UMKC Catalog


Bachelor of Arts: Communication Studies - Student Learning Outcomes
The Department of Communication Studies offers a variety of program areas, including speech communication, print and electronic journalism, advertising, public relations, media theory and history, as well as radio, television, and film/video production. While each of these program areas have distinct outcomes in regard to professional competence, the faculty makes a strong effort to work collaboratively to assure that the measure of success in earning a degree in Communication Studies is defined in three departmental outcome goals which we seek to make one in the learning process:
  1. Oral and written communication competence.
  2. The development of critical thinking skills.
  3. The development of both social and professional skills.
We recognize that the development of "professional skills" involve both general and specific outcomes. General outcomes include producing students who display professional standards in regard to interpersonal, intercultural, and organizational communication skills, as well as professional work habits (punctuality, reliability, ethical discernment, teambuilding, etc.). Specific professional skills taught in the Department prepare students to succeed in the professional areas of business communication, health communication, advertising, public relations, film, broadcasting, and journalism.

The Department makes a conscious effort to assess our curricula, teaching, as well as learning processes, and student/faculty competence, on the basis of student learning outcomes. We take pride in our reputation as a "teaching" department.

These outcome goals must equally serve students who will be immediately entering the workplace following the attainment of their undergraduate degree, as well as those who will be entering graduate school programs in a wide variety of academic areas (law, business, speech communication, journalism, film, among others).

In every departmental course/lab, we consciously seek to employ specific learning process options that reinforce the three goals above. For example, in a film/media production class, student work is not only graded on professional standards of technical skill, but also on the ability of the student to give an oral presentation concerning their film/video production, as well as the ability to turn in written work that demonstrates an ability to apply a critical/theoretical/historical analysis of the production. The same approach is likewise applied to professional internships.