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Communications

COM 100: Media in Our Lives

This course is an examination of the effect and impact of media on contemporary life and society. The course covers both the historical evolution of media as well as contemporary developments, controversial issues, and trends. The course examines communication theories and models, historical and contemporary research, the media industries, and media law and ethics. Three lecture hours per week. Required of all Communications majors.

Credits: 3.00

COM 105: Precision Writing in Communications

Student will develop essential knowledge of, and practical experience applying, written English-language skills that underpin the media and communication discipline. The course will help students develop writing skills across a broad range of topics for a variety of platform and audiences. Three lecture hours per week. Required for Communications majors.

Credits: 3.00

COM 201: Introduction to Communications

This course examines key concepts of the mass media, tracing the evolution and history of major media institutions, from the invention of the printing press to the Internet and emerging media technologies and systems. Studying the media from multiple perspectives, students will become more media literate and sophisticated in their assessment of its influence on the global community. Three lecture hours per week. Required in the Communications major and minor.

Credits: 3.00

COM 202: Writing for Media

This course will be an introduction to the research, planning, writing, and editing processes in media, emphasizing print, audio and visual mediums. Primary topics will include varieties of styles from objective to persuasive, combining verbal and visual communications, logical and psychological development and persuasion, and aesthetic and ethical considerations. Three lecture hours per week. Required for B.S. in Communications Majors.
Prerequisite: W-I course.

Credits: 3.00

This course fulfills these general education curriculum requirements: Written Communication-Level II

COM 205: Computer Production in Communications

This course will involve the application of computer programs to the design and development of communication materials on Macintosh computers. Students will be introduced to computer software for word processing, spreadsheets and statistical software, web design and presentation software, and desktop publishing. Students will apply this knowledge be producing such communication materials as flyers, brochures, web sites, and other visual presentations. Techniques for printing materials accurately will be covered. Issues related to computer capabilities and limitations, usage, and societal impact are also discussed. This course may be used to satisfy computer literacy requirements. Limited to Communication majors and minors or other students with permission of department chair. Three lecture hours per week. Offered fall and spring.

Credits: 3.00

COM 206: Mass Media and Society

This course offers an exploration of the role of the mass media in today's society from a cultural studies perspective. Issues surrounding gender, race, and class are given special emphasis; other categories, such as age, family, and ability, are also considered. Attention is given to various theories that explain the relationship between mediated depictions of society and cultural ideas about different groups within society. Three lecture hours per week.

Credits: 3.00

This course fulfills these general education curriculum requirements: Contemporary Society

COM 210: Technology for Communications

This course instructs students in the digital dissemination of communications materials. The three tracks of journalism, advertising and public relations are used to provide context for understanding how and why these technologies are being applied in communications-related fields. Three lecture hours per week.

Credits: 3.00

COM 220: Media Literacy

In this course students will use a critical perspective to become informed consumers and creators of media texts--to access, analyze, evaluate, and communicate information in print, electronic and digital formats. Issues discussed in class will address topics like the social impact of popular culture, influence of advertising on media content, mass media as a global industry, how to read the news, and media as a source of information and entertainment. Three lecture hours per week.

Credits: 3.00

This course fulfills these general education curriculum requirements: Contemporary Society, Pers Growth & Responsibility

COM 235: Multimedia Storytelling

This course prepares students to a variety of media, including text, image, video, audio, and interactive platforms to tell stories across the communication discipline. Students will learn the fundamentals of storytelling, and will plan and complete projects applying these principles using a variety of digital tools. The course will also help students understand how effective storytelling works to inform, persuade and engage audiences. Three lecture hours per week.

Credits: 3.00

COM 250: Engaging Your Audiences

This course focuses on further developing students' visual literacy and knowledge of imagery and design to tell stories; how to gather, analyze and present quantitative and qualitative data; and the foundational theories and practices of audience engagement. Through experiential learning, students will further develop multimedia storytelling skills while also exploring the key ways to reach, inform and engage readers, viewers and listeners in an increasingly online and convergent media environment. Three lecture hours per week.
Prerequisite: COM235. Required for all Communications majors.

