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Communication Coming to UWF on the Emerald Coast

March 20, 2019 | Hannah Gainer, CASSH Communicaitons Assistant |

The program will offer courses across the field of communications spectrum.

The University of West Florida on the Emerald Coast will officially offer a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication and a Minor in Communication this fall.

For transfers students, completion of the B.A. in Communication is possible at UWF on the Emerald Coast within two years through a combination of face-to-face classroom instruction, online instruction and video conferencing.

The program will offer courses across the field of communications spectrum to include public relations, journalism, advertising, speech and social media, with an emphasis on public relations. The program will enable students to complete a bachelor's degree in communication at the Emerald Coast location within two years of receiving an associate’s degree.

Christine Flynn is the director of the Communication Program at UWF on the Emerald Coast.

“The focus is on replicating today's communication workplace so that graduates will have a portfolio of professional-level work to show potential employers,” says Flynn, “We'll combine classroom instruction with hands-on learning, actual client-based projects and internship opportunities. We're also planning a speaker series, featuring notable professionals from around the region.”

With the growing economy, a number of jobs will be available for graduates, says Flynn. Business and industrial parks are springing up, and the hospitality, health care and real estate industries are booming. According to Flynn, the Communication program’s presence will be very beneficial for the Emerald Coast region.

“Our role is to prepare students to meet the employment needs of these businesses,” says Flynn. “Right now, there are hundreds of well-paying job opportunities on the Emerald Coast that require the first-rate communication skills our program offers.” - Christine Flynn

Flynn states that the program, at the Emerald Coast location, will offer classes in Business and Professional Writing, Social Media Marketing, Project Management, Public Speaking and Leadership.

Flynn is also a UWF instructor of Communication. Prior to her academic career, she was a television and print journalist for 25 years. She is also the author of “A Bitter Brew: Faith, Power and Poison in a Small New England Town.” Her award-winning reporting has helped free an innocent man from prison, exposed migrant worker abuse and exposed the illegal election practices of a powerful religious lobbying group.

“I'm hoping the flexible class schedules and relaxed, personal atmosphere of the Emerald Coast location will attract students from many walks of life and a with diversity of interests,” says Flynn.  

The program has tremendous support from UWF President Saunders; Dr. Steve Brown, Dean of the College of Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities; and Dr. Melinda Bowers, UWF director of the Emerald Coast and associate vice president of Administration - Facilities Management.

 "As we work to strengthen our presence in Okaloosa and Walton counties, UWF on the Emerald Coast continues to add increasingly sought-after value to the area." - Dr. Melinda Bowers

Of the program, Dr. Bowers says "As we work to strengthen our presence in Okaloosa and Walton counties, UWF on the Emerald Coast continues to add increasingly sought-after value to the area. As I speak with area employers, I'm faced with the constant demand and inquiry for public relations and social media interns and employees. Local employers are eagerly waiting to hire future graduates, and we are working to fill that need. In addition to meeting the demands for local employers, we are serving a thriving military community of professionals and retirees who seek to expand their career skill sets.”

Flynn agrees that with the rapid growth that is happening in the Emerald Coast region, it is important that UWF grows along with it. Especially for communication students, who will benefit from the businesses that will need employees with the communication skills the program will offer.

Students at UWF on the Emerald Coast will have the opportunity to earn a degree they'll use in the real world, and UWF will have the opportunity to expand its influence as an important member of this vibrant community.

For more information contact Christine Young Flynn, Department of Communication UWF on Emerald Coast at .