My comment is negative (unfortunately) but valuable advice to other naive communication students like I was 5 years ago.
The Communications College at Penn State is awful! I originally began my freshman year with an advertising major, but didn't have an opportunity to take even a seminar or ANYTHING that even explained what advertising was until spring of my sophomore year when I took the Intro to Advertising class. The program is set up so that you had to get all of these prerequisites, but in the meantime, you have no clue what you're getting your degree in until it's almost time to graduate!
I desperately wanted to learn important techniques in public relations (after I FINALLY was allowed into an advertising course and hated it - and by then half of my college career was already over!)
I would have changed to Education (one reputable college at Penn State - yes, Penn State may actually be good for something... believe it or not) but I was already screwed by the College of Comm because I already wasted 2 years on a major that I didn't even know what it was until it was too late to get out of it!
Fortunately, I shifted into the Public Relations major relatively easily. Unfortunately, all of the Communications professors I had (except for one who happened to be my advisor and was wonderful) did not challenge us and did not teach us any relevant skills.
My major was a joke. The only time I ever learned any real communications skills was in my internship in my home town. But at least I didn't have to worry about studying - that gave me time to plan my regular "escapes" from State College and all of the pathetic students who spend 4 years of their lives in a drunken stupor and still manage to walk out with a diploma.
The worst part of my Penn State experience was the job search. I graduated with distinction and got excellent grades and did 2 internships and was having no luck finding a job in my field in this tight job market, so I called the Career Placement guy at PSU. What a mistake! He basically told me to try to brown-nose my way into a job by kissing up to all of my family, friends, and neighbors. He couldn't give me any REAL help to find a job. And to think I paid tuition for 4 years (which hiked about 13% annually without fail) to be told to put on a happy face, stop complaining about Penn State (which I NEVER will!), and become a professional brown-noser!
That's Penn State for you - at least the College of Comm. -
lots of flakey students who party their lives away (and can, because the Comm majors are ridiculously easy) and a philosophy to "networking" (a.k.a. brown-nosing) to find a real job - just a few months after they finally let you know what you'll be doing for the rest of your life!
By the way, I'm not one of those "flakey students" - I ended up in the College of Comm by accident when I realized I was trapped. Then my choice was to change to Education and be stuck at PSU for yet ANOTHER 4 years (on top of the 2 I already spent) or just get a degree in whatever would get me out FAST! (within 4 years) I think I would have majored in Basket Weaving at that point - anything to release me from the nightmare that was my college career. So I found a major that would get me out in 4 years and I took it!
Now that I have left Penn State forever and know what the "real world" is like, I feel that my life has just begun.