IC announces new communication major


Illinois College recently added a major in organizational and strategic communication major to prepare students to work in strategic messaging and management.

The new, interdisciplinary major takes the traditional communication discipline and focuses it on the workplace. Students in the organizational and strategic communication major will be required to take courses in marketing, as well as in English or art to hone writing or graphic design skills. 

The new major will prepare students for jobs in employee relations, public relations, human resources, recruiting, political communication, sales, customer service, social media management, training and development, project management, and more.

In every organization, there are people considering internal messaging to employees and external messaging that reaches the public, according to Anna Wright, assistant professor of communication and rhetorical studies. 

The name of the major alone will be useful to prospective students who want to understand where this specific area of study in communication can take them, Wright said: “The major combines components of organizational communication, which is the study of how communication creates and maintains organizations, and strategic communication, which is the focused communication an organization uses to advance its mission and reach its goals.” 

Curriculum will cover concepts such as how information moves through an organization, organizational decision making, managing crisis, listening to attitudes of customers and employees, creating organizational change, and how technology impacts organizational processes. 

Additionally, Wright said the major was designed so that students can graduate in four years with a double major in marketing — an attractive combination for students pursuing jobs in businesses in a variety of industries. 

In addition to responding to the needs of prospective students, Illinois College strives to help meet the need for regional economic growth through the addition of academic offerings like this and others, including engineering, nursing, agribusiness, human resources management, and teaching endorsements in reading and English as a second language. The College was recently recognized by the Jacksonville Regional Economic Development Corporation for its role as an anchor institution and important regional partner.

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About Illinois College

Founded in 1829, Illinois College is a residential liberal arts college fostering academic excellence rooted in opportunities for experiential learning while preparing students for lifelong success. The college is located in Jacksonville, Illinois. With an enrollment of more than 1,000 students, the college offers over 50 undergraduate programs. In 1932, the society of Phi Beta Kappa established a chapter at Illinois College, and it remains one of only 11 in the state.

Illinois College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association.

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