Credits: 3.00

COM 260: Professional and Online Communication

This course focuses on an introduction of forms and techniques in professional communication environments including the three-step method to organization/creation of presentations, oral and online presentations, business letters, resumes, interview skills, reports, and business vocabulary. We will also examine the fundamental elements of synchronous and asynchronous communication with emphasis on interactive experiences as well as clear and consistent message construction. Written assignments will serve as the primary evaluation method for this course. Utilizing a draft/revision process, students will demonstrate critical thinking skills relevant to the course materials. Students must be comfortable working independently in a variety of online formats including online learning systems, social media, and multimedia websites. This course satisfies the oral communication core requirement. Three lecture hours per week.

Credits: 3.00

This course fulfills these general education curriculum requirements: Oral Communication

COM 300: Communication Research Methods

This course provides students with a foundation in the research methods commonly used in advertising, public relations and journalism. Students will be introduced to the attitude necessary for scientific inquiry in the social sciences, as well as the capability to read and understand research reports based upon quantitative and qualitative methods, including sampling, surveys, experiments, content analysis, focus groups and critical analysis. Students will design, administer and interpret several such research tools. Required for Communications majors. Three lecture hours per week.
Prerequisite: COM100.

Credits: 3.00

COM 301: Studio Production I

The course is designed to provide experiences and develop skills in the production of video content. Students will be given opportunities to plan, direct, and produce video content using studio production systems. Students will pursue topics of their own interests in the liberal arts or professional studies. Not open to students who have received credit for MEC350. Three lecture hours per week.

Credits: 3.00

COM 302: Video Field Production

This course, based on techniques utilized in digital media production, involves the planning and production of video content with portable electronic field production equipment used on location. Included will be training in the principles and techniques of video editing and digital-based systems. Not open to students who have received credit for MEC351. Three lecture hours per week

Credits: 3.00

COM 304: Mass Media and Society

This course offers an exploration of the role of the mass media in today's society from a cultural studies perspective. Issues surrounding gender, race, and class are given special emphasis; other categories, such as age, family, and ability, are also considered. Attention is given to various theories that explain the relationship between mediated depictions of society and cultural ideas about different groups within society. Three lecture hours per week.

Credits: 3.00

This course fulfills these general education curriculum requirements: Contemporary Society

COM 305: Communications: Problems of Law and Ethics in Media

This course will deal with the moral and legal problems encountered by mass media since the invention of the printing press. Attention will be given to landmark events and to the historical, political and technological developments which gave rise to them. Emphasis will be placed on: the concept of legal precedent; those assumptions about the nature of man on which moral judgments are made; the evolution of libertarian thought from the First Amendment to the present. The course will rely heavily on case studies. Three lecture hours per week.
Prerequisites: COM100, COM105.

Credits: 3.00

COM 309: Editing

This course will introduce students to the theory and practice of editing for various media. Practical editing assignments will include copy and text editing, editing for print and electronic media, layout, writing headlines and cutlines, placing art and photography, as well as consideration of legal and ethical issues. Three lecture hours per week. Required for Communications majors. Limited to Communications majors and minors.
Prerequisite: COM105.

Credits: 3.00

COM 315: Communication Theory

In this course we will examine ways of understanding human communication behavior from both scientific and humanistic perspectives, with applications to mass communications and social interaction. Major communication theories will be evaluated and debated. Three lecture hours per week.
Prerequisite: COM100.

Credits: 3.00

COM 316: Communications in the Global Village

This course is about communicating with diverse audiences. It provides theoretical foundations for understanding diversities based in language, culture, and identity and demonstrates applications in the areas of journalism, advertising, and public relations. Students will engage critically with the process of multicultural and global communications through analysis and discussion of examples across different media texts. Three lecture hours per week.

Credits: 3.00

This course fulfills these general education curriculum requirements: World Cultures

COM 320: Principles of Advertising and Integrated Marketing Communications

This course will examine both the management and creative processes of techniques and issues in advertising as part of integrated marketing communications. Course discussion will also include social, economic and ethical aspects of advertising and the creative processes of copywriting, art, print design, and all advertising platforms. Three lecture hours per week. Limited to Communications majors and minors.
Prerequisites: COM105 and COM235 or permission of Department Chairperson.

