The Department of Mass Communications announced changes to its degree program. Effective immediately, graduates will now earn a Bachelor of Science degree rather than a Bachelor of Arts, which the program previously offered. The change will also affect students who plan to graduate in December.  The switch of degrees also means changes to the program and degree track for mass communications majors.

The changes to the mass communications program deal with changing the structure to focus more on the major itself. The changes begin with all pre-majors being reclassified as majors. With this change, prerequisites to enter upper level courses will be added. The new program also expands and standardizes electives across the concentrations of mass communications. This means that electives are more discipline specific to tailor to the student and their concentration. In essence the program will have more major hours and fewer elective hours. The third, and possibly most notable, change involves foreign languages. Students are now required to take any six hours of foreign languages as opposed to taking one language through the intermediate courses. This makes foreign language courses more flexible and manageable for all majors.

Dr. Camilla Gant, director of the mass communications department at UWG, believes that the program will offer a better rounded education for students and help develop skills that are critical for the career field.

“With the change to B.S. we want to offer a broad liberal arts experience with a focus on discipline specific courses,” Gant said. The idea is to elevate a student’s skill set in a professional aspect through the discipline specific courses. “The B.S. offers a specialized professional-oriented program with focus on strong oral and written communication skills, analytical skills, research skills and technological skills.”

The focus on these skills will benefit students and help them excel in their choice of discipline once they graduate from the university.

The reaction to the degree change has been fairly mixed between students who completed most of the old degree requirements and students who are now immediately benefiting from the new changes. UWG student and mass communications major Marcus Edwards believes there should be a grandfather program for students who have completed the old requirements.

“I think if you put in the work under the old system you should still be able to get B.A. That would be fair,” said Edwards. Other students are supportive of the change due to its more flexible approach towards foreign languages and focuses on specialized career tracks.

The degree change will change the future of the mass communications program. Gant envisions a bright future for the department of mass communications.

“We want to elevate the prestige of the program and continue to offer students a cutting edge curriculum that will be on par with our peers,” said Gant.

The department will now focus on receiving accreditation from the Accrediting Council on Education and Journalism and Mass Communications (ACEJMC) and continuing to provide students with the best educational experience possible.

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