Communication

Department Chair: Terence Check
Faculty: Kelly Berg, Terence Check, Jeanmarie Cook, Karyl Daughters, Katherine Johnson, Jennifer Kramer, Shane Miller, Emily Paup, Aric Putnam, Erin Szabo

The field of communication studies  how people communicate and how that communication constructs shared beliefs and shapes human community.  Scholars of communication promote analysis of, and reflection on, the practical and ethical effects of communication in diverse situations, e.g. between individuals, in the public sphere, and in a variety of mediated contexts.

Communication courses are designed to provide students with the  theory and skill  necessary for college work and for personal and professional development after graduation.  With its focus on message analysis and written and oral communication, the Communication major is an excellent foundation for any career, but is especially relevant for journalism, public relations, and communication and marketing.

Assessment

The Communication Department uses a variety of assessment measures to determine the abilities of our students and the effectiveness of our teaching. These may include, but are not limited to, the following: senior exit interviews, portfolios of papers collected across lower and upper division courses, videotapes of speeches and presentations, sophomore and senior essays, self-assessment instruments, site supervisors’ written evaluations of internship performance and communication competence, job placement upon graduation, and standardized longitudinal assessments. The data collected is used by the department to revise the curriculum and/or individual courses in order to enhance student learning.

Major (40 credits)

Forty (40) credits -the equivalent of 10 courses -distributed as follows:

  1. Communication majors must take all three foundation courses (12 credits) : 102, 103, 105..
  2. At least one course in Message Design: 212, 220, 225, 240, 245, 247, 265, 282, 336, or 382..
  3. At least one course in Analysis of Communication: 201, 205, 250, 251, 248, 308, 311, 312, 337, 340, 352, 358, 367, or 384.
  4. At least one course in Communication and Community:  303, 304, 305, 307, 309, 310, 335, 341, 350, 351, or 387.
  5. At least one Capstone course:  330, 333, 343, 344, 346, 347, 355, 360, 368, 395, or 398.
  6. At least 16 credits (the equivalent of four courses) must be 300-level Communication department courses.  COMM 392 (Communication Practicum) and COMM 397 (Internship) do not count for this requirement.

Plus additional courses within the department to complete the required 40 credits

 One course may be counted toward the major from the following:  ART 317, ART 318, ENGL 311, ENGL 387, PCST 346, PSYC 221, SOCI 201, or one approved elective course from study abroad.  These outside courses are optional and not required for the Communication major.

Please NOTE:  COMM 200 is open to non-majors and does not count toward the major.  COMM 292 and 392 (Communication Practicum) and COMM 397 (Internship) do not count toward the major.

Minor (20 credits)

Twenty (20) credits -the equivalent of five (5) courses -distributed as follows:

  1. All Communication minors must take  COMM 102: Public Speaking and the Public Sphere. Communication minors must also take at least one additional foundational course: either COMM 103 or 105.
    -One course in Message Design: 212, 225, 240, 245, 247, 265, 282, 336, or 382.
    -One course in Analysis of Communication: 201, 205, 250, 251, 248, 308, 311, 312, 337, 340, 352, 358, 367, or 384.
    -One course in Communication and Community: 303, 304, 305, 307, 309, 310, 335, 341, 350, 351, or 387.

Please NOTE:  COMM 200 is open to non-majors and does not count toward the minor.  Courses in other departments do not count toward the Communication Minor.  Study Abroad courses do not count toward the Communication Minor.  COMM 292 and 392 (Communication Practicum) and COMM 397 (Internship) do not count toward the minor.

 For the most current information about the department, consult our web site at: http://www.csbsju.edu/communication/

Courses (COMM)

102 Public Speaking and the Public Sphere (4)
This course introduces students to the basic skills needed to present information to an audience clearly, effectively, and eloquently.  The class will study, analyze, and construct public speeches from a rhetorical perspective.  Students will ground their study of speechmaking in fundamental questions about the habits and skills of civic participation and the ethics of speech.

103 Media and Society. (4)
This course will explore the functions and effects of mediated communication in society and on the individual.  Students will learn about the role of mediated communication in creating and dispersing knowledge and introduce students to some theoretical concepts needed to critically analyze mediated messages in advanced courses.

105 Introduction to Human Communication. (4)
This course provides students with a general overview of communication theory and research, particularly as it relates to their everyday interactions. The course covers theories related to interpersonal, gender, group, organizational, and intercultural contexts.

200 Public Speaking Basics. (2)
This course is intended for education majors who need to fulfill the state requirements in oral communication. (Communication majors or minors should take COMM 102 - Public Speaking and the Public Sphere.) Through the study of theory and through applications, students will learn to understand the basic concepts of practical public speaking situations, including the development and delivery of informative and persuasive speeches.

