Graduate Certificate

The Graduate Certificate in Risk Sciences requires twelve credit hours, including courses in risk communication, crisis communication, training and consulting, and knowledge management. The courses on risk and crisis communication provide foundational understanding of risk and crisis and the opportunity to develop practical application of this knowledge. Research implications (both theoretical and practical), lessons learned, and new theories of community risk communication are included in the curriculum. Training and consulting addresses the theoretical and pragmatic issues of training, consulting, and teambuilding required in risk and crisis planning and management, and the knowledge management course focuses on how to leverage knowledge assets to more quickly recognize risks and address crises as they emerge. Course outcomes may include research studies, risk communication campaigns, organizational risk assessments, crisis communication plans, crisis communication assessments, or grant proposals for research or training. 

Risk Communication (CJT 721): This course establishes risk communication as a distinct sub-discipline within the communication discipline. Ethical considerations are paramount in all areas covered in the course. Theories of risk communication such as mindfulness, sensemaking, chaos, image repair, issues management, the constraints of structuration, and renewal discourse are discussed in terms of pre-crisis, crisis, and post-crisis. Applied research areas such as best practices, high reliability organizations, terrorism, and health risks are also considered. Ultimately, the course provides an overview of the established and emerging perspectives on risk and crisis from the communication perspective.

Crisis Communication (CJT 722): This course follows the crisis communication management process through the stages of pre-crisis, crisis, and post-crisis. The pre-crisis stage discusses planning and environmental scanning. The crisis stage discusses communication strategies for image restoration. The post-crisis stage depicts crisis as an opportunity for organizational learning and for rebuilding or expanding public trust. The course uses a case study approach throughout.

Training and Consulting (CJT 723): This course explores communication training and consultation as a research and instructional focus for students interested in applied communication. Students will learn how to identify and assess communication competence and how to develop training programs to enhance communication competency.

Knowledge Management (LIS 658): Organizational knowledge is a valuable strategic asset. Knowledge management refers to the systematic management of an organization’s knowledge assets so that they can be leveraged for sustainable advantage. This course examines how knowledge is created, captured, organized, diffused, and implemented in an organization. Topics covered include knowledge management processes and practices, corresponding technologies, collaboration tools, and people and cultural issues.