California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

    Don’t Tell Me My Major Is Effortless

    Last semester, I went from finishing my article for the paper on Thursdays to writing for an online magazine on Fridays. I had a few court cases to read each week. I wrote papers on First Amendment law. I analyzed and developed communication campaigns.

    On week nights I bounced between club meetings. Saturdays were spent at debate tournaments giving speeches about issues such as family leave.

    What was all of this for? Just for my major, created for those with no math and science skills who want to float through college. At least, that is how many would explain it.

    Although I would love for it to be so, the concept of the easy communication major is not a claim simply made by students who seem to believe scientific papers are the Mount Everest of college education. At California Lutheran University, the issue starts with curriculum.

    Cal Lutheranโ€™s Communication Department Chair Dru Pagliassotti said the department heard about such remarks two program reviews ago, and has been making changes since.

    โ€œWeโ€™ve done things like adding more classes into our curriculum in attempt to make sure that itโ€™s considered rigorous,โ€ Pagliassotti said.

    Although some of my communication classes have certainly been easy to pass, they have pushed me out of my comfort zone in a way others would not. I have had to learn to write in different styles, become comfortable with presentations, and even learn how to interview.

    Iโ€™m curious, would you be comfortable sitting down with Cal Lutheranโ€™s President Chris Kimball, a police officer, or the chair of the Ventura County Democratic Party as the one to ask the questions?

    In the Huffington Post article, โ€œA Message for Communications Majors and Those Who Stereotype Them,โ€ Christina Berchini said studying communication promotes creativity, networking and interning, all of which tangibly help prepare one for a career.

    I love that my education comes back to implementation. Knowing what it takes to be a reporter or how to do public relations does not matter until one puts it into practice.

    This is why communication professors do not frequently give long multiple choice exams. They are not being easy on us, but simply know there are far better ways to evaluate a studentโ€™s progress.

    According to Karsten Straussโ€™ Forbes article โ€œThese Are the Skills Bosses Say New College Grads Do Not Have,โ€ which cites a study by pay scale, 44 percent of managers found new hires lacking in writing, and 39 percent found them in need of public speaking skills. The communication class you took to fill public speaking was not a waste of time, but helped you develop a necessary tool employers are seeking.

    Communication students also face the challenge of an ever-transforming field, forcing us to adapt our interests and work hard in order to set ourselves apart.

    Pagliassotti said the constant changes in communication are demonstrated by recent events such as the new boom in journalism after everyone thought it was a dying industry, or the increase in successful indie films.

    When I first started at Cal Lutheran, I chose to double major for I felt I could not study journalism alone, partly because of the stereotypes.

    People would say I had interest in a dying industry, and now people around the world are looking to journalists to find truth in a world of uncertainty.

    Communication is not easy. It is not for people who suck at everything else. Admittedly, there are students who choose it as a major and do not try, but that is not unique to communication, and anyways, they will not be getting good jobs.

    Dakota Allen
    Staff Writer