Become a Leader in Your Communication Career
Pursue leadership and management positions in your communication career with an online BA in Organizational and Strategic Communication from Illinois College. Whether you’re striving for advancement within your organization or launching a new career in an in-demand field, our online strategic communication degree will give you the knowledge and skills you need to reach your goals.
Coursework in the online strategic communication major is designed to give you an interdisciplinary perspective. First, you will gain a foundation of communication theory and practices that will help you interact with, lead and manage individuals in the organizational process. Then, complete your online degree with courses from the following topics:
- Content marketing
- Digital art (including digital technology and new media)
- Graphic design
- Professional writing
- Social media
IC’s online bachelor’s degree in strategic communication is taught by an outstanding group of tenured or tenure-track faculty with teaching and research backgrounds in areas related to organizational and strategic communication.
When you complete your organizational and strategic communication degree, you’ll Graduate READY for in-demand careers in several fields, such as:
- Digital and social media
- Higher education
- Human resources
- Political communication
- Public relations
- Training and development
The online BA in Organizational and Strategic Communication is conveniently offered through our interactive online classroom, allowing you to study full or part-time when and where it’s convenient for your schedule. Learn at your own pace and complete the accelerated curriculum in 15 months.
The Online Strategic Communication Bachelor’s Degree Is Designed for:
- Students seeking an online degree program that allows them to learn on their schedule
- Working professionals striving to move into a leadership role
- Individuals who want a rewarding career in an in-demand field
Anna Wright | Assistant Professor of Communication and Rhetorical Studies
- EdD Teaching and Learning, Communication | Illinois State University
- MS Communication Studies | Illinois State University
- BS Communication Education | Illinois State University
Anna M. Wright is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication and Rhetorical Studies at Illinois College. She teaches courses in Business Communication, Organizational Communication, Training and Development, Communication Theory and Communication Research & Methods.
Her pedagogical research focuses on a variety of instructional communication topics including clarity and ambiguity in classroom assessments and teacher training. She has done consulting and training for multiple nonprofit organizations in Illinois. Her background in secondary education, teacher preparation and training and development combines with her research to produce theoretically grounded teaching and scholarship.
Wright is the co-author of Communication for Teachers and Trainers (Fountainhead, 2019). She has publications in multiple communication journals including Communication Education, Communication Pedagogy and the Basic Communication Course Annual. She has held leadership roles at the National Communication Association and the Central States Communication Association. She is also a member of the Association of Women in Communication.
Favorite Class to Teach
- Organizational Communication
- Business Communication
- Developing Talent and Intercultural Competence
- I am a licensed high school English Language Arts Teacher.
- I have experience in both qualitative and quantitative research.
- I enjoy researching with students and have facilitated multiple research projects with students who were able to present their research at regional conferences.
Courses and Admissions
Illinois College’s online strategic communication bachelor’s degree provides the academic foundation and professional skills necessary for various careers in the field. The program requires 120 credit hours – 76 hours in general education courses and 44 hours in organizational and strategic communication courses.
Students must complete a total of 78 credit hours in a variety of areas. These include courses in writing, world languages, the arts, speech, science, social, spiritual and philosophical issues and more.
Communication and Rhetorical Studies Core Courses (16 hours)
Course Description Credits CO 204This course allows students to understand both the humanistic and social scientific theories in communication. Areas of inquiry include the ethical implications of individual theories, the development of knowledge and appreciation of theory building in the communication discipline, the ability to discern roles that communication theories play in our daily lives and the examination and testing of communication theories using different methodological approaches. This course is a foundational requirement for all students majoring or minoring in Communication and Rhetorical Studies. 4 CO 230This class is broadly designed to explore communication processes and problems within the organizational context. To accomplish this, students will be exposed to managerial and communicative theories pertaining to organizations and relevant research covering a host of topics. Specifically, this course will examine organizational culture (and how to adapt one's communication successfully to one's culture), communication in the superior-subordinate relationship, the impact of organizational structure on communication and techniques for assessing and improving organizational and individual communication effectiveness. The course is designed to expose students to communication-related issues in contemporary organizations, emphasizing practical application. 4 CO 315This course examines the ethical issues surrounding the role of verbal and nonverbal communication in distinguishing human participation in society. Students are asked to think critically about the range of issues germane to communication from a variety of normative perspectives. Prerequisite: junior standing or consent of the instructor. 4 CO 415This course will serve as the capstone course for all Senior-level students majoring in Organizational and Strategic Communication (as well as those majoring in Communication & Rhetorical Studies). In addition, a strong emphasis will be placed on undergraduate research. Specifically, students will be asked to research relevant communication topics from either the social scientific or humanistic perspectives during the semester and formally present their scholarly findings. As part of the capstone experience in this course, students will also be asked to synthesize their previous coursework and critically reflect on their experiences in the Organizational and Strategic Communication program. 4
Organizational and Strategic Communication Courses: Choose two (8 hours)
