Departments collaborate to create new majors

By Michelle Barger
Staff Writer

The Communications Department has partnered with the Business and Politics & Government Departments to forge two new majors. The first, which has already been approved, is a B.S. program in Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) and the second is a B.S. in Political Communications . These programs allow students interested in this area to focus their education more specifically.

Integrated Marketing Communications

Dr. Randall Hollingsworth, chair of the Communications Department, explained that, “[the] job market is increasingly calling for those who have not only good business background, but good communication skills, especially as more and more businesses employ the ever-changing forms of communication channels (i.e., social media).”

The IMC proposal explains that,  because graduates will have expertise in both business and communications, they will be better equipped for success in IMC related jobs such as social media, marketing type jobs, and public relations “than those coming from only a business or communications background.”

The IMC major is This includes social media, marketing types of jobs, and public relations.

According to Dr. Kevin Clauson, interim vice president of academics, the addition should not affect the budget because the major was created by merging pre-existing courses from both the Business and Communications departments.

The major is already garnering interest from students. Hollingsworth estimates that around 10 people have already discussed majoring in Integrated Marketing Communications.

Political Communictions

In addition to the IMC major, the Communications and Politics & Government departments are currently working together to create Political Communications major.

Col. Ron Petitte, professor of politics & government, explained that the Political Communications major will “merge the disciplines of politics and government and communication studies.”

According to the proposal, no new classes are needed. However, Petitte also explained that a new course will be offered as an option in the core curriculum. This course will be called “Social Media”, and will be an alternative choice in the program’s  joint core courses.

While the proposal has been created, both the major and the course are awaiting approval. The major must go through the Curriculum Committee, then the Academic Council, followed by the faculty for a vote before it can be approved.

If both are approved, Bryan will be one of the few schools in the country teaching a course in social media, according to Petitte.

This major is aimed at students who want to be involved with politics and use their communication skills in that area.

“The Princeton Review describes political communications as ‘very marketable’, so we feel there are excellent opportunities for graduates in this,” Petitte said.

Students who graduate with a degree in Political Communications will double their job prospects because of their expertise in both politics and government and communication studies, according to Petitte.

Petitte said that he and Michael Palmer, associate professor of communication studies and co-creator of this new major, have requested that the new major be offered as soon as fall 2015.