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posted: 7/2/2010 12:01 AM

Judson announces new communications degree

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By Kerry Lester

Judson University in Elgin will offer a new communications degree program this fall aimed at working adults looking to utilize sites like Facebook and Twitter not only to reconnect, but to network.

The university approved the bachelor of arts in communications management program in May after reviewing responses from several focus groups held over the winter, said acting program director Jen Mattingly, also the university's director or marketing and recruitment.

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"We did a lot of research as to what kind of needs were out there," she said. "We looked at what employers are doing, and heard of this huge need for people to understand social media."

Courses, according to the university, focus on new media, strategy, leadership, corporate communications and innovation, and how to use social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter strategically.

Students in the program will meet for four-hour classes one night a week and one Saturday morning each month.

Those who already have an associate degree, Mattingly said, can earn a bachelor's in the program in roughly 16 months. Students with a bachelor's degree can earn an advanced certificate in 21 credit hours.

The program will be kept intentionally small - between 15 and 25 students at a time - and will be taught, for now, by current Judson professors. Mattingly said the university welcomes applications from adjunct professors interested in teaching the program.

Prerequisites include having roughly 40 college-level credits to start the major; completion of English 101 or its equivalent with a "B" or better, or submission of professional writing samples.

"With adults coming back to school, we get that whole range. We get people who are going into a new career. We've got people who've been in this field for years upon years," Mattingly said.

Classes will be taught at both the university's main campus in Elgin and at its Rockford satellite location.

Communications management joins four other adult undergraduate programs featured at the Elgin university. Others include management and leadership, human resource management, human services, management of technology systems, and criminal justice management.

For more information, visit or call Gerry Mravik at 847-628-1526.

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