New Master in Strategic Communication

The adage “most things don’t happen overnight” applies to the creation, begun at least four years ago, of a new Master of Arts in Strategic Communications (MASC) at the College of Science human and social.

And for our students, the wait is finally over starting this fall.

The new 30-credit-hour, fully online program will equip students with cutting-edge strategic communication skills, research knowledge, technology skills, and theories needed to create effective community engagement and messaging with audiences and stakeholders culturally, ethnically and racially diverse. . While building on students’ strengths, the fully online program will prepare them to be advocates for their communities by focusing on key areas of communication: strategic public engagement, stakeholder management, conflict resolution, and communication of crisis.

“This degree helps our students realize the skills they already have and develop them to intentionally make a difference in the organizations and communities they serve,” said Dr. Darius M. Benton, MASC program director. “The program will also provide our outstanding faculty with the opportunity to further utilize their expertise in new and exciting ways.”

Additionally, the MASC places special emphasis on community engagement to promote community advancement through collaboration and relationship building by developing students’ abilities to engage diverse communities in organizational, public, corporate and interpersonal.

“This program is intended for graduates in communication as well as professionals from various industries. I see no limits to its relevance and importance,” Benton noted. “Strategic communication is a unique blend of organizational communication, public relations and media communication. The community engagement component will equip graduates of the program to become advocates to produce effective communication campaigns for the spaces, people and organizations that are meaningful to them and the communities they serve.

UHD’s proposal to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board noted that “in recent years, community engagement has become more integrated with strategic communications as a way to build credibility with audiences, create more authentic experiences and to facilitate inclusive decision-making with diverse constituents. “Registration is now open for Fall 2022 (pending SACSCOC approval).

“The community engagement component aligns with UHD’s mission to engage with the community to meet the needs of our region,” said Andrew Osborn, Associate Director of Graduate Studies. “I am always very excited to offer any type of program that expands UHD’s master’s degree programs, which provide more opportunities for the Houston community as well as our undergraduate students who are currently in our program. . We offer many accesses and another direct path for our students to accelerate their future career. »

Once again, UHD is answering the call to fill the need for such a program. In Texas alone, job prospects are very strong for careers related to strategic communications. For social and community service managers, the forecast growth is 26% for 2018-2028, and in the United States it is 17% for 2019-2029.

“This degree allows our students to specialize and take their skills to another level,” said Benton, assistant professor of communication studies. “Communication is interdisciplinary and we tend to associate our degrees with something else.” He added, “I often tell my undergraduate students that you have to combine your communication skills with your passion to make a career out of it.”

According to Benton, this new program will be a welcome addition to the University’s commitment to creating new opportunities for student success. “It shows that UHD is not afraid to be on the cutting edge of technology and to try new things. We want to attract community leaders and agents of change who want and will make a difference in society. At UHD, we’re ready to have tough conversations. This is what distinguishes us from other institutions.

“We realize there is a significant need to provide a unique niche with our community engagement component of this program,” Benton added. “UHD is committed to remaining relevant to the communities we serve while educating students and scholars beyond their enrollment at UHD.”

The MASC program is now accepting applications. For more information or to register for a virtual briefing on the program, visit the MASC website.

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