Courses in Communication Studies

COMM 100: Public Speaking (3)
This course helps students develop the basic skills necessary for speechmaking.  Special emphasis is placed on learning how to organize, research, and support arguments; developing critical listening skills; and developing increased confidence and competence in oral presentations.

COMM 200: Oral Interpretation (3)
This course helps students develop oral presentation skills through the reading of  poetry, prose, and dramatic dialogue to improve vocal quality, projection, and enunciation for teaching, for the stage, or for other professional use.

COMM 210: Publishing Practicum (1)
Supervised practical experience contributing to the publishing processes of the print and/or online editions of two journalistic student publications (The Highland Cavalier newspaper and The Outpost yearbook). With approval from the instructor, course participants may focus their contributions in one or more of the following areas: reporting and writing, editing, photography, graphic design, advertising sales, and marketing. Students receive grades based on the quantity and quality of their contributions to these publications as well as their ability to consistently meet deadlines.

COMM 300: Advanced Public Speaking (3)
Prerequisite: Speech 101 or permission of instructor
This course focuses on more complex speaking tasks such as impromptu speaking, presenting formal business proposals, and making persuasive appeals.  Students are expected to have already overcome basic speech anxiety and have a working knowledge of the basics of public speaking.

COMM 310: Introduction to Journalism and Media Writing (3)
Provides course participants with a solid understanding of how to gather factual material from a wide range of sources and combine it into a clear, coherent, and complete news article. Students learn to report and write hard news stories and several variations thereof. Topics include backgrounding, interviewing, inverted pyramid style, lead construction, headline construction, style and stylebooks, beat reporting, media law, media ethics, and introductory publication design. In addition, students explore differences between print, online, and broadcast journalism and conduct an introductory investigation into non-journalistic forms of media writing for radio, television, and film.

COMM 311: Advanced Print Journalism (3)
Prerequisite: COMM 310 or permission of instructor
Advanced training in reporting and writing for print media with primary emphases on feature writing, opinion writing, copyediting, and fact-checking for magazines and newspapers. Topics include basic and advanced techniques of feature writing, in-depth personality profiles, essay writing, travel writing, opinion and editorial writing, and advanced reviewing techniques. Course participants also receive advanced training in publication editing and design and conduct a thorough investigation of influences on various types of journalistic message content.

COMM 312: Advanced Writing for Radio-Television-Film (3)
Prerequisite: COMM 310 or permission of instructor
Advanced training in writing journalistic, documentary, and dramatic creations for radio, television, and film. Early meetings enable course participants to prepare a range of news and nonfiction offerings for radio and television. Later meetings teach students to write a feature- length dramatic screenplay for television or film, from concept generation to treatment, step outline, and their own individual acts. Course participants receive feedback on their efforts from the instructor and their peers at every step along the way. They learn the importance of rewriting, achieve critical understanding of devices used regularly by media professionals, and explore social and ethical responsibilities associated with broadcast media writing in the (post)modern age.

COMM 320: Media Studies (3)
An introductory investigation into the history, values, processes, and effects of American mass media, with particular emphasis on film and television offerings and their relationships to print and online media forms. Course participants explore, from a cultural studies perspective, phenomena associated with the production, dissemination, and reception of media messages and their impact on individuals, institutions, and cultures. Film and television screenings comprise an essential component of this course.

COMM 321: Film Analysis (3)
Prerequisite: COMM 320 or permission of instructor
An overview of various approaches to film analysis and sophisticated film criticism, all of them defined by their careful attention to the cinematic text. Course participants acquire extensive experience in the close analysis of film as an expressive medium. Early course meetings are devoted to in-depth examination of the elements of film form and style (including narrative and stylistic elements, motifs, temporal order and duration, mise-en-scene, cinematography, editing, sound, authorship, and genre), providing students with the necessary terminology and analytical skills to effectively analyze films. Later meetings focus on the representational and ideological strategies of various films and the likely social ramifications of those strategies. Film screenings comprise an essential component of this course.

