Catalog
2014-15

Communication

Dr. Thom Gencarelli
Chair of the Department

The Communication Department seeks to provide students the opportunity:

  • To understand and appreciate the power of language, image, and presentation in shaping private, public, and corporate opinion;

  • To learn to apply language, image, and presentation in a broad range of critical and cultural areas; and

  • To become ethical professionals in the broad areas of mass communication.

Majors

Students planning to major in the department must consult with the Chair by no later than their sophomore year. Transfer students with a background in communication must consult with the Chair and may present a portfolio of written and production-based work.

Requirements for a Major

33 credits including COMM 101 Introduction to Mass Communication to be completed during the first year, COMM 201 Ethics in Mass Communication to be completed by sophomore year, COMM 301 Media Theory and Research to be completed by junior year, and COMM 409 Senior Seminar to be completed during senior year. All Communication majors must also select a concentration as their main area of study within the department as early as possible and take five required courses in that area. In addition, they must take two elective courses from any area presuming the proper prerequisites. It is expected that students will apply for an internship, which may serve as one of their electives.

The four areas of concentration are:

  1. Advertising
  2. Broadcasting/Telecommunications
  3. Journalism
  4. Public Relations

Students must take the following in their concentration:

Advertising

COMM 216Introduction to Advertising3
COMM 230Advertising and Communication Research3
COMM 304Digital Storytelling3
or COMM 305 Digital Print Design
or COMM 306 Web Design
COMM 315Media Planning and Buying3
COMM 414Advanced Advertising Strategies3

Broadcasting/Telecommunications

COMM 223Introduction to Broadcasting3
COMM 304Digital Storytelling3
COMM 308Studio Television Production3
COMM 350Field and Post-production3
COMM 419Advanced Television Production3

Journalism

COMM 209Introduction to Journalism3
COMM 213Reporting and Newswriting3
COMM 304Digital Storytelling3
COMM 318Advanced Reporting and Newswriting3
COMM 330The Journalistic Tradition3

Public Relations

COMM 217Introduction to Public Relations3
COMM 304Digital Storytelling3
or COMM 305 Digital Print Design
or COMM 306 Web Design
COMM 307Writing for Public Relations3
COMM 320Strategic Planning in Public Relations3
COMM 420Advanced Public Relations3

Additionally, Communication majors are required to minor in a relevant discipline. The rationale behind this requirement is that work in the information industries is not only about producing content for audiences, readers, and users, but, more importantly, about the nature of that content and its purpose. Students must therefore seek to develop expertise in a specific content area.

Requirements for a Minor

A minor in Communication consists of 15 credits. Students must take:

COMM 101Introduction to Mass Communication3
COMM 201Ethics in Mass Communication3
COMM 301Media Theory and Research3
Electives. After completing the above three courses, minors may take any Communication course for which they have met the prerequisite.6
Total Credits15

 The minor contract should be signed before registration for the second semester of the Junior year and must be approved by the Chair.

Grade and Transfer Credit Requirements

Majors and minors must attain a minimum grade of C in all Communication courses. A maximum of three courses/nine credits from a communication or related department will be accepted for transfer from another institution.

Communication Concentrations

Advertising

Required Courses:

COMM 216Introduction to Advertising3
COMM 230Advertising and Communication Research3
COMM 304Digital Storytelling3
or COMM 305 Digital Print Design
or COMM 306 Web Design
COMM 315Media Planning and Buying3
COMM 414Advanced Advertising Strategies3

Recommended Electives:

COMM 110Public Speaking and Presentation3
COMM 209Introduction to Journalism3
COMM 214Magazine Writing3
COMM 217Introduction to Public Relations3
COMM 223Introduction to Broadcasting3
COMM 271International Mass Communication3
COMM 304Digital Storytelling3
COMM 305Digital Print Design3
COMM 306Web Design3
COMM 316Scriptwriting3
COMM 340Media Criticism3
COMM 371Intercultural Communication3
COMM 375Internship for Juniors3
COMM 400Political Communication3
COMM 406Mass Communication Law3
COMM 422Organizational Communication3
COMM 423Programming3
COMM 461Independent Study in Communication3
COMM 470Special Topics in Communication3
COMM 475Internship for Seniors3