Credits: 3.00

COM 321: Print Copywriting

This course will deal with the planning, writing and editing of advertising copy for print media. Copy will be related to overall design, and assignments will be produced using computer layout applications. Three lecture hours per week. Required for Communications majors and minors in Advertising Communications. Limited to Communications majors and minors.
Prerequisite: COM235, W-I course or permission of Department Chairperson.

Credits: 3.00

This course fulfills these general education curriculum requirements: Written Communication-Level II

COM 325: Sports Writing

This discussion and writing course encourages students to develop contextual understanding of sporting activity and provides opportunities for students to practice writing about sports. Skills stressed in this course include determining newsworthiness of developments in the sports world, crafting stories with proper structure and style and editing one's work with an eye toward publication. Three lecture hours per week.
Prerequisite: COM105.

Credits: 3.00

COM 333: U.s. Media History

This course examines the history of the U.S. media and media institutions, situating them in the context of broader U.S. political, cultural, and technological developments, while also emphasizing the media’s contributions in these areas. Students will learn to access historical sources and apply historical methods to the study of media texts and institutions. The course considers the colonial era to the present day, encompassing developments in mass media (including newspapers, advertising, magazines, radio, and television) and social media.
Three lecture hours per week.

Credits: 3.00

This course fulfills these general education curriculum requirements: The Human Past

COM 349: Principles of Public Relations

This course is an introduction to the role, processes, and practices of public relations. The course will explore the concepts, theories, history, uses and techniques of public relations, as well as its foundation in rhetoric and ethics and its current applications, cases and controversies in a digitized, globalized world. Three lecture hours per week. Required of Communications majors in the Public Relations Concentration and minors in Public Relations. Limited to Communications majors and minors.
Prerequisites: COM202 and COM205, or permission of Department Chairperson.

Credits: 3.00

COM 351: Public Relations Writing

This course will deal with the written expression of public relations strategies, tactics and programs. Students will explore, produce, reflect on their own, and respond to the peer and instructor feedback on traditional written vehicles including news releases, pitch letters, reports and brochures, as well as new and emerging web-based and social media tools.. Three lecture hours per week. Required of Communications majors in Public Relations.
Prerequisite: COM349.

Credits: 3.00

This course fulfills these general education curriculum requirements: Written Communication-Level II

COM 370: Fundamentals of News Writing

This course covers the fundamentals of writing stories for print, digital, and emerging media. It will help students develop news writing skills across a broad range of topics for a variety of delivery platforms appropriate to both traditional and new journalism paradigms. Beat reporting, libel law, and ethical practices will also be addressed. Three lecture hours per week. Required for Communications majors in Journalism.
Prerequisites: COM105 and W-I.

Credits: 3.00

This course fulfills these general education curriculum requirements: Written Communication-Level II

COM 371: News Reporting and Writing

A continuation of COM370, this course focuses on developing students' investigative, interviewing, and technology-assisted reporting skills. Through experiential learning, students will develop proficiency in both spot news and longer-form news analysis about diverse communities in an increasingly online and convergent media environment. Three lecture hours per week. Required for Communications majors and minors in Journalism.
Prerequisite: COM370.

Credits: 3.00

COM 401: Studio Production II

This course covers advanced techniques in planning, designing and producing video content in the studio. It builds on the training and experiences developed in the prerequisites (COM301, Studio Production I and COM302, Video Field Production) courses. Emphasis will be placed on producing and directing responsibilities and techniques applied to institutional, corporate and community/cable television settings. Not open to students who have received credit for MEC450. Three lecture hours per week.
Prerequisites: COM301 and COM302.

Credits: 3.00

COM 402: Video Editing

The focus of this course is on the development of knowledge and skills for the recording and editing of materials in digital format. Students will create, record, and edit video footage using the digital camera and editing systems. This course builds on the processes acquired in the prerequisites (COM301, Studio Production and COM302, Video Field Production). Not open to students who have received credit for MEC451. Three lecture hours per week.
Prerequisites: COM301 and COM302.

