Date Presented

Spring 5-15-2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Communication Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Jeremy Langett

Second Advisor

Dr. Laura Kicklighter

Third Advisor

Dr. Jimmy Roux


This study applies Situation Crisis Communication Theory (SCCT) to the crisis responses of independent college and state flagship universities to determine what strategies most effectively reach campus audiences and influence their COVID-19 attentiveness. This study mainly looks at one institution within each of the previously mentioned categories and compares their general messages regarding COVID-19, how it fits with SCCT, and if any other methods within the SCCT could have been more effective. A subsection within this paper includes looking at public commentaries made by audiences associated with the institutions of study (i.e., parents, alumni, and students) and evaluating their comments using a sentiment analysis to gauge public opinion as positive, negative, or neutral regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. The findings show that the small independent institution communicated less frequently than the state-flagship universities but utilized more methods of communication under the SCCT when communicating with its publics.