From JOUR to STCO, come June 1 Strategic Communication steps out on its own

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    Students majoring in strategic communication should not expect to see major changes in the curriculum when the program splits from the School of Journalism.

    Although journalism and strategic communication will operate as separate schools, both programs will remain part of the Bob Schieffer College of Communication. The change is effective June 1.

    University officials, who announced the changes earlier this month, said the shift will allow the strategic communication program to be more specialized.

    “I’m excited because I think now we would have the opportunity to focus specifically on the needs of our students,” said Amiso George, chair of the strategic communication division.

    David Whillock, dean of the Bob Schieffer College of Communication, said one of the most obvious changes will be in course subject names, which will change from the abbreviation “JOUR” to “STCO.”

    “Curriculum-wise, [students] may not see it bump at all,” Whillock said.

    The choice to split ended the search for a new director of the School of Journalism and Strategic Communication, George said. 

    George said each department will have its own unit head that reports directly to the dean, making the search for a new director unnecessary. 

    The Schieffer Semester in WashingtonLondon study abroad and graduate programs will continue to be shared, she said.

    George said students should not be concerned about the changes.

    Kathryn McKirahan, a junior strategic communication major, said she is not worried about the split.

    “Splitting [journalism and strategic communication] into two schools is going to have one program completely dedicated to strat comm and one completely dedicated to journalism,” McKirahan said. “So I think it will help both programs grow at TCU.”

    Provost Nowell Donovan said students likely would not find the split to be a major change.

    “I think from a student perspective, it’s probably not a very big deal,” Donovan said.

    George said there was no disagreement between the journalism and strategic communication departments.

    “It was a very friendly split,” George said.

    Whillock said the decision to separate the programs had been under consideration for a while, but that the technological advances in communication finally made it the right time for the strategic communication division to become its own school.

    “Strategic communication becoming its own unit has been discussed for the last 15 years, so this isn’t anything really new,” Whillock said.