Communication department designs new major

Annie Dawson / Student Writer 


The communication department has announced the launch of a new communication design degree, beginning fall of 2019. This new major combines the current majors of visual communication and communication studies.  

The retiring visual communication major featured a cooperative study with the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, where students studied specialized topics such as photography and cinematography. The retiring communication studies major focused on rhetoric and philosophical thinking. These programs will combine to provide students with the technical skills of artistic work as well as the theoretical and practical skills within the communication discipline. 

The communication department foresees versatility as being key to surviving the twenty-first century job market. Dr. Joel Ward, a professor in the department, posits that this major is what communication professionals need to be flexible. Ward said, “[Employers] are looking for people with a generalist spirit.”  

The communication department has been working on this idea for the last two years, according to professor Jeffrey Schindel and department chair Susan Layton. Although announced at an opportune time, Schindel said, “This is not simply a reaction to the Art Institute closing.” 

Communication professor Bill Kofmehl is confident in this new major as it aids the department to accomplish their goal to “empower students with tools and knowledge of what interests them.”