Bachelors (BA) in Communication

Overview

The communication major offers a 45-semester-hour course of study that features an interdisciplinary approach to communication that integrates concentrations in human communication, organizational communication, and public relations with a common core of courses in communication methods, theory, and application. Students are required to obtain a minimum grade of C- in all courses taken for the
major.

Degree Outcomes

Graduates with a BA in communication will:

  • Understand and employ communication theories, perspectives, principles, and concepts in everyday life
  • Create and deliver messages appropriate to the audience, purpose, and context
  • Critically analyze messages; and
  • Value and apply ethical principles and practices
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Major Requirements

Complete the following:
This course introduces students to the professional, personal, and spiritual dimensions of communication. By identifying how to live out one's faith in interpersonal relationships, through public presentations, and by engaging in mediated communication, students will be encouraged to pursue clarity in communication motivated by the question: how do we better understand others and help them to understand us?
A presentation of key principles of persuasion as they are reflected in typical organizational communication contexts. Focus on developing a planning sequence that will function as a practical guide for designing, executing, and evaluating communication events. Students will be expected to develop a "real world" communication event, e.g., publicity campaign, speech, newsletter. Prerequisite: COMM 100 Introduction to Communication or equivalent.
Theoretical and reflective study and guided experience in dyadic and small-group communication, with attention given to interpersonal communication, listening behavior, nonverbal communication, and conflict resolution.
This course is an introduction to quantitative and qualitative research methods commonly used in the field of communication and in social science in general.
This covers communication as it affects and is affected by language and culture. Topics include contextualized use of communication within speech communities, intercultural effectiveness, cultural communication theory, competent intercultural experiences in co-cultures (ethnic, gender, intergenerational, deaf, etc.) and global cultural groups. A student may not earn credit for both the lower-division and upper-division versions of this course.
This course is an experience in supervised field situations, the internship can be either on or off campus, involving extensive communication activity usually overseen by a professional or expert in their field. Admission to course and amount of credit are determined by the faculty supervisor. This course is offered each term. Up to 6 hours may count toward major requirements. Pass/No Pass. Prerequisite: Communication Arts or Organizational Communication major, junior standing, completed 9 credits in COMM coursework.
Designed to integrate skills and concepts from communication course work with ethical and spiritual principles through readings, written assignments, and assessment instruments. Students will complete portfolios that will include work samples and department exit exams along with a statement of what it means to be a Christian communicator. A service component may be included as part of the course.
This course explores trends in media convergence, focusing as well on the ways reporters, editors, and designers create stories for the web. Particular emphasis will be on web-based story design, the coordination of text and art, and the creation of stories for a variety of new media outlets. Prerequisite: WRIT 111 Caring for Words, enrollment in the Honors Program, or instructor permission.

Concentrations (21 hours) - choose one

Complete the following:
Survey of the historical development of newspapers, magazines, broadcast media, and cinema. Analysis of the role(s) of mass media in shaping and altering opinion and values in contemporary culture.
A course that examines and applies theories of small-group structures, climate, roles, leadership, motivation, and conflict management. Prerequisite: Comm 100 Introduction to Communication.
A study of the major sources of communication theory (e.g., meaning theory, humanistic psychology, symbolic interactionism, relational theory, information processing) together with specific contemporary exemplifications of each approach. Special focus is on the nature and progress of scientific inquiry in communication theory. Prerequisite: 6 hours of communication arts or media communication courses, including COMM 100 Introduction to Communication.
A course in practical reason. Includes a survey of theories of argumentation, analysis of public arguments, and several speeches, including a debate. Prerequisite: COMM 100 Introduction to Communication or instructor's permission.
Methods of rhetorical criticism as applied to public communication of the past and present, including but not limited to speeches, broadcasts, films, and campaigns. Analysis of current trends in rhetorical criticism. Prerequisite: junior standing or above.
Complete the following:
6-hours of upper-division COMM coursework required. Courses in other disciplines must be approved by faculty advisor.

Communication Arts (COMM) Course Descriptions

Complete the following:
This introductory survey will examine the major functional areas of business and afford the student an opportunity to consider this major as a path to a career. Emphasis is given to contemporary business concepts, in particular, and examination of business as a field for stewardship.
An examination of organizations from a communication vantage point. Combines study of theoretical perspectives with skill development. Students will build organizational communication competencies through understanding the nature of communication in the organizational context and by practicing effective communication skills. Possible topics include communication networks and climates, superior-subordinate relationships, computer-mediated communication, organizational identification, communication audits, group and team communication, interviewing, meetings, and presentations.
A course that examines and applies theories of small-group structures, climate, roles, leadership, motivation, and conflict management. Prerequisite: Comm 100 Introduction to Communication.
This is an advanced study of organizational communication. Topics include, but are not limited to, organizational storytelling, communication technologies, career theory, power and resistance in organizations, and impression management. Students will be encouraged to recognize ways organizational communication can be improved through their everyday interactions. Prerequisite: COMM 270 Introduction to Organizational Communication or consent of instructor.
Complete one of the following 9-hour sequences:

 

Study of the marketing concept, consumer demand and behavior, and marketing functions of the firm. The objective is to understand the development of marketing channels, products, prices, and promotion strategies. Prerequisite or Co-requisite of BUSN 110 Introduction to Business
We will take a look at how customers shop, buy and use products and services to satisfy their needs and wants. This class highlights physiological and psychological content that promotes consumer behavior understanding, such as perception, learning, language, internal and external motivations, emotions. Creating personas is an outcome of consumer behavior knowledge, allowing you to instinctively know your customer and create personalized marketing campaigns that hit the target each time. Prerequisite: MKTG 260 Principles of Marketing.
We will incorporate traditional and non-traditional B2B and B2C techniques to effectively communicate with our target audience. You will learn how to create a unified, cohesive Integrated Marketing plan, essential to a successful marketing career. In today’s market, it is critical to know how to leverage digital strategies across a variety of deliverables including branding, design, usability, IT development, SEO, and social media integration to drive active commerce and audience engagement. You will learn how to solve business problems with a persuasive marketing strategy. Prerequisites: MKTG 260 Principles of Marketing and MKTG 300 Consumer Behavior: Know Your Customer.
OR
A study of the theory and practice of management. The course involves discussion and application of areas such as social responsibility, strategy, problem solving, communication, change, job performance, and financial/operational controls. Prerequisite or Co-requisite: BUSN 110 Introduction to Business.
This course recognizes that managers are also called upon to be leaders. The differences between a leader and manager will be discussed with focus on effective leadership and management skills, philosophies and orientations. Prerequisite: MGMT 260 Principles of Management.
This course examines the complex and dynamic interactions of people and organizations in society. Particular focus will be on organizational theory, human perception, motivation, group dynamics, power, conflict, culture, leadership, organizational development, and managing change. Prerequisite: MGMT 260 Principles of Management.
Choose one of the following:
This course is an introduction to industry-standard graphic design applications such as Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign. Additional course fee required.
Students work collaboratively to explore story and script essentials, the technical, creative, and aesthetic elements of the video production process. Course includes professional script formatting, basic lighting, sound, camera operation, composition, and design of visual elements, producing and directing basics through lecture, classroom and supervised laboratory experiences.
Complete the following:
A course designed to introduce and develop a clear concept of public relations as a communication profession. Topics to be covered include the function of public relations in both public and private enterprises; the process of planning and implementing a public relations communication campaign; techniques for communicating with various publics; and the laws and ethics governing the practice of public relations.
An examination of organizations from a communication vantage point. Combines study of theoretical perspectives with skill development. Students will build organizational communication competencies through understanding the nature of communication in the organizational context and by practicing effective communication skills. Possible topics include communication networks and climates, superior-subordinate relationships, computer-mediated communication, organizational identification, communication audits, group and team communication, interviewing, meetings, and presentations.
This course examines how social media intersects with existing psychological, communication, and marketing theories. In addition to providing a foundation in current terminology and trends, the course will also require students to develop critical thinking techniques in order to improve their media literacy. Students will analyze, evaluate, and prescribe communicative approaches in a variety of contemporary case studies, such as: crisis communication, public relations and branding, campaigns, citizen journalism, “big data,” micromarketing, and social protest. Prerequisite: COMM 100 and Sophomore class standing.
This course gives students an opportunity to apply their existing coursework to variety of historical and hypothetical situations. Students will learn to work in teams to research, craft, and present an effective and ethical message in a short amount of time; to recognize and evaluate the various PR techniques used in historical cases; to demonstrate knowledge of how PR strategies interact with the changing face of modern journalism, marketing, and advertising; and how to construct a strategic campaign that would roll out across a variety of platforms over a set schedule. Prerequisites: COMM/JOUR 240 Introduction to Public Relations and Junior standing or instructor permission.
This course is an advanced study of research methods, data management, and data visualization. Topics covered in this course include, but are not limited to, advanced research methods, data cleaning and management, data visualization theory (e.g. perception, visual cognition), design, and data narratives and storytelling. Students will have opportunities to critique, replicate, and redesign current data visualizations, as well create original data visualizations that tell important stories to lay audiences. Prerequisites: COMM 260 Introduction to Communication Research Methods, equivalent course, or instructor permission; Junior standing.
A course designed to provide fundamental knowledge and experience in reporting, writing, and editing news for the print media. Prerequisite: WRIT 111 Caring for Words, enrollment in the Honors Program, or instructor permission.