201 Rhetoric, Culture, and Critique (4)
This course will introduce students to the basic theories and practices needed to understand and critique rhetorical action.  The class will give students exposure to diverse theories of the relationship between language and power and provide opportunity for practice making judgments about specific moments of public expression: speeches, music, essays, visual images.  The intent of this class is to provide students with a deeper understanding of the academic study of rhetoric and with a skill that will help them make greater sense of how public messages matter in their lives today.

205 Interpersonal Communication. (4)
Introduces students to basic principles and theories of interpersonal communication. Readings, discussion and exercises facilitate understanding of interpersonal communication processes. Topics may include perception, self-concept, verbal communication, listening, conflict, nonverbal cues, gender roles, family communication, culture, communication competence, and relationship development.

220 Debate (2)
This course introduces students to the fundamentals of debate.  Students will learn argumentation and debate theory and develop research, organization, reasoning, refutation and delivery skills.  Students will participate in classroom debates.  No previous debate training is expected.

225 Argumentation & Advocacy. (4)
This course equips students with the skills and theory necessary to interpret, analyze, research, and construct arguments about matters of public concern. By learning about, practicing, and participating in argument, students understand, evaluate, and appreciate the communicative practices that constitute shared civic life.

240 Communicating Effectively Using Applied Media Aesthetics (4)
This course will examine the importance of encoding variables (production techniques) in creating effective media messages.  Students will learn the principles of media aesthetics to both create and critique messages.

245 Introduction to Media Writing. (4)
A course in the writing style used in the news and public relations professions. The student will learn various criteria for newsworthiness, basic newsgathering techniques, story structure, leads, and other aspects of print journalism. Prerequisite: Completion of First Year Seminar or the equivalent.

247 Advanced Media Writing (4)
This course continues to develop writing techniques and methods introduced in COMM 245: Introduction to Media Writing. Students will explore theory and practice in writing for media in one or more of the following areas: public relations, broadcasting, or print journalism. Prerequisite: 245 or permission of instructor.

248 Media & Children (4)
This course examines the role of mediated communication in the lives of children and adolescents, acquainting students with theories and research pertinent to youth and the media. Students will assume a developmental perspective, and will assess claims made by various publics.  The class includes a required service learning component. Prerequisite: 103.

250 Effective Listening. (4)
Introduces students to basic principles and theories of listening. Approaches listening as a critical component in the communication process. Readings, discussion and exercises facilitate understanding of effective listening and development of individual listening skills. Topics include discriminative, comprehensive, mindfulness, critical, therapeutic and appreciative listening.

251 Communication and Conflict. (4)
Introduces students to principles and theories of conflict. Examines causes of conflict and a variety of approaches to managing conflict. Emphasizes conflict in various interpersonal contexts.

252 Listening Basics. (2)
This course is intended primarily for secondary and elementary education students seeking certification in the communication/language arts. Focuses upon the central role of listening in the communication process. Introduces students to the basic principles and various purposes of listening. Uses readings, discussion and exercises to heighten awareness of barriers to effective listening and to develop students' listening skills. Topics include cultural attitudes toward listening, costs of ineffective listening, intrapersonal listening, listening in various contexts, and ethical responsibilities of listening.

253 Nonverbal Communication. (2)
Provides students with a general overview of the theoretical and practical application of primary areas of nonverbal communication research. The course examines theoretical and empirical studies in selected areas of nonverbal communication such as personal appearance, touch, space, body language, gestures, eye contact, use of time, facial expressions, olfaction, and body adornment/alteration.

265 Group Communication. (4)
Examines the theory and practice of group communication. Includes such topics as group dynamics, decision making, power, norms and roles, conflict, groupthink and communication theory.

271 Individual Learning Project. (1-4)
Supervised reading or research at the lower-division level. The proposed project must be grounded in previous relevant coursework in the discipline. ILPs may not substitute for a regularly offered course and must be student-designed. Permission of department chair required. Consult department for applicability toward major or minor requirements. Not available to first-year students.

282 Special Topics in Message Design (4)
A study of a special topic in message design not ordinarily treated in standard courses.  May be repeated as the topics change.  Prerequisites vary according to the topic.  See description in registration bulletin.

286 Introduction to Film. (4)
This course offers an introduction to film as a medium of communication and representation. Topics may include a survey of the development of film and the movie industry, techniques of acting, directing, cinematography, narrative style, and film theory. The vocabulary of cinema and representative films of the first one hundred years of filmmaking will be covered. Fall or spring. Cross listed with ENGL 286.

301 Persuasion. (4)
This is an applied persuasion course in which an analysis and review of the theories and methods of persuasion are used to conduct a persuasive campaign on or off campus. The class may integrate basic principles and practice of video production to complete persuasive video projects. Prerequisite: 102 or permission of the instructor.

