Communication

Three Emphases, One Degree
Southwestern’s Communication program offers three emphases—radio/TV/film, advertising/public relations, and online media—and a focus on hands-on practical experience and multi-platform training. The department features faculty with decades of award-winning real-world experience in book and magazine publishing, public relations, radio broadcasting, and film production. Students can expect to be hands-on from their first day of class, with a strong emphasis on internships and an even stronger promise of a bright career.

 

Quick Links

 

 

What problem is the Southwestern Adventist University Communication Department uniquely positioned to solve?

  • There are always a large number of students who are interested in pursuing jobs in creative industries who either are not academically strong or interested in STEM oriented careers. For these students who are wanting more creative stimulation and want decision-making level input on the creation of content, this department allows for that type of mentoring and primary career focus. In short, Communication is the only department that targets the growing creative class in society.
  • Another important element is that many of these students have no desire or no funding to continue with graduate-level education, and our degrees emphasize career entry at the bachelor’s level.
  • Our department provides training in communication skills and digital techniques that are foundational to many careers—particularly those in business, healthcare, and local church ministry.
  • Most Adventist departments in higher education are not able to maintain high numbers of faculty to permit deep exploration of a given topic, given the size and scope of our enterprise. For example, our business department offers many programs, but may only have one faculty member at most who teaches a given area like accounting or finance.  Currently the department does not a faculty member whose primary professional experience or academic training is in marketing. The communication department can address that by working closely with the business department in providing in-depth marketing courses in digital strategy, branding, social media, and more.

 

Why does the Communication Department exist at Southwestern Adventist University?
Communication and communication technologies are integral to fulfilling the work of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Communication postings and communication-related jobs are an important part of what the global church needs to fulfill its mission. As a higher-education institution, we are training and preparing students for the workplace and for service. Communication is a multidisciplinary field tied to numerous growth industries, representing opportunities for career development and creative exploration that many young people are looking for.  With the economy becoming a global one, and the jobs of tomorrow looking much different than they looked yesterday, our department has the privilege of being able to guide upcoming professionals to maintain their relevance. All members of society want to have the opportunity to make meaningful contributions to their communities through enterprise. While humanities programs have unfortunately shrunk within higher education institutions, communication departments have seen steady growth (see page 2 of this document). We serve students who pursue majors through the department, but also serve cross-functionally to other departments who need communication training as electives or cognates in their programs.

 

What are the unique values demonstrated by the Communication Department?
The faculty of the Communication Department bring decades of practical experience to the classroom, along with a dedication to bridging the gap between them and the students’ daily experience. We believe in teaching through example, in the classroom and outside of it. We also believe students learn best by doing and look for opportunities from the first day of classes to allow students to learn in the most effective way possible. That often means less lecture and more physical use of the tools of the trade. We believe in communication, which means meeting students where they are, making them comfortable while encouraging them to broaden their horizons.

 

News & Events

Mike and Wanda Agee stand to the left of the radio station sign that reads "88.3 The Journey, Radio for the Walk of Life." Danae stands to the right of the sign.

88.3 The Journey FM Hosts Successful Sharathon

Southwestern Adventist University’s Class of 2020

Southwestern Adventist University Welcomes Paul Kim to Department of Communication

Southwestern Adventist University Strategizes for the Future 

Southwestern Adventist University’s Radio Station Relocates to a New Home

film school, institute of film, swau film, communication, emmy

Comm Professors Win Emmy for Film "Truth"

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Comm Professors Nominated for Two Emmys

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SWAU FILMS SELECTED FOR FESTIVALS

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A Different Perspective

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SouthxSouthwestern 2018 Film Challenge

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SWAU Film Students Set to Attend Sonscreen

woodrow wilson fellow

Award-winning Documentary Filmmaker Visits

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SWAU HOSTS WOODROW WILSON VISITING FELLOW

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Music and Film

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Film Production Students and Faculty Win Awards

Programs

B.S. Communication, Online Media Emphasis

If you are looking for a career as a social media manager, a content media specialist, a social media analyst, a freelance reporter, an author, a web writer, a webmaster, a blogger or a vlogger, the online media emphasis is for you. In addition to a core of communication classes required of all department majors, online media students study audio production, photography, social media, media writing I & II, writing and editing as well as marketing classes.

B.S. Communication, Advertising & PR Emphasis

If you are looking for a career as an event planner, event coordinator, development director, art director, creative director, account executive, speech writer, media planner, lobbyist, copywriter, marketing manager, public relations director, press secretary, graphic designer or marketing coordinator, the advertising & PR emphasis is for you. In addition to a core of communication classes required of all department majors, advertising & PR students study discussion techniques, photo & graphic editing, photography, interpersonal communication, media writing I & II, development and applied advertising and PR.

B.S. Communication, Radio-TV-Film Emphasis

If you are looking for a career as a senior project manager, a production director, a producer, a runner, a radio station manager, radio announcer, a filmmaker, or a multimedia specialist, then the radio-TV-film emphasis is for you. In addition to a core of communication classes required for all department majors, radio-TV-film students study announcing, audio production, video production I & II, understanding film, and media management.

B.A. Communication, Online Media Emphasis

If you are looking for a career as a social media manager, a content media specialist, a social media analyst, a freelance reporter, an author, a web writer, a webmaster, a blogger or a vlogger, the online media emphasis is for you. In addition to a core of communication classes required of all department majors, online media students study audio production, photography, social media, media writing I & II, as well as marketing classes.

B.A. Communication, Advertising & PR Emphasis

If you are looking for a career as an event planner, development director, art director, account executive, speech writer, media planner, lobbyist, copywriter, marketing manager, public relations director, press secretary, graphic designer or marketing coordinator, the advertising & PR emphasis is for you. In addition to a core of communication classes required of all department majors, advertising & PR students study photo & graphic editing, photography, media writing, and applied advertising and PR.

B.A. Communication, Radio-TV-Film Emphasis

If you are looking for a career as a senior project manager, a production director, a producer, a runner, a radio station manager, radio announcer, a filmmaker, or a multimedia specialist, then the radio-TV-film emphasis is for you. In addition to a core of communication classes required for all department majors, radio-TV-film students study announcing, video production I,  and understanding film.

Minor in Communication

Students who are interested in communication but who are majoring in other areas are encouraged to pursue a minor in communication. Beyond a couple of core classes, this option gives students a chance to tailor their minor toward any of the three emphases, focusing on their interests and areas of strength.

Your Future

Careers

Communication is a broad field with many new jobs being created every year. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics lists more career opportunities for communication graduates than any other field. In addition to the media world, graduates find communication assisting them in careers in government, healthcare, law, business and many other fields.

 

Professions

  • Reporter
  • Editor
  • Writer
  • Public Relations Director
  • Advertising Executive
  • Radio Station Manager
  • Radio Announcer
  • Video Editor
  • Filmmaker
  • TV Producer
  • Development Director

35%
Communication graduates earn 35% more than the national average.

Faculty Profiles

Glendal Robinson, PhD

Department of Communication
Professor
Email:

Michael Agee, MA

Department of Communication
Associate Professor/Department Chair
Email:

Chris Combest

Communication
Adjunct Faculty
Email:

David Pollock, MA

Department of Communication
Adjunct Faculty
Email:

John Williams, MA

Department of Communication
Adjunct Faculty
Email:

Paul Kim, MFA

Department of Communication
Professor
Email: