Communication Program

Purpose Statement

The mission of the communication department is to prepare competent communicators by providing students a foundation in communication theory and practice that will enhance their personal, civic, and professional lives.

Students who complete the communication major can expect to develop

  • Confidence and competence in presentations.
  • Effective, productive, and ethical communication skills for building personal and organizational relationships.
  • Knowledge about the mass media and how those media affect how we communicate.
  • Knowledge of how advertising and publicity messages are used and the ability to craft such messages.
  • Skill in using communication technology and in evaluating how technology affects communication.
  • Knowledge of theories that explain interpersonal, organizational, and mass mediated communication, and competence in systematic inquiry, including an understanding of the limitations of conclusions reached.
  • Strategies to collect accurate information through observation, interviews, and research.
  • Ability to recognize and correct errors in standard written English and in improving the style and structure of written texts.
  • Ability to effectively communicate within and across gender and cultures.
  • Strategies for effectively managing conflict.
  • Competence in constructing and analyzing arguments intended to influence beliefs, attitudes, values, and practices.

Students who complete the digital media major with the communication emphasis will develop competence in

  • Obtaining still images, audio, and video, and combining these media with text to tell stories effectively.
  • Recognizing and correcting errors in standard written English and in improving the style and structure of written texts.
  • Designing, laying out, and publishing content online and in print.
  • Knowledge about the mass media and how those media affect how we communicate.
  • Strategies to collect accurate information through observation, interviews, and research.
  • Constructing and analyzing arguments intended to influence beliefs, attitudes, values and practices.

Communication Major

G-CM 120  Introduction to Human Communication (3 hours)
*G-CM 130 Interpersonal Communication (3 hours)
CM 135  Media Writing (3 hours)
G-CM 140  Public Speaking (3 hours)
CM 210  Multimedia Storytelling I (3 hours)
G-AR 220  Graphic Design for non-art majors (3 hours)
*G-CM 221  Intercultural Communication (3 hours)
G-MA 221  Elementary Applied Statistics (4 hours)
CM 240  Gender Communication (3 hours)
CM 305  Editing (3 hours)
CM 310  Public Relations (3 hours)
*EN 313  Advanced Expository Writing (3 hours)
CM 315  Communication Practica (2 hours)
CM 325  Conflict Communication (3 hours)
CM 330  Persuasion (3 hours)
CM 350  Web Design I (3 hours)
CM 375  Junior Seminar in Communication (1 hour)
*CM 475A  Sr. Seminar in Communication Research (2 hours)
*CM 475B Senior Project in Communication (1 hour)

Total: 52 hours

Digital Media Major

All students completing the digital media major must complete the core courses (25 credit hours). They will then elect to complete the courses in either the communication or the visual design emphasis.

Core Courses
AR 130
Design Software (2 hours)
AR 205 Multimedia Software (2 hours)
AR 230 Graphic Design I (3 hours)
CM 330 Persuasion and Social Influence (3 hours)
AR 335 Moving Image Software (3 hours)
CM 350/AR 340 Web Design I (3 hours)
CM 360 Videography I (3 hours)
CM 440/AR 450 Web Design II (3 hours)
CM 410 Videography II (3 hours)

Total: 25 hours

Choose one area of emphasis:

Communication Emphasis
G-CM 120
Introduction to Human Communications (3 hours)
CM 135 Media Writing (3 hours)
CM 210 Multimedia Storytelling I (3 hours)
G-CM 221 Intercultural Communication (3 hours)
CM 305 Editing (3 hours)
EN 315 Expository Writing (3 hours)
CM 315 Communication Practica (2 hours)
CM 310 Public Relations and Social Media Campaign (3 hours)
CM 375 Junior Seminar (1 hour)
CM 475A Senior Seminar in Communication Research (2 hours)
CM 475B Senior Project in Communication (1 hour)

Total: 27 hours


Visual Design Emphasis
AR 103
Elementary Design (3 hours)
AR 203 Photography I (2 hours)
AR 235 Graphic Design II (3 hours)
AR 260 UX/UI Prototyping (2 hours)
AR 265 UX/UI Application (2 hours)
AR 303 Photography II (3 hours)
AR 320 Typography/Logo Branding (2 hours)
AR 330 Graphic Design III (3 hours)
AR 333 Commercial Photography I (3 hours)
AR 475G Graphic Design IV (3 hours)
AR 470 Graphic Design Senior Show (1 hour)

Total: 27 hours

Suggested Supporting Courses for either emphasis
BA 221
BA 322 Advertising and Promotion
BA 327 Consumer Behavior
BA 427 Marketing Research
ET 101 Creativity and Innovation

Competency Exam

Students who plan to major in communication, or the communication emphasis of the digital media major, must pass a writing competency exam. This exam will be offered in the spring semester, before pre-enrollment for the fall. Transfer students will take the exam early in their first semester at the college. Students who fail the exam may re-take it after participating in guided study and practice of writing.

