PR Studies and the Columbia College Mission

Columbia College Chicago was founded in 1890 as the Columbia School of Oratory, at a time before radio, when the cutting edge of communications was represented by orators like William Jennings Bryan. Over the years, Columbia has remained in the forefront of communications technology, as reflected in our mission statement, reprinted here in full. Play particular attention to the text I've highlighted in red:

      Columbia College Chicago is an undergraduate and graduate institution whose principal commitment is to provide a comprehensive educational opportunity in the arts, communications, and public information within a context of enlightened liberal education.

      Columbia?s intent is to educate students who will communicate creatively and shape the public?s perceptions of issues and events and who will author the culture of their times.

      Columbia is an urban institution whose students reflect the economic, racial, cultural, and educational diversity of contemporary America.

      Columbia conducts education in close relationship to a vital urban reality and serves an important civic purpose by active engagement in the life and culture of the city of Chicago.

You probably thought this was an "arts college"... yes, that too, but the total picture is that we are a college of "arts, communications, and public information" -- putting public relations right at the heart of our mission, with special emphasis on the skills necessary to "shape the public's perceptions of issues and events"...

The PR fundamentals we are exploring in this course amount to a chronicle of the world-changing skills and knowledge that have come to dominate the Age of Information -- and the careers you will consider as you near the end of your formal education and commence your Life-Long Learning!