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Communication Course Descriptions

Communication core

27 credits:

COM 100   Introduction to Communication
3 credits
This course examines the history of communication including verbal, nonverbal and written forms. The curriculum covers various ways of studying communication processes, including communication models. Students are introduced to the application of basic communication concepts and theory in interpersonal, group, organizational, and mass communication contexts.

COM 102   Electronic Student Newspaper
1 credit
Students gain experience working on the publication of a newspaper, with the opportunity to serve in a number of capacities: news writing and reporting, feature writing, sports writing and reporting, layout and design, photojournalism, advertising sales, and management. (Repeatable for credit)

COM 202   Writing for Media
3 credits
This course introduces students to the principles of writing news in text form for web-based publications and as scripts to be used in broadcast-style reports via the web, television, or radio. In addition to news, public relations writing – in the form of news releases and public service announcements (PSAs) – and advertising writing is covered.

COM 232   Public Speaking
3 credits
A course applying traditional rhetoric and communication theory to oral presentations. Students study, write, deliver, and evaluate public speeches. Emphasis is placed on the students’ ability to speak from an outline in a variety of situations including informative speaking, persuasive speaking and demonstration speaking. All presentations are made in class and videotaped to aid in evaluation.

COM 302   Intercultural Communication
3 credits
This course develops intercultural communication competence through an exploration of cultures. Using a broad definition of culture, which includes norms, values, beliefs, art, music, and literature, students examine the world as a place of dynamic change and cultural interaction, increasing their need for intercultural sensitivity in general. Through both theory and personal experience, students examine how the various components of communication are affected by and interface with the intercultural experience. Service learning is a component of this course.

COM 333   Computer Applications for Communications
3 credits
The course introduces students to the use of computer programs for desktop publishing. Students design and produce various documents, including brochures, newsletters, etc. A thorough understanding of the elements of good design is stressed in the course through the application of both analytical and hands-on skills.

COM 400   Theories in Communication
3 credits
Prerequisite: COM 100
The purpose of the course is to provide students with an understanding of the background, principles and implications of theories of communication both generally and within specific communication contexts. Students compare the ways these differing approaches and theories influence the way people see and interpret behavior; and the ways these approaches and theories make differing predictions about human behavior.

COM 401   Legal Issues in Communication
3 credits
The course examines the development of the complex relationship of communication and the law to the present day, and covers a variety of free expression issues in contemporary society. The U.S. legal system itself is studied. Emphasis is placed on the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and on libel, privacy, and copyright law. The relationship between regulatory agencies and the Internet, journalism, entertainment, political communication, commercial speech, and the mass media in general is explored.

COM 405   Senior Seminar in Communication
2 credits
A seminar course that assesses communication majors’ and minors’ general integration of material covered by their course of study. Students demonstrate their competency in the field by completing a critical analysis paper or public relations analysis, or creating an experimental training program. Discussion focuses on current communication research that forms the basis for students’ projects and papers. Students also create a professional portfolio, conduct a job search, and make an oral presentation.

COM 497   Internship
1-3 credits
A learning approach that integrates college studies with paid, practical work experience that is directly related to the communication major. Students earn credit for internship work experience. Opportunities for internships exist in business, industry, government, and service agencies.

Organizational communication emphasis

15 credits:

COM 321   Organizational Behavior and Communication
3 credits
The course provides a broad overview of the theoretical and conceptual issues relevant to organizational communication. The focus is on how communication operates in organizations, the impact of communication on organizational life, and how communication can be made more efficient and effective in meeting personal and organizational goals.

COM 322   Argumentation and Persuasion
3 credits
The course utilizes classical and contemporary methods of logical reasoning, emotional appeal, and ethos as persuasive techniques to teach students problem analysis, research of evidence, and formulation and defense of one’s position on an issue. Students write and present position papers on contemporary issues; analyze advertising, mass media techniques of persuasion, and political rhetoric; and explore the ethical issues surrounding the use of persuasion and propaganda in conveying messages. In the process, the course helps students become rational decision-makers who are able to defend and debate their positions on critical issues. Students are assessed on both written and oral skills.

COM 324   Interpersonal Communication
3 credits
The course examines the basic principles and theories of interpersonal communication. Students study and practice basic principles for effective interpersonal communication. Study includes language, perceptions, values, culture, nonverbal communication, and self-concept and listening and their effects on communication.

