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History and development of public relations education in North America A critical analysis

History and development of public relations education in North America A critical analysis Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to provide a critical analysis of the history and development of public relations education in the USA and Canada. Design/methodology/approach – The research methodology used for this paper is the historical/critical analysis approach. Findings – This paper finds more differences than similarities between public relations educational development in the two countries. The first PR course at a US university was taught at the University of Illinois in 1920 and the first US degree program was offered by Boston University in 1947. The first Canadian university PR course was taught at McGill University n 1948 and the first university degree was offered by Mount Saint Vincent University in 1977. Although PR courses and degrees are offered at a small number of élite US universities, the greatest recent PR curriculum development has been at smaller, second‐ or third‐tier institutions. While a few Canadian universities offer courses and degree programs in the field, most of Canada's recent PR program growth has been at colleges rather than at universities. Practical implications – Rightly or wrongly, academic institutions often look to North America for direction when it comes to establishing and developing public relations education programs. A number of factual inaccuracies about public relations education history have frequently surfaced in books and journal articles. This paper corrects a number of those inaccuracies and in doing so improves public relations scholarship. Originality/value – A thorough review of the literature suggests that this paper represents the only journal‐length piece about the history and development of public relations education in Canada and the USA. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Communication Management Emerald Publishing

History and development of public relations education in North America A critical analysis

Journal of Communication Management , Volume 15 (3): 20 – Aug 2, 2011

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2011 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1363-254X
DOI
10.1108/13632541111151005
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to provide a critical analysis of the history and development of public relations education in the USA and Canada. Design/methodology/approach – The research methodology used for this paper is the historical/critical analysis approach. Findings – This paper finds more differences than similarities between public relations educational development in the two countries. The first PR course at a US university was taught at the University of Illinois in 1920 and the first US degree program was offered by Boston University in 1947. The first Canadian university PR course was taught at McGill University n 1948 and the first university degree was offered by Mount Saint Vincent University in 1977. Although PR courses and degrees are offered at a small number of élite US universities, the greatest recent PR curriculum development has been at smaller, second‐ or third‐tier institutions. While a few Canadian universities offer courses and degree programs in the field, most of Canada's recent PR program growth has been at colleges rather than at universities. Practical implications – Rightly or wrongly, academic institutions often look to North America for direction when it comes to establishing and developing public relations education programs. A number of factual inaccuracies about public relations education history have frequently surfaced in books and journal articles. This paper corrects a number of those inaccuracies and in doing so improves public relations scholarship. Originality/value – A thorough review of the literature suggests that this paper represents the only journal‐length piece about the history and development of public relations education in Canada and the USA.

Journal

Journal of Communication ManagementEmerald Publishing

Published: Aug 2, 2011

Keywords: Public relations; History; Education; Curriculum development; Professional education; North America; Canada; USA of America

References