The Hybrid Program
Alexis S. Tan Washington State University
Most communication programs are either mass communication or speech communication. Mass Communication programs are often housed in units called Journalism and Mass Communications, whereas speech communication is often found in Speech Communication or Communication Arts units. However, some programs combine speech communication and mass communication in single administrative units. Whatever the reasons -- budgetary or philosophical -- such hybrid programs seem to be on the rise, and are receiving close scrutiny ( Blanchard & Christ, 1993).
The typical mass communication program includes undergraduate sequences in one or more of the mass media professional fields -- advertising, broadcasting, journalism and public relations. Accrediting standards require that the majority of courses should be in the liberal arts. Far from being vocational, many programs stress not only professional skills courses but also theory and research. However, the emphasis is on the mass media, and there is the explicit expectation that these programs are educating students for the mass media professions. This