 303 Social Movements. (4)
This course examines how rhetoric enables groups of people to come together in order to influence public policies.  Students will study a variety of historical movements to understand how public arguments can represent social groups and motivate collective action. Prerequisite: 201 or permission of instructor.

304 Political Communication. (4)
This class  examines how political symbols and discourse  mobilize society, stimulate social action and create national identity. The course will explores how political language reinforces, interprets, challenges and manipulates popular beliefs, attitudes and values. Topics may include presidential rhetoric, campaign discourse and legislative appeals. Prerequisite:  201 or permission of instructor.

305 Women's Voices. (4)
This class is a survey of the ways women have used public discourse to demand greater freedoms and protections.. This class will draw upon rhetorical theories to explore how and why women's voices have been silenced, the role that men have played as allies and antagonists, and the creative efforts women have undertaken to make their voices heard.  Prerequisite:  201 or GEND major or minor.

307 Freedom of Speech. (4)
This course explores the historical development of laws and cultural assumptions that regulate public expression in the United States.  Students will study the communicative behaviors that have inspired free speech controversies and analyze the arguments made in favor of and in opposition to a free speech concept. Prerequisite: SO, JR, or SR Standing.

308 Rhetoric of Advertising. (4)
This course analyzes the rhetorical features of advertisements and examines how commercial messages generate social meaning.   Students will use rhetorical  theory to render deep  readings of product advertisements as  political, social and ideological  messages. Students will also discuss the ethical and social consequences of advertising in society. Prerequisite: 201, or permission of instructor..

309 Environmental Rhetoric. (4)
This course examines how people use communication to articulate viewpoints about the natural environment in the public sphere.  Students study an array of environmental discourse, including speeches, advocacy campaigns, advertisements, image events, environmental reporting and news, film and media, to see how these messages convey meaning and shape audience attitudes and behavior about the environment.  This course satisfies requirements for the ENVR major and minor. Prerequisite: SO, JN, or SR Standing.

310 Black Civil Rights Rhetoric (4)
The course explores how public expressions about race have impacted the history of United States democracy.  More specifically, students will study the political issues, moral complexities, and rhetorical strategies of speeches, essays, and public art by people of African descent who have argued about the nature and scope of "America." Prerequisite: SO, JN, or SR Standing.

311 Rhetoric and Religion (4)
This course will examine the complex relationship between religion and politics and the role that discourse and symbols play in that relationship.  The course will explore both how the United States uses public discourse to navigate the proper role between church and state, as well as the ways in which public figures and movements draw upon religion for moral authority.  The course will cover such topics as the founding discussions about the role of religion in public life and contemporary debates about the church/state relationship. Prerequisite: SO, JR, or SR Standing.

312 Rhetorical Dimensions of Sports (4)
This course will explore the ways in which sports are used as a part of public discourse and debate.  The course will use rhetorical theories and concepts to examine how athletes, games, competitions and controversies are incorporated into larger social discussions about gender, race and national identity.  Prerequisite:  201 or permission of the instructor.

330 Capstone: Apology & Crisis Communication (4)
An advanced course in rhetoric studying the genres of apology, image repair, and crisis communication.   Students will analyze speeches and statements of apology and self-defense and assess the effectiveness, ethics, and meaning of such appeals in several case studies.  In addition to other requirements, students will generate a critical essay for public presentation.  Prerequisites: 102 and 201, and JN or SR standing.

333 Capstone: Rhetorical Criticism (4)
In this course students will deepen the understanding of rhetorical behavior learned in lower division coursework in rhetoric and strengthen their ability to generate insights into particular rhetorical moments.  The focus of this course is to enable students to produce well researched, articulate, and sophisticated judgments about public expression. Prerequisites: 102 and 201 & JN or SR standing.

335  Political Campaign Communication (4)
This course analyzes the use of communication strategies and tactics by political candidates in campaigns for elected office and examines the role of media in political campaigns.  The course explores how communication and media shape power and identity in American political campaigns.  This course has an experiential learning component that requires students to volunteer for a local political campaign of their choice. Prerequisite: SO, JR, or SR Standing.

336 Introduction to Strategic Communication Campaigns (4)
This course provides a framework for students to understand the appropriate use of theory and components of strategic communication campaigns.  Students will learn to be more discerning producers and consumers of persuasive messages.  This class may involve a service learning component.  Prerequisite:  Junior or senior standing and Prerequisite: 102 or 103.

340 Media Theories. (4)
This course will examine the evolution of theories regarding the role of media in society. Prerequisite: 103 or permission of instructor.

