Department of Communication

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Douglas M. Gaerte, chair | James F. Wardwell, Associate Dean


Whether one seeks a career in broadcasting, journalism, public relations, advertising, government service, community development, law, business, teaching, or the ministry, the ability to communicate is essential. The communication major is an interdisciplinary program focusing on helping students become competent communicators. This involves the ability to analyze messages in both personal and public contexts, to recognize and choose among the various communication strategies that are available, and to use language and images to create messages that are sensitive to the audience and that help to solve real world problems.

Ryann Cooley Douglas M. Gaerte David M. Huth Daniel C. Minchen
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COMM 101 Presentational Speaking


Studies in the basic concepts of effective communication. Emphases on oral presentation skills, organization of information, use of evidence, and audience analysis. Deliver demonstrative, informational, and persuasive speeches. Community: Communication. Liberal Arts.

COMM 205 Introduction to Communication Theory


This course provides a foundation for subsequent communication courses by introducing the major theories that help to explain human communication behavior. The course encourages students to see theorizing both as a formal, systematic approach to learning and as an informal activity in which we all engage. Through practical application, the course emphasizes the understanding, evaluation, and use of communication theories in daily life. Community: Communication. Liberal Arts.

COMM 207 Introduction to Pro Tools


Introduction to Pro Tools sound & recording software. Foundational skills necessary to record, edit, and mix at basic level using a Digidesign Pro Tools system. Focus: fundamental tools and techniques through demonstrations, real-world examples, and frequent hands-on assignments. Successful completion prepares students to undertake Pro Tools 101 Degidesign Certification exam. This course has a lab fee. By permission of instructor.

COMM 208 Pro Tools Production I


Continued study of Pro Tools: expanding range of tools and techniques. Focus: expanded hardware and software configurations, developing versatile tools for manipulating and editing both audio and MIDI data, and implementing various techniques to facilitate larger and more sophisticated mixing scenarios, again through real-world examples and frequent hands-on assignments that will enhance your capabilities in all aspects of Pro Tools production. Successful completion prepares student to undertake Pro Tools 110 DigiDesign Certification exam. This course has a lab fee.

Prerequisite Courses: COMM 207

COMM 214 Introduction to Mass Media


Overview of the mass communication process and its application to mass media. Considers history, technological development, social implications, business functions, and legal aspects of mass media. Community: Communication. Liberal Arts.

COMM 215 Interpersonal Communication


Principles, application of interpersonal skills in the context of friendships and families. Includes personal and relational awareness, person perception, verbal and nonverbal communication, relational development, and gender communication. Community: Communication. Liberal Arts.

COMM 216 Organizational Communication


Development of communication skills applicable within organizations: understanding communication channels, interviewing strategies, task-oriented groups, business and sales presentations, conducting effective meetings, conflict management. Community: Communication. Liberal Arts.

COMM 218 Marketing Principles

4-S14, F15

Factors in product development, pricing, distribution, and promotion of consumer and business goods and services.

COMM 224 Time, Motion, and Communication


This course is an introduction to the foundational concepts of communications design in which time is an important formal element. Studio work will explore ways that images and design change over time in ways that enhance narrative or interactive communication: time and motion explored as formal properties; history of time-based communication and interactivity; extensive studio work developing key concepts in time and communication. This course has a lab fee. Liberal Arts.

COMM 225 Intercultural Communication


Explores theory and practice of communicating interculturally. Recommended for those with an interest in international vocations, or in working with ethnic or cultural groups within the United States. Liberal Arts.

COMM 228 Digital Video I


This course is an introduction to the movie-making process using digital tools. Students will learn the basics of managing digital workflow and software interface, using a digital video camera, editing in Final Cut Pro, and saving final output to DVD. Also covered are basic principles of storytelling, location production, integration of titles and audio, critique and production skills, and output and archiving. This course has a lab fee.

COMM 232 Introduction to Web Communication


This course is an introduction to the design, hosting, and maintenance of Web pages. Foundational concepts of composition and design, use of color, multimedia, accessibility, and good user interface design are covered in a project-based studio. Suitable for any major and discipline, with an emphasis on projects useful to communication majors (online Web gallery, portfolio, video, blogging, etc.) This course has a lab fee. Liberal Arts.

COMM 244 Oral Performance of Literature


Emphasis on the selection and analysis of literary texts in preparation for presentation in both traditional oral interpretation and Readers Theater formats. Development of vocal and physical skills for reading texts in a variety of literary styles, including prose, poetry, scripture, drama, and children’s lit. Community: Communication. Liberal Arts.

