ESU Unveils New Program

Photo Credit / Laura Null ESU professors involved in new communications program.
Photo Credit / Laura Null
ESU professors involved in new communications program.

By Levi Jiorle
Managing Editor

ESU is expanding its educational opportunities for students looking to study communication.

The program was approved at the end of January, and it will only take 15 months to complete.

”We designed the program, which, all along the way, received very positive comments that it was a really interesting program.

So I have to say, my seven department colleagues sat down, we decided what courses we were gonna put into these as required courses,” Professor McKenzie said.

”We also decided to make some of them optional,” McKenzie stated.

The program is unique in that it lets students decide their own track.

They could either choose a track that focuses on a master’s thesis, or one that focuses on a master’s project.

The former track would be more effective for those deciding to get a doctorate’s, the latter more so for those looking to go into the workforce after obtaining their master’s.

“That’s what I think about is how cool this program is, and that it’s 15 months,” McKenzie said.

“There’s summer one, start at the beginning, then come around by the time you end summer two, if you’ve followed the sequence, then you have a 15-month Master’s of Arts in Communication.”

McKenzie made sure to be specific in the singular use of communication, rather than calling it communications.

“Our field is both a young and an old field. It started in ancient Greece, and had many different variations as it went through the ages.

Then in more recent times became speech communication.

It had a hard time in recent times, legitimizing itself as its own discipline because it borrows from so many other disciplines–sociology, psychology, even English.

In fact, the rhetoric side of our field broke from English professors at Cornell University,” McKenzie said.

For a long time, the field was called communication studies.

This is misleading, because with other disciplines, they are not referred to as something such as ?English studies, which refers to a field that may seem underdeveloped.

“Communications is indicating many different technologies to people, it’s indicating many different ways to communicate.

Communication is a core of principles, and we want that core to be communicated by a singular department of communication,” McKenzie said.

While the discipline now has its own identity, communication is still a great field with a lot of options.

Some of the fields that communication degree holders can enter are marketing, sales, social media, public relations, journalism, as well as the teaching route.

McKenzie expressed how excited he is for all the classes in this new program.

“The gist of this degree is that it’s meant (to be) agile and flexible, 15 months, you could shape it the way that you want it, and affordable,” stated McKenzie.

Laura Null, communication student, said, “?I’m excited an MA program is finally opening up for the Communication Department.”

I’m looking into going to grad school, and with the new program opening up here, ESU just became my top choice,” said Null.

Anybody wishing to inquire more information about the program can contact Dr. McKenzie.

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