Department of Communication

Department Head: Dr. Christopher McCollough

3rd Floor, Merrill Hall

Provisionally Accredited by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (ACEJMC)

The Communication curriculum focuses on developing well-rounded communication professionals capable of interpreting and meeting the challenges of an exciting, ever-changing industry. The Social Media Age requires professionals who are capable of gathering and packaging information for multi-media formats. Media professionals need a broad background and general education, as well as hands-on skills with new technologies. The ability to express oneself effectively is particularly important for students in a communication program who hope to become working professionals in the various communications industries. Therefore, satisfactory speaking, writing, and computer skills are mandatory.

COM 200  Introduction to Mass Communication  (3)  

A survey of the mass media and their interrelationship with each other and society. Emphasis will be placed on how mass communication functions in a multi-ethnic, multicultural, gender-diverse environment. Includes perspectives on the history and role of professionals and institutions in shaping communication.

COM 205  Introduction to Broadcast Writing  (3)  

Basic writing for electronic media. Includes news, short television scripts, features, public service announcements, and advertisements. Emphasis placed on how persuasive messaging is filtered through - and shaped by cultural imperatives - and by multi-ethnic, gender-diverse writers.

COM 301  Introduction to Television Production  (3)  

Practical training in television studio techniques, including various exercises in each production area. Includes introduction to both small scale (video podcast) and larger scale producing, writing and directing, including working with audio, FHD and UHD video and virtual sets.

COM 302  Introduction to Audio Production  (3)  

Prerequisite(s): COM 205 or COM 315.

Introduction to audio concepts and production methods for a variety of media venues. Includes recording, editing, basic multitracking, sound effects, and music selection for satellite and terrestrial radio, as well as other media opportunities. Diverse and inclusive techniques will be used.

COM 304  Introduction to Advertising  (3)  

Basic concepts of advertising, including history, strategy, engagement, segmentation, evaluation, and ethics.

COM 305  Advanced Audio Production  (3)  

Prerequisite(s): COM 302.

Affords the students the opportunities to deepen their skills in the recording, editing, and mastering of audio for various media venues. Students will choose one of three "tracks" of interest that permits them to either: 1. Work alongside video production and editing students in a post-production environment to "sweeten" audio tracks; 2. Record and produce multitrack tracks for a contemporary musical or spoken work CD; or 3. Record and produce a series of complete radio commercials of varying length for selected local merchants.

COM 306  Sport Communication  (3)  

This course serves as a foundation to the study of sports media, with an emphasis placed on public relations and broadcasting. An analysis of major concepts and theories as well as an examination of contemporary sports issues, philosophies, and cases. This course will provide professional pathways.

COM 307  Media Literacy  (3)  

Learn analytical and critical skills to develop an awareness and understanding of the effects of media, including profit and emotional strategies, portrayals of diversity, stereotypes, love, myths, and other issues.

COM 315  Introduction to News  (3)  

Prerequisite(s): EH 101, EH 103, or EH 105; EH 102, EH 104, or EH 106.

Fundamentals of news reporting, writing and copy editing for digital media, dealing with modern newsroom issues, including diversity, community involvement and convergence. Requires out-of-class assignments.

COM 316  Podcasting  (3)  

This class will focus on the creation process and production aspect of one of the fastest growing aspects of audio production - Podcasting. This will primarily be a hands-on course. Students will learn the proper way to use the equipment (mixers, microphones, computer based audio capture software), how to format their recordings into a cohesive form for broadcasting (writing compelling material, voicing and recording the main program, and adding sound effects and music), as well as how to "polish" their finished product for broadcasting and internet production.

COM 317  Editing  (3)  

Prerequisite(s): COM 315 or COM 205.

Teaches skills for copy editors and others in the processing of news, features, and press releases. Students learn to question statements of fact, challenge assumptions, edit for length, taste, ethics, and libel while correcting errors of both grammar and style, according to the Associated Press Stylebook.

