About the Department
A communication degree opens doors to a wide variety of opportunities in everything from radio to public relations agencies, broadcast television, and much more. At WCU, communication majors have the opportunity to choose between concentrations in broadcasting, health communication, journalism, or public relations to gain specialized experience in a facet of communication. And, students have the opportunity to gain professional experience on campus with opportunities to produce content for WCU’s radio station, Power 90.5 (Jackson County’s only FM radio station) and the Communication Department’s news website, The Western Carolina Journalist.
Every communication major will complete a 150 hour internship as a part of our curriculum, gaining valuable hands-on experience in the industry they will be going into after completing their undergraduate degree.
Our broadcasting concentration gives students the opportunity to work and learn in a high-quality digital television studio and FM radio station. In addition to internships, students take on projects working for outside clients as a part of course curriculum. After graduation, many students go directly into the top 100 markets.
Our journalism concentration or its associated minor provides the basis for a career in the fast-paced and rapidly changing field of journalism. As coursework, students will report on important events on WCU’s campus and in the community. In addition to internships, stories written as a part of coursework will be published on the department’s student-run news website The Western Carolina Journalist, giving students the opportunity to work with WordPress.
Our health communication concentration gives students the opportunity to learn and develop skills that will be needed to understand, apply, and manage the way people see, process, and share health information. The curriculum focuses on how people understand and accommodate to health and illness and the role of communication in shaping health care messages. In addition to internships, students take on coursework, research, and community engagement projects to gain experience. After graduation, many students pursue careers in patient advocacy, health promotion, healthcare and non-profit administration, and hospital public relations.
Our public relations concentration prepares students for a public relations career, developing skills in writing, desktop publishing, and more. In addition to internships, students will work with outside clients to prepare communications materials. Through your coursework, you can take on “real world” projects and clients and also participate in Catamount Communications, the student-run public relations firm. WCU’s public relations grads can be found in some of the top corporations and government agencies.
95.3 WWCU FM Radio Station
95.3 WWCU FM is the broadcast service of Western Carolina University. It reaches north from Cherokee and the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, west to Bryson City, south to Cashiers and Highlands, and east to Waynesville, North Carolina.
The Western Carolina Journalist
The Western Carolina Journalist is the Communication Department’s student-run news website. The site serves as a part of the curriculum of the department, and day-to-day content and operation decisions are made by a student staff appointed by department faculty. Students report on important events on WCU’s campus and in the community, and their stories are published on the site.
Digital TV Studio
The Center for Applied Technology houses a high-quality production/post-production broadcast television facility which offers students a hands-on learning experience, in which they can build a broad skill set to set them up for success in the broadcast television industry.
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233 Stillwell Central Drive
Cullowhee, NC 28723