photo: Telonicher House

Mission Statement

Our general purpose follows that of our national organization: "To promote the study, criticism, research, teaching and application of the artistic, humanistic, and scientific principles of communication." (National Communication Association Strategic Plan, 1996)

Our specific purpose is to serve the university and community by advancing knowledge about human communication as well as promoting the critical analysis of communication contexts and the judicious application of communication skills.

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About the Program

In the Department of Communication at HSU we consider our mission to be helping our students develop as communication generalists: people who are proficient and familiar with communication in a variety of contexts and from a variety of perspectives. Communication generalists will have a familiarity with interpersonal, small group, public, nonverbal, organizational, and intercultural communication. Generalists will have an understanding of the similarities among those contexts and perspectives as well as the differences, and would be ready to use that knowledge in the infinite variety of situations they will encounter throughout their personal and professional lives. Generalists who go on to graduate school will have a sound, broad understanding of the discipline, and would be ready to choose an area of specialization.

Our curriculum was designed so students will be exposed to a variety of aspects of communication by requiring them to take courses that focus on different contexts, including persuasion, interpersonal communication, organizational communication, performance, mass communication, and communication with people from diverse backgrounds. In general, the lower division courses are oriented toward the practical application of principles of communication and the upper division courses (especially the 400 level courses) are oriented toward theoretical understanding of human communication.

In addition to the goals of the major, the Department of Communication also has the goal to provide the opportunity for members of the general student body to improve their communication ability and knowledge. Our commitment to General Education helps develop students' oral communication and critical thinking skills, their appreciation of artistic communication, and their appreciation of communication diversity. Our other courses, which rarely have prerequisites, allow students from throughout the university to further their understanding of communication as well as improve their ability to communicate.