Telling stories of our changing world
Loyola’s School of Communication, in partnership with the School of Environmental Sustainability, will offer a new program that will enable students to earn an undergraduate and graduate degree in environmental communication in five years.
The new 4+1 program will allow SOC students to earn their undergraduate degree in their declared major, plus a master’s degree in Environmental Science and Sustainability.
Similarly, SES students will earn their undergraduate degree in their declared major, while also earning a master’s degree from the SOC in either the Digital Media and Storytelling or Global Strategic Communication graduate programs.
The School of Communication and School of Environmental Sustainability spent two years developing this unique 4+1 program, joining only a handful of universities across the nation offering such a dual degree. The new program will begin in Fall 2022.
The two schools developed the 4+1 program to train environmental scientists to be better communicators, and communication professionals to better understand environmental science.
While environmental scientists are trained to investigate, analyze data and interpret results, they are not taught how to communicate their results and conclusions in ways that are readily accessible to the general public, CEOs, or legislators.
Equally, while journalists, filmmakers and television producers may have the skills to tell compelling stories, they often lack the scientific background to understand and properly relate the impact of climate change, pollution, and loss of biodiversity.
For students in the School of Communication, the 4+1 program will help deepen their understanding of complex socio-ecological issues and their connection with sustainable development goals, while also expanding their capacity to communicate environmental science and sustainability issues to the world. Such a program can help develop better-informed journalists, documentary filmmakers, television, radio and podcast producers, public relations and advertising professionals, and social media specialists.
For students in the School of Environmental Sustainability, the 4+1 program will help them with writing, public speaking, conference presentations, television and radio interviews, and social media messaging.
These 4+1 programs are uniquely applied and strongly interdisciplinary. They integrate basic science concepts, communication theory and practice, and socio-cultural dimensions to cultivate the interdisciplinary problem-solving and communication skills necessary for developing sustainable solutions. The goals of these programs are to:
· Educate students across the sciences, social sciences and humanities, providing knowledge and interdisciplinary perspectives needed to effectively address complex environmental problems through grounding in solid scientific understanding of ecosystem operation.
· Develop skills in environmental and sustainability sciences including GIS, sustainability tracking, and environmental communications as well as important professional skills, such as interdisciplinary thinking, systems thinking, research design, data collection, data analysis, research ethics, technical writing, and communication.
· Improve communication skills by teaching students how to tell stories through enhanced speaking and presentation methods, better writing, video production, recording podcasts, developing blogs and social media.
· Prepare students for advancement in careers in the public and private sectors, including in government agencies, consulting firms, media organizations, businesses, and not-for-profit organizations.
For more information, email: LoyolaSOC@luc.edu