Recommendations for the Comm. Department

The following is the text of the letter I’m sending to the Communications Department Friday, Oct. 12.

If you have any further suggestions, please list them at the bottom and let me know what you think about this letter. A text copy can be found here.

Please share!


Dr. David Cheshier,

Per our conversation last week, I’ve gathered a list of recommendations for the Communications Department, taking into account the perspectives of students, alumni,  faculty and those in the local media while compiling this list of prelimiary proposals.

These recommendations are targeted towards goals that we view as both necessary and achievable over the course of the next couple years, and we believe that these goals reflect a reasonable evolution of Georgia State University as a center for innovative education in the field of mass communication.

However, these recomendations should not be taken as a substitute for our desire to see an expanded academic role of the Journalism Program at Georgia State as either its own department or separate college. Rather, we see the following suggestions as a means to put the program on the right track toward this overlying objective:

  • Expand study abroad opportunities focused towards the journalism and public relations concentrations, perhaps beginning in the university’s stated strategic countries of interest: Brazil, China, South Africa, South Korea, and Turkey.
  • Extend availability of upper level courses, especially ones required ones to graduate, to avoid conflicting time schedules.
  • Create an issue-focused academic center to raise the international profile of the department compared to other universities.
  • Industry focused career fairs sponsored by the department.
  • Formalize partnerships with local media outlets for greater internship and job placement services.
  • Create a department sponsored “Speaker Series” featuring locally and nationally renowned industry professionals.
  • Offer new course sections focusing on how to use the web as a platform for modern journalism and mass communications, including how to effectively manage social media accounts, write for the web, design web pages and set up a blog.
  • Change the the current curriculum for the photojournalism course so that it focuses more so on actual phototaking versus theory or history.
  • Offer a new course focusing on international media comparing the similarities and differences between domestic and global media sources.
  • Expand single semester course offerings so that they’re offered year round a la the department’s sports journalism course, which has been only offered during the spring in the past.
  • Create a signature experience course credit system for working with student media pending an agreement of the details between student media leaders and the Communications Department.

Chris Shattuck

Marketing Manager, The Signal





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