California State University, Fullerton

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M.A. in Tourism/Entertainment Communications

The Newest College of Communications Graduate Program to Open In Fall 2013

Oct. 31, 2012

Orange County's tourism and entertainment venues attract thousands of visitors every year, resulting in a demand for qualified professionals working in the industry. To meet this demand, Cal State Fullerton's Department of Communications will launch a master's degree program in communications with a concentration in communications in tourism and entertainment in fall 2013. Applications for the program are now being accepted.

"We're uniquely situated to provide a high quality degree in the field because of our proximity to a variety of tourist destinations," said Diane Witmer, chair and professor of communications. "We're at the heart of a major tourist destination, so this is an ideal place to study."

The M.A. will be a hybrid program, combining face-to-face and online instruction. It is designed for those working in tourism and entertainment who want to enhance their communication skills and knowledge.

"We're such a tourism and entertainment-rich environment, and so many professionals have been talking about the need for a program like this," explained communications professor Coral M. Ohl, who conceived the idea for the program.

"Everything they do is communications — working with audiences, employees, media. It's all about getting the tourism and entertainment messages out there," she said.

The master of arts is offered in a 30-unit program that will include a foundational overview of the communications field combined with courses addressing specific issues in tourism and entertainment. Course offerings include global tourism, destination development and communication, tourism venues and attractions, socio-cultural implications of tourism and entertainment, and a specialty class on the Disney Co.'s impact on entertainment and tourism.

The face-to-face component of the program will offer students an opportunity to be part of a cohort and learn from other working professionals. The online aspect will provide the flexibility of online study for professionals with full-time jobs.

"It combines the best of all possible worlds," said Witmer. "We not only have personal interactions that evolve in the traditional classroom setting, we also have the convenience of online instruction. This allows students to access course work at their leisure and at times that best fit their schedules."

The program is intended to prepare students for careers in a variety of tourism and entertainment areas, such as convention and visitor bureaus, theme parks, hospitality and lodging, meeting planning and destination marketing.

Witmer said the master's degree will provide the industry with "well-educated professionals who can bring a depth of theoretical understanding and knowledge to their fields in ways they couldn't do before. It will be a major asset to the local tourism industry."

For more information, visit the Department of Communications website, or contact Andi Stein, graduate program coordinator, at 657-278-5434.

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