Educating for Complexity:
Find and Sharewww.commpred.org/educatingforcomplexityfacebook.com/commpred@commpred #PRgradreport12
Acknowledgements
Why We Did This
Overview of the Report
Types of Degrees
Research ResultsPhase 1: Analysis of secondary sources andonline audit of websites  • Increase in master’s programs (from ...
Research ResultsPhase 2: Quantitative survey of educators andpractitioners  • Four knowledge categories identified: strate...
Research ResultsPhase 3: Qualitative in-depth interviews withemployers  • Employers value characteristics of applicant mor...
Master’s Degree Curriculum• Standards for content areas, not specific  courses• A master’s degree in public relations shou...
Master’s Degree CurriculumShould focus on knowledge and skills in thefollowing areas:  • Strategic public relations manage...
Master’s Degree CurriculumShould also gain a mutual understanding ofbusiness principles and processes:  •   Management  • ...
Admission Standards• Academic ability  – Standardized entrance exams such as the GRE  – Exceptional undergraduate GPAs  – ...
Delivering the Master’s             DegreeThe traditional model remains the mostprevalent and widely preferred by educator...
Delivering the Master’s             DegreeHowever, traditional courses also pose somechallenges:  • Students must spend tw...
Delivering the Master’s             DegreeOnline, blended and web-facilitated programsaddress such problems and provide ke...
Delivering the Master’s             DegreeOnline and web-facilitated programs also havedrawbacks:  • Face-to-face connecti...
Delivering the Master’s                DegreeAt a minimum, a masters program must ensurethat future practitioners are able...
Resources Needed• Educators prefer faculty to have academic  credentials• Practitioners thought too many educators lack  p...
Resources Needed• Universities encouraged to recognize that an  individual faculty member may not possess every  desired c...
Resources NeededFinancial, facility and marketing support for publicrelations master’s programs:   • Increased autonomy fo...
Resources NeededFurther resource considerations:  • Internships, work experience and practica are    essential components ...
Resources Needed• Both educators and practitioners should commit  to a more effective interface with each other• Practitio...
Global Perspective• There needs to be a global understanding of  public relations master’s education• Countries all over t...
Summary• Professional and academic graduate programs  engage students and practitioners in furthering their  education for...
Commission Members• Dean                                  • Elizabeth Goenawan  Kruckeberg, Ph.D., APR, Fellow          An...
Commission Members• Thomas R. Martin College of            Oklahoma  Charleston                         •   Dr. Judy VanSl...
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Standards for Master’s Degree Education in Public Relations

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Standards for Master’s Degree Education in Public Relations

