Students in a communications class listen to a Xerox executive speak.

Strategic Plan for the School of Communications

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Overview

A communications school of the 21st century

The media world shaping the School of Communications has been changing at a faster rate than ever before. New technologies and delivery methods such as social media, design and podcasting have changed and expanded how everything from advertising to films to news is delivered. Concepts such as “fake news,” as well as the explosion of television and streaming media content, have impacted how and what our students should learn so that they can be successful communicators. Communication skills have also become a vitally important necessity in non-communication jobs, making what the School of Communications teaches even more relevant. 

As a result, the School will become more proactive in addressing these needs and evolve and transform itself into the Communications School of the Future. Using a strategy that focuses on the student experience, the School will acquire and sustain a more prominent position in relation to both this university and its competitors. 

This five-year strategic plan for the School of Communications outlines its plans and sets priorities for how this will be accomplished. It’s the result of multiple conversations across the School that began with a retreat, included groups of faculty and staff that met multiple times and looked hard at our past as well as the future of media. We’re proud of what the School has accomplished during its first 20 years of operation and look ahead with excitement as to how we can help our students become the Communicators of the Future.

This is an ambitious and aggressive five-year plan. However, the School of Communications feels that by focusing on the student experience, it can set a precedent in preparing students to be versatile and nimble in a changing workplace.

Goal 2: Create an inclusive, excellence-driven community

Goal 2: Create an inclusive, excellence-driven community

ACTION 2.1: Start outreach program that targets high school and community college students interested in careers in communications, with a focus on diversity.

ACTION 2.2: Expand professional academic advising services within the School of Communications that will improve the student experience.

ACTION 2.3: Expand summer curriculum for Quinnipiac students via QU Transition and others that will improve the student experience.

ACTION 2.4: Find more financial resources to attract a diverse group of students, building upon the success of the Hearst Scholarships. Develop opportunities for scholarships, fellowships, and assistantships for underrepresented graduate students.

ACTION 2.5: Expand diversity of faculty and staff to better reflect the student body that they serve.

ACTION 2.6: Develop more ethnic and global studies courses and expand existing courses such as COM 340 “Exploring Communications Abroad,” MSS 311 “Diversity and the Media” and MSS 346 “Global Communication.” Provide opportunities for students to explore communication theory and practice as it relates to minorities and gender issues, which will improve the student experience.

ACTION 2.7: Enhance and expand the social, cultural and educational footprint of the School of Communications to the world on a sustained basis.

As the University of the Future, Quinnipiac will advance its commitment to inclusive excellence through targeted efforts in strengthening diverse pipelines into QU, in transitioning and retaining nontraditional students and in financial support for these students. Inclusivity and excellence will be enhanced through our curricula, and through the recruitment and recognition of outstanding faculty who advance distinctive scholarship and serve as role models for inclusivity in our community.

Goal 3: Nurture and positively impact internal, local and global communities

Goal 3: Nurture and positively impact internal, local and global communities

ACTION 3.1: Move all School of Communications offices and functional areas into the same building, which will dramatically improve the student experience, with a focus on the following features:

  • Ample and versatile spaces for gatherings and events that promote community (internal and external), sharing of ideas, and showcasing of work;
  • Private, dedicated offices and spaces for faculty and staff to conduct individual meetings and interviews in compliance with FERPA and ADA regulations;
  • Space for on-campus experiential learning through professional partnerships, such as The Agency;
  • Spaces for students to work on senior capstone classes/projects;
  • Space for student meetings, interdisciplinary collaborations, and summer workshops;
  • Photography space to reflect the increasing importance of visual communications in our disciplines; and
  • A 21st century instruction facility in film, television and media arts including a 150-seat screening room, a large sound stage, audio and video editing suites and a large three-wall green screen room.
  • A dedicated space for graduate students and graduate student events.

ACTION 3.2: Support student, faculty and staff mental and physical health.

ACTION 3.3:  Build and nurture a sense of community and identity within the School of Communications.

ACTION 3.4: Engage students in communities outside the Quinnipiac campus on a regional and global scale.

ACTION 3.5:  Recognize need for faculty and staff holistic support to sustain student success.

The goal of lifting internal, regional and global communities will be advanced by nurturing the physical and mental wellness of the QU community, enriching the intellectual and social life of the university through investment in facilities and associated programming, serving as a model steward of our human, financial and natural resources, and becoming a true partner in the regional and global ecosystem for the reciprocal advantages of knowledge transfer, mutual learning opportunities, labor force development and engaged citizenry.

Goal 4: Foster lifelong connections and success

Goal 4: Foster lifelong connections and success

ACTION 4.1: Develop online certificate programs that would be attractive for alumni enrollment. Some areas that will be explored are global media, financial communications and media analytics.

ACTION 4.2: Funded alumni engagement to forge deeper ties and create a persistent educational exchange and culture. This includes items that generate revenue to offset the costs of delivering the services.

ACTION 4.3: Funded 20th anniversary of School of Communications celebration. This is a singular major event that must be measured for outcomes. It will require precise planning and funding. The strategic plan strongly urges immediate planning for this event.

To build lifelong connections and success, QU will develop a comprehensive alumni program with multiple touchpoints enhancing lifelong engagement opportunities, networks, emotional ties and career advantages. Lifelong professional and personal development will be supported by the Quinnipiac Advantage Program, and the Partnership Engagement Council will facilitate collaboration and connection across a far-reaching network of partners. These initiatives will support thriving professionals, through the arc of their careers, who have enduring pride in, and gratitude for, their alma mater.

Our Promise for the Future

Our promise for the future

Quinnipiac’s vision is ambitious, exciting and frankly crucial to serve our purpose as a learning institution for the 21st century. We cannot remain stationary, or continue all that we do, while staying abreast of the accelerating technical, business, societal and environmental changes of the 21st century. Quinnipiac will excel as a learning institution for the 21st century through its agility, hunger for continuous learning, and a commitment to the values that have propelled our university throughout our history and well into the future.