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Provided by @CPRSNational

Many members and student members of local CPRS Societies across the country are the graduates of almost 50 public relations (PR) and communications management (CM) programs in Canada. Practitioners are earning public relations diplomas, certificates, degrees and masters of communication across the country. With the number of programs and graduates increasing in Canada, CPRS has taken an important step towards being more involved in post-secondary public relations education.

For three years the CPRS National Council on Education, academic and professional public relations community have worked together to develop Pathways to the Profession™: An Outcomes Based Approach Towards Excellence in Canadian Public Relations and Communications Management Education.

As an advocate for the PR industry, CPRS acknowledges that the profession has an interest in how future practitioners are taught. With the development of the Pathways program, there is an opportunity to strengthen the partnership between industry, the academic community and graduates. The Pathways takes a modern, forward-looking approach to PR education, focusing on what students will contribute to the workforce upon graduation.

Pathways to the Profession™ also provides post-secondary institutions an opportunity to become formally recognized by CPRS for a period of five years. Academic institutions considering developing a PR or CM program will be able to create their curriculum with the Pathways guidelines as a tool to ensure that their programs produce highly skilled public relations practitioners.

Pathways to the Profession™ offers an educational framework for public relations programs which Canadian post-secondary institutions can follow,” said Colleen Killingsworth MCM, APR, FCPRS, Presiding Officer, National Council on Education. “For years we’ve heard about the importance of having a standard approach to educating up-and-coming public relations professionals. It’s a great feeling to finally have a document in place to help facilitate this.”

The Pathways’ aim is to balance the similarities of programs across Canada with the unique elements that each educational institution offers. Whether students are looking to get into the industry at a junior level or if professionals are interested in pursuing public relations at the scholarly level, there’s a pathway available to reach those goals. Pathways to the Profession™ is broken down into five different pathways: technical, career, management, leadership and scholar. For more information on all five pathways, please visit Pathways to the Profession™.

“This is an incredibly important step for public relations education in Canada,” said Amy Thurlow APR, PhD, Chair, Department of Communication Studies, Mount Saint Vincent University, Halifax, N.S. “We recognize that this commitment by the profession of public relations and communications management to academia will not only benefit students and employers, but also the profession as a whole.”

By developing Pathways to the Profession™, the Canadian Public Relations Society has positioned itself as the leading advocate for public relations and communication management education in Canada.