Being a Comm or PR major isn't just about taking classes, it is about being a part of a program.

Looking for useful resources to help you in your communication or public relations studies at Fairfield? Download documents for communication majors and minors, find news and resources related to the field of communication and public relations, and check out Comm.Unity, the Department's Student Club.

Please note: Many links provided on this page connect to downloadable files in PDF format, for which your computer requires Adobe Reader. If you do not have this application, download it for free.

Academic Self-Monitoring Tools

Academic Planning Guide for PR and Comm Majors

A year-by-year guide of milestones and requirements that aspiring Communication Majors should fulfill in order to ensure adequate academic progress and timely completion of their degree.

 

Academic Progress Worksheet for Communication Majors

A useful tool for Communication Majors to keep track of their advancement towards completion of academic requirements for their degree.

 

PR Major Academic Plan

A useful tool for Public Relations Majors to keep track of their advancement towards completion of academic requirements for their degree.

Getting Involved

Comm and PR majors are inherently social and we offer a host of opportunities to get involved with your faculty and fellow majors both face-to-face and virtually. Get involved with your major to get the most out of your major!

Comm.Unity: The Student Communication Club

Comm.Unity is a student organization that serves to orient interested students to career opportunities in the Communication field. The club sponsors guest lectures from alumni and other professionals, as well as field trips, socials, and colloquia. Recent field trips have included visits to ESPN and other national television networks, and attendance at tapings of television talk shows. Club officers and members engage in fundraising activities, organize activity fairs, schedule meetings, and run yearly elections. Students elect Club officers every spring, who set the agenda for the following year. Active participation in Comm.Unity gives students the opportunity to get to know departmental faculty members outside of the classroom environment, develop a sense of community with other communication majors, and learn more about careers and internship opportunities. For information about Comm.Unity, contact Professor Colleen Arendt at carendt@fairfield.edu.

 

Lambda Pi Eta: The National Communication Honor Society

Lambda Pi Eta is the internationally recognized honor society for students and scholars in the fields of Communication Studies, Rhetoric, and Speech. Students who maintain a high grade point average, overall and in their major, will be invited by the department faculty to be inducted into Lambda Pi Eta during their senior year. Involvement in this honor society increases opportunities for individual potential and advancement, for example, through developing leadership skills, networking with international members, and contact with professional organizations. Membership in Lambda Pi Eta is also impressive on graduate school applications. Active participation in Lambda Pi Eta gives students the opportunity to work more closely with department faculty members outside of the classroom setting. Students plan events, sponsor guest speakers, organize field trips, and other activities. Students may also choose to participate in national or regional communication conferences through the presentation of research and attendance at panel discussions. For information about Lambda Pi Eta, contact Professor Sallyanne Ryan at sryan@fairfield.edu.

 

CommBlog

The latest student news, faculty achievements, interesting profiles and other news that you can really use can be found on the CommBlog.



Communication and PR Twitter Feed

Of course we tweet too!  Follow us on twitter!

Professional Organizations in the Field of Communication and Public Relations

Professional Organizations in the Field of Communication and Public Relations

Here you'll find links to news andresources pertaining to the professional field of communication and its job market.

 

Communication Currents

Published by the National Communication Association (NCA), this online web magazine offers current communication research published by academic journals affiliated to the NCA in a language that is easy to digest for general audiences.

 

National Communication Association (NCA)

"NCA is a scholarly society and as such works to enhance the research, teaching, and service produced by its members on topics of both intellectual and social significance (...) NCA is the oldest and largest national organization to promote communication scholarship and education. Founded in 1914 (...) NCA takes the lead in publicizing the discipline's scholarship through press releases and regular contacts with policy makers." (From NCA's website , "About NCA," 2007).

 

International Communication Association (ICA)

"ICA is an academic association for scholars interested in the study, teaching, and application of all aspects of human and mediated communication. ICA began more than 50 years ago as a small association of U.S. researchers and is now a truly international association with more than 4,200 members in 70 countries (...)" (From ICA's website, "About ICA: Welcome from ICA's President," 2007).