COM 334   Discussion and Small Group Interaction
3 credits
With emphasis on practical application, the course focuses on the theories and dynamics of group decision-making. Various processes are explored along with leadership responsibilities and analysis of group effectiveness.

COM 410   Listening
3 credits
A seminar course which focuses on improving overall communication competence, by honing students’ listening skills in a variety of contexts both professional and personal.  Attention will be paid to both theory and practice of listening with particular attention to the HURIER model.

3 credits from the following:

COM 420   Professional Presentations
3 credits
Prerequisite: COM 232
This course focuses on building students’ presentation skills in a variety of professional settings, including training, advocacy, and sales. Individuals and teams design professional-length presentations involving the use of visual and audio aids, written materials for the audience, and computer-generated graphic presentations. Students develop proficiency in the critique and analysis of professional presentations.

COM 431   Training and Assessment in Communication
3 credits
With an emphasis on practical application of communication theory, students use a variety of assessment and experiential training models to enhance organizational communication. Students assess organizations, and plan and deliver experiential training modules in real-world settings. Students learn and apply leadership and facilitation skills. (The course is recommended for juniors and seniors who have completed COM 232 Public Speaking or COM 101 Fundamentals of Communication.)

3 credits:

MGT 213   Principles of Management
3 credits
Prerequisite: ENG 105 or ENG 230
A systematic analysis of the management process involving an integration of classical, behavioral, and modern contemporary philosophies. The importance of relating the theoretical principles of planning, organizing, leading, and controlling to practical experience is featured.

Public relations and strategic communication emphasis

21 credits:

COM 210   Mass and Digital Communication
3 credits
This course deals with the influence of mass media on people’s personal lives, corporate environments and the government. It studies the interrelationship of the mass media with individuals and society. The interaction of media with legal, political, cultural, economic, and social forces and trends is examined. Study of the structure and practices of the media industries includes consideration of regulation, news coverage, advertising and public relations, government, and technology.

COM 215   Introduction to Public Relations
3 credits
Students will be introduced to the profession of public relations — its practice, history, and legal and ethical issues. This includes how to communicate with various publics (community, consumers, employers, government, the media) for various purposes (education, political and social action, community relations, issues, and crisis management). Students will be encouraged to explore how public relations is practiced in their own disciplines.

COM 315   Public Relations Writing and Practice
3 credits
Prerequisites: COM 202, COM 215
Students will learn the theories and principles of good public relations writing and practice. This includes how to develop, write and present press releases, reports, speeches, newsletters and brochures, advertisements, papers and letters, and give interviews. Students also will learn theories of persuasion, practical legal and ethical concerns, and how to conduct and evaluate research. (Course may serve as an upper-level journalism writing elective.)

COM 412   Digital Communication
3 credits
Prerequisite: COM 333
Students will write, edit and create content for the digital communication world.  This course provides an advanced-level opportunity to practice and polish the related skills of reporting, writing and editing for multimedia platforms.  Students will learn advanced newswriting with a focus on feature writing and investigative reporting, as well as advanced-level digital production skills for creating websites, social media tools and working with different file formats.

COM 416   Crisis Communication
3 credits
Taking a service-learning approach, the course will explore approaches to communicating with various publics, legal issues and mandates for public knowledge, ethical issues and extensive understanding of strategies, planning and implementation of crisis communication efforts.

MKT 201   Principles of Marketing
3 credits
Prerequisite: ENG 105 or ENG 230 or appropriate English placement test score
A general overview of the scope and significance of marketing both domestically and internationally. The course emphasizes the marketing of consumer and industrial goods and analysis of the marketing mix variables of product, price, promotion, and place. It introduces marketing policies and practices of business firms.

PHI 315   The Media and Identity
3 credits
Prerequisite: PHI 130 or PHI 132
This course integrates philosophical analysis with cultural and media studies in order to examine the profound cultural role that the media play in shaping individual and social experience—how media production, content and reception affect the way in which we think, understand ourselves, perceive the world and live from day to day in an environment which is largely media-constructed. Through the application of critical thinking and various theoretical perspectives, we investigate how media representations significantly contribute to the formation of identities, values, beliefs, assumptions, social institutions, and social practices. Specific attention is given to (1) how various media forms and genres—such as television, film, the internet, art, advertising, news reporting, music recording—produce and communicate meaning; and (2) how audiences receive, interpret, and respond to media-generated content.

1995

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