New major at Indiana U. combines study of public affairs with understanding of media
It's believed to be one of the first degrees of its kind in the United States. Indiana University says in a release that "this major is not a training course in using new media tools. Rather, it teaches anyone who intends to go into management -- whether public, private or nonprofit -- or who will work in the policy arena, when and how to deploy traditional and new media tools to achieve their goals." The release is after the jump.
New IUPUI major combines public affairs and media
INDIANAPOLIS (June 6, 2011) -- The Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA) in Indianapolis today announced that it will offer students a new major in Media and Public Affairs starting in fall 2011. It is believed to be one of the first degrees of its kind in the U.S.
"The fast-changing media landscape is posing significant new challenges for people working in the field of public affairs," said Sheila Suess Kennedy, J.D., Professor and Director of Public Affairs Programs for SPEA at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. "Government agencies and nonprofit organizations are increasingly looking for people who possess both an in-depth understanding of governance and the policy process as well as the new media skills needed to communicate with multiple audiences."
Required courses for the new major are an interdisciplinary mix of public affairs, journalism, political science, informatics and liberal arts. This major is not a training course in using new media tools; rather, it teaches anyone who intends to go into management -- whether public, private or nonprofit -- or who will work in the policy arena, when and how to deploy traditional and new media tools to achieve their goals.
"SPEA provides students with 'go-anywhere' degrees," Kennedy said. "By combining the study of public affairs with an understanding of media, SPEA prepares people to work in any number of fields -- and even to be more knowledgeable when they step into the voting booth." Students who graduate with this degree will be prepared for careers as public information officers; government affairs personnel for private or nonprofit organizations; public administrators at the local, state and federal level; lobbyists; representatives of trade organizations; and reporters for various media on the subjects of public affairs, public administration, public policy personnel and decisions.
Indiana University founded SPEA (the School of Public and Environmental Affairs) more than 30 years ago to prepare students to address the issues of modern society in ways that more traditional schools overlooked. At SPEA, people learn how to work in government, nonprofit and business roles to make positive changes in their communities, their states, their countries and the world.