Statements for:

  • Journalism
  • Public Relations
  • Mass Media
  • Communication Studies
  • Masters Degree Program

Journalism's Mission

Our journalism program mission is to educate students in the broad range of skills involved in gathering, analyzing, processing and presenting written, Web and broadcast news. To prepare students for productive and long-term careers in journalism, we seek to accomplish the following objectives:

  • To offer a curriculum designed to provide students the basic technical skills of journalism as well as a strong grounding in the theory and concepts related to the profession.
  • To prepare students to become critical consumers of the media by achieving an understanding of the legal, ethical and theoretical aspects of the profession.
  • To develop analytical abilities among students by encouraging multi-disciplinary inquiry and a recognition of the necessity of lifelong learning.
  • To acquire and maintain state of the art laboratories which are responsive to technological advances in an ever-changing media environment.
  • To cultivate constructive relationships with media practitioners and organizations and act as a liaison between students and professionals.
  • As teachers to strive to keep abreast of new technologies and concepts in the field and to incorporate these advances into the classroom.
  • To engage in research and other scholarly activity that produces important knowledge and insight relevant to problems and issues related to the media.
  • To incorporate faculty research and productivity into undergraduate education.
  • To encourage and provide a forum for the discussion and debate of important issues facing journalists.

Public Relations Mission

Public relations is the measured and ethical use of language and symbols to inspire cooperation between an organization and its publics. Our public relations program, which serves undergraduate and graduate students, balances theory and practice and, accordingly, is designed to provide students with the knowledge, skills, abilities, and attitudes that are necessary for their development as ethical and competent public relations professionals.

The vision for our public relations program is to be recognized as one of the nation's leading programs in undergraduate public relations education. We know this vision is true because of the strong demand for our students as interns, success among our graduates as public relations practitioners, and ongoing opportunities for our faculty to speak, publish, consult, and lead in the public relations field.

The mission for our public relations program is to engage in excellent teaching and learning among students who, if they choose to go into the profession, will be paid by employers to be their best communicators and expert counselors about the strategic and ethical use of public relations in their organizations. We fulfill this mission through a learning-focused curriculum through which students:

  • Recall foundational knowledge about the practice, management, value and history of public relations.
  • Demonstrate competence through application of foundational and specialized knowledge in particular public relations problems and discourse, including "service learning" that helps organizations with real public relations opportunities.
  • Construct a personal view of the profession and its future that integrates lessons across all realms of experience about public relations.
  • Distinguish among and diagnose degrees of influence among the factors that affect the human dimensions (personal and professional) in the public relations field, including other fields like law, human resources, mass media, politics, etc.
  • Inspire students to care about and value work in a professional setting in every respect and about the ethics and general roles of public relations technicians and managers/leaders.
  • Nurture an attitude of and introduce resources for life-long learning about effective and ethical public relations.

Mass Media's Mission

Our Mass Media programs are liberal arts curricula that seek to achieve excellence in research and in educating students in the knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed to develop into competent and ethical mass communicators, facilitating the pursuit of careers and/or advanced study. Specifically, faculty teach and research the arts and social sciences of audio, visual, written, and multimedia communication with emphasis on encoding and disseminating messages transmitted from a single channel to multiple receivers.

We expect to produce graduates who are theoretically sound communicators with skills to create messages for a variety of media, able to demonstrate competence in visual, oral, interactive, and written communication, and capable of expressing themselves accurately, clearly, creatively, and with grammatical proficiency.

This is achieved by teaching and researching theories that aim to:

  • Describe the means of effectively creating meaningful messages in both traditional and converged media environments.
  • Understand the effects of media messages on consumers' behavior, attitudes, and perceptions.
  • Explain the effects of social and cultural variables on individual media workers, organizations, and industries, throughout the production, dissemination, exhibition, & consumption processes
  • Maximize ethical decision-making for production, dissemination, exhibition, and consumption of media messages.

Our programs are consistent with Educate Connect Elevate: Illinois State and committed to acquiring and maintaining state-of-the-art laboratories that are responsive to technological advances in a converging media world. We intend to enable students to practice audio, visual, written, and multimedia message production. We are committed to continual improvement of our mediated communication channels - TV-10, WGLT radio, WZND, the Daily Vidette, J-News, and affiliated web sites.

Our faculty will maintain a supportive environment for knowledge expansion by involving students in research activities that create knowledge about mass communication, transmitting that knowledge to students and other constituencies, applying that knowledge in a philosophically and theoretically sound manner, and seeking research funds from internal and external sources.

Communication Studies' Mission

The Communication Studies program operates under three unique program goals and a mission consistent with the values and goals of Educating Illinois as well as the mission and goals of the School of Communication and consistent with liberal learning in the College of Arts and Sciences. Our mission is "to promote competent, ethical, and responsible production and consumption of symbolic messages in professional, social, political, interpersonal, and intercultural relations."

We accomplish this mission by providing an environment that cultivates the lifelong teaching and learning of expressive and receptive abilities that individuals employ when they organize, make decisions, manage conflict, exert influence, inspire political action, create aesthetic experience, coordinate actions, and relate personally. We offer the premiere small-college experience with large university opportunities. As the nexus within our discipline and among disciplines in the Arts and Sciences, we integrate diverse components of the communication discipline as well as maintain a strong and unique commitment to supporting general education. Our faculty strives for student-centeredness and teaching excellence by creating a supportive and inclusive learning climate that allows the sharing of diverse ideas, stimulates critical thinking, and generates knowledge.

The three sequences (Interpersonal Communication, Organizational and Leadership Communication, and Political Communication) in the Communication Studies program operate under three program goals:

  1. Communication Studies adopts a scholarly approach to teaching and learning, and distinctively balances and integrates research and theory with practice,
  2. Communication Studies embraces diversity in epistemological and theoretical perspectives and values interdisciplinary scholarship, and
  3. Communication Studies pursues the leading edge in teaching and learning content and methods, and strives to be responsive to changes in individual needs, societal trends, and market characteristics.

School of Communication Graduate Program

The Master's degree program in Communication at Illinois State University provides rigorous critical, theoretical and practical breadth and depth across the convergent fields of communication education, communication studies, journalism, media, and public relations. Through a culture of collaboration and collegiality, we strike a dynamic balance linking the scholarship and practice of communication. Our community of students and faculty develops relevant professional and scholarly skills, empowering us to be leaders in industry and academia, thriving in globally competitive and culturally diverse environments. We are a recognized leader in civic engagement, creative productivity, scholarship, and teacher training. The program develops professionals, scholars, and teachers, while promoting a passion for intellectual and theoretical discovery that transcends and heightens career objectives and program expectations.