Course Description Credits CO 330Training employees in today’s increasingly diverse world requires a great deal of knowledge. This course will discuss intercultural competence in global organizations. Then, building upon that foundation, the course will discuss how to train and develop employees, giving perspective to working in different world cultures. Major topics include the ADDIE training model, training methods, and intercultural communication in the workplace. 4 CO 353This course explores how communicating in small groups and teams is a significant part of the human experience. In this course, students will examine how the behavior of groups, leaders and followers is inherently communicative. Specifically, students will study small group communication theory, research and practice from several perspectives, focusing on how individual and group behavior "emerges" from group communication and interaction. In addition, students enrolled in this course will participate in small groups on a semester-long service-learning project connected to local community non-profit or charitable organizations. 4 CO 235This course examines how recent advances in information technology and online social networking provide opportunities as well as challenges for those in the field of strategic communication. Issues covered in this course include ways that various organizations (corporate, governmental and non-profit) strategically identify key audiences, effectively create and share social media content, evaluate social media-based strategic communication initiatives and use social media to improve their image and brand. Students will also learn about the significant changes in strategic communication approaches brought about by the networked information society. This course combines theoretical and hands-on approaches to these issues. In conjunction with the theoretical understanding of social media, students will study and use different social media applications throughout the course. 4
Public Relations Course: Choose one (4 hours)
Course Description Credits CO 325Public Relations (PR) helps to establish and maintain mutual lines of communication, understanding, acceptance, cooperation, and mutually beneficial relationships between organizations or public personalities and their various publics. Among the topics this course will cover are the social function of public relations, its diverse forms (e.g. media and community relations, the management function of public relations, and the role of the practitioner in crisis communication). The students will also develop their skills in public relations by creating publicity products, such as press releases, feature stories, brochures, posters/flyers, photo essays, and speeches. 4 CO 214This course is designed to give students an understanding of the advertising industry's "identity," an identity that mirrors and participates in creating a uniquely American identity. Significant historical, cultural, gender, aesthetic, ethical, legal and rhetorical perspectives are examined. Attention is paid to critiquing advertising images, applying the perspectives above, and exploring how these perspectives interface with social, political and policy issues. Students will also gain an understanding of the field of public relations and its interconnectedness with the advertising enterprise. 4
Marketing Course: Choose one (4 hours)
Course Description Credits MG 354Emphasizes the concepts of planning, organizing, controlling, and decision making as they are applied to management of the marketing function. Attention is given to the marketing environment, consumer behavior, marketing research, product management, distribution, promotion and pricing policies. Prerequisite: sophomore standing. (BLUEprint: Global Awareness, Information Literacy) 4 MG 356This course examines how to integrate all of the available marketing communication tools into one clear voice that breaks through today’s communication clutter. Students will study and create various forms of communication materials that are used in the promotions mix. These items will include advertisements for print media, radio, television, social media, websites and YouTube. In addition, product demonstrations, sales promotions, personal selling and public relations will be examined. Students will gain understanding of how to coordinate these elements to achieve an organization’s objectives. 4
Professional Writing and Digital Media Courses: Choose two (8 hours)
Course Description Credits EN 208Persuasive writing is the study and practice of writing persuasively and logically. The course relies on concepts from classical rhetoric and modern argumentation theory to teach students how to write compelling arguments for specific audiences. The course fulfills Illinois College's BLUEprint general-education requirements for Creative Expressions: Studio, Writing Extensive, and Information Literacy. 4 EN 280Wherever there are words, there are writers and jobs for writers. The internet has created a staggering array of platforms through which writers seek to reach readers. This course will offer students the opportunity to study these new writing landscapes, participate and publish their thinking and writing, and learn how to protect against the various hazards of such activity. This is an introductory course appropriate for first-year students. 4 EN 281This course studies the types of professional writing, with particular attention to factual, analytical and evaluative, and proposal arguments. Topic selection within the assignment sequence is flexible to allow students to shape more focused study into the themes and conventions of business writing, journalism, science and technical writing, writing for the internet and social media and writing about health and medicine. 4 EN 380This course covers the basic procedures of editing and publishing texts. It will use the Chicago Manual of Style as a primary textbook and enable students to acquire the knowledge, skills and aptitudes necessary to work effectively as an editorial assistant, editor, new-media writer or professional writer. 4 AR 204Examine basic graphic design techniques with an emphasis on color, typography, ideation, visual hierarchy, grid systems and basic layouts. These techniques will be applied to information design using research and analysis of discipline-specific topics encountered in a liberal arts education. Students will gain a working knowledge of InDesign, Photoshop and Illustrator. This course is an introduction to the creative skills and software tools employed when working with digital media and will focus on the fundamentals of design utilizing Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator and Adobe InDesign. Students will also be exposed to the work and ideas of artists working in graphic design and digital arts. Through demonstrations, tutorials, lectures, hands-on projects, group critiques and individual assistance, each student will gain the skills necessary for completing projects of artistic merit using various digital software. 4 AR 361A studio-based course focused on a range of topics that may include materiality, interactivity, time, social media and exploring forms and technologies identified as new or emerging. Through practice, research, discussion and lecture, this course introduces students to the changing new media landscape transforming how we think about the intersection of disciplines. These include art, technology, humanities and social sciences. Students will be encouraged to integrate their disciplines into creative projects. 4
Elective Course: Choose one (4 hours): Organizational and Strategic Communication students are required to complete one additional 4-credit hour course at either the 200-level or 300-level that is either a Communication & Rhetorical Studies course or any elective course listed in the Organizational & Strategic Communication major; a 4-credit hour internship may count for this elective requirement.
