Point Park University Announces New School of Communication
Pittsburgh, PA September 23, 2008 - The fall of 1960 was a memorable time in Pittsburgh history. The Pirates defeated the New York Yankees in one of the most exciting World Series ever. The nation elected John F. Kennedy as the youngest president ever. And Point Park Junior College started its Department of Journalism and Mass Communication under the leadership of Dr. Benjamin Fine of the New York Times.
In the decades since, the Pirates' fortunes have varied, the country is now engaged in another historic election, and the means by which people get news are dramatically different. To continue to meet the changing needs of a now e-connected world, Point Park University is pleased to announce that its distinguished Department of Journalism and Mass Communication will become the new School of Communication. With its fast-growing programs that currently enroll more than 500 undergraduates and nearly 100 graduate students, the new School of Communication will join Point Park's other schools of Arts and Sciences, Business and the Conservatory of Performing Arts.
"Since its founding, Point Park University's Department of Journalism and Mass Communication has distinguished itself as a program rooted in hands-on learning opportunities and faculty with real-world experience," said Paul Hennigan, Ed.D., Point Park University president. "With its significant growth, dedicated faculty, and wealth of professional experience opportunities, the new School of Communication will continue to enhance its reputation in the marketplace through its cutting-edge programs and focus on new media."
From its inception under the leadership of Fine, New York Times education writer and Pulitzer Prize winner, Point Park's Department of Journalism and Mass Communication programs have evolved to include ten undergraduate majors and degree programs and one graduate degree in journalism and mass communication. The new School of Communication has enjoyed enrollment growth of 146 percent over the past decade.
In the past eight years, Point Park University invested in a $2.5 million television studio and control room and launched U-View, its student-run news and entertainment television network. The Point Park News Service was established in 2005 to allow student articles to be distributed for publication through newspapers, Web sites and broadcast outlets. The Innocence Institute was created in 2001, providing educational training in investigative reporting by examining wrongful convictions in Western Pennsylvania and the surrounding region.
The School of Communication will continue networking students with professionals in the Pittsburgh area and beyond with student chapters of the American Advertising Federation, Public Relations Society of America, Society of Professional Journalists and the National Press Photographers Association. It also has a group for broadcasting majors, College Students in Broadcasting.
As a result of considerable growth and a 15-month open evaluation process that included faculty, staff and alumni, Point Park University officially accepted the recommendation of the university task force for the new School of Communication earlier this month. Throughout the 2008-09 academic year, acting dean Helen Fallon and the faculty of the current Department of Journalism and Mass Communication will restructure into the new School of Communication. A national search for a dean will be conducted as this occurs. The new School of Communication will be officially in place for the start of the 2009-2010 academic year.
The announcement of the new School of Communication comes a few months after Point Park launched the Academic Village at Point Park University, a $210 million campus master space plan that will transform Point Park and Downtown Pittsburgh.
"Point Park is committed to making continuous improvements of its academic programs and curricula," said Charles Perkins, Ph.D., provost. "The development of the new School of Communication is a significant component of the University's strategic plan and its commitment to academic excellence."
The new School of Communication will continue to offer the following degrees: Bachelor of Arts in advertising and public relations, broadcasting, journalism, digital media, photojournalism and secondary education-mass communication; Bachelor of Fine Arts in photography; Post-Baccalaureate Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism and mass communication and secondary education-mass communication; Bachelor of Science in integrated marketing communications; and Master of Arts in journalism and mass communication. The faculty plans to add additional degrees once the restructuring is complete.
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Point Park University, founded in 1960, is an independent, four-year coeducational institution located in the heart of Downtown Pittsburgh. Point Park enrolls approximately 3,600 full- and part-time students in 67 undergraduate programs and eight graduate programs offered through its School of Arts and Sciences, School of Business, School of Communication and the Conservatory of Performing Arts.