 

International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR)

"IAMCR is the worldwide professional organization in the field of media and communication research. Its members promote global inclusiveness and excellence within the best traditions of critical research in the field. Its objectives include strengthening and encouraging the participation of new scholars, women, and those from economically disadvantaged regions, including researchers from African, Asian and South and Central American countries." (From IAMCR's website, "About IAMCR," 2007).

 

Eastern Communication Association (ECA)

"The Eastern Communication Association was initially established in 1910 and continues as the oldest professional communication association in the United States. As a distinguished service-oriented organization with a history of achievement in research, criticism, communication theory, and excellence in teaching, the association welcomes members who share the goals and objectives of a membership dedicated to participation in state, regional, and national activity." (From ECA's website, "About ECA," 2007).

 

Public Relations Society of America (PRSA)

"Chartered in 1947, the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) is the world’s largest and foremost organization of public relations professionals. PRSA provides professional development, sets standards of excellence and upholds principles of ethics for its members and, more broadly, the multi-billion dollar global public relations profession. We also advocate for greater understanding and adoption of public relations services, and act as one of the industry’s leading voices on the important business and professional issues of our time."

 

International Public Relations Association (IPRA)

"IPRA is the world's most relevant, resourceful and influential professional association for senior international public relations executives."

Advising Resources

 

Academic advising in the Department of Communication at Fairfield University is a key component of the teaching and learning relationship that is at the heart of educating the whole person.

Students should be sure to read these instructions and resources carefully before seeking advising from a faculty member. We have streamlined the advising procedures for Communication majors by simplifying the process. Please note that faculty during advising receive a lot of email and it is difficult to advise via email. Before emailing your advisor, be sure to carefully read these instructions.

Remember that advising is a year-long process and that advising does not happen just during the registration period. The registration period is a very busy one for faculty, so consider seeking advising about things like graduate school, careers and other big concerns for times outside of the registration period.

 

 Communication AND PR Advising Procedures in Two Easy Steps

  1. During advising period (April 5-25), students should report to DMH 232 and retrieve their PIN number between 9 AM and 4 PM.
  2. If you need to meet with your advisor, you should sign up in DMH 232 for an appointment with a faculty member. The only way to schedule a meeting with your advisor is by signing up in DMH 232. Remember, if you do not need one-on-one advising you do not need to meet with your advisor and you can simply retrieve your PIN from Mrs. Lesko or the graduate assistants in DMH 232.

If your assigned faculty advisor is not available when you need advising, you can meet with any other faculty member. Every faculty member has access to all transcripts and any faculty member can help you. If your advisor is away on sabbatical or leave, please feel free to see any available faculty member. Please consult the appointment book in DMH 232 to see your advisor's availability.

Please note that if COMM or PREL is not your first listed major your PIN will be with your advisor in your first listed major.

 

Some Reminders

  1. Please do not wait until the last minute before you need to go online to locate your PIN. Please safeguard your PIN so that you will not experience a delay logging into the online registration system.
  2. Minors, students with a second major in Communication or Public Relations, or other students with no assigned advisor are encouraged to see the departmental chair for advising assistance if needed. Schedule an appointment in DMH 232.
  3. If you happen to be abroad this semester, please email Ms. Susan Bickel in the registrar’s office and let her know the courses you wish to enroll in and the CRN for each course. Be sure to include your student ID number in the email.
  4. Due to the number of majors, some advising issues like post-college plans, professional development, etc. are best addressed outside of the traditional advising period.
  5. Advising help is available through peer advising offered through Comm.Unity, the student communication club and through in-class advising that will happen during the advising period.

