2019-2020 Catalogue

Communications (COM)

COM 210 Effective Speaking     (3 credits)

Pre-Req: Expository Writing I.

Success in every aspect of business life, from interviewing to meetings to giving reports and presentations, and from sales to management to client relationships in accounting and finance, all depend on the ability to speak confidently and effectively project oneself and one's message. Developing these skills strengthens presentations in other classes as well. These skills consist of techniques and tools for developing, organizing and delivering a variety of stong presentations. Covers effective use of PowerPoint and other visual aids, and methods for overcoming stage fright and anxiety about public speaking.

Focus: CI

COM 298 Experimental Course in Com     (3 credits)

Pre-Req: Expository Writing I.

Experimental courses explore curriculum development, with specific content intended for evolution into a permanent course. A topic may be offered twice before it becomes a permanent course. Students may repeat experimental courses with a different topic for credit.

Focus: CI; DIV; INTL

COM 299 Experimental Course in Comm     (3 credits)

Pre-Req: Expository Writing I.

Experimental courses explore curriculum development with specific content intended for evolution into a permanent course. A topic may be offered twice before it becomes a permanent course. Students may repeat experimental courses for credit with a different topic.

Focus: INTL

COM 311 Money, Power, Communication     (3 credits)

Pre-Req: Expository Writing I.

Musicians have sung about it; filmmakers have documented it; even video games like "The Sims" have said something about the struggle over money and power – who has it, who needs it, and what it can be used for. This course uses a mixture of films, games, lectures, class discussions and exercises to examine this struggle – particularly through mass communication. By drawing on examplesfrom a variety of media, the course will illustrate not just how we commonly view money and power but also how we relate our perceptions of those things to other categories such as gender, race and sexuality.

Focus: CI; DIV


COM 320 Intercultural Communication     (3 credits)

Pre-Req: Expository Writing I.

This course explores theories of intercultural communication and the way in which specific cultural knowledge informs communication. The class will consider the ways race, class, ethnicity, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation and age affect communication within (domestic) and across (international) cultures. The course readings are drawn from a wide variety of sources. Some take a broad view and are theoretical. Others relate a piece of cultural knowledge or practice that has the potential to impact intercultural communication in a variety of ways. The class will view videos and occasionally listen to music as additional means of understanding some of the multiple ways different cultures go about communicating similar issues and tasks. The class involves a great deal of participation, and regular reflection on readings and experiences.

Focus: CI; INTL


COM 321 Mass Communication     (3 credits)

Pre-Req: Expository Writing I.

Through printed texts and film, radio and television broadcasting, and electronic information networks, mass communication plays a central and worldwide role in distributing both information and ideas. Focusing primarily on electronic and print media, this course surveys the major theoretical perspectives on three aspects of mass communication: the means of production, the form and content of mass media messages, and the reception and use of those messages by audiences.


COM 322 Theories of Persuasion     (3 credits)

Pre-Req: Expository Writing I

The study of persuasion, or rhetoric, began in a society with no lawyers, ancient Greece. Much has changed since then, including the shift from face-to-face persuasion and negotiation to the introduction of writing and then mass media, and with it, new forms of persuasion including advertisement. The course covers all these forms and topics such as the relation between truth and rhetoric,and between form and content, and the psychology of persuasion. Students may analyze persuasive strategies used in advertising, literature, political/legal discourse, and science and technology.

COM 324 Design as Communication     (3 credits)

Pre-Req: Expository Writing I

Visual elements can persuasively communicate a given message, emotion or feeling to a targeted audience. This course focuses on the cumulative effect of typography, color, photographic images and layout. Students also examine the interaction of visual images with written copy, and their combined effect on a message. While this course focuses on print media, students are encouraged, where applicable, to generalize from the print medium to visual images in the electronic media.

COM 328 Writing and Design for Multimedia     (3 credits)

Pre-Req: Expository Writing I.

This course provides an introduction to media writing for digital environments, with specific emphasis on news stories, feature packages, web pages and blogs. Students learn about the history of the Internet, the impact of hypertext and multimedia on storytelling, the development of network digital information production/retrieval environments, the forms and practices of writing for a webpage, and principals of information architecture. Activities occur in the classroom and in a web-based online lab.

Focus: CI


COM 390 Special Topics in Language Studies and Communication     (3 credits)

Pre-Req: Expository Writing I

Explores a special topic, theorist or theme in language studies and communication. (Allows repetition for credit.).

COM 401 Directed Study     (3 credits)

A Directed Study is designed for highly qualified students who, under the directionof a member of the sponsoring academic department, engage in an agreed upon,in-depth independent examination, investigation or analysis of a specialized topic.

COM 410 Communication Research Design     (3 credits)

Students learn to research issues in the field of communication, concentrating on the tools used in applied and basic communication research, with special attention given to developing research questions and objectives. The course explores a variety of research methodologies, including surveys, interviews, computerized literature searches, experimental designs and textual analyses. Students design and implement their own research projects and report the results.

COM 411 Research Project     (3 credits)

Students select, in consultation with the departmental advisor, a topic related to communication or literary studies. They undertake both bibliographical and field research, as appropriate, and prepare a substantial documented report.

COM 421 Internship in Communication     (3 credits)

Internships permit students to integrate conceptual knowledge with practical experience, allowing them to participate in career-related employment associated with their academic interests. Internships help students apply theory to workplace challenges, test career options, strengthen skills, learn more about their values and interests, and make the transition to the world of work. Tuition is charged for this class.