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Strategic & Organizational Communication

This module will help students to understand and interact effectively with regard to the organizations that they engage with or depend on for important life goals.  Students will be encouraged to think strategically about how organizations can use technology to catalyze constructive, innovative, and mission-driven practices. Further, students will gain insight into the data gathered and practices used to spur change in stagnant organizations. Through various engagement practices and a capstone experience that includes an internship, students completing this module will become accomplished in using organizational forms, data, and technology to communicate in a variety of organizational domains. 

Learning Objectives

  • Students will increase their ability to understand the organizations with which they are involved. 
  • Students will engage in critical thinking about organizational innovation and technology. 
  • Students will apply strategic communication methods in their module courses and their capstone internship experience. 
  • Students will gain better insight into challenges involved in both managing and being managed within an organization. 
  • Students will put into practice principles and/or methods for the analysis of organizations and for making recommendations for change. 

Courses

Strategic & Organizational Communication Course Requirements

Co-Curriculars

Opportunities for application and practice (projects, practica, and internships): 

Labs on campus 

Students have a number of opportunities to extend their coursework through relevant labs and research groups directed by the faculty, including (but not limited to) the following: 

  • SONIC 
  • NNSI 
  • ATLAS Lab 
  • Social Media Lab 
  • CollabLab 
  • Community Data Science Collective 
  • Students can participate in research projects for course credit or as an extracurricular activity. 

Student group opportunities 

In addition, there are a number of student groups on campus that offer opportunities for students to apply their skills including: 

Student Consulting for Nonprofit Organizations
Campus Catalyst
ISBE
e@nu Speaker Series
and A&O Productions 

Internships 

At least one one-quarter internship is required for the module. Strategic and Organizational Communication Module students can seek internships in relevant industry, governmental, and non-profit organizations.  Many module faculty have contacts in these organizations and can help students establish connections.  Students are also encouraged to work with the module advisor to identify a suitable internship. 

Community Building Activities: 

Students and faculty affiliated with the Strategic and Organizational Communication Module will be invited to talks in the existing MTS, TSB, and SONIC speaker series, which feature a regular program of experts on many aspects of organizations and communication. Top students from the module may be nominated to meet with the speaker in group meetings or over meals. 

Capstone projects will be presented as part of the annual capstone showcase for Communication Studies modules. 

A quarterly lunch meeting allows module students to meet with the module coordinator,  advising staff, and one or two module faculty members. The purpose of these meetings is to update students on new courses and other goings on, allow them to ask questions, and provide a forum for informal faculty interaction. 

There are a number of other opportunities and activities that are offered on a quarterly basis for module affiliated students, including panels on applying to jobs/graduate schools, field trips, and documentary screenings. Students interested in suggesting or organizing a module-related activity may contact the module coordinator. 

 

Capstone

The Capstone Experience 

The Strategic and Organizational Communication Capstone has two components: 

  1. Completing an internship 
  2. Completion of a reflection paper and portfolio, featuring: 
  • A beginning curriculum vitae (featuring highlights of academic career, creative work, volunteer work and professional work). 
  • A narrative documentation (3-5 pages) of the strategic and organizational communication the student participated in, observed, and evaluated at the internship. Supporting documentation may include development of a substantial project and/or papers at the internship, as well as projects submitted in coursework, photos, videos, web pages, or other materials. 
  • A description (2-3 pages) of completed co-curricular and extracurricular activities related to the Strategic and Organizational Communication module. The description should include an explanation of how the student applied her or his knowledge of organizational scholarship toward the co-/extra-curricular activity. 
  • This should include a reflection of what the student learned and how it applies to this module. 

Capstone projects will be presented as part of the annual capstone showcase for Communication Studies modules. 

Capstone Submission
Capstone projects are due on the 5th Friday of the quarter immediately following the one in which the student completed their module course requirements. They will be reviewed by module affiliated faculty. Projects will not be assigned a letter grade; rather, students will be given feedback and comments on their work. Since projects will be archived and viewed later by the alumni advisory board, students will in most cases be asked to make revisions to their project based on the feedback given, even if they have officially ‘passed’ their module requirement. 

 

Sponsoring Department(s): Communication Studies 

Module Coordinator: Michelle Shumate 

Committee of Instruction: Leslie DeChurch, Noshir Contractor, Jeremy Birnholtz, Aaron Shaw, Agnes Horvat 

Module Advisor: Harold Gulley 

How to Enroll 

Open to all NU undergraduates.

Students applying to join the Strategic and Organizational Communication Module should complete or be currently enrolled in the core course, Strategic Communication (COMM_ST 395), which is offered each Fall. Please download the Declaration of Module form, print a copy of the form, and complete it. All students who submit the declaration should schedule an appointment with Harold Gulley, the module advisor, by calling 847-491-7214. No other application materials are required. The purposes of the meeting include confirming the applicant’s eligibility, reviewing the module requirements, and answering students’ questions about the module. Faculty members who serve as the module’s committee of instruction review applications at the end of fall quarter each year, and students who are accepted into the module receive prompt notification.