CHICAGO, March 26, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Beginning with the 2013-2014 academic year, students at North Park University, Chicago, can pursue undergraduate degrees in three disciplines in the Department of Communication Arts: communication studies, media studies, and theatre and performance studies. The three disciplines are currently offered to students as academic concentrations in communication arts, and will become majors this fall.
The changes resulted from a three-year departmental process of study and discussion. Offering specific communication arts majors is expected to help potential employers understand the particular degrees and expertise offered by the University, and help future students identify the specific academic programs the department offers, members of the Communication Arts faculty said.
Currently, there are more than 100 undergraduate communication arts students who benefit from faculty and staff with academic experience, technical expertise, and multiple professional connections throughout Chicago, said Dr. Robert Hostetter, chair and professor of communication arts. "We also graduate cross-trained students, with expertise in more than one communication discipline," Hostetter added.
Hostetter said the three communication disciplines will be strengthened as majors:
- Theatre and performance studies: Student majors will be able to take advantage of the University's working relationships with Chicago theatre professionals. The major prepares students to fill multiple roles in the city's many small theatre spaces, and trains them to develop performances for progressive social change.
- Communication studies: Civil engagement and social responsibility are key components of this curriculum. Students focus on topics such as intercultural communication, critical reading and writing, and rhetorical theory and analysis. The curriculum focuses on service learning, experiential learning, and conflict transformation, with many internship possibilities throughout the city.
- Media studies: This major develops media-literate students and media producers in journalism, screenwriting, audio production and video production. The curriculum focuses on the intersection of media with social justice issues such as race, class and gender in the United States and globally. Many media studies students work as interns in media organizations throughout Chicago.