By Kaylee Lindenmuth
Beginning this semester, KU now offers a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Relations, a new major in the English department.
The program’s curriculum includes professional writing courses, communication studies courses and social media strategy and analytics courses.
“This degree is groundbreaking,” said Dr. Andrew Vogel, English professor and department chairperson, in a media release. “It integrates competencies with understanding audiences, crafting messages, and connecting with people. The curriculum fortifies foundation skills and develops them with cutting-edge media technologies.”
“The focus during senior year is intensive professional training in the program’s own public relations agency, where teams of students work with actual clients, managing their projects from start to finish,” said Dr. David Beougher, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. “Public relations students will graduate from Kutztown University with the theoretical foundation of the field, along with a portfolio of professional work and a network of former clients.”
The major is intended to meet the workforce demand in fields such as social advocacy, media and marketing.
“The ability to operate in a variety of different environments and interfaces is significant,” Beougher added. “Graduates won’t be exclusively writers, or marketing specialists, or campaign theorists. They’ll be prepared for success within a very broad field, and to address emerging technologies and strategies. They’ll be able to do it all.”
According to the media release, a unique experiential learning component is embedded within the major’s coursework, culminating in a one-semester senior year internship and two-semester capstone sequence.
“The program aims to incorporate high-power tools for social media research with real-world demands,” the release reads. “A lab space built for students enrolled in the major will house the latest technology, including software and hardware for hands-on learning, as well as a meeting space for consulting with clients.”