Credits: 3.00

COM 421: Copywriting for Electronic Media

Using lectures and workshop experiences, this course involves students in the research, writing and editing of radio, television, and online advertising. Students will produce at least one audio and one video advertisement. Projects will be oriented around social marketing topics. Three lecture hours per week plus laboratory work outside of class. Required for Communications majors in the Advertising Communications concentration. Limited to Communications majors and minors. Not open to students who have received credit for COM491.
Prerequisite: COM321 or permission of Department Chairperson.

Credits: 3.00

This course fulfills these general education curriculum requirements: Written Commun-Level III

COM 450: Advanced Public Relations Writing

This course will deepen and broaden the traditional and web-based writing skills and knowledge of public relations concentrators. It will provide opportunities for students to move beyond introductory publicity and report writing. The course will cover the writing required for more challenging and complex organizational documents associated with marketing campaigns, issues management, crisis communication, speech writing, op editorials, and emerging social media tactics and tools. Students will explore, produce, and respond to their peer and instructor feedback to correct, refine and prepare them for professional PR writing environments. Three lecture hours or computer workshops per week.
Prerequisites: COM349 and COM351 or permission of Department Chairperson.

Credits: 3.00

This course fulfills these general education curriculum requirements: Written Commun-Level III

COM 456: Media Relations and Publicity

This course covers the essential principles and practices of media relations, which is the public relations specialty of creating, developing and maintaining successful professional, publicity-generating relationships with reporters, editors and producers of news across print and electronic media. Students will be required to write media relations-related documents, including pitch letters, media alerts and news releases; additional requirements include feature-story writing development and the ethical framing of problematic news. Limited to Communications majors and minors/Public Relations concentration.
Prerequisites: COM349 and COM351.

Credits: 3.00

COM 466: Crisis Communication in P.r.

This course covers the essential principles and practices of crisis communication. Crisis communication is the public relations specialty of anticipating, planning, organizing and communicating with the mass media and other organizational stakeholders about organizational crisis. Students will be required to learn the emerging theories guiding the ethics and strategies of crisis communication and to write critical documents, including crisis communication plans, news releases and position statements. Limited to Communications majors with a Public Relations concentration and Communications minors.
Prerequisites: COM349 and COM351 or permission of Department Chairperson.

Credits: 3.00

COM 470: Feature Writing

This course teaches students to research, write, and market innovative and dynamic longer stories for newspapers, magazines, and emerging delivery platforms in the digital media. Emphasis will be on how to locate and cultivate sources, conduct in-depth interviews, and pitch and market professional work. Three lecture hours per week. Required of Communications majors in the Journalism concentration.
Prerequisite: A W-I course, plus COM370 or permission of Department Chairperson.

Credits: 3.00

This course fulfills these general education curriculum requirements: Written Commun-Level III

COM 495: Special Topics in Communications

This seminar will focus on special topics related to the study of Communications. May be repeated for credit (with different topic) with permission of the Department Chairperson. Limited to Communications majors and minors, or with permission of Department Chairperson. Three lecture hours per week.
Prerequisites: A minimum of nine hours of previous coursework in Communications.

Credits: 3.00

COM 500: Directed Study in Communications

Independent projects for Communications majors under the supervision of a member of the Communications faculty. Open only to Junior or Senior Communications majors. Permission of the Department Chairperson is required.