Broadcasting/Telecommunications

Required Courses:

COMM 223Introduction to Broadcasting3
COMM 308Studio Television Production3
COMM 316Scriptwriting3
COMM 350Field and Post-production3
COMM 419Advanced Television Production3

Recommended Electives:

COMM 100Television Production Company1
COMM 110Public Speaking and Presentation3
COMM 271International Mass Communication3
COMM 304Digital Storytelling3
COMM 306Web Design3
COMM 317Audio Production3
COMM 335Electronic Journalism3
COMM 340Media Criticism3
COMM 360Corporate Video3
COMM 371Intercultural Communication3
COMM 375Internship for Juniors3
COMM 400Political Communication3
COMM 406Mass Communication Law3
COMM 423Programming3
COMM 461Independent Study in Communication3
COMM 470Special Topics in Communication3
COMM 475Internship for Seniors3

Journalism

Required Courses:

COMM 209Introduction to Journalism3
COMM 213Reporting and Newswriting3
COMM 304Digital Storytelling3
or COMM 305 Digital Print Design
or COMM 306 Web Design
COMM 318Advanced Reporting and Newswriting3
COMM 338Feature Writing3

Recommended Electives:

COMM 110Public Speaking and Presentation3
COMM 214Magazine Writing3
COMM 271International Mass Communication3
COMM 304Digital Storytelling3
COMM 305Digital Print Design3
COMM 306Web Design3
COMM 335Electronic Journalism3
COMM 336Sports Reporting and Writing3
COMM 340Media Criticism3
COMM 371Intercultural Communication3
COMM 375Internship for Juniors3
COMM 400Political Communication3
COMM 406Mass Communication Law3
COMM 461Independent Study in Communication3
COMM 470Special Topics in Communication3
COMM 475Internship for Seniors3

Public Relations

Required Courses:

COMM 217Introduction to Public Relations3
COMM 304Digital Storytelling3
or COMM 305 Digital Print Design
or COMM 306 Web Design
COMM 307Writing for Public Relations3
COMM 320Strategic Planning in Public Relations3
COMM 420Advanced Public Relations3

Recommended Electives:

COMM 110Public Speaking and Presentation3
COMM 120Forensics/Debate3
COMM 216Introduction to Advertising3
COMM 271International Mass Communication3
COMM 304Digital Storytelling3
COMM 305Digital Print Design3
COMM 306Web Design3
COMM 340Media Criticism3
COMM 360Corporate Video3
COMM 371Intercultural Communication3
COMM 375Internship for Juniors3
COMM 400Political Communication3
COMM 406Mass Communication Law3
COMM 422Organizational Communication3
COMM 461Independent Study in Communication3
COMM 470Special Topics in Communication3
COMM 475Internship for Seniors3

Communication Courses

COMM 100. Television Production Company. 1 Credit.

This one-credit course is open to non-majors and is offered as a vehicle for students to produce a series of television programs during the semester for possible air on MCTV. The format and length of the programs may vary. This course does not carry credit toward the major.

COMM 101. Introduction to Mass Communication. 3 Credits.

A survey of the major fields of mass communication, their history and evolution, with emphasis on new media and on the way media function in modern society.

COMM 102. Quadrangle I. 1 Credit.

Basic elements of the news story, with emphasis on writing accurate, vivid campus news. Introduction to journalism ethics, news-gathering techniques, and copy-editing. By permission of instructor.

COMM 103. Quadrangle 2. 1 Credit.

Survey of methods for writing features, investigative reports, editorials, and sports, with emphasis on documenting campus events and issues. By permission of instructor. Prerequisite: COMM 102.

COMM 104. Quadrangle 3. 1 Credit.

An internship with the campus newspaper, the Quadrangle, in which students work in editorial positions and with the paper's advisor. Development of editing and newswriting skills. Requires attendance at staff and editorial board meetings. Prerequisites: COMM 103.

COMM 110. Public Speaking and Presentation. 3 Credits.