  1. 1. Educating for Complexity:
  2. 2. Find and Sharewww.commpred.org/educatingforcomplexityfacebook.com/commpred@commpred #PRgradreport12
  3. 3. Acknowledgements
  4. 4. Why We Did This
  5. 5. Overview of the Report
  6. 6. Types of Degrees
  7. 7. Research ResultsPhase 1: Analysis of secondary sources andonline audit of websites • Increase in master’s programs (from 26 in 2000 to 75 in 2011, and still growing) • Range of program titles • Lack of uniform standards including number of credit hours • Inconsistent cumulative/capstone experiences
  8. 8. Research ResultsPhase 2: Quantitative survey of educators andpractitioners • Four knowledge categories identified: strategic management, business, theoretical knowledge (including research methods), globalization • Comprehensive project requirement • Practitioners and educators split on whether a master’s degree is important in hiring • Completing the degree makes graduate eligible for research positions/equivalent of three years’ experience
  9. 9. Research ResultsPhase 3: Qualitative in-depth interviews withemployers • Employers value characteristics of applicant more than knowledge or skills • Employers view a master’s as preparation for entry-level • Suggested a “better brand” needed for graduate programs • Interpreted “split” between practitioners and educators as reflection of varying graduate program quality
  10. 10. Master’s Degree Curriculum• Standards for content areas, not specific courses• A master’s degree in public relations should consist of a minimum of 30 hours• Standards are applicable to: – Master’s degree programs that are specifically called public relations degree programs – Programs in which public relations is a track, sequence or concentration
  11. 11. Master’s Degree CurriculumShould focus on knowledge and skills in thefollowing areas: • Strategic public relations management • Basic business principles and processes • Communication/public relations theory and research methods • Global influences on the practice of public relations • Ethics
  12. 12. Master’s Degree CurriculumShould also gain a mutual understanding ofbusiness principles and processes: • Management • Marketing • Accounting • Economics and finance • Understanding strategic business outcomes
  13. 13. Admission Standards• Academic ability – Standardized entrance exams such as the GRE – Exceptional undergraduate GPAs – Integrated reasoning and/or analytical writing ability tests• Knowledge of public relations – Experience – Academic and professional credentials
  14. 14. Delivering the Master’s DegreeThe traditional model remains the mostprevalent and widely preferred by educators andpractitioners due to the benefits: • Academic services and professors are available to provide support • It is easier to structure courses for both students and faculty • Revenue for the university
  15. 15. Delivering the Master’s DegreeHowever, traditional courses also pose somechallenges: • Students must spend two-plus years on campus • Most programs force students to quit working while pursuing a masters degree • International students struggle because relocating limits work opportunities • Many universities are already operating over capacity
  16. 16. Delivering the Master’s DegreeOnline, blended and web-facilitated programsaddress such problems and provide key benefits: • Can increase enrollment and reach new markets • Hybrid learning effectively expands course content and supports knowledge analysis • Hybrid education still enables students to form bonds with peer groups and professors
  17. 17. Delivering the Master’s DegreeOnline and web-facilitated programs also havedrawbacks: • Face-to-face connections are rarely made, which limits team-oriented learning • Students lack the benefit of a campus, professors and academic services • Students must rely on self-discipline to complete course work
  18. 18. Delivering the Master’s DegreeAt a minimum, a masters program must ensurethat future practitioners are able to: • Contribute to the profession • Transmit knowledge • Conduct research • Apply theories in everyday workRequires rigorous curricula no matter what deliveryformat
  19. 19. Resources Needed• Educators prefer faculty to have academic credentials• Practitioners thought too many educators lack professional experience• Faculty should have a blend of practical experience and theoretical understanding• Faculty should also remain professionally engaged
  20. 20. Resources Needed• Universities encouraged to recognize that an individual faculty member may not possess every desired criterion• However, faculty hired for full-time positions should: – Preferably have a Ph.D  A master’s degree and professional experience should be the minimum acceptable credentials – Have professional credentials from a widely recognized professional society – Be engaged in ongoing professional development in both academic and practitioner environments
  21. 21. Resources NeededFinancial, facility and marketing support for publicrelations master’s programs: • Increased autonomy for facilities and budget management • Utilize opportunities to attract greater funding from the private sector • Academic units should support global initiatives such as travel grants for international faculty and students • Use marketing techniques to attract top students to public relations master’s degree programs • Educate employers about the value of the master’s degree
  22. 22. Resources NeededFurther resource considerations: • Internships, work experience and practica are essential components of professional graduate education • Employers have ever-increasing expectations of master’s degree graduates’ ability to use technology • Graduates student research should enable an understanding of using such tools and systems
  23. 23. Resources Needed• Both educators and practitioners should commit to a more effective interface with each other• Practitioners believe too many full-time faculty lack professional experience• Collaboration in preparing practitioners to teach can help improve interface• Programs should leverage educator and practitioner collaboration to increase the number of successful research programs
  24. 24. Global Perspective• There needs to be a global understanding of public relations master’s education• Countries all over the world have contributed to the development of public relations• The Commission includes members from North America, Europe, Australia and Indonesia• The Commission’s previous reports and standards have been adapted all over the world
  25. 25. Summary• Professional and academic graduate programs engage students and practitioners in furthering their education for career or academic purposes• Standards create common core elements to ensure consistency throughout public relations graduate programs that results in credibility and validity• Programs can leverage educator and practitioner collaboration to increase relevance• Educators and practitioners worldwide should consider this report and alter their graduate programs as needed
  26. 26. Commission Members• Dean • Elizabeth Goenawan Kruckeberg, Ph.D., APR, Fellow Ananto, Ph.D., IPRA Fellow PRSA, Co-Chair 
University of 
Trisakti University North Carolina at Charlotte • Karla K. Gower, Ph.D. 
University• Frank E. Ovaitt, Jr., APR, Co-Chair of Alabama Institute for Public Relations • Emanuele Invernizzi 
Università• William Briggs, Ed.D. 
California IULM State University Fullerton • Stephen D.• Kathy Cripps, APR 
Council of Iseman, Ph.D., APR, Fellow PRSA Public Relation Firms 
Ohio Northern University• Louis Capozzi, APR, Fellow PRSA • Colleen M. New York University Killingsworth, ABC, APR 
CK• Denise P. Ferguson, APR Communications Pepperdine University • Alexander V. Laskin, Ph.D.• Dr. Rochelle Ford, APR 
Howard Quinnipiac University University
  27. 27. Commission Members• Thomas R. Martin College of Oklahoma Charleston • Dr. Judy VanSlyke Turk, APR,• John L. Paluszek, APR, Fellow PRSA Fellow PRSA 
Virginia Ketchum Commonwealth University• Maria P. Russell, APR, Fellow PRSA • Jean Valin, Fellow CPRS, APR Syracuse University 
Valin Strategic Communication• Hongmei Shen, Ph.D. 
San Diego • Susan Balcom Walton, M.A., APR State University University of North Dakota• Gerald Swerling 
University of • Donald K. Wright, Ph.D. 
Boston Southern California University• Elizabeth Toth, APR 
University of Maryland, College Park• Katerina Tsetsura 
University of

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