Communication Connection

Friends of Com Newsletter

Opportunities in COM

Department of Communication Studies Offers Applied Learning

Friday, February 21, 2014

By: Jillian Ogden

Have you ever wondered how Communication Studies students can get more involved with their major? Or how they gain real, hands-on experience before entering into the work force? Applied Learning projects are one way that Communication Studies students learn the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in their prospective career field before graduation.
One great thing about being a Communication major is that it allows students to have a broad overview of all areas in Communication, while allowing each individual to mold their degree to meet their particular interests. Applied Learning projects help students do just that. They are an opportunity for students to expand on their interests and gain quality experience in these fields.

This semester, there are several Applied Learning projects taking place in the Communication Studies Department. Students who are interested in Public Relations, Integrated Marketing Communication and Video Production have the opportunity to take advanced level classes in these fields, which focus on gaining experience inside and outside of the class.
In all of these advanced level classes, students get to work with real clients. Dr. Persuit, who teaches Integrated Marketing Communication II, says her class is working on integrated marketing communication plans with local businesses such as CREST/MARBIONC at UNCW's Center for Marine Science and St. Mark's Catholic School. In addition, her students routinely post articles to the "IMC-Hawk blog" (, which contains content relevant to Integrated Marketing Communication.

Dr. Persuit says, "I try and make the class as close to an actual marketplace experience as possible. At the end, they produce a deliverable plan and presentation that shows future employers that they are able to research and develop a professional strategic IMC plan."

Public Relations II is also an advanced level course that allows students the opportunity to work with real clients outside of the classroom. Professor Chin, who teaches both Public Relations I and II, says, "Applied Learning Projects help students develop experience and there is no real substitution for that. They have the opportunity to create portfolio artifacts to show to potential employers, in order to prove they possess the skills required to succeed in whatever they choose to do after graduation." Students in her class have the opportunity to work with clients such as UNCW Softball, First in Education and the Pre-Communication advising staff.

If students are interest in Video or Field Production, the Communication Studies Department offers Applied Learning projects for those classes as well. Dr. Bolduc, the professor for the Video and Field Production classes, shares why he thinks Applied Learning projects are so beneficial for his students.

"The Applied Learning projects really pull together all the elements we teach in our department. It is not just about the camera, it has to do with interpersonal communication and effective problem solving, so it ties back to the core skills that we teach. Collaboration, problem solving, critical thinking: all of those are involved in working with those clients."

There is no denying that this department offers the resources for their students to succeed. Many Communication Studies alumni have gone on to work for an array of companies all over the United States. Because of these Applied Learning experiences, students have the opportunity to become confident, successful and enthusiastic potential employees.