Tuesday, January 23, 2007

So you want to work in PR?

The PRSA Puget Sound introduced its new "Issues Forum" for senior practitioners with a lively discussion about public relations education at Washington State University's Edward R. Murrow School of Communication.

Featuring special guests, Professor Erica Austin, interim director of the School of Communication, and Professor Bruce Pinkleton, who teaches 300- to 500-level public relations classes, this first issues forum, hosted by Tim Smith at Waggener Edstrom Worldwide in Bellevue, sparked a series of spirited conversations.

Those of us who love our jobs can understand why public relations is one of the most highly sought majors at WSU. In fact, communications is among the most popular majors at WSU and the 7th most popular major nationwide.

Nearly 600 students were enrolled in communications at WSU in 2005 with a combined GPA of 3.0- the highest in the history of Murrow School certification. As the competition rises, more and more students are turned away. Is this a problem?

If so many students come to WSU to major in public relations that the Murrow School is regularly turning away large numbers of students, should the University increase resources in this area to allow more students into the program? Or is it a good thing that the minimum requirements to certify continue to rise as the competition increases?

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