Basic principles of oral communication before audiences in a variety of settings, with emphasis on informing and persuading. Attention to research, rhetoric, logic and the use of technology to enhance public presentation. Prerequisite: Open only to COMM majors and minors.

COMM 120. Forensics/Debate. 3 Credits.

An introduction to strategies of argumentation and persuasion in oral presentation. Emphasis on competitive debating. Prerequisites: COMM 101 and COMM 110, or permission of the Chair.

COMM 201. Ethics in Mass Communication. 3 Credits.

A survey and analysis of major ethical and legal issues in the mass communication industry, its business and production practices, and its content. Emphasis is on case studies from the industry. Prerequisite: COMM 101.

COMM 209. Introduction to Journalism. 3 Credits.

A study of the print journalism industry in the United States, including the history and purposes of journalistic practice, the present-day workings of the profession and how the developments of electronic journalism and the Internet continue to impact and transform the role of journalism in political, civic, and social life. Prerequisites: COMM 101.

COMM 213. Reporting and Newswriting. 3 Credits.

A study of basic procedures and techniques of reporting, writing, and editing the news with emphasis on developing clear, vigorous writing. Background readings in the media and American society. Writing is limited to relatively basic stories: accidents, conferences, interviews. Prerequisite: COMM 209.

COMM 214. Magazine Writing. 3 Credits.

Problems and methods in design, topography, and editing in magazine productions. Students learn how to research, write and market quality articles in magazine format. Prerequisite: COMM 213.

COMM 215. Introduction to Advertising and Public Relations. 3 Credits.

An introduction to the development of advertising and public relations as media practices and industries in the United States. Includes an analysis of the history and development of each, current practices and techniques from both a theoretical and a practical perspective, and the impact of and trends resulting from the introduction of new media. Prerequisites: COMM 101.

COMM 216. Introduction to Advertising. 3 Credits.

This course teaches the role of advertising in socio-economic environs, its social and ethical implications in the current environment of marketing and promotions, and its basic function in the enhancement of the value of goods and services. Course content is organized to broaden students' theoretical knowledge, sharpen reading and writing skills, and hone analytical thought. Prerequisites: COMM 101.

COMM 217. Introduction to Public Relations. 3 Credits.

The purpose of this introductory course is to orient students to the field of public relations, introduce theoretical and practical considerations that form the basis of the field, and provide a platform upon which to understand the market sectors that employ public relations professionals. The course includes an introduction to ethical standards that shape and govern the field, processes for conducting research and strategic planning in public relations, the mechanics of public relations writing, and the various "publics" of any organization including internal and external stakeholders. Prerequisites: COMM 101.

COMM 223. Introduction to Broadcasting. 3 Credits.

A study of broadcasting in the United States from its origins to the present. Radio and television history, development, and technology are emphasized as well as an analysis of the broadcasting industry from both a practical and theoretical perspective. Prerequisites: COMM 101.

COMM 230. Advertising and Communication Research. 3 Credits.

This course concentrates on the role of qualitative and quantitative research in advertising. Through the use of discussion, case studies and projects, the course focuses on how advertisers and agencies use quantitative and qualitative methods including surveys, questionnaires, focus groups, in-depth interviews, and ethnography to uncover consumer insights. The course investigates the design and execution of these various kinds of research techniques and is a foundation for students wishing to pursue a career in advertising research and planning. Prerequisite: COMM 216.

COMM 271. International Mass Communication. 3 Credits.

A study of the different types of mass media systems in the world, the media systems of the world's countries and territories, the ways in which globalization has affected mass media to bring about a global media culture, and the ramifications of global media culture for the future.

COMM 301. Media Theory and Research. 3 Credits.

This course examines core theoretical approaches to the study of mass media and communication and provides students with an historical and critical overview of theory and research on communication, everyday social practices, systems of representation, and media environments. The course includes discussions on research methods, including quantitative, qualitative, textual, and critical cultural studies. The class is designed as a prerequisite to Senior Seminar and culminates in a project proposal for the seminar course. Pre-requisite: COMM 101 and COMM 201.

COMM 304. Digital Storytelling. 3 Credits.

