COLLEGEVILLE (WJON News) - Small changes in the Communications Department at St. John’s University and the College of St. Benedict are designed to better prepare graduates for the challenges of the workplace.

The Communications Department has been renamed the Department of Strategic Communication Studies.

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Department Chair Kelly Berg says the name change helps explain to students the role they’ll play in the future of business.

That has been a long problem for us. Communication majors are excited about being able to do many things but also confused about what specific thing (they’re trained to do). The message that's important to tell is that you're getting the kinds of skills that studies have shown employers want. They want people who can write, who can speak, can communicate on an interpersonal level, (and) work in teams.

Students can choose from two concentrations:

  • Public relations, advertising, and marketing
  • Advocacy and leadership

In addition, the name change brings several new class options, including a required communication ethics course. Berg says the class changes reflect the changing face of communication.

But I think we've been adapting our classes all along. But we've decided that these are the courses that we're going to put more focus on. We're trying to adapt our courses to be relatable to students. If they're not finding it relatable, then we have to find ways to connect with students and help them see the value of those courses that they may be required to take.

Berg says the changes have been in discussion for over a year.

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