COM 320  Video Production and Editing  (3)  

Videography emphasizing field production and introduction to editing and post production provided with edit suites or straight from the student's laptop. Cameras and other loaner equipment provided. Students produce, direct, write, shoot, and edit individual productions. Productions involving diversity issues are required.

COM 325  Publication Design  (3)  

Arranging and editing text, photographs, graphics and other materials from diverse sources for digital media.

COM 330  Introduction to Public Relations  (3)  

Basic concepts of public relations, including history, theory, organization and ethics. Writing emphasized. Major issues include diversity and inclusiveness in communication and public relations.

COM 340  Public Relations Writing  (3)  

Prerequisite(s): COM 330.

The development of professional public relations writing skills. Effective methods of conceptualizing, researching and presenting information to the relevant publics. Major issues include diversity and inclusiveness in communication and public relations.

COM 345  Social Media Strategy  (3)  

An overview of the application and context of theoretical and practical approaches to social media.

COM 350  Announcing  (3)  

Fundamentals of voice and diction applied to audio and video media delivery. Includes commercials, news, interviews, and ad-lib announcing for traditional broadcast and digital platforms.

COM 358  Communication Theory  (3)  

Theories of the processes and effects of mass communication, including the discussion and analysis of research findings on race, gender, and ethnicity. Also deals with numbers for journalists - basic math and statistics for journalists.

COM 380  Communication Law (WI)  (3)  

Study of legal systems of state and nation as related to media, including libel, privacy, copyright, access, contract, and First Amendment issues. Emphasis on gender, religion, ethnic diversity, and sexual orientation issues as they apply to communication law. (Writing Intensive Course)

COM 385  Multimedia Design  (3)  

Prerequisite(s): COM 301 or COM 302, COM 325, and COM 375.

Students will practice and develop the skills necessary for planning and producing effective multimedia programs. They will be introduced to planning strategies, production techniques, and software involved in multimedia production. Each student will demonstrate basic proficiencies across a wide spectrum of multimedia. Emphasis will be on visual, audio, and typographic design as well as the appropriateness of these elements for specific goals. The use of advanced electronic technologies will also be emphasized. Through a series of individual component assignments, students will develop a capstone multimedia presentation to be included in their portfolio.

COM 395  Ethics and Global Journalism (WI)  (3)  

The ethical foundations of the media and their interrelationships with the public and the government. The range of systems of freedom of expression around the world and their ethical implications. The diversity of peoples and cultures and the ethical significance of mass communications in a global society. (Writing Intensive Course)

COM 397  Advanced Video Production  (3)  

Prerequisite(s): COM 320.

This course will develop and deepen video production skills with an emphasis on video post-production. Adobe After Effects and Photoshop and Audition Integration will be explored. Chroma Key, Keyframing, masking and other advanced techniques will be explored.

COM 400  Public Relations and Advertising Case Studies  (3)  

Prerequisite(s): COM 330.

Through the analysis of real-life cases, the role of public relations and advertising strategies for message development and construction between an organization and its diverse stakeholders is explored.

COM 404  Media Workshop  (1)  

Prerequisite(s): Approval of instructor.

Supervised assignments demonstrating development of high-level competencies and skills in various areas of the media.

COM 405  Media Workshop  (1)  

Prerequisite(s): COM 404 and permission of instructor.

Supervised assignments demonstrating development of high-level competencies and skills in various areas of the media.

COM 406  Media Workshop  (1)  

Prerequisite(s): COM 405 and permission of instructor.

Supervised assignments demonstrating development of high-level competencies and skills in various areas of the media. This course can be taken concurrently with COM 407, if necessary.

COM 407  Advanced Media Workshop  (1)  

Corequisite(s): COM 406; and permission of instructor.

Prerequisite or Advanced assignments demonstrating development of higher-level competencies and skills in various areas of media.

COM 408  Advanced Media Workshop  (1)  

Prerequisite(s): COM 407 and permission of instructor.