Credits: 3.00

COM 501: Practicum in Print and Digital Journalism

Students will research, write, edit, and produce print and/or digital news and feature articles for on and/or off-campus news publications. Under the terms of a practicum contract with a supervising faculty member, students will meet with the faculty member by arrangement. Emphasis will be on creating articles in a combination of print, online, photographic, audio and video formats, and working to have those articles published. Students will be expected to pitch stories for publication using query letters, demonstrate an understanding of niche markets, and be familiar with other elements of freelance writing. Limited to communication majors and minors.
Prerequisites: COM302 or COM321 or COM351 or COM370

Credits: 3.00

COM 503: Communications Portfolio Seminar

This capstone course will focus both on helping students reflect on and critique their body of work in the major and assisting them in the formation of their professional identities. Using materials gathered from current and previous class assignments, publications, and internships, students will create a professional portfolio suitable for presentation at job interviews in the communications industry. Three lecture hours per week. Required for B.S. in Communications. Limited to Communications majors.
Prerequisite: Permission of Department Chairperson required.

Credits: 3.00

COM 505: Internship in Communications

A program designed to provide on the job experience and training in areas directly related to the student's academic concentration in Communications. Time and services will be arranged by a contract between the student, training site, and the Department. Required for Communications majors. Limited to Communications majors. The course may be repeated with the permission of the Department Chairperson for a maximum of six credits.
Prerequisites: Completion of/or completing all 300-level Communications courses, or permission of the Department Chairperson.

Credits: 3.00

COM 506: Independent Research in Media Studies

This course provides students with the opportunity to conduct an independent research project in an area of special interest in the field of Media Studies. The course is subject to the availability of a faculty member with expertise in the student¿s area of interest. The supervising faculty member will serve as the research director and meet regularly with the student. Designed to accommodate one or two semester projects, the course allows the student to earn up to 6 credit hours by enrolling for two semesters. Only three of those credits can be counted as the Major Capstone Course. The course is developed collaboratively between professor and student so that it may be tailored to the individual student¿s interest. Limited to Juniors and Seniors in the Media Studies Concentration.
Prerequisites: COM 300 and permission of department chairperson.

Credits: 3.00

COM 507: Experiential Learning in Advertising

This lecture and laboratory course involves hands-on work with clients from small businesses and non-profit organizations. Students collaborate to assist clients with their creative needs. Students analyze their team's creative process, and how it was affected by marketing, media, and creative considerations, as well as legal and ethical issues. This culminates in student-written case studies supported by a portfolio of work completed for the client. Three lecture hours per week. Limited to Communication majors concentrating in Advertising, or others, with permission of Department Chairperson. Limited to 10 students per semester. Not open to students who have completed COM412.
Prerequisites: Completion of all required 400-level Communication courses.

Credits: 3.00

COM 508: Travel and Study in Communications

In this study and travel course, students and faculty travel on a research trip to a location or set of locations appropriate to the course topic. The destination may be within the U.S. or an international destination. The topic varies. Variable credit (3-6 credits). May be repeated for credit with permission of Department Chairperson. Lab fee.
Prerequisite: COM 100.

Credits: 3.00 - 6.00

COM 510: Experiential Learning in Public Relations

This course will provide students with the opportunity to work directly in public relations teams with real-world clients to analyze the communications needs of organizations and apply the principles of Public Relations to develop effective client relationships and deliver traditional and emerging social media materials and tools as agreed upon by teams, clients and instructors. Three lecture hours per week. Limited to Communications majors concentrating in PR, or others with permission of Department Chairperson. Limited to 10 students per semester. Not open to students who have taken COM455.
Prerequisites: Completion of all required 400-level Communications courses.

Credits: 3.00

COM 700: Introduction to Strategic Communications

This course provides an overview of the best practices and approaches tor developing strategic solutions in the context of the communications industry. Students will investigate how organizations develop effective campaigns using data analysis, social media, research and planning.

Credits: 3.00

COM 710: Technology for Communications

This course helps students understand how new technologies impact communications. The three tracks of journalism, advertising and public relations are used to provide context for understanding how and why these technologies are being applied in communications-related fields. Basic computer skills and Internet knowledge required.

Credits: 3.00

COM 716: Communications in the Global Village

This course is designed to prepare students to communicate effectively and ethically across cultural and group boundaries in a media environment defined by digital convergence and global reach. We will explore the history of and theoretical literature about global communicaitons as well as discuss intergroup and intercultural dimensions that can create barriers to effective communication. This class will focus on applications of concepts to professional practice in communications.

Credits: 3.00

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