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Department Courses


COM 101: Introduction to Communication

Survey of the field of Communication within a variety of contexts including: Interpersonal, Group, Organizational, Mass Media, Intercultural, and International Communication.

COM 102: Advertising & Society

This is a survey course that follows the advertising industry from the early days of the Industrial Revolution through modern social media campaigns. There will be a strong emphasis on the cultural and societal effects of advertising messages on mass markets. There will also be a focus
on advertising as a form of social communication, which has embedded impacts on socio-economic, political, and global communication. Students will acquire skills in media literacy and ethical reasoning with respect to advertising campaigns. By the end of the course students will be able to identify the current challenges to consumers and the advertising industry.

COM 103: Introduction to Public Relations

This course is a survey of the principles and practices in public relations.  Students gain an understanding of the history, development, and globalization of PR, the impact of PR criticism, the techniques and tactics of PR practitioners.  They learn the concepts of “publics” and professionalism.  Special emphasis is placed on the comprehension of the laws and ethics mandated for the PR industry and the goals and objectives necessary to the future credibility of PR.

COM 104: Interpersonal Communication

Students in this class will discover how to effectively communicate in everyday relationships; through the study of both theoretical frameworks and practical application. Topics will include: Self-perception, cultural influences, verbal and nonverbal messages, conflict management, as well as an in-depth look at communication within the family unit, friendship, romantic partners, and the workplace.

COM 105: Media Literacy

Media Literacy prepares students to better understand the 21st century media environment. Topics covered include media form, media content, media effects and influence, and media industries. There will be a particular focus on developing stronger critical and analytical skills to better use media for personal and professional benefit. We will investigate media through several perspectives with a concentration on how media works and how to better navigate and manage the information we receive.

COM 109: Speech Fundamentals

This course introduces the fundamentals of organizing, outlining, and presenting narrative, informative, and persuasive speeches. Specific attention is given to each student’s verbal and nonverbal delivery in the communication of ideas, as well as to the development of creative abilities, critical insights and listening skills.

COM 111: Introduction to Journalism

Instruction and practice in reporting and writing news stories across multimedia platforms. Topics include new media, writing, reporting, interviewing, researching, news judgment, Associated Press style, media ethics and media law. Students utilize computers in the classroom to research topics and complete assignments on deadline. The culmination of the course is an e-portfolio that utilizes a basic content management system and combines written articles with original photography. A one-time commitment of 3 hours of newspaper production is required.

COM 112: Advanced Journalism

Instruction and practice in news reporting, computer-assisted reporting and writing techniques. Specialized topics include profile writing, government meetings, statistics/budgets, police, weather, tragedies, global issues, news conferences, speeches, media ethics and media law. Students utilize computers in the classroom to research topics and complete assignments on deadline. New media is incorporated throughout the semester. A one-time commitment of 6 hours of newspaper production on campus is required.

COM 115: Introduction to Mass Media

Introduction to Mass Media is a survey course focusing on the history and consequences of mass media for the individual, society, and culture. Specific areas of emphasis include the historical development of media forms, theories concerning the effects of media, and the evolving future of media. Special attention will also be paid to current events in the media and their social consequences.

COM 120: Broadcast Journalism

Instruction and practice in broadcast reporting, writing and editing. Students utilize traditional broadcast skills within a multimedia environment. Topics include broadcast writing techniques and style, newscast organization, photojournalism, social media, new media, broadcast stories for online journalism, media ethics and media law. Students write broadcast scripts, maintain blogs and produce timed newscasts.

COM 209: Editing and Publication Design

Instruction and practice in copy editing, layout, design, headline writing, photo editing, news evaluation, media ethics and media law. The culmination of the course is the creation of a newspaper page featuring original stories, original photography and original design. Students utilize computers, Adobe Photoshop and Adobe InDesign to complete assignments, and they help produce the student newspaper.

COM 230: Communication Internship

The Communication Internship offers practical experience working part-time for an approved communication agency, organization or business under the supervision of a Communication faculty member. Alternatively, it can be used to complete a significant research project under the guidance of a Communication faculty member.

COM 234: Introduction to Film

Through the study of representative major works of world cinema, students are introduced to the history and development of film as a creative medium of artistic expression and mass communication. Topics include production practices, cinema as an industry, the relationship between history and cinema, the psychology of cinema, and socio-cultural factors related to cinema.  Students are encouraged to approach film analytically and critically, to consciously examine the language and aesthetic forces of cinema, and to expand cinematic interest into realms beyond Hollywood mainstream productions.

MED 114: Media Aesthetics

Media Aesthetics looks at the importance, influence and meaning of visual images designed for use in electronic media. Through current and historical examples, students learn the principles and significance of media aesthetics including light and color, space and structure, time and motion, and sound, and how they are used to optimize effective communication. Students learn how aesthetic elements of television and multimedia have been translated into vectors—forces that push or pull users in certain directions. Operationally, students learn how to interpret, order, clarify and intensify various communications including fiction, by applying appropriate aesthetic principles. Comparisons between television and multimedia images are closely examined. Students may apply knowledge of media aesthetics by producing projects using broadcast and digital media facilities.

MED 117: Introduction to Broadcasting

This course offers an historical and content analysis approach to the study of broadcast and narrowcast communications. Included will be the research and study of systems, regulations, program genres, social effects on audiences, and the future of the industry. This will be accomplished via lectures and discussions, handouts, reading assignments and in-class viewing and listening as well as viewing and listening assignments.

MED 211: Television Production 1

This course introduces students to the basic operation of a television studio and the production process. Students learn techniques and develop skills in various studio functions including camera, switching, sound, lighting, teleprompter, scriptwriting, and directing. Collaboration and teamwork are emphasized.

MED 212: Television Production 2

Students employ skills learned in Television Production I and learn advanced production skills including studio and remote producing, remote-location video shooting, digital editing, advanced special FX generation and switching, and set design via a “live on tape” production of an actual television program.