The College of Communication and the Arts welcomed students to its master's programs in Museum Professions, Public Relations, and Strategic Communication at Graduate Student Orientation on January 13.
The orientation began with welcoming remarks from Dean Deirdre Yates, who congratulated students for their previous successes and high academic profile. Following her remarks, students participated in a welcome activity related to graduate school expectations and an interactive multimedia presentation about University policies and resources. The orientation concluded with faculty-led program breakout sessions, where students discussed their individual program, discipline, and best practices. After orientation, incoming students were joined by current students at a welcome luncheon hosted by the College’s Communication and Arts Graduate Student Association (CAGSA).
“Orientation is an important milestone for graduate students as it provides an opportunity to establish early connections with faculty, learn about campus services and policies, and better understand how their academic programs fit into the broader University,” said Dr. Ryan Hudes, assistant dean of Graduate Studies. “In addition, the new welcome luncheon hosted by the CAGSA helps foster immediate opportunities for new students to network across disciplines.”
The incoming students appreciated the chance to learn more about their respective programs through the orientation. Anna Murray, a returning Strategic Communication student, said she particularly liked the breakout session because the professors she talked with were able to give her helpful feedback. Overall, Murray said she found the event to be a very positive experience.
“I think it was a great idea,” Murray said. “I really enjoyed it. I learned a lot. And I am feeling much more comfortable with the program.”
Murray was not the only incoming student who enjoyed orientation. Incoming dual-degree Museum Professions student Sua Mendez agreed that she had a great time at the event, especially because it let her interact with current students who gave her a sense of what to expect in classes. She said she also valued the policy and resource presentation given by McKenna Schray, graduate experience facilitator, which covered everything from the number of years they have to complete their degree requirements to the campus resources they can use if they are ever in need of writing assistance.
Incoming students were additionally given the opportunity to learn from a unique Online Workshop in the days leading up to the orientation. The Online Workshop was designed for students to learn more about graduate student life, understand academic integrity standards, and become familiar with graduate-level writing. Amanda Hill, a returning Strategic Communication student, remarked the Online Workshop helped her by refreshing her knowledge of APA style and teaching her graduate-level reading strategies.
Hill was also impressed by the expansion of the University and College. “Seeing the network and the community that is here to support us while we are pursuing our graduate degree speaks to the growth of the University and College,” she said. “I am excited to be a part of that.”
The College currently offers three Master's-level programs, including Museum Professions, Strategic Communication, and Public Relations. In addition, four dual-degree options, including three accelerated B.A./M.A. programs and a dual M.A. degree with the School of Diplomacy and International Relations are offered. A Ph.D. program is currently under development.