Master’s program approved

In its first semester, the College of Informatics is keeping busy.

At the Oct. 24 Faculty Senate meeting, the creation of the Master’s of Communication, the college’s latest addition was approved.

“The master’s will prepare people to move up in a communication organization,” said interim dean, J. Patrick Moynahan, Ph.D. “It will move them past skill positions to leadership positions.”

The program will provide a deeper understanding of management issues such as law, ethics and how communication fits into the global picture, Moynahan said.

“There aren’t many companies that don’t have global connections,” Moynahan said.

The program was designed with the employment advancement of students in mind, Moynahan said.

“It’s an applied, professional kind of master’s as opposed to a master’s program preparing for a doctoral program. Although that option is there, clearly the emphasis is on applied skills,” Moynahan said.

The program will not focus on any one aspect of the communication department, but will combine all aspects of the field, Moynahan said.

“Students will be learning new communication concepts, theories and skills in the areas of journalism, radio-television, public relations and speech communication as a part of the Master’s in Communication program at NKU. This interdisciplinary program will allow students to choose courses that most directly relate to their academic interests and chosen professions,” said Dr. Cady Short-Thompson, communication professor.

“Students will learn cutting-edge professional skills as well as better their critical thinking, writing, communication and research skills.”

“It will be consistent with the undergrad program and the needs of the marketplace in the Greater Cincinnati area,” Moynahan said.

The new program, which begins next fall, will accept 25 students. Enrollment will be broken into 65 percent full time students and 35 percent part time and is designed to be flexible for working professionals, Moynahan said.

“The Master’s in Communication at NKU will offer its students tremendous flexibility in selecting their courses in communication. We anticipate that each graduate student will choose different courses from our curriculum, making that individual student’s degree tailor-made for them,” Short-Thompson said.

For full-time students, the program can be completed in two semesters.

“Each student will take two core courses in Communication Research Methods and Theories in the beginning, followed by a minimum selection of approximately 6-8 electives. Students will choose from an ever-expanding and developing list of electives such as Digital Media, Public Relations, Interpersonal Communication, Organizational Communication and Communication Ethics. Students will end the Master’s in Communication with a choice of comprehensive examinations, a thesis or a non-thesis project,” Short-Thompson said.