Among the department's most popular courses is COM 505: Internship in Communication. Designed to reflect the internship standards of the experiential learning division of the National Communication Association, COM 505 enables students to search and secure internships at PR agencies and public affairs departments, local newspapers, as well as radio and television stations. Interns complete online discussions and writing assignments asking them to reflect on their experience and discover how their classroom learning is applicable in the workplace.
Why wait until senior year to get hands-on real-world experience? Embedded throughout many of our courses are opportunities for students to work with real community partners and clients to expand their learning outside the classroom and deepen their knowledge beyond the textbook. Through service-learning opportunities communications students are able to apply the concepts the learn in the classroom to a real-world context with real outcomes and benefits for their target audience. Examples of partnerships include media projects with the Salem Public School District, news reporting with the Salem News and the creation of press releases and brochures for local non-profits.
The EXPECT program, COM507 and COM510, is a capstone-level experience for graduating seniors in public relations and advertising to gain professional experience working with real clients in a semester-long team-based creative project. This class provides students the opportunity to work in teams and put their learning to use for a real client. This experience breaks down traditional classroom walls and takes students out into the field to not only learn about, but to start doing their career. This course is limited to communications majors with a concentration in PR or advertising.