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BA in Communication Studies

Why Major in Communication Studies?

"It is estimated that 75% of a person’s day is spent communicating in some way."

Basic Communication: Communication is a learned skill. Most people are born with the physical ability to talk, but we must learn to speak well and communicate effectively. Speaking, listening, and our ability to understand verbal and nonverbal meanings are skills we develop in various ways. We learn basic communication skills by observing other people and modeling our behaviors based on what we see. We also are taught some communication skills directly through education, and by practicing those skills and having them evaluated.

The Academic Discipline: Communication as an academic discipline relates to all the ways we communicate, so it embraces a large body of study and knowledge. The communication discipline includes both verbal and nonverbal messages. A body of scholarship all about communication is presented and explained in textbooks, electronic publications, and academic journals. Researches report the results of studies that are the basis for an ever-expanding understanding of how we all communicate.

Communication teachers and scholars have developed a definition of the field of communication to clarify it as a discipline for the public. That definition is now used by the U.S. Department of Education in its national publication, Classification of Instructional Programs (2000):  “The field of communication focuses on how people use messages to generate meanings within and across various contexts, cultures, channels, and media. The field promotes the effective and ethical practice of human communication.”

Why is Communication Important?: Oral communication has long been our main method for communicating with one another. A majority of your communication time may be spent speaking and listening, while a minority of that time is spent reading and writing.  These communication actions reflect skills which foster personal, academic, and professional success.

The National Communication Association collected and annotated nearly 100 articles, commentaries, and publications, which call attention to the importance of the study of communication in contemporary society. Themes in the bibliography provide support for the importance of communication education to: the development of the whole person; the improvement of the educational enterprise; being a responsible citizen of the world, both socially and culturally; and, succeeding in one’s career and in the business enterprise.

Why Major in Communication Studies at Eastern?

  • Blending of coursework with hands-on experience giving each student a critical understanding of communication history, theory and practice
  • Developed ability to produce messages appropriate for a variety of communication contexts
  • Understanding of the contexts (political, social, legal and cultural) in which messages are produced, disseminated and interpreted
  • Lambda Pi Eta Honor Society
  • Faculty research includes racial reconciliation, conflict resolution, religion, politics and new media, and evangelicals in popular culture
  • Study away and abroad opportunities: Los Angeles Film Study Center, American Studies Program in Washington D.C., Australia Studies Program, Focus on the Family Leadership Institute in Colorado, etc.
  • Annual communication lecture that brings national scholars to campus

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