Communication Minor

A minor in communication consists of G-CM 120 Introduction to Human Communication (3 hours), and any other 17 hours of communication courses.  Journalism and Video Practica may make up no more than four hours of coursework in the minor.

2017|Catalog 17-18, Communication|

Communication Course Descriptions

Course Descriptions – Communication

G-CM 120 Introduction to Human Communication

3 hours
An introduction to the elements of the communication process in its personal and social aspects. Students will examine the breadth of the field of communication including intrapersonal, interpersonal, small group, mass media, organizational, intercultural, and public communication. Students will examine how humans use emerging media—websites, online channels, social media sites, etc.—to create a sense of self, express themselves to others, and to gain a fuller picture of the generalized other in society. Written communication skills will be emphasized through specific assignments. (Fall, Spring)

G-CM 130 Interpersonal Communication

3 hours (Language Intensive)
An oral communication course designed to acquaint students with the basic concepts of human communication as well as the more specialized skills needed to develop and maintain interpersonal relationships. Self-concept, self-disclosure, perception, relationship development, and mass media portrayals of interpersonal relationships are among the major units covered. (Fall)

CM 135 Media Writing

3 hours
A study of contemporary media emphasizing information media literacy and reporting and writing the news for various media including web, broadcast media, and social media. (Spring)

G-CM 140 Public Speaking

3 hours
Study and practice of a wide range of formal and informal public speaking activities. Students will focus on developing an extemporaneous delivery of speeches based on experience with and research of topics. Students will practice multiple types of speeches including speeches to inform, to persuade, and for special occasions. (Fall, Spring)

CM 210 Multimedia Storytelling

3 hours
An introduction to the use of text, graphics, audio, and video for telling multimedia stories. Prior completion of CM135 Journalism and AR203 Photography I recommended but not required. (Spring, even years)

G-CM 218 Business and Professional Communication

3 hours (Language Intensive)
This course is designed to expose students to strategies for effective communication in a business environment. Students will learn skills to improve both oral and written communication. Topics include using technology to enhance presentations, nonverbal communication in the workplace, and communicating about discrimination. (Fall, Spring)

G-CM 221 Intercultural Communication

3 hours (Language Intensive)
This course provides a broad overview of the study in communication both between and within nations, cultures, and subcultures. Students will investigate issues related to communication between people of different cultural orientations and also examine how cultural others are misperceived in interpersonal interactions and misrepresented in the media. Students will examine tensions between cultures and discuss ways to approach them by delving into specific cultural and communication rituals different from our own. Films will be used to study different cultural elements and concepts. (Spring, even years; Interterm, odd years)

CM 240 Gender Communication

3 hours
This course examines the influence of gender on communication in interpersonal, instructional, organizational and mass mediated contexts. Topics of examination include interpersonal violence, discrimination, and other contemporary social problems. Focus will be given to understanding gender as a cultural group. (Spring, even years.)

CM 305 Editing

3 hours
An introduction to editing. Students learn how to correct, tighten and clarify texts and how to apply design principles to a variety of documents and publications. (Fall, odd years)

CM 310 Public Relations

3 hours
A service learning course that allows the study of the fundamental principles, strategies, and skills used in contemporary public relations. The course aims to give students practice in analyzing and responding ethically to PR issues and in researching, planning, writing, and designing a variety of PR materials. Students will examine how PR professionals use social media to send campaign messages to various publics. Students will work as a class on a PR campaign for a non-profit organization. Prerequisite of Junior standing or instructor permission. (Spring, odd years)

CM 315 Communication Practica (A – G listed below)  1 hour each – Experience for students on the campus newspaper or other student publication. May be repeated, with not more than two hours in any one emphasis and six hours maximum. (Fall, spring)

CM 315A Communication Practicum: Reporting

Gathering and writing news for the campus paper or other student publication. Prerequisite: Consent of publication’s faculty adviser.

