Department Mission and Values
The Communication Department at Western Carolina University—in its teaching, scholarship, and service activities—seeks to accomplish the following goals:
- Teach students communication skills to produce academically successful and culturally responsive individuals.
- Guide students in demonstrating professional knowledge and dispositions necessary for adapting to a wide range of audiences and contexts, and for identifying and pursuing career-minded pathways upon graduation.
- Provide students with interdisciplinary skills and content knowledge that are vital for success in a changing world, including the presentation of ideas, writing and editing; media literacy; video and audio production; interpersonal, intercultural, group, gender, family, and health communication; theory and research; and public relations strategies.
- Foster citizenship and engagement in the contexts of the university, the region, the state, the nation, and the world by contributing disciplinary-specific skills to matters of public life (e.g., news reporting), and by participating meaningfully in institutional, civic, and professional communities.
- Contribute to the disciplines associated with the study of Communication by encouraging, supporting, producing, and sustaining notable scholarship, pedagogy, creative works, consulting, training, and public events—both on and off campus—that reflect the department’s strong commitment to the expansion of knowledge and common good.
Core Values As faculty dedicated to the values of open and diverse expression, we foster informed means of criticism and stress the notion that achievement is best attained through collaboration. These ideas are reflected in our core curriculum, which consists of an interdisciplinary approach well rooted in the means and methods of the social sciences and the humanities. We stress theoretically grounded communication skills that underpin professional competencies necessary for today’s convergent communication marketplace. We are committed to the following values as an integral component of shaping well-rounded and well-grounded citizens and professionals:
- The free and open exchange of ideas
- Civil discourse
- Respect for diversity and inclusion of all segments of society
- Interdisciplinary collaboration
- Technological currency
- Community engagement
Vision To be educators, scholars, practitioners, and leaders of engaged, applied, and critical communication regionally, nationally, and internationally.
Program Goals and Objectives
Upon completion of the BS Degree in Communication, students should be able to demonstrate the following:
- Explain fundamental communication concepts, principles, and theories.
- Demonstrate a combination of oral, written, and technical skills.
- Apply an understanding of ethical communication principles in personal and/or professional contexts.
- Articulate the role of communication in understanding and relating to diverse people, contexts, situations and cultures.
- Evaluate information critically and synthesize relevant information into effective messages for a variety of communication contexts.