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Date of Award

2009

Document Type

Dissertation - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

Department

Educational Administration and Leadership

First Advisor

Norena Badway

First Committee Member

Tony Serna

Second Committee Member

Carol Hackley

Third Committee Member

Anna Lampe

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to analyze the perceptions of critical strategies and challenges for shaping Masters' programs in public relations in California universities. Using a qualitative approach, this study reported the findings from Web site review and interviews with leaders at four California institutions offering graduate work in Public Relations. Four primary findings included: (1) Masters' degree programs in public relations fell into a wide range of disciplines and titles. (2) Close connections with industry practitioners strengthened curriculum and assessment. Connections often occurred through the use of practitioners as adjunct faculty, allowing current perspectives on public relations practices and use of media. (3) Experiential learning and authentic activities, both in the classroom and through internships, were critical. (4) Each program was designed to give students both the theoretical foundation and the practical application of the profession. These findings confirmed theoretic frameworks for ideal graduate education programs and professional frameworks from Public Relations Society of America. The study concludes with recommendations for practice. First, a high quality graduate program would include multiple perspectives from diverse faculty and participants. Second, a high quality graduate program would emphasize participatory cultures, incorporating a shared program direction, and a community of learners. The third attribute of a high quality graduate program in public relations would foster a community of learners. Planned breadth and depth course work would be the fourth important element. The last recommendation for developing and sustaining a high quality graduate program would be to attain or pursue adequate resources.

Pages

79

ISBN

9781109172096

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