CM 315B Communication Practicum: Editing

Copy editing, headline writing, and production management for the campus newspaper or other student publication. Prerequisite: Selection by the board of publications to an editorial position or consent of the publication’s adviser.

CM 315C Communication Practicum: Layout and Design

Designing and creating camera-ready copy using a desktop publishing system. Prerequisite: Selection by the board of publications to an editorial position or consent of the publication’s adviser.

CM 315D Communication Practicum: Advertising

Selling and designing advertisements for the campus publications. Prerequisite: Selection by the board of publications to an advertising position.

CM 315E Communication Practicum: Photojournalism

Taking, developing, and printing photographs for student publications. Prerequisite: AR 203 Photography or consent of the publication’s adviser.

CM 315F Communication Practicum: Multimedia

Developing multimedia stories for online student publications. Prerequisite: CM 210 Multimedia Storytelling or consent of the publication’s adviser.

CM 315G Communication Practicum: Video

Theory and practice of video production through hands-on video experience. Students will practice shooting and editing video from live-action events. Editing software choice is up to the student, though Adobe Premiere Pro is highly recommended. Elective for communication major and minor to meet communication practicum requirement. Prerequisite: CM210 Multimedia Storytelling.

CM 325 Conflict Communication

3 hours
This course examines issues related to sources of conflict in communication. Orientations to conflict and the management of conflict will be examined. A critique and synthesis of conceptual approaches and research is covered that pertains to conflict in interpersonal, organizational, and public communication settings. (Spring, odd years)

CM 330 Persuasion and Social Influence

3 hours
An examination of theories of persuasion, persuasion variables, principles of effective persuasion, and persuasion in interpersonal, small group, organizational and mediated contexts. In addition to studying verbal persuasion, students will examine the nature of visual persuasion in everyday life, learn how to manipulate the formal elements of visual imagery to deliver a persuasive message, discover how visual imagery influences behavior, develop strategies to protect themselves from the unwanted messages images convey, and learn how to use persuasion wisely in their own creations. (Fall)

CM 350 Web Design I (Cross-Listed with AR 340 Web Design I)

3 hours
An introduction to web design, web usability, and standards-compliant web sites built with HTML and CSS. Prerequisite: AR 130 Design Software. AR 230 Graphic Design I recommended but not required.  (Interterm)

CM 360 Videography I

3 hours
Video production for promotional videos, title sequences, and commercials, with a duration under 1 minute. Students will practice shooting and editing video, and producing graphics, for creative sequences that promote different subjects. Prerequisite: CM 210 Multimedia Storytelling. (Fall)

CM 375 Junior Seminar in Communication

1 hour
This course will cover an in-depth study of media theory and ethics. Students will consider how media impact their audiences. Case studies will be examined to enhance the understanding of ethical decision-making. (Fall)

CM 410 Videography II

3 hours
Short-form video production for news items, short films, and documentaries. Includes the use of photography, video, audio, and graphics for telling compelling video stories with a duration between 4 and 10 minutes. Students will practice shooting and editing video for various situations with a focus on creativity in film-making. Prerequisite: CM 210 Multimedia Storytelling. (Spring)

CM 440 Web Design II (Cross-Listed with AR 450)

3 hours
A recap of HTML and CSS and a more detailed exploration of responsive design. Students will utilize grids for layout and explore advanced styling for building dynamic we pages. Focuses on the skills students need to competently create and maintain their work, using best practices advocated by professional web designers. Prerequisite: CM 340 Web Design I. (Spring)

CM 475A Senior Seminar in Communication Research

2 hours (Language Intensive)
This course will introduce qualitative and quantitative research methods. Students will learn how to search for, comprehend, and create research documents. Ethics and professional conduct will be included in classroom discussions. Class time will also be devoted to the discussion of post college plans including job searching, resume writing, cover letter creation, and interviewing. (Fall)

CM475B Senior Project in Communication

1 hour (Language Intensive)
Each student will complete a service learning thesis project using communication skills learned throughout the program. The projects will be presented in a public forum at the end of the semester. (Spring)

CM 388 Career Connections in Communication

4-8 hours
An internship in a career-related position. For communication majors and minors only.

Individual Courses Available
295/495 Field Experience (1-4 hours)
299/499 Independent Study (1-4 hours)
388 Career Connections (4-8 hours)
445 Readings and Research (1-4 hours)


2017|Catalog 17-18, Communication|