Course Description Credits CO 210This course is designed to enhance one’s understanding of the skills, principles and contexts of communication in business and organizational settings. Oral presentations and written assignments are utilized to evaluate competencies in verbal and nonverbal communication efforts. A framework of strategic communication is introduced for the planning and implementation of various interpersonal and presentational principles and skills along with an examination of important theories of organizational communication. This course exposes students to compelling communication-related issues in contemporary business and professional settings. 4 CO 225This course explores the motivations, characteristics, and consequences of interpersonal communication. Over the semester, students will learn the various theories, models, and vocabulary of the interpersonal communication field. Attention is paid to topics such as self-concept, perception, and disclosure as well as uncertainty, affection, maintenance, and conflict across a variety of relational contexts. Students reflect on and improve their own interpersonal skills while learning to apply various interpersonal communication theories toward the end of developing more positive relationships in their personal and professional lives. 4
To qualify for admission to the online BA in Organizational and Strategic Communication, applicants must:
- Be a high school graduate (or equivalent)
- Have a 2.5 GPA
How to Apply
Candidates must submit:
- An online application
Apply for free at admission.ic.edu/apply
- Official transcripts of all high school and/or college work completed
At Illinois College, we feature a high-quality education at a price you can afford. See how your past academic credentials can help you make the most of your college education.
|Tuition (44 credit hours)||$375 per credit hour||$16,500|
|Fees (4 terms)||$25 per term||$100|
|Total with Transfer Credits||$16,600|
* Tuition and fees are subject to change.
When you earn your strategic communication degree online, you’ll Graduate READY for career advancement. The degree can prepare you for several jobs, such as the ones listed below:
All employment information from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Marketing managers are responsible for overseeing merchandising and sales campaigns for products or brands. They may be responsible for organizing efforts, collaborating with product managers and other team members, developing and analyzing market research studies, analyzing campaign performance and other related tasks.$63,504 Median Annual Salary
Public Relations Manager
Public relations managers plan and direct the creation of material that will enhance the public image of their employer or client.$125,780 Median Annual Salary
Training and Development Manager
Training and development managers plan, coordinate and direct skills- and knowledge-enhancement programs for an organization's staff.$120,130 Median Annual Salary
Why Illinois College?
Take the fast track.
You can earn an online BA in Organizational and Strategic Communication in 15 months.
Prepare for real-world success through online classes taught by experienced faculty.
A comprehensive curriculum.
Our online strategic communication program is rooted in interdisciplinary study, something that increases your marketability in the workforce.
Whether it’s increasing your paycheck or advancing your career, an online degree can help you go further.View Benefits
Frequently Asked Questions
Students who excel in online programs have similar traits and habits that contribute to their success. They possess self-motivation and self-discipline and are willing to commit time and effort to their studies. Additionally, they choose to meet deadlines, follow through on assignments and communicate regularly with their academic support network.
Online degrees provide flexibility to earn a degree at your own pace. Completion times will vary depending on previous college credit and how much time per week you are able to dedicate to academics. Average completion time for our online degrees is 18 months.
We’re glad you’re ready to take the next step in your career! Our application is free and offered fully online for your convenience. In addition to submitting your completed application form, you will need to request and supply your official transcripts from all previously attended institutions and have a minimum 2.5 GPA. If you are applying for the RN to BSN program, you will need to supply a valid RN license.
For specific admissions requirements, visit your program page of interest.