COMM 245 Theatre Arts


Beginning acting; basic mime; introduction to stage techniques. Opportunity for practical experience in class production. Brief survey of Western theatre.

COMM 246 Theatre Workshop

1 or 2-WSP

Practical work on major productions. Credit given according to degree of responsibility and amount of time spent on specific tasks. For advanced students. Instructor’s permission required. Note: repeatable up to eight hours.

COMM 284 Introduction to Digital Imaging


This course is an introduction to the tools and concepts of creating and manipulating images with digital technology. It introduces students to compositing, drawing tools, digital photography, and basic filters, and covers the basics to intermediate techniques. The primary software application is Adobe Photoshop. Instruction is project based and relies on class critique. Students also learn to recognize digital equivalents of traditional art styles, techniques, and forms. This course has a lab fee.

COMM 291, 292, 391, 392, 491, 492 Independent Study

1, 2, 3, or 4-WSP

Liberal Arts.

COMM 295, 395 Special Topics in Communication: Lecture-Based or Studio-Based


Opportunity for study of issues and problems not covered elsewhere in the curriculum. Liberal Arts.

COMM 314 New Media and Society


This course explores the ways computing and digital communication tools, along with the Internet, are transforming culture and society. Includes a history of the Internet and personal computing and examines critical writing from a range of perspectives on the potentially positive and negative aspects of technology-influenced trends.

COMM 316 Advanced Presentational Speaking


The preparation and delivery of various kinds of problem-solving presentations including problem analysis, policy justification, policy rejection, and hostile audience. Emphasis on content, structure, and delivery. Prerequisite: junior or senior status. Liberal Arts.

COMM 318 Rhetorical Theory


This course provides an historical survey of the various theories of rhetoric – that is, the art of persuasive discourse – as they developed in the western world. The course begins with the classical theories of rhetoric that emerged in Greece and Rome, continuing with an examination of the theories that developed during the medieval, renaissance, and modern periods. The course concludes with an examination of contemporary rhetorical theories that have shaped our current understanding of rhetoric and its continuing role in our mediated culture. Liberal Arts.

COMM 319 American Public Address


This course studies the public discourse of political speeches and popular culture from the colonial era to the present. A careful analysis of speech texts and the historical contexts in which they were delivered will help students become more careful consumers of public messages, will build critical skills, will improve understanding of key issues in American history and how those issues were debated, and will increase appreciation for the importance of rhetoric in a democratic society. Community: Communication. Liberal Arts.

COMM 324 Advertising and Public Relations Principles


An overview of the theory behind both related practices including the development, management and implementation of creative communication initiatives and campaigns. The course focuses first on advertising and then on public relations and concentrates on understanding their shared and unique roles in the important area of public communication.

Prerequisite Courses: COMM 218 , BADM 319

COMM 328 Digital Video II


This course is a continuation of DV I, intended to expand upon the skills and techniques introduced in DV I, and adding more advanced editing techniques to the student’s skill set. Techniques such as multi-camera production, compositing, green screen, and videoblogging are introduced. Students are encouraged to prepare film festival submissions. The course presents an outline of cinematic communication history. This course has a lab fee.

COMM 330 Conflict Management


An introduction to conflict management that balances coverage of major theories with practice in communication skills and conflict intervention techniques (e.g., assertiveness training, mediation, negotiation). Focus on experiential learning with heavy emphasis on written analysis that includes analytical journaling and analysis of scientific journal articles.

COMM 335 Integrated Marketing Communication Seminar


A culminating study of how marketing-communication disciplines coalesce to form powerful branding campaigns in business and not-for-profit organizations. The course examines case studies of various IMC projects and initiatives and analyzes approaches and outcomes.

Prerequisite Courses: COMM 324 , COMM 218 , BADM 319

COMM 353 Communication Internship

1, 2, 3 or 4-F, S, Summer

Experience in an applied communication field. Program tailored to individual student’s needs and interests.

COMM 384 Digital Imaging II


Advanced techniques in compositing, painting, graphics, and content expression using 2D digital computer software such as Adobe Photoshop. Creative studio lab work will focus on individual and collaborative digital imaging projects, for print or electronic distribution. Coursework conceptualizes the image as a powerful artistic and communication mode of discourse. Presentations, demonstrations, and intensive group critiques offer a chance for students wishing to pursue more advanced skills in using the computer as an expressive imaging tool. This course has a lab fee.

Prerequisite Courses: COMM 284

COMM 496 Honors in Communication


Liberal Arts.

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