to achieve organizational goals. As part of the course, students will learn how to leverage various techniques, including social media, event marketing, media relations, and publicity to effectively promote a business or organization.

Number of Credits: 3

COM 608 - Diversity and Inclusion

This course focuses on understanding and appreciating diverse perspectives and backgrounds of those in the workplace and increasing inclusive communication practices.  The course uses self-reflection as a tool for understanding one’s own perspectives and communication as they relate to diverse workforces and teaches students how to identify and engage in more inclusive professional communication.

Number of Credits: 3

COM 610 - Leadership Communication

This course examines the role of communication in realizing effective leadership. Through exploration of leadership perspectives and communication principles, students will learn to recognize and analyze effective versus ineffective strategies, while considering situational factors such as context and audiences. Additionally, students will engage in several personal and peer skill assessments with an eye toward development and growth as effective leaders.

Number of Credits: 3

COM 612 - Internal Communication

This course focuses on the strategic function of internal communications, with a specific focus on  organizational climate and culture, change communication, and employee engagement.

Number of Credits: 3

COM 613 - Strategic Public Relations

This course focuses on the strategic function of public relations, which includes an analysis of the public relations situation, organization and its key publics; establishment of goals and measurable objectives; formulation of appropriate action and response strategies; development of the message strategy; selection of communication tactics together with their budgets and timelines; and evaluation of the plan.

Number of Credits: 3

COM 614 - Conflict Resolution, Negotiation, and Mediation

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 Decision-Making and Problem-Solving

This course focuses on the development and processes of effective groups and teams. Students will work in groups to learn how to utilize decision making strategies in order to solve problems. They will develop practical skills in leading a group and working virtually.

Number of Credits: 3

COM 619 - Communication Campaigns

In this course, students will be introduced to the strategic process of planning, producing, implementing, and evaluating campaigns for internal and external audiences. Students will examine the approaches used to develop and manage campaigns for diverse publics. Students will also analyze contemporary campaigns for their effectiveness and societal 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 - Training and Development

Developing organizational members and leaders is vital to advancing today’s organization, and training provides a key means for fostering these professional skills. In this course, students gain both theoretical and practical foundations of training and development. Students will learn how to identify communication needs in an organization, and then to design, deliver, and assess employee learning through training and development initiatives.

Number of Credits: 3

COM 623 - Public Relations Writing

This course involves strategies and practices for writing, media planning, and digital content creation with a focus on owned and earned media. The emphasis is on producing narrative content that achieves integrated marketing communication goals.

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