School of Communication

A Modern and Innovative School

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 – Partnering with business school on new M.S. in Management degree track in Corporate Communications

Mission Statement for Communications

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.

Mission Statement for Sport & Event Management

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.

Elon Eleven

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.