Parents & Family
We understand that you are deeply concerned about your student's academic and professional future.
With this in mind, we've put together a few frequently asked questions on this page, in anticipation of some of your concerns. If you have additional questions that aren't answered here, please contact us. We'll do the best we can to address any of your concerns.
Why Should My Student Major In Communication Studies?
There are several reasons:
- Employers are demanding and recruiting students with excellent communication skills. Numerous sources rank communication skills among the top criteria employers seek in their new recruits. For more information on the importance of a communication studies degree, visit the National Communication Association website.
- A communication degree does not limit your student to one or two career choices. Individuals with communication degrees work in a variety of occupations (see chart below for specifics).
- Finally, even though we have grown to be one of the larger majors on Longwood's campus, we work very hard to maintain a sense of community with our students. We offer a mentoring program that pairs freshmen with junior or senior mentors and we hold meetings for all of our majors at least once a semester. We strive to mentor our students to make positive choices in the classroom, in the community, and in the world.
Will My Student Be Challenged?
Good question. The short answer is a resounding "Yes!"
Perhaps you've heard some myths about communication programs in general. We can't speak for all Comm programs out there, but we do know that we prepare our students to become citizen leaders in their careers and communities.
MYTH: So, you just talk, right?
TRUTH: It's true that our students get ample practice giving public presentations and making arguments in class discussions. However, we also demand that our students write well, and they get plenty of practice in order to help them hone their written communication skills.
MYTH: Communication Studies is the place to go when you've flunked out of every other major.
TRUTH: Since our program's inception in the Fall 2000 semester, we have worked diligently to cultivate a program that provides students with exceptional academic rigor. We have an intentionally bifurcated approach that provides students with a strong theoretical and conceptual foundation to understand and respond to complex communication issues. In addition to this solid theoretical foundation, students develop practical skills in problem analysis, and making effective arguments in spoken and written contexts. Our alumni consistently report that by stressing presentation and writing skills, we have prepared them for their careers.
What Can I Do To Help My Child Succeed?Several things:
- All parents should encourage their children to be responsible for their own education. Students should select their own programs of study and their own courses. We see far too many parents who are still trying to manage their children's lives while they are away at college. Although we understand your need to care for your children's well-being, making decisions for them does not ultimately help them prepare for life on their own after graduation.
- Encourage your student to avoid "the paths of least resistance." Remind them that it's college-and therefore is supposed to be reasonably difficult. If your student is not being challenged, no one is getting their money's worth.
- Work with your student to brainstorm career and internship opportunities. Longwood's Career Center can help identify some options here, but networking with friends and family is still one of the most important sources of internships and jobs after graduation for all college students.
- If possible, encourage your student to study abroad for a semester. Whether or not you think "globalization" is a good thing, it will be a fact of life for our graduates. Learning and life experiences outside the United States will not only enrich the student's overall educational experience, in our global economy-it should make them more marketable as well.
What Kind of Job Can My Student Get?
The type of job your student can obtain upon graduation is influenced by many factors.
The major in which your student receives a degree is only one. Also important are the work and internship experiences your student has during her/his college years, as well as the leadership roles she/he has in co-curricular activities on campus and in the community. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but occupations available in four common career areas are shown below.* Students may also choose to attend graduate school in communication studies, law, business, social work, or higher education administration.
- Web Designer
- Corporate Spokesperson
- Account Executive
- Media Buyer
- PR Coordinator
- Event Planner