Johnson C. Smith UniversityConsortium
JCSU is a private liberal arts institution located in the heart of the “Queen City”—Charlotte, North Carolina. Our communications program is a cornerstone in the University’s liberal arts curriculum. Faculty and staff emphasize real-world applications across new media platforms and campaigns and immersion in the issues of our community. We connect majors and minors to internships that matter to their futures and that contribute to our society. Our diverse faculty ensure global leadership and competitive thinking when it comes to public relations, advocacy and media for change.
Major advocacy checkpoints for the Department of Rhetoric & Communication Studies and the University are food insecurity and technology divides in the historic Northwest Corridor of Charlotte, the area in which the University is situated. Communications faculty engage students in research projects, presentations and publications to tell the stories of persons—the elderly, school-aged children, military veterans, and families—living in the Northwest Corridor and experiencing significant challenges with food deserts and access to reliable technology. Communication students develop PSAs, digital radio content and cinematography to highlight the relevance of these issues and to connect community members to local and regional resources to address these issues.
The University’s Sustainability Village is a dedicated program for students to immerse themselves in a living-learning environment that incorporates service learning with academic coursework to respond to the voices of residents in the Northwest Corridor. Working inter disciplinarily, sustainability interns and scholars study conservation efforts across the globe to inform their local work with aquaponic gardens and farmers’ markets. Study abroad opportunities have included building sustainable villages in Haiti and exploring community farming practices in rural African villages. Communications students are able to enroll in courses in applied environmental science and sustainable living to complement their primary studies in journalism, visual arts, public advocacy and/or digital communications.