Online program for B.A. in strategic communication will be available soon

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The first online undergraduate program for a Bachelor of Arts degree in strategic communication at Marquette University is officially beginning this fall. 

“I think this really broadens the Marquette Jesuit experience throughout the world,” David Schejbal, chief of digital learning at Marquette’s Center for Teaching and Learning, said. 

While there are other online courses and graduate degree programs, the strategic communication program is the first undergraduate degree to be offered fully online. Strategic communication, according to Marquette’s website, teaches students “to think critically about the role of the corporation, understand the intersection of advertising, public relations, and corporate communication in a corporate environment, and will practice and develop skills that can be applied across various corporate contexts.”

There are several graduate degree programs available online, such as Business Administration, Supply Chain Management, and Health Care Analytics master’s courses, Schejbal said. 

Schejbal said to be accepted into the program, students still have to apply and be accepted as a student to the university. The course load and degree requirements are still the same, the only difference is the ability to take it online.

He also said students living on campus have the ability to take online courses if there is room available.

“I think it allows us to reach students who wouldn’t be able to have access in another way,” Sarah Feldner, acting dean of the College of Communication, said. 

Schejbal said those who work with family responsibilities, live in another country or are serving abroad in the military are able to word toward their degree without having to be on campus.

Marquette is trying to move more into the online space, Feldner said. She said not every major is well-suited for the online world, but Marquette has been in the online graduate space for a while, and the hope across the university is to look for more options that make sense.

“Student interests and demands are always going to be different, so it’s just a way to be responsive to the changing world,” Feldner said.

Online classes can be taken anywhere and provide a lot of flexibility, Schejbal said.

Feldner said there are some students who would like to have a Marquette University education, but for certain reasons, it doesn’t work out traditionally. She said with all of the digital tools available, online courses became a good option. 

Savannah Alcala, a sophomore in the College of Health Sciences, has taken four online courses over her first two years at Marquette. Last semester, she took a gender studies class online because she was interested, but couldn’t fit the course into her spring semester schedule.

“I really liked (the online classes). They were pretty convenient, and it helped me build my own schedule,” Alcala said. 

She said taking online classes requires a lot of motivation because things can easily fall through the cracks, though online classes are convenient. 

The new online undergraduate degree promotes Marquette’s Jesuit values, Schejbal said.

“It really supports the mission of the university, to provide access to students throughout the country and throughout the world,” Schejbal said.

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