Advanced assignments demonstrating development of higher-level competencies and skills in various areas of media. This course can be taken concurrently with COM 411.

COM 410  Media Features (WI)  (3)  

Prerequisite(s): COM 315.

Principles and practices of writing features. Requires out-of-class assignments. Major subjects include diversity and inclusiveness in journalism and mass communication. (Writing Intensive Course)

COM 411  Advanced Media Workshop  (1)  

Corequisite(s): COM 408 and permission of instructor.

Prerequisite or Advanced assignments demonstrating development of higher-level competencies and skills in various areas of the media.

COM 412  Digital Media Analytics  (3)  

Prerequisite(s): COM 200 and MS 110, MS 204, or ST 260, or permission of the instructor.

Students will learn data-driven decision-making; learn to assess metrics, and distill digital data for maximum value from R&D to customer service to social media marketing; use analysis to craft experiences that will reflect individual customer's needs, expectations, and behaviors; measure digital media ROI: sales, leads, and customer satisfaction and learn to track performance of paid, earned, and owned digital channels in addition to the use of other advanced tools for measuring consumer influence.

COM 415  Mass Communication Research  (3)  

Prerequisite(s): MS 110, MS 204, or ST 260.

Fundamentals of research methodologies in mass communication. Prepares students to become familiar with, and develop the understanding and ability to apply social science research concepts to mass communication problems. Major topics to include, among others, sampling, survey research, basic statistics, and diversity issues in mass communication research.

COM 420  Advanced Reporting  (3)  

Prerequisite(s): COM 315, COM 317, and COM 410.

News gathering and writing for the digital media with emphasis on deadline and beat reporting. Copy editing is included as are modern newsroom issues, such as diversity and community involvement. This is a capstone course - a culminating experience that integrates coursework, knowledge, skills and other experiences in digital journalism. It serves as a venue for learning outcomes assessment.

COM 430  Strategic Media Writing  (3)  

Prerequisite(s): COM 304, COM 330, and COM 340.

Instruction and practice designed to develop creative and persuasive messaging techniques used in integrated strategic communication, including extensive practice in professional writing for print, electronic, web, and social media platforms.

COM 440  Campaign Management: Public Relations & Advertising  (3)  

Prerequisite(s): COM 304, COM 330, COM 340, COM 380, COM 395, COM 400, and COM 415 or COM 412.

The capstone course in PR and Advertising where students develop objectives, planning, messaging, and creative media promotion through participation in research, planning, presentation, and problem-solving techniques to effectively address public relations issues, including diversity in communication. Students will engage in public relations and advertising campaign management. The course serves as a means of assessing program learning outcomes.

COM 445  Media Management  (3)  

This course will familiarize students with a range of traditional media business models and ownership structures as well as examine the rapid changes and new media business opportunities across the industry brought by the convergence of traditional, digital, and social media, and the waning and limitations of traditional advertising and delivery models. Students will be introduced to issues of leadership and human resource management including diversity, equity, and the continuing role of media outlets in the communities they serve.

COM 470  Advanced Electronic News  (3)  

Prerequisite(s): COM 320, COM 380, COM 395, and COM 412 or COM 415.

Principles and practices for gathering, writing, reporting and producing news for electronic media. Requires out-of-class assignments. This is a capstone course - a culminating experience that integrates coursework, knowledge, skills and other experiences in broadcast journalism. Major subjects include diversity in communication. It serves as a venue for the learning outcomes assessment.

COM 475  Directed Study  (3)  

Prerequisite(s): Approval of instructor.

Supervised study permitting students to pursue specific areas of interest in communication.

COM 491  Internship  (3)  

Prerequisite(s): Broadcasting - COM 205, COM 301, COM 302, COM 404, and COM 405; Digital Journalism - COM 315, COM 325, COM 375, COM 404, and COM 405; Public Relations/Advertising - COM 304, COM 325, COM 330, and COM 340.

Supervised on-the-job experience with an appropriate media facility.