Twenty professionals from across Texas and the nation graduated this summer from the Certified Public Communicator® Program at TCU. About 30 other professionals are currently enrolled in the CPC program and will graduate later this year or in summer 2020.
The CPC program has been working for more than seven years with communicators from cities, counties, school districts and other public-sector agencies.
“Most jobs in cities and counties have some graduate-level certification, and it made sense that the communication role should, too,” said Jacqueline Lambiase, Ph.D., professor and director for the CPC program.
With this in mind, TCU and the Texas Association of Municipal Information Officers co-founded the program at TCU in 2013, which, to date, has awarded 136 certifications to communication professionals hailing from organizations across 13 states.
“The idea to create a certificate program jump-started an 18-month-long discussion with TAMIO’s membership,’’ Lambiase said, “to determine what they needed to elevate themselves—and their role—within their professional space, with a goal of making their organizations better.”
Communication is an essential function following a natural disaster or other major emergencies, and public information officers must provide both accurate and timely information to residents during times of crisis to ensure public safety. Lambiase and other communication professors at TCU combined their public relations, advertising and marketing expertise to launch the residential program, where professionals get to network, engage in a year-long process of professional communication planning, and learn from one another.
“The Schieffer College of Communication teaches excellence in outreach and storytelling, and this program continues that mission in professional spaces,” Lambiase said. “We infuse the curriculum with experiential learning and discussion, helping students build plans based on theory, case studies, metrics, and their own research.”
The CPC program is a 95-hour graduate-level leadership program that focuses on effective communication planning and management. The program is accepting applications for the 2020 group, which encompasses two summers (one week each in 2020 and 2021), plus a two-day winter session.
The CPC program partnership includes TCU’s Department of Strategic Communication in the Schieffer College and TCU Extended Education, as well as four professional organizations: the Texas Association of Municipal Information Officers, the National Association of County Information Officers, the Texas School Public Relations Association and the City-County Communication and Marketing Association.
New 2019 graduates include:
Jeffrey Allen, City of Fort Worth
Bill Begley, Houston Airport System
Jerry Cantu, Northwest ISD (Texas)
Lacey Douglas, Workforce Solutions for Tarrant County
Helen Dulac, City of Dallas
Julie Goodgame, City of Tyler
Yvonne Harris, Humble ISD (Texas)
Amanda King, City of Fort Collins, CO
Jake Kurz, Uplift Education (Dallas)
Erin McCann, Crandall ISD (Texas)
Jeff Montgomery, Athens-Clarke County, GA
Laurie Mullens, City of Highland Village
Sarah Greer Osborne, City of League City
Laura Prater, City of Mansfield
Jason Reynolds, City of Nassau Bay
Melanie Thomas, Texas Municipal Retirement System
Kristen Waggener, City of Bryan
Jenny Wells, City of Tyler
Debbie Wilmot, City of Lafayette, CO