Topic: College of Communication Information and Media

February 27, 2008

Ball State University's public relations sequence is now a part of PR News Online, which has posted profiles of programs around the country.

Robert Pritchard, associate professor of journalism and public relations sequence coordinator, said PR News Online ( offers a place for prospective students to find valid, objective data on which to base their decision.

Schools submit a profile with information about their programs after filling out a questionnaire about faculty, class offerings and student programs.

"There was great reluctance on the part of a number of key educators to develop a ranking system," Pritchard said. "Diane Schwartz, vice president and publisher of PR News, had the foresight to put together a guide to provide to those studying public relations. There have been only two other guides, and neither really presented an objective picture."

Of the more than 100 schools that included their profiles, Ball State's program is one of only 18 certified for education in public relations by the Public Relations Society of America and is one of the few universities to offer a degree specifically in public relations.

The program also has one of the nation's eight nationally affiliated student-run firms, Cardinal Communications, and an active Public Relations Student Society of America chapter.

"We graduate leaders, not tacticians," Pritchard said. "You can lead at all levels of an organization, and that's what we stress. Our students have the skills, but they've also got the mindset and critical thinking skills to be leaders when they enter the profession."

By Jennifer Strempka