School of Communication

Student Success Rates

As a nationally accredited program, the School of Communications monitors four indicators of student success: enrollment, retention, graduation and employment.

Enrollment

The School of Communications is home to about 20 percent of Elon’s student body. The school offers six undergraduate majors: Journalism, Strategic Communications, Cinema & Television Arts, Communication Design, Media Analytics, and Sport & Event Management.

  Fall 2015 Fall 2014 Fall 2013 Fall 2012
UNDERGRADUATE PROGRAMS        
Journalism 180 185 211 188
Strategic Communications 531 504 426 392
Cinema & Television Arts1 209 216 231 252
Communication Design2 72 5
Media Analytics3 30 5
Communications Undeclared or
Communication Science
6 32 94 80
Sport & Event Management 192 192 161 142
UNDERGRADUATE TOTAL 1,220 1,139 1,123 1,054
         
GRADUATE PROGRAM        
M.A. in Interactive Media 36 32 38 27

1 Before Fall 2014, the major was called Media Arts & Entertainment
2 Major implemented in Fall 2014
3 Major implemented in Fall 2014, replacing Communication Science

Retention

Retention refers to the number of students who return to school the following year. One method of determining retention in a major is based on the entering first-year class. Another method is based on the last declared major of all students at the university. This section provides data for both methods of calculation. The Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications specifies that retention, graduation and employment data be provided specifically for Communications as the accredited program.

Retention and Growth Based on Entering First-Year Class

When students are admitted to Elon, they are free to choose the major of their choice, unlike some journalism and communications programs around the nation that have their own admission process or restrict students from declaring a major until the junior year. As a result, high school students who express an interest in Communications in their application process to Elon become the entering first-year cohort in Communications.

The chart below shows that 181 students in the graduating class of 2014 expressed an interest in Communications when they applied and were admitted to Elon in Fall 2010. Four years later, 154 of them (85%) were seniors at Elon, and 126 (70%) remained as Communications majors. In addition, another 104 students from that first-year class became Communications majors after they began at Elon, resulting in about 50 more students being Communications majors in the senior year than in the entering first-year cohort.

Source: Elon’s Office of Institutional Research

These tables reflect full-time first-year students entering Elon. It does not include transfer students, and it counts a student (for instance, those who double major) only once. The technical description is “unduplicated, first-time, full-time and first-year students enrolling at the university.” These tables and later ones do not include Sport & Event Management, which is a separate department in the school and not part of the accreditation process.

Retention Based on Last Declared Major

Another method of determining retention in a major is based on the last declared major of all students at the university.

The chart below shows that Communications was the last declared major for 262 students in the graduating class of 2014. Some entered Elon as first-year students in Fall 2010 having expressed an interest in Communications, and others became Communications majors after starting at Elon.

Of those, 246 (94%) returned to Elon the following year, and 230 (88%) remained Communications majors by the senior year.

GRADUATING CLASS OF 2014CohortSophomore YearJunior YearSenior Year
Communications Majors 262 246 (94%) 234 (89%) 230 (88%)
All Elon Students 1,361 1,219 (90%) 1,136 (83%) 1,109 (81%)
         
GRADUATING CLASS OF 2013        
Communications Majors 258 247 (96%) 242 (94%) 237 (92%)
All Elon Students 1,290 1,161 (90%) 1,109 (86%) 1,071 (83%)
         
GRADUATING CLASS OF 2012        
Communications Majors 244 219 (90%) 205 (84%) 206 (84%)
All Elon Students 1,291 1,152 (89%) 1,077 (83%) 1,044 (81%)

Source: Elon’s Office of Institutional Research

University retention rates reflect full-time, first-year students in all majors who remain at Elon at the time of fall enrollment each year. Because students may change majors at any time, retention data for Communications majors are based on their declared major at the time of fall enrollment each year.
 

Graduation

A four-year graduation is the norm for Communications students at Elon.

In the graduating class of 2014, 223 students graduated as Communications majors in four years. This is 89% of all Elon students whose last declared major was Communications.

Each year, additional students in the cohort graduate in five years.

GRADUATING CLASS OF 2014Cohort4-Year Graduation5-Year Graduation
Communications Majors 262 223 (85%) pending a later graduation
All Elon Students 1,361 1,043 (77%) pending a later graduation
       
GRADUATING CLASS OF 2013      
Communications Majors 258 233 (90%) +4 = 237 (92%)
All Elon Students 1,290 1,032 (80%) +34 = 1,066 (83%)
       
GRADUATING CLASS OF 2012      
Communications Majors 244 199 (82%) +7 = 206 (84%)
All Elon Students 1,291 977 (76%) +56 = 1,033 (80%)


Employment

Each year the university conducts a survey of the most recent graduating class, nine months following graduation, to ascertain employment or graduate school status, type of employer, and salary. The latest report, released by the Student Professional Development Center in spring 2015, is based on 1,101 institution-wide usable responses.

Employment and Graduate School Status, Nine Months After Graduation

GRADUATING CLASS201420132012
Communications Graduates Employed 89% 83% 56%
Entering Graduate School 8% 9% 9%

A few graduates each year marked both categories. 219 Communications alumni in the graduating class of 2014 responded to the survey; 2013 percentages were based on 231 responses; 2012 percentages were based on 209 responses, which reflects the impact of the recession on the graduating class that year.

Employment by Organization Type

Communications graduates who are employed are asked each year to indicate the type of organization where they work.

 201420132012
Corporate For Profit 82% 80% 73%
Not For Profit 6% 4% 8%
Educational 6% 8% 8%
Government 3% 2% 3%
Entrepreneurial/Self-employed 3% 6% 7%

2014 percentages were based on 128 employed graduates who reported their organization type; 2013 percentages were based on 149 responses; 2012 percentages were based on 80 responses.

Employment Related to Career Goals

In 2014, 82% of the employed Communications graduates who responded to this survey said their job was related to their career goals.

Average Salaries

2014 Communications graduates reported a mean average annual salary of $35,000. Salaries were reported by 112 employed Communications graduates.

— Last updated Dec. 30, 2015