BY ANGELINA DINOTA
Sacred Heart’s Graduate Program will be launching a Master of Arts in Strategic Communication and Public Relations (SCPR) beginning in the Fall of 2018.
This master’s program will allow students to choose from one of three concentrations: corporate communication and public relations, digital multimedia public relations, and political communication and multimedia production.
“The development of the Masters in Strategic Communication and Public Relations program highlights Sacred Heart’s commitment to graduate student enrollment,” said Pamela Pillo, Executive Director of Graduate Admissions. “Strategic Communication and Public Relations is an industry on the rise.”
Sacred Heart built this program to offer students real-world, hands-on experience through courses taught by industry leaders in state-of-the-art facilities.
“As Sacred Heart grows, we are becoming a real leader in all areas, but particularly in communications,” said Dr. Lori Bindig, Director of the Masters of Communication Program.
“We have always been a strong program, but with the creation of graduate programs, the Martire building and state-of-the-art facilities, we are able to grow our curriculum quality,” she said.
The rapid expansion of the public relations program will have an effect on the number of prospective students and undergraduate enrollment.
“We believe that we will see an increase in applications, as students realize they can come here and gain this specialized education in Public Relations and Strategic Communications,” said Bindig.
“It allows undergraduates to stay here and continue their education. People outside of Sacred Heart can see their own needs and interests reflected in the programs that we offer,” she said.
“Graduate education includes a focus on careers. SCPR class sizes [will be] between just 10-15 students, allowing for personalized attention and preparation for individual career paths,” said Pillo. “In a global marketplace, a master’s degree sets you apart from other job candidates.”
The SCPR program also welcomes working professionals who are pursuing the master’s program for advancement in the field.
Sacred Heart students are able to develop professional connections with individuals currently working in area organizations.
“All of the professors have great insight because they have real-world experience,” said sophomore Laura Green. “That really helps all of the students know what they should be expecting in the real world and how to deal with situations.”
“The School of Communication and Media Arts has strategically developed programs to provide our students with tools and professional experiences which build off the undergraduate curriculum,” said Pillo.
“This new program will be able to help students gain a deeper meaning of what public relations truly is,” said sophomore Nicole Ziner.
Bindig believes that this new masters program will open many opportunities for students when searching for a career.
“Every company and organization, whether it’s a major news or media outlet like Disney or even a nonprofit, any old company in the world needs public relations,” said Bindig. “Campbell’s Soup needs PR too. It’s becoming this huge field, and we want to create thoughtful, ethical practitioners.”