This course is designed to prepare students for professional work in a news organization that will require them to report stories in text, audio, and video formats. Coursework involves significant practice in producing print copy as well as gathering and editing audio and video content, all while learning how storytelling techniques change in each medium. Pre-requisites: COMM 209, COMM 216, or COMM 217.

COMM 305. Digital Print Design. 3 Credits.

Introduces students to fundamental components of writing, designing, and producing for graphic communication, including graphic design, color theory, digital typesetting, image manipulation, and aesthetics of form. Industry standard programs will be used as tools to shape ideas into visually engaging print and digital presentations. Pre-requisites: COMM 101.

COMM 306. Web Design. 3 Credits.

This course focuses on the developmental process of the Internet and the World Wide Web. The history of the technology and the strategies behind it will be covered, as well as HTML, the language of the Internet. The class will gain a greater understanding of the growing possibilities and advantages of using and communicating through interactive multimedia in the place of traditional media. Prerequisite: COMM 209, COMM 216, or COMM 217.

COMM 307. Writing for Public Relations. 3 Credits.

This course explores the various types of writing that are essential components of best public relations practices. The course is structured to include progressive assignments that culminate in a writing portfolio. Prerequisite: COMM 217.

COMM 308. Studio Television Production. 3 Credits.

The elements of television production techniques including camera, audio, lighting, staging, graphics, on-camera appearance, and directing. Prerequisite: COMM 223.

COMM 315. Media Planning and Buying. 3 Credits.

An introduction to media planning and buying in and among all media formats. Focus is placed on the analysis of media vehicles as advertising venues, as well as on the analysis and development of target audiences and target markets, media objectives and strategies, and media plan construction. Prerequisite: COMM 230.

COMM 316. Scriptwriting. 3 Credits.

Planning and writing concepts for radio and television broadcasting in a variety of program areas. Prerequisite: COMM 223.

COMM 317. Audio Production. 3 Credits.

Techniques for audio engineering/processing and sound design for television production. Prerequisite: COMM 223.

COMM 318. Advanced Reporting and Newswriting. 3 Credits.

Students learn to handle complex, intellectually demanding material involving the real and pressing problems that exist in the world around them. Prerequisite: COMM 213.

COMM 320. Strategic Planning in Public Relations. 3 Credits.

This course focuses on the process of strategic planning within the public relations field, including the writing of plans, strategic relationships with upper management, and the forming of relationships with the media for mutual advantage. This practical course examines the fundamental processes inherent in best practices in public relations, taking a long-term, strategic view of tactics, tools, and campaign planning. Prerequisite: COMM 217.

COMM 330. The Journalistic Tradition. 3 Credits.

An upper-level course designed to show aspiring journalists the historical and sociological frameworks of great journalism. They will explicate iconic works by famous journalists who practiced in a range of genres, and try their hand at replicating the forms of inquiry and narrative structures they see. They will finish the course with a final research paper that requires qualitative analysis. Pre-requisite: COMM 209.

COMM 335. Electronic Journalism. 3 Credits.

This course focuses on broadcast journalism and news writing for radio and television. Both hard and soft news writing and broadcast news editing are emphasized, as well as an overview of the role of the electronic news media in American society. Prerequisite: COMM 223.

COMM 336. Sports Reporting and Writing. 3 Credits.

This course is an introduction to sports journalism. A study of basic procedures and techniques of sports reporting, writing, and editing for both print and electronic media will be emphasized. Prerequisite: COMM 213.

COMM 338. Feature Writing. 3 Credits.

Methods of researching and writing feature stories and commentary for the print media. Markets open to freelance writers, published articles, newspaper feature sections, and Sunday supplements. Prerequisite: COMM 213.

COMM 340. Media Criticism. 3 Credits.

A critical analysis of the mass media including major theories and research in the field. The course explores media institutions, content, and economic structure, and also offers an in-depth investigation into media effects and influence on individuals, society, and culture.

COMM 350. Field and Post-production. 3 Credits.

An introduction to the equipment, techniques, and practices of electronic field production (EFP) and electronic news gathering (ENG), as well as to non-linear editing equipment and techniques used to produce packages using footage collected in the field. Prerequisite: COMM 308; open only to broadcasting/telecommunications concentration students.

