2014-2015 Student Catalog 
    Jul 13, 2024  
2014-2015 Student Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Public Communication, AS

Contact Information

Program Requirements

Typical Program

Degree/Certificate:   Associate in  Science
HEGIS Code:           5303
SUNY Code:            2271
Major Code:            PBCO

The Career

Communication skills are important for success in the workplace, no matter what career a person pursues. The Public Communication curriculum provides the opportunity to develop and refine communication skills as well as to develop an understanding of the communication process. The Public Communication degree program enables graduates either to transfer to a four-year institution or to seek immediate employment in related fields where their communication skills would be an asset. Through careful selection of courses with an academic adviser, a Public Communication student can begin his/her pursuit of a career in various media industries such as journalism, public relations or advertising and marketing. Besides these traditional media careers, the Public Communication student can use the program as a stepping stone to other communication-intensive careers such as teaching and law.

The NCCC Approach

A student who graduates from the Public Communication program should be able to use the knowledge and skills he/she has acquired in a variety of career opportunities. Graduates have obtained traditional media-related positions such as account executive, journalist and public relations specialist. Graduates have also used their skills in pursuing careers in sales, teaching, marketing, law and customer service.

Although some graduates begin their career immediately after obtaining their associate degree in Public Communication, most graduates choose to continue their education at a four-year institution and embark on their career after completing their baccalaureate requirements.


Students admitted in September and January. Because of the sequencing of courses, it may take more than four semesters of full-time study if a student begins this program in a spring semester.

Transfer Information

Upon completion of the AS degree in Public Communication, approximately 60 percent of the graduates continue their studies at a four-year institution. A majority of these continue their studies in the field of communication, but many choose to pursue degrees in fields as diverse as education, sociology and law. Students most often transfer to SUNY College at Buffalo, SUNY College at Fredonia, SUNY at Brockport or SUNY at Geneseo.

Dual Admissions

Canisius College
Niagara University
SUNY at Buffalo
SUNY College at Brockport
SUNY College at Buffalo
SUNY College at Fredonia
SUNY College/Empire State


Opportunities exist both on- and off-campus for students to gain practical experience in their chosen field. Students who wish to develop their writing and editing skills are encouraged to get involved with the SPIRIT, the campus newspaper. The SPIRIT gives students experience in writing, reporting, editing and layout/design. A state of the art audio production facility enables students to produce professional quality CDs for classroom assignments and program production through audio streaming and podcasting via the internet.

The computer classroom is equipped with Macintosh computers, scanners and printers. This classroom provides students with hands-on experience in layout and design utilizing the Adobe Creative Suite. Students may also use Windows-based computers in the Computer Access Lab in the library for preparing class assignments.

Alumni stress the value of internships and co-operative education experiences to develop skills. Internships are available at most local radio and television stations as well as other media industries such as advertising agencies, newspapers and public relations departments of local companies. Students interested in pursuing an internship or co-op should contact the internship coordinator for further information.

Program Goals and Objectives

  • To prepare students for transfer to a four-year institution; although, some students seek immediate employment
  • To complete at least seven of the ten knowledge and skills areas of general education
  • To develop the student’s verbal, spoken, written and visual communication skills and abilities within the frame work of a liberal arts education

Student Learning Outcomes

At the completion of this curriculum the graduate will:

  • Use the basic principles of design, layout and typography to design a newsletter and develop a brochure
  • Describe the historical background of the mass media, and interrelationships of media in terms of programming, technology and ownership issues
  • Explain the function and role of mass media in society
  • Through the use of basic keyboarding, proofreading and word processing skills, students will use a computer as a tool for writing press releases, news stories (for newspapers, radio and television) and commercials for radio
  • Produce a variety of business letters/memos and a formal business report
  • Demonstrate the principles and skills involved in developing and delivering an oral presentation
  • Utilize the principles of intrapersonal and interpersonal communication

Program Requirements (PBCO)

  1. A total of at least 63 credit hours with a minimum curriculum grade-point average of 2.0. Academic Foundations courses do not count toward the degree.
  2. Public Communication: A minimum of 18 credit hours to include:
    COM 100 - Communication Success Seminar  **
    COM 101 - Introduction to Media Communications *
    COM 103 - Writing for the Media 
    COM 107 - Introduction to Photoshop 
    COM 108 - Introduction to InDesign 
    COM 109 - Visual Communications 
    COM 110 - Publication Layout & Design 
    COM 201 - Public Relations 
  3. Business: A minimum of 3 credit hours to include:
    BUS 229 - Business Communications 
  4. Digital Media: A minimum of 4 credit hours selected through advisement:
    DIG 111 - Introduction to Web Design  AND
    DIG 200 - Digital Portfolio 
  5. Health/Physical Education: A minimum of 2 credit hours.
  6. Humanities: A minimum of 12 credit hours to include:
    ENG 101 - Writing I *
    ENG 102 - Writing II & Introduction to Literature 
    LIT ___      Literature  elective
  7. Speech: A minimum of 6 credit hours to include:
    SPE 102 - Public Speaking 
    SPE 103 - Interpersonal Communication 
  8. Arts: A minimum of 3 credit hours to include:
    ___  ___   Arts  elective from courses with an ART, MUS, or THA prefix
  9. Mathematics* or Sciences: A minimum of 3 credit hours selected through advisement.
  10. Liberal Arts Electives: A minimum of 6 credit hours selected through advisement. (These courses should be selected to meet General Education  requirements not met through other courses).
  11. Social Sciences: A minimum of 6 credit hours. Any course with an ANT, CRJ, CSI, ECO, GEO, GOV*, HIS*, HUS, PSC*, PSY, SOC or SSC prefix.


Typical Program

Total Credit Hours: 15

Second Semester

Total Credit Hours: 16

Third Semester

Total Credit Hours: 16/17

Fourth Semester

Total Credit Hours: 16


* Dependent upon the fulfillment of the Academic Foundations requirements.

** Must be taken in first semester.

Scholarship Opportunities

There are several scholarships available to NCCC students.  Scholarship deadline dates vary each semester.  For more information, please visit the scholarship webpage at www.niagaracc.suny.edu/scholarships . The NCCC Scholarship Office is located within the Financial Aid Complex, A-114 or by phone (716) 614-6205.