Communication Students Break Into The Workforce Equipped To Make A Difference

October 3, 2023

Communication is a valuable skill in any relationship, profession and vocation. Students at Florida College can now select from three unique communication programs that encourage them to excel both academically and spiritually.

Now in its 11th year, the Communication Department offers Bachelors’ of Art degrees in communication and organizational communication along with a concentration in mass media. While the department officially launched in 2012, department coordinator Kathleen Trigg said public speaking has been an instrumental component of the school since the 1940s. In an industry often focused on elevating personal status, Trigg said the communication program focuses on interaction that glorifies God.

“We want to teach students the best ways to communicate, whether it’s through technology, face-to-face, or writing,” she said. “We want graduates to be people of integrity in their homes, their communities, their businesses and their places of worship, and we believe our students are the kind of individuals organizations want to hire for their character, not just their ability to do an excellent job.”

In 2022 the department created its mass media program with the opening of the state-of-the-art Bowman Media Studio. Housed in the newly renovated Chatlos Library, the studio provides an outlet for video shoots and audio recordings, including the “Downstream” Podcast hosted by President John Weaver.

Some other areas of emphasis in the department include advanced public speaking, writing for the communication professions, interpersonal communication, advanced video production and public relations. Each student also completes an internship in the field.

In addition to internships, students have the opportunity to join the award-winning Florida College Oratory Union, offering performance in debate, public speaking and oral interpretation of literature. The Royal Palm yearbook provides additional experience in copy, photography and design, while students can experience network production at nearby Vū Studios, an Emmy award-winning network of virtual production studios that originated in Tampa Bay.

Trigg said the broad appeal of a communication or organizational communication degree, particularly from a liberal arts college, is its versatility. While several graduates have pursued advanced degrees in communication, creative writing or religious studies, others have found successful careers as event coordinators, marketing managers, clinical research coordinators, admissions specialists, digital media specialists, videographers and photographers.

Sheridan Bass, a 2023 graduate now working as a Press Assistant in the US House of Representatives, credits much of her preparedness to diverse experiences gained through a blend of coursework and extracurricular activities like Student Body Government Association and Society leadership.

“My FC experience was extremely valuable in providing me with various leadership opportunities that trained me in effective communication with various publics,” Bass said.

Trigg believes the program is one of many drawing students to the Tampa school, which set an enrollment record for 2023.

“We provide something different than most schools,” she said. “In a time when college enrollment is often decreasing, this is a good sign that young people want to come to a place as personalized and spiritually-minded as Florida College.”