Strategic Communications

Degree Offered

  • Associate of Arts

Nature of Program

The strategic communications major teaches students how to develop and produce persuasive and educational messages and integrated communications campaigns that employ both public relations and advertising tactics. 

Students gain real-world experience in writing, research, and graphic design through coursework that allows them to plan and produce promotional and educational campaigns and materials for actual clients including The Pasquino, WKYW-LP Mountain Streams Radio, nonprofits, small communities and College projects. Summer internships are also available. 

Career Opportunities

Four-year graduates are prepared to pursue careers in advertising and marketing agencies, public relations agencies, corporations, nonprofits, government, education, entertainment, sports, healthcare, and other public-sector fields, or as consultants or business owners. 

Some pursue graduate degrees in law or other specialized graduate programs. Those students who wish to go on to graduate school have a solid grounding in writing, research, analysis, and communications.

Admission Requirements

Entering freshmen are admitted directly into the major.

Benchmark Expectations

Students must maintain a GPA of 2.0 overall and a C- or higher in all required JRL and STCM courses for graduation.  All majors must meet with their adviser every semester.  Students who do not meet these benchmarks may be removed from their major.

General Education FOUNDATIONS

Please use this link to view a list of courses that meet each GEF requirement.

NOTE: Some major requirements will fulfill specific GEF requirements. Please see the curriculum requirements listed below for details on which GEFs you will need to select.

General Education Foundations
F1 - Composition & Rhetoric3-6
Introduction to Composition and Rhetoric
and Composition, Rhetoric, and Research
Accelerated Academic Writing
F2A/F2B - Science & Technology4-6
F3 - Math & Quantitative Skills3-4
F4 - Society & Connections3
F5 - Human Inquiry & the Past3
F6 - The Arts & Creativity3
F7 - Global Studies & Diversity3
F8 - Focus (may be satisfied by completion of a minor, double major, or dual degree)9
Total Hours31-37

Please note that not all of the GEF courses are offered at all campuses. Students should consult with their advisor or academic department regarding the GEF course offerings available at their campus.

Curriculum Requirements

GEF Requirements (2, 3, 5 and 6)13
JRL 191College of Media Orientation3
ENGL 101
ENGL 102
Introduction to Composition and Rhetoric
and Composition, Rhetoric, and Research (GEF 1)
BUSA 201Survey of Economics3
BUSA 330Survey of Marketing3
HIST 153Making of Modern America: 1865 to the Present3
ULIB 101Introduction to Library Research1
English literature or Creative Writing course3
Two semesters of foreign language6
Select one of the following:3
Introduction to Psychology
Introduction to Sociology
Introduction to Anthropology
A grade of C- or higher must be earned in the following courses:
JRL 101Media and Society (GEF 4)3
JRL 215Media Writing3
JRL 225Media Tools & Applications3
STCM 215Introduction to Strategic Communications3
STCM 315Strategic Advertising and Public Relations Writing3
Total Hours61

Suggested Plan of Study

First Year
STCM 2153JRL 2153
JRL 101 (GEF 4)3English literature or Creative Writing course3
ENGL 101 (GEF 1)3GEF 33
ULIB 1011Select one of the following:3
JRL 1913 
Foreign Language3 
 Foreign Language3
 16 15
Second Year
JRL 2253STCM 3153
ENGL 102 (GEF 1)3BUSA 3303
BUSA 2013HIST 1533
GEF 24GEF 63
GEF 53Elective2
 16 14
Total credit hours: 61

Major Learning Goals

strategic communications

Upon successful completion of the AA in Journalism, Strategic Communications majors will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate professional communications knowledge, skills and judgment.
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of the history and role of professionals and institutions in shaping communications.
  3. Demonstrate an understanding of the diversity of peoples and cultures and of the significance and impact of mass communications in a global society.
  4. Understand concepts and apply theories in the use and presentation of images and information.
  5. Think critically, creatively and independently.
  6. Write correctly and clearly in forms and styles appropriate for the communications professions, audiences and purposes they serve.
  7. Critically evaluate their own work and that of others for accuracy and fairness, clarity, appropriate style and grammatical correctness.
  8. Apply tools and technologies appropriate for the communications professions in which they work.


Visiting Instructor

  • Amber Butcher - M.A. (West Virginia University)
    Public Administration