Jul 20, 2024  
OHIO University Graduate Catalog 2021-22 
OHIO University Graduate Catalog 2021-22 [Archived Catalog]

Crisis Communication Certificate

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Crisis Communication - CTCCOM

Scripps College of Communication
1 Ohio University
Athens, OH  45701-2979

Delivery Mode: Online, hybrid and in combination with a workshop

Terms of Entry: Fall, Spring, Summer

Enrollment Eligibility: Non-degree status or current degree-seeking student

Certificate Overview

Words and actions prior to a crisis, as well as within a crisis, can positively or negatively impact lives and organizations. While extended coverage and interest was once limited to natural disasters, all types of crises with organizational and life impacts now merit news coverage and public interest. Events that have, at their core, effective communication impact the short-term and long-term circumstances positively or negatively. There is a significant national gap in formal and relevant education to prepare communication professionals and leaders when a crisis impacts an organization. Students who complete the certificate will be prepared to guide and communicate before, within, and after a crisis using strategies and tools that include social media.

The certificate consists of three courses totaling 12 credit hours, and can normally be completed in three semesters or less. Two experiences comprise the first “course:” a 1 credit hour workshop (COMM 5920, Crisis Communication Workshop) and a 3-credit hour online course (COMM 5300, Crisis Communication and Planning). The workshop and the course can be taken concurrently, and the workshop will be available both in-person and online. The second course and third courses are COMM 5310, Crisis Communication Strategy and COMM 5320, Social Analytics in Crisis Communication.

The courses do not need to be taken in sequence. Courses will all be delivered online; sections may also be available (subject to demand) in person, or in hybrid modality.

Certificate Learning Outcomes

  • Students will be able to define a crisis and identify the four fundamental categories of crises; identify and understand the two major types of crises; and develop the crisis communication plan as the key component within the overall crisis plan.
  • Through exploring crisis events, case studies of organizations, and developing the fundamental structure of a crisis plan outline and crisis communication plan, students will develop abilities to plan for a crisis; recognize, communicate, and operate within a crisis to ensure resiliency; and to recover from a crisis
  • Students will able to develop key message baselines before a crisis; communicate with speed, accuracy, and provide credibility skills in a crisis; monitor information and prevail with the truth in a crisis; and provide perspective on cause marketing and communication beyond the crisis.
  • Students will be able to monitor, evaluate, and prepare for crisis to ensure resiliency and timely crisis management. The student will demonstrate understanding of online social interactions in crisis situations using analytics techniques.

Opportunities upon Completion

We live in a world punctuated by crises that are diffused via social media and a 24-hour news cycle. While both the private and public sectors spend more time trying to prevent crises than preparing for them, crisis readiness and communication planning have become major priorities for both these groups. While naturally caused crises are not new, nor are human-caused tragic events, the near frequency, impact and consequences of crises have virtually eliminated perception that a personally impacting event won’t occur. Key findings following every major crisis in the last twenty years include the need for effective communication before, during and after an event. In fact, from active shooter incidents and natural disasters to organizational trust damaging events such as cyber breaches or employee misconduct, effective communication is the key element to establishing, maintaining, and re-building trust. Lives, property, and organizational longevity are directly connected to effective crisis communication. The coronovirus pandemic spearheaded by United States Centers for Disease Control or recent private financial institution cyber breaches demonstrated to organizations even well prepared for crises that effective crisis communication is not an option or after thought. As a national leader in communication education, the Scripps College of Communication is uniquely positioned to provide formal and informal and practical education and skills for professionals in leadership and communication roles.

Certificate Relationship to Parent Degree Program

The parent program of this graduate certificate is the Master of Arts in Organizational Communication , program code MA5332. Neither enrollment in nor completion of the Organizational Communication degree is required to complete this certificate. However, completing the certificate may fulfill up to 12 of the required elective hours for the degree with advisor approval. Students admitted to this certificate may also seek admission to the Organizational Communication degree and/or other certificates. Previously submitted application materials will be reused as much as possible, as determined by the Organizational Communication Program Director. More information on the Organizational Communication degree program.

Complementary certificates include:

Admission Requirements

No additional requirements beyond Ohio University graduate admission requirements.

International Students

An I-20 cannot be issued based on admission to this program.

Completion Requirements

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