St. Mary’s University is opening a new gateway for building ethical leaders.

The Communication and the Public Administration graduate programs will offer a Certificate in Public Communication, Public Policy and Public Leadership this fall.

The certification, available to graduate and undergraduate students, cultivates leaders who are called to lives of service and skilled in communication and public leadership.

“While the means and modes of communication are expanding exponentially, leaders’ skills and effectiveness in public communication are lagging, especially in public affairs,” said Art Vega, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Political Science and Director of the Public Administration graduate program. “We envision this certificate as a response to this need, and as an added edge for students in a competitive job market.”

Students pursuing the certificate will enroll in a combination of graduate Public Administration and Communication courses beyond the traditional master’s or bachelor’s degree. Advanced undergraduate students will enroll in two Communication courses and two Public Administration (PA) courses. Graduate PA students will take three Communication and two PA courses. Graduate Communication students will take three PA courses and two Communication courses.

“This new gateway builds on St. Mary’s deep roots in developing ethical leaders for government, nonprofits, and business – for our region and the world,” said Bill Israel, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Journalism and Political Communication and Director of Communication graduate studies.

“Refining students’ capacities to shape public debate and lead has never been more important – in the public sector, in politics and in all areas of public leadership. We believe this cross-disciplinary effort to develop students in the best traditions of St. Mary’s University will inspire new elected officials, policy leaders and communicators to advance the public good.”

No prerequisites are required for undergraduate students already majoring in political science or communication.

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