Advisory Council Helps Develop the Department

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Many of us have come to class and gone after class. However, many of us have no idea about what is going on within our department as it comes to fundraising and when it comes to department based decisions. This is where the Advisory Council of the Department of Communication comes into play.

Dr. Sterk, department head, sheds light on what the Advisory Council is and what fundraising plans they have for the future of our department. The Advisory Council is made up of successful alumni and friends of the department who are willing to help the us stay up to date on what is needed to be successful after college is over. According to Dr. Sterk “We have just begun to work toward fundraising with the Communication Advisory Council. This year, the Department put forward a proposal for uses of funds. So, this year is a planning year.” She continued, “As a department, our operating budget covers necessary office costs and also costs related to producing and promoting faculty and student research. When it comes to extending our reach through graduate assistantships and undergraduate scholarships, it takes more than our yearly operating budget to make those happen.”

The Advisory Council is considering multiple ideas for advancing our department, such as an award for an outstanding faculty member and graduate student. The award would be $1,000 for the faculty and an outstanding graduate student would receive $500. The named faculty member could be featured in an event where they present their research. Another idea is book scholarships for $1000 for the department to purchase textbooks for most of our classes and keep them in the Communication Success Center for reading in there. These are both intriguing for our department.

Having an Advisory Council benefits our department. Dr. Sterk explained “The benefits of their advice include many curricular changes. At the graduate level, we have revised the graduate certificate program in Communicating in Organizations, and added another certificate program in Communicating in Healthcare. Students can complete these graduate certificates completely online. In addition we offer a Joint Undergraduate Master’s Program (JUMP) as well as many masters courses online. At the undergraduate level, we have changed the capstone requirements so students in the Communication studies program may choose either an internship or the COMM 494: Capstone in Communication course. Students in the Corporate and Organizational Communication program complete an internship as their capstone course.”

The Advisory Council is on our side, developing ideas and opportunities for the future of our department. Because of the Advisory Council, we continue on the fast track to success in the Department of Communication at WKU.

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