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How is this program different from an MBA?

An MBA concentrates on the practical areas of business—leading firms toward a particular strategic/financial goal. However, perception is an emerging practicality that can no longer be ignored. In response, this program focuses on an increasing pivotal area of importance—communications. Global, even local brands soar or collapse due to their ability to communicate to their audiences. In today’s wired world, we’re all sitting next to each other and the conversation never ends. How we talk about ourselves, how we shape and control other people’s perceptions can make a stock rise or slam corporate doors shut for good. Henceforth, the communications industry needs leaders.

The Master of Strategic Communication from Westminster College provides a distinct depth of discipline that focuses on expanding an individual’s leadership skill set specific to communications. Through an actively mentored and experiential online program, Westminster’s MSC does for communications leaders what the top MBA programs can’t.

What is the difference between Westminster’s MPC and the MSC?

The MPC is an on-campus classroom-based program. The MPC is ideal for students who desire the structure of a traditional classroom-based program and want to understand and apply the conceptual and theoretical underpinnings of the specific knowledge they need to become an expert in their field.

The MSC is an online project-based program. The MSC is designed for students with some work experience who have self-motivation and drive required to thrive in an online environment. The MSC focuses on developing a holistic knowledge of the communications industry and building leadership and team-based communication experts.

How is this program different from other communications graduate degrees?

Through the Westminster College MSC program, you can develop the key skills and characteristics necessary to lead in any communications-related position. Unlike other programs, this program is project-based and mostly online—you’ll gain a deeper understanding of the skills and abilities you need to lead in the communications industry through individual and team projects. All while working with real clients and building your professional portfolio.

Will I get the same information I’d get from other classroom programs?

Yes, all of it, plus much more. The MSC program takes you far beyond what you get in traditional classroom-based programs. It puts you in the field, applying leading-edge theory to solve industry-applicable problems. Upon graduation, your portfolio will contain no fiction, but will clearly convey your comprehensive grasp of communication challenges and opportunities in the real world and demonstrate your ample ability to solve and take advantage of them.

How will this program fit into my life?

Weekend workshops (residencies) are the only scheduled events—two days in Salt Lake City, Utah (a Friday and Saturday) at the beginning of each semester. The rest of the semester you will set your own work schedule. Faculty mentors know that you aren’t doing your work on a traditional schedule and will be available when you need them.

How will I communicate with my faculty mentor?

However you want—by phone, email, instant messaging, through Adobe Connect (a video collaboration tool), even face-to-face if you prefer—whatever works best for you. Your mentor’s goal is to help you build your expertise—when and where it’s convenient for you.

Since I’m not on campus, how do I take care of things like registration and financial aid?

A team of Student Support Experts will take care of all those tasks for you. They’ll help with everything from registration and financial aid to employer reimbursement, graduation, and technical support. They are there to support you 100% so you can concentrate on your projects.

How does grading occur?

The purpose of the MSC program is to help you elevate your leadership skills to a level of mastery, and that is the criteria by which you’ll be evaluated. Every project has a very specific set of competencies associated with it. Those sets of competencies will form the criteria for evaluating each project, and you’ll be made aware of the competencies up front. When your faculty mentor evaluates your work, they will ask, “Does this work demonstrate a mastery of the competency behind it?” If the answer is yes, the faculty mentor will say so; if the answer is no, the mentor will give you rich feedback about how you can improve your work to meet expectations. You will then be allowed to make modifications to the project, and once the project demonstrates mastery for all related competencies, the faculty mentor will inform you that you can progress to the next project.

In the MSC program, mastery is what matters. You’ll have a full transcript at the end of the program, but while in the program, you concentrate on learning, not on GPA.

What if I need to take a semester off?

Not a problem. Just call your Student Support Expert and let them know. They’ll help you make arrangements. Then, restart when you are ready. As long as you restart within two semesters, you’ll stay at the same tuition level.


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