COMM 360. Corporate Video. 3 Credits.

An introduction to the role and purpose of video production in corporate communication, including types of productions, their purpose, and how they are conceived and shaped for intended audiences. Basic productions will be carried out by the class. Prerequisite: COMM 216 or COMM 308.

COMM 371. Intercultural Communication. 3 Credits.

A study of the basic principles of intercultural communication and the impact of culture on one's perceptions, beliefs, meanings, and communication.

COMM 375. Internship for Juniors. 3 Credits.

Students participate in an off-campus training experience closely related to their area of communication. Frequent meetings with the advisor plus a paper are required. Prerequisites: Junior status, 3.0 GPA, and permission of the student's advisor or the Chair.

COMM 400. Political Communication. 3 Credits.

Examines from a theoretical and practical standpoint the planning, execution, and evaluation of communication strategies in modern political campaigns.

COMM 406. Mass Communication Law. 3 Credits.

A course designed to cover the chief legal issues, especially in the regulated broadcast industries. Some legal problems to be considered: libel, national security, the meaning of the First Amendment, privacy, shield laws, the press and the courtroom, the Federal Communications Act, and the FTC versus the advertising industry.

COMM 409. Senior Seminar. 3 Credits.

Students will select a topic in their area of concentration, culminating in a major paper involving original research and an oral presentation in front of the class illustrated by audio-visual accompaniment. Prerequisite: Senior Status.

COMM 414. Advanced Advertising Strategies. 3 Credits.

Focuses on advanced issues in advertising and brand strategy development. Study and analysis of existing advertising campaigns, writing of creative and strategic briefs, and the planning, research, and presentation of a campaign are some areas that are explored. This course also explores new strategies for building relationships with consumers in a multicultural society. Prerequisite: COMM 315.

COMM 419. Advanced Television Production. 3 Credits.

Practical discussion of techniques in TV production. Practical experience is offered to improve lighting, proper use of special effects, and advanced graphics. Creativity is encouraged, utilizing the abilities acquired in television production. Prerequisite: COMM 350; open only to broadcasting/telecommunications concentration students.

COMM 420. Advanced Public Relations. 3 Credits.

The primary intent of this course is to examine public relations from a communicative perspective, integrating theory and practice. In doing so, students will participate in traditional class lectures and will be involved in all phases of the planning, implementation, writing for, and evaluation of a "real life" PR campaign and/or event. Pre-requisites: COMM 307 and COMM 320.

COMM 422. Organizational Communication. 3 Credits.

The organizational structure of a company will be explored with emphasis on practical experience in interviewing, resume writing, audio-visual usage, symposia, and sales presentations. Field visits are included in the course.

COMM 423. Programming. 3 Credits.

Examines philosophies and techniques used in programming television and radio stations and networks. The organizational set-up of programming departments, development of competitive strategies for radio and television schedules, and insights into audience behavior and measurement are emphasized. Prerequisite: COMM 223.

COMM 461. Independent Study in Communication. 3 Credits.

Independent study is designed for the student majoring in Communication with demonstrated proficiency to work independently on a project related to an area of communication and approved in advance by the Chair and the project advisor. Frequent meetings with the advisor are required. Independent study is not typically offered for production-based projects. Prerequisites: Junior status and a 3.0 GPA.

COMM 470. Special Topics in Communication. 3 Credits.

This course deals with a topic in communication to be announced. Each topic is selected by the department and is in a specialized area. The course is offered as demand warrants. See the Chair for topics, prerequisites, and other details. This course can be repeated under different topics.

COMM 475. Internship for Seniors. 3 Credits.

Students participate in an off-campus training experience closely related to their area of concentration. Frequent meetings with the advisor plus a paper are required. Prerequisites: Senior status, 3.0 GPA, and permission of the student's advisor or the Chair.

Speech Courses

SPCH 204. Fundamentals of Speech. 3 Credits.

The techniques and preparation of informative and persuasive short speeches, and small group dynamics. Assessment of personal speech skills for effectiveness and self-improvement. Not open to students who have taken COMM 110.

Back To Top