Department of Communication and Media Studies Upgraded to a School
The Academic Board, University of Education, Winneba (UEW), has approved the proposal to transform the Department of Communication and Media Studies (CMS) under the Faculty of Foreign Languages Education and Communication into the School of Communication and Media Studies (SCMS).
The new School has four departments and a centre. These are the Department of Journalism and Media Studies, the Department of Strategic Communication, the Department of Communication Instruction, the Department of Development Communication and the Centre for Communication Education Research and Professional Development (CCERPD).
The academic programmes run under the administrative jurisdiction of each Department are Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Media Studies, Strategic Communication, and Development Communication; Master of Arts/Philosophy (M.A./MPhil) in Journalism and Media Studies, Public Relations and Communication, Development Communication, and Communication Instruction; as well as Doctor of Philosophy in Communication Studies.
The SCMS is leverage two of the University of Education, Winneba’s unique assets in Special Education and Ghanaian Languages Education to bring to bear on the teaching and practice of communication and media education in Ghana.
As such, specific media courses that integrate the needs of persons with special needs have been mounted to whip up the interest of such people in communication and media. In this regard, the School is collaborating with the Department of Special Education to mount key courses such as Reporting on Persons with Special Needs and Social Inclusion which is a novel idea in the sub-region.
The CMS, which was established in 2007 to run only graduate programmes in Communication, has progressed from an initial 17 M.A. students to 250 in the 2021 academic year for its various graduate programmes. The undergraduate programme, which commenced in the 2019/2020 academic year, has also increased in student enrolment from 110 to 250.
The SCMS adapts and reflects global standards and international best practices in developing autonomous academic departments rather than tracks of study. This is critical to the advancement of communication and media education in Ghana and beyond.
The establishment of SCMS is to improve and expand the University’s communication education pedagogy, teaching, and research base by focusing on strategic communication, development communication, journalism and media studies, and communication instruction.
A recent informal survey on the products of CMS showed that close to 70% of its alumni have been employed by various tertiary institutions offering communication education. Most of these journalism and communication training institutions continue to look up to the Department to show leadership in the training of communication educators to fill the various vacancies in such institutions.
While aiming at producing faculty for academia, there is also the need to find alternative means to absorb the ever-increasing demand for undergraduate communication education to fill up the ever-expanding media industry. The SCMS is now in a better position to serve the country and the University more adroitly.