 

Spring 2018 Advising Dates and Times

  • March 29: Course booklet is posted online for students
  • April 5 - 25: Advising and obtaining PINS
  • April 12: Online registration for students classified as seniors
  • April 17: Online registration for students classified as juniors
  • April 19: Online registration for students classified as sophomore

 

Before seeking advising help, follow these steps:

  1. Review the list of Communication and PR courses being offered next semester. This list is posted far in advance of advising and registration here (PDF): Communication Courses for Spring 2018. Put together an ideal schedule and your top five or so choices of Communication and PR courses. Note that you won’t get into every Communication class you want to (we have a lot of majors!), so have some options that work with your schedule.
  2. Check our Departmental blog for information about new courses, new professors, and any other information you need to make informed choices about your schedule. Follow us on Twitter for real-time updates: @FairfieldComm.
  3. Review the list of general University courses being offered next semester. When available, the course booklet will be posted online here. Please note this course booklet also has the registration schedule where you can find out when you must access the online registration system.
  4. Read, understand and print your degree evaluation by going to my.fairfield.edu. My.Fairfield provides instructions on how to generate your degree evaluation. Know where you stand in terms of core requirements, general graduation requirements, major requirements, minor requirements, etc. Remember, it is ultimately you that needs to meet all the requirements of the Department and University before you walk across the Bellarmine terrace for graduation. This is your responsibility; take it seriously!

 

Some helpful resources for advising:

Pretty much all of your questions about advising and requirements can be found online. We agree the web can be a confusing place, but as a Communication or Public Relations major you should be skilled in seeking answers. Here are some helpful links for finding out (quite literally) all the answers to any questions you may have.

For Communication Majors:


For Public Relations Majors:


For BOTH Communication and Public Relations Majors:


Things you may want to discuss with your advisor:

  • Your GPA and the number of courses needed for graduation.
  • How you might complement your Communication or PR major with an applied minor like Professional Writing, New Media, Marketing, etc. Or, how a minor like Spanish, Latin American and Caribbean Studies or Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies may get you excited to take classes and expand your mind.
  • If you are an athlete, have service requirements, or any other class scheduling conflicts discuss how this may affect your semester plan.
  • If you will study abroad and how this will affect your academic plan. Consider saving relevant core classes for your abroad experience.
  • Research projects with a particular professor, or for Honors, or for an Independent Study, or for other venues.
  • If you plan on interning, how you can arrange a schedule that frees up two days a week to devote to your off-campus experience.

 

Department of Communication Advising Goals and Responsibilities

Goals for Advisees:

  • To become familiar with the core curriculum, its relationship to major and minor courses of study, and its role in the Jesuit tradition of a liberal arts education.
  • To be able to access and use resources for monitoring academic progress.
  • To understand graduation requirements at the level of both the university and the major.
  • To share academic successes, achievements, and challenges.
  • To understand resources available for academic support, vocational exploration, personal well-being and spiritual development.
  • To develop tools for individual reflection, informed decision-making and mutually-beneficial relationships.

 Your Responsibilities as an Advisee:

  • To remain current with all information pertaining to your academic standing (e.g. learn how to check your degree evaluation, keep your contact information up-to-date, read and respond to all university correspondence).
  • To learn about the educational opportunities available to you and to be open to new experiences and ideas.
  • To be prepared for any meetings that you schedule with me (by being prompt, arriving with materials, printing your degree evaluation, reviewing guidelines and requirements, etc.).
  • To reflect on personal experiences, goals and progress.
  • To seek help and advice when needed, as soon as it’s needed.
  • To follow-up personally with the on- and off-campus resources we discover and discuss in our advising interactions.
  • To share with me your accomplishments, aspirations, achievements and challenges.

Your Advisor’s Responsibilities:

  • To be accessible to discuss your educational goals and plans.
  • To be informed of available resources and make appropriate referrals.
  • To assist you in developing an individualized plan of study that integrates the core curriculum with major and minor areas of interest, co-curricular activities, and other opportunities for growth.
  • To listen as you discuss your interests and assist you in defining specific academic areas that connect to your goals.
  • To make you aware of the academic and co-curricular opportunities available at the University and make the appropriate program referrals.
  • Clearly post and be present during special advising hours twice a year during peak advising times.
  • To assist you in developing a reflective way of proceeding as your progress through your educational experiences.

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