Conestoga news

June 7, 2010 10:00 AM

Conestoga to Offer First Public Relations Bachelor's Degree in Ontario

Conestoga College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning announced today that it has received approval from Ontario's Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities to offer a bachelor's degree in Public Relations, the first such degree in Ontario and only the third in the country. The program begins at Conestoga's Doon campus in Kitchener in the fall of 2011.

"This profession demands strong communication skills, diplomacy, strategic thinking and the ability to understand complex issues, and Conestoga's public relations degree responds with a case-based approach," said Fran Gregory, coordinator of the new program. "The goal over the four years is to provide graduates with the critical thinking skills and the practical experience required to manage issues, plan events, develop campaigns and lead communication projects."

Two co-op work terms will allow students to apply communication theory to public relations practice. A combination of theory-based and application-based courses will be offered in public relations and issues management, project management, writing for public relations, event planning, ethics and communication theory, among others.

"Students will benefit from small class sizes, and a hands-on, student-centered learning model," said Mark Derro, Chair of Conestoga's School of Media and Design. "Further, students and faculty will encourage industry partnerships and ongoing curricular development to prepare graduates to take a leadership role in addressing the issues of today's rapidly changing communication landscape."

Graduates of Conestoga's existing two-year Public Relations diploma program will have the opportunity to take a five-course bridging sequence in the spring of 2011, which will allow students who successfully complete all the bridging courses direct entry into the third year of the baccalaureate program in the fall of 2011. The bridging needs of graduates from public relations diploma programs other than Conestoga's will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

For more information on this new degree offering at Conestoga College, contact Mark Derro, Chair, School of Media and Design,, 519-748-5220 ext. 3647 or Fran Gregory, Coordinator, Public Relations diploma and degree programs,