Institute of Applied Communication was established in 2016 from its humble origin as the Learning Institute for Empowerment. It underscores the discipline of communication which integrates both theoretical knowledge and real-life practices to enhance human communication.
Founded on the principle that all human interactions and interfaces are grounded in communication, IAC expands education opportunities that encapsulate the multifarious aspects of communication studies.
Communication as a discipline is in its most advantageous position in a media-driven world where social networking, media creation, global connectivity, and digital economy rise to prominence. Harnessing the potential of communication, IAC undertakes to develop a generation of graduates with an influential communicative ability and a high level of employability across disciplines.
Our Institute believes expanding access to higher education can transform lives. For that reason, we are proud to offer students the option of completing their Bachelor’s degree in a fully online format through the FDB Online program, and/or through face-to-face and hybrid classes. Also, our M.A. program in Applied Communication provides a unique weekend, evening, and hybrid format for professionals who wish to advance their careers.
Consistent with our departmental mission, the department is united around six theoretic models, which represent our core values. The six models include: (a) Positive Communication, (b) Organizational Culture, (c) Diffusion & Transformation, (d) Crisis & Renewal Communication, (e) Experiential Learning, and (f) Conflict Communication. These models function as areas of inquiry, expertise, and foci for teaching and research. They reflect the department’s cohesive focus on ethical communication that is apparent in both our undergraduate and graduate programs.
We believe our curriculum enables students to learn how to practice positive communication in interpersonal, organizational, and public contexts. The coursework and experiential learning in which students in our programs engage, while in our Institute, allow them to be able to achieve our learning outcomes.
The above six applications launch students into their areas of focus or emphasis. Elective courses, projects within required classes, and the final M.A. project involve students in tailoring their program to fit their goals. Students are encouraged to identify focus areas relevant to their career goals.
To support your career development, we will aid you in connecting with our diverse alumni network. You will find support for an array of emphasis areas: internal and external communication, public health, conflict mediation, business leadership and management, consulting, human resources, training, organization development, intercultural/diversity initiatives, non-profit leadership, relational communication, health care, education, and public relations.
As students enter the program, we identify ways to maximize coursework, including electives and the final project to fit their career goals. Review this Two Year Example Plan to understand the flow of our unique blended program designed for working professionals. This sequence of courses is then adapted based on student goals.
Our program has built bridges with several programs outside of the Institute. Interested students should explore these options with the Graduate Coordinator.
Applied Communication Track – This is our most common track – the Applied Communication program.
Health Communication– We offers courses to complement work a student may complete with this focus.
All 18 hours of our certificate can be included in your degree program since our M.A. already includes three courses in this program (Conflict Analysis & Intervention; Negotiation; Effective Crisis Communication).
MBA electives– The Institute of Applied Management has identified electives for students interested in courses that will complement a focus on applied organizational communication.
Students with an interest in doctoral work gain a solid foundation in applied communication research and theory. These students benefit from the personal attention of faculty devoted to preparing them for the next step in their education. We encourage Executive Doctorate bound students to revise and submit major course papers to professional conferences and journals while they are in our master’s program.
Bachelor of Arts in Applied Communications.
Bachelor of Arts in English for Secondary Education Initial Program.
Bachelor of Arts in English with an Emphasis in Professional Writing.
Bachelor of Arts in Spanish.
Bachelor of Science in Marketing.
Master of Arts in Applied History.
Master of Arts in Applied Communication.
Master of Applied English.
Master of Information Technology Management.
Applied communication looks at how communication theory and principles can be used to better the communication that takes place in a variety of contexts. In our program, we focus primarily on interpersonal and organizational contexts, helping students analyze and develop messages, anticipate communication barriers and accomplish communicative goals, and embrace differences and influence discourse around them. Students learn to “apply” theory to everyday situations to improve communication within those situations.
Our curriculum is interactive, with an emphasis on case studies and ethical communication across the curriculum, to help students understand how to use positive communication to make a difference in their personal and professional lives.
All Applied Communication Institute are professional instructors with extensive experience in the online classroom and the private and/or public sectors.
All sustain their involvement with the broader marketplace and remain up to date in their field.
Some instructors maintain course web site pages - also known as Moodle pages - for students registered in their classes. Click here to open a new browser window pointing at the main Moodle course listing page and follow the links to find the course you're interested in. As a registered student, you can also use the My Courses link, once you log on to the myFordBridge home page.
The MA in Applied Communication Studies provides graduate students with a solid theoretical and practical understanding of how communication practices operate in everyday life. Based on our coursework, graduates of our MA program will learn to foster the co-creation of better social worlds through positive communication by ethically analyzing messages, setting communicative goals, and influencing discourse. Students do that by focusing on three big questions across the coursework in our program, using a case-based approach: (1) What are we creating in our communication, (2) what do we want to create in our communication, and (3) what communication practices will facilitate what we want to create.
As a result of this program, students develop communication skills that are necessary for ethical and effective leadership in all areas of today’s diverse organizational professional world. Upon graduating from our program, we believe that students will be able to ethically too.
Analyze messages, answering the question, “what are we creating in our communication”? They will do this by Situating communication-based research questions in the academic conversation around a topic; Demonstrating an understanding of specific theoretic models and applying those models to applied communication research questions; Making theoretic claims about what is happening in a particular situation or organization; Reporting data ethically.
Set communicative goals, answering the question, “what do we want to be creating in our communication”? They will do this by: Identifying communication and theoretically-informed implications from data analysis; Identifying potential communication barriers to changing the communication in a given situation or organization; Anticipating the consequences of accomplishing potential goals for various audiences by identifying multiple diverse perspectives on goals. Influence discourse, answering the question, “what communication practices will facilitate what we want to create”? They will do this by Generating theoretically-informed disciplinary knowledge and communication recommendations; Modeling ethical communication by providing the answer to the “now what” question; Adapting their communication to appropriate audiences to ethically advocate for change We achieve these goals by having students complete class and final projects primarily focused on six communication applications.
Some of our Spring 2016 graduates communication and organizational culture analysis; communication and transformation/change; positive interpersonal communication; conflict management; crisis and renewal communication; experiential learning in presentations and training.
Specifically, we offer courses that will allow students to be able to do the following, upon graduating from our program: Build healthy relationships through ethical communication. (Interpersonal Communication course); Facilitate difficult conversations. (Conflict Management course); Apply a six-step model for analyzing and improving organizational cultures. (Organizational Cultures course); Make recommendations for improving ethical crisis responses within organizations. (Crisis Communication course); Create and assess experiential learning. (Organizational Training course); Articulate how to spread innovations to facilitate change. (Diffusion of Innovations course)
The majority of our coursework (24 hours) is offered in the evening, weekend, and/or hybrid formats, with electives (6 hours) involving the choice of on-campus or fully online courses. A final MA project (3 hours) is developed with an advisor, with foundational courses that help students launch their project in the first year of the program while completing their research in their second year of the program.