COMM 322: Film and Video Production Techniques (3)
Prerequisite: TH7R 250 or permission of instructor
Provides course participants with a hands-on introduction to film and video pre-production, production, and post-production processes and techniques. In a supportive workshop environment, students receive training in concept generation, storyboarding, and basic script form, and they gain practical experience in producing, directing, lighting, shooting, and editing an actual video field production. Emphasis is placed on effective incorporation and application of technical and theoretical principles, relevant aesthetic and narrative approaches, and traditional storytelling techniques.

COMM 330: Interpersonal Communication (3)
This course provides students with a theory-based examination of one-on-one communication starting with the impact of self-concept and perception through communication in various relationships.

COMM 340: Business and Professional Communication (3)
Explores techniques of effective written and verbal communication as they pertain to business and professional settings. Working in groups, course participants form their own "companies" for the semester and complete a range of assignments stemming naturally from such an organizational environment. Topics include advertising history and theory, public relations history and theory, diffusion theory, media training, business messages, report writing, resume writing, and interviewing strategies. The guiding belief underlying the overall course design is that a fulfilling college course not only exposes students to essential content, but that it also challenges them to think critically, apply theory, solve typical problems, develop innovative strategies, and effectively evaluate options.

COMM 350: Communication Theory (3)
Prerequisite: COMM 330 AND PSYC/SOCI 303 or permission of instructor
This course provides students with a detailed examination of the theories and rules that govern communication interactions.  The course will cover the dominant paradigms that govern the development of communication theory and the most prominent theories in communication research.

COMM 387 & 388: Cooperative Education (1-6)

COMM 396: Special Topics (1-6)

COMM 400: Persuasion (3)
Prerequisite: PSYC/SOCI 303 or permission of instructor
This course provides students with an advanced examination of the components of effective persuasion.  This writing intensive course will examine persuasion in historical, mass media, and interpersonal contexts.

COMM 420: Screen Media Theory and Criticism (3)
Prerequisite: COMM 320 or permission of instructor
Provides students interested in media studies and popular culture with an in-depth exploration of the way scholars and theorists from 1895 to the present have thought about film and television and their respective media texts. Course participants receive a historical overview of film and television theory and criticism from the earliest days of these two influential media forms to the early 21st century. Developing forms of new screen media are also discussed. Film and television screenings comprise an essential component of this course.

COMM 430: Nonverbal Communication (3)
Prerequisite: COMM 330 or permission of instructor
This course provides students with an in-depth examination of the study nonverbal communication.  From evidence based on systematic study, the course covers the variables involved in nonverbal communication ranging from gestures and facial expression to aesthetics.

COMM 431: Family Communication (3)
Prerequisite: COMM 330 or permission of instructor
This course provides an in-depth analysis of the multiple roles communication plays in families.  This reading-intensive course focuses on the role of communication from a developmental and systemic perspective in traditional and alternate family forms.

COMM 440: Organizational Communication (3)
Prerequisite: COMM 330 or COMM 340 or permission of instructor
This application-oriented course provides students with an advanced understanding of the theories, practices, and problems of communication in an organizational environment.

COMM 491: Senior Seminar I (1)
Discussions leading to the writing of a paper using critical analysis. (Dual listing with ENGL 491)

COMM 492: Senior Seminar II (2)
Prerequisite: Successful completion of COMM 491
Discussions leading to the writing of a paper using critical analysis. (Dual listing with ENGL 492)

COMM 487, 488: Cooperative Education Project II (1-6)

COMM 493 & 494: Internship in Communication (1-6)
This course offers students a supervised field experience in an area of interest in the field of communication.

COMM 496: Special Topics (1-6)

COMM 497: Independent Study in Communication (3-6)
This course offers students an opportunity to work with a faculty member to gain an in-depth understanding of a specific topic in mass communication, interpersonal communication, or business communication.