The School of Communications was established in 2000 to prepare students for the rapidly evolving communications landscape. Today, the school is home to about 20 percent of Elon’s student body, and the latest national accreditation report calls the school’s growth in quality and quantity “nothing short of spectacular.”
The school’s roots reach back to a course first offered in 1917-18 titled “Argumentation, Debating and Newspaper Writing” and another called “Journalism” in 1923-24, complementing a student newspaper begun in 1919.
Journalism was a component of the Department of Literature and Languages until 1980, when the department was renamed Literature, Languages and Communications. The department offered a major in English-Journalism and minors in journalism and radio broadcasting. The program became the Department of Journalism and Communications in 1988.
By 2000, the program had become the second largest on campus, trailing only business administration. Elon elevated the department to school status, and Paul Parsons came as founding dean in 2001, tasked with securing national accreditation and guiding the school to excellence and national prominence.
Signposts in the school’s development include:
2001-05 – Prepares for accreditation by revising curriculum, lowering class sizes, restructuring advising and adding an internship director
2006 – School becomes nationally accredited
2007 – Imagining the Internet Center formally established
2007 – Becomes home to North Carolina Open Government Coalition
2007 – Begins Elon in Los Angeles program
2007 – Creates Live Oak Communications student agency
2008 – Adds a Career Services Office for Communications students
2009 – Initiates the M.A. in Interactive Media degree
2010 – Receives national Equity & Diversity Award from AEJMC
2010 – Launches nation’s only undergraduate research journal in communications
2010 – Sport & Event Management joins the school
2011 – NBC’s Brian Williams becomes chair of national advisory board
2011 – Dean serves as ASJMC president and receives national Administrator of Year award
2012 – School initiates Communications Alumni Network and distinguished alumni award
2012 – School is reaccredited, with initial accreditation for M.A. in Interactive Media degree
2013 – Joins Campus Consortium of the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting
2014 – Implements new curriculum with majors in Journalism, Strategic Communications, Cinema & Television Arts, Communication Design and Media Analytics
2015 – Partners with business school on new M.S. in Management degree track in Corporate Communications
2016 – Moves into the new Schar Hall and renovates McEwen, more than doubling the school’s facilities
Communication is central to our lives and to our world. Our mission is to prepare students to be exemplary communicators in an increasingly diverse, interactive and global age.
To fulfill this mission, we provide dynamic undergraduate and graduate programs where students learn to appreciate the roles, responsibilities and social impact of media around the world. We value freedom of expression and the importance of serving the public good.
We are committed to helping students become better writers, speakers, creators and thinkers. We want them to learn and innovatively harness the technologies that are transforming the way we communicate. We promote the primacy of accuracy, integrity, professional standards and ethical principles.
We prepare students for careers and lives of purpose through excellent classes, outstanding student media, professional internships, entrepreneurial experiences and other forms of engaged learning.
The Sport & Event Management major prepares students to plan, manage and sustain effective sport and recreation experiences in private, public and commercial settings. Through extensive practical applications, students develop an understanding of community and global service, with an emphasis on leadership and professional skill development. The major prepares students for careers related to professional sport, athletics and community sport and the operation of corresponding facilities.
The Elon Eleven states the values and competencies that we want all Communications students to achieve. As a requirement of national accreditation, the Communications department's assessment plan seeks to ensure that the curriculum provides balance and depth among these values and competencies.