341 News and Democracy (4)
The role of the news industry in a democracy is to inform and socialize the citizenry for participation within the democracy. What are the consequences for the nature of that information when the news industry is profit-driven? How do decisions about the "bottom line" influence decisions about an event's newsworthiness? This course will examine issues of ownership, the influence of advertising/public relations, and factors within the routines of production that help determine the content of news. Prerequisite: 103 or permission of instructor.

342 New Media: Communication in an On-Line Era (4)
This course examines how interactive media affects communication. Participants will investigate issues raised by the changing media environment. Prerequisite: 103 or permission of instructor.

343 Capstone: Critical Analysis of News (4)
This course will provide advanced study in the critical analysis of news.  Students will examine the relationship of news to the construction of shared beliefs that shape human community.  Prerequisite: 103 and 341& JN or SR standing

344 Capstone: Media Aesthetics (4)
This course will provide advanced study in the creation and critique of mediated messages.  Students will learn to make cogent production choices to create effective media messages and will learn to defend those choices both orally and in writing. Prerequisites: 103 and 240 & JN or SR standing or permission of instructor.

 346 Capstone: Strategic Communication Campaigns (4)
This course provides an opportunity  for senior majors  to apply  what they have learned about strategic communication campaigns, persuasive theory, oral and written communication, message analysis, and community, by creating strategic communication campaigns for a client. This course is  a service learning course and will count toward the experiential learning requirement.  Prerequisite:  336 and senior standing.

347 Capstone: Media Effects (4)
This course will provide advanced study in the effects of media on adults.  By taking a social scientific approach, students will examine the theoretical underpinnings of mass media effects research, with a focus on the effects of media on individuals and on society.  This course will include independent research and public presentation. Prerequisite: 103 & JN or SR standing

350 Intercultural Communication. (4)
Examines the relationship between communication and culture. Communication theory is used to identify and explore barriers and opportunities in communicating with individuals from different cultures and co-cultures. Skills necessary for communication across cultures are identified and developed. Note: Some sections of this course may carry an experiential learning component. See registration booklet for details.

351 Gender and Communication. (4)
Examines the impact of socialization on gender roles and the influence of gender roles on communication. Looks at the communication behaviors of women and men in same sex and mixed sex contexts. Introduces students to current theories of gender communication. Examines the function of communication in gender role development. This course satisfies requirements for the GWST major/minor.

352 Health Communication (4)
Provides students with a broad introduction to the study and application of health communication theories, principles, and practices.  Examines how narratives, media, interpersonal communication, group communication, intercultural communication, gender communication, organizational communication and promotional campaigns function within health contexts.  The relevance of communication to health is examined as a means for improving communication in the health care setting, improving personal health, and influencing public health.  Prerequisite:  102 or 105 or permission of instructor.

357 Capstone: Advanced Issues in Human Communication (4)
This capstone course explores contemporary  topics in the communication field  relating to how communication impacts communities.  Students examine the latest communication research as it relates to how communication affects their communities through race, gender, and/or class.  Provides the opportunity for students to interact directly with the researchers currently producing work in these areas.  Prerequisites:  105 and 205 or 350 or 351 and JN or SR standing.

358 Family Communication (4)
An advanced relational communication course focusing on communication patterns in families and familial relationships.  The course covers aspects of functional family communication patterns and explores the connections between family communication and societal discourse.

360 Capstone: Language, Gender and Culture (4)
This course will examine the relationship between language, gender, and culture in a variety of contexts and cultures.  The mutual influences of language and culture, and their role in the creation of gendered roles and identities within and across cultures will be explored.  Prerequisite:  205, 350, or 351 and JR or SR standing.  This course satisfies requirements for the GWST major/minor.

367 Organizational Communication. (4)
Theories and concepts of organizational communication are discussed. Includes such topics as communication approaches to organizational theory, power, corporate culture, conflict, organizational metaphors, organizational processes, management styles and organizational change. Some sections of this course may carry an experiential learning requirement.  See registration booklet for details.  Prerequisite: 105.

 368 Capstone: Love, Sex & Commitment (4)
An advanced relational communication course focusing on the intersections of love, sexuality, commitment, and communication in close relationships.  Students review current research findings from a variety of perspectives (e.g., socio-psychological, cultural, evolutionary) and conduct original research.  Prerequisite: 105 or 205 or permission of instructor & JN or SR standing.  This course satisfies requirements for the GWST major/minor.

371 Individual Learning Project. (1-4)
Supervised reading or research at the upper-division level. The proposed project must be grounded in previous relevant coursework in the discipline. ILPs may not substitute for a regularly offered course and must be student-designed. Permission of department chair and completion of 12 credits within the department required. Four credits maximum will count toward the major. ILP credits may not be applied to fulfill the four 300-level courses in Communication for the major. Not available to first-year students.

380 Special Topics in Communication (4)
An advanced course focusing on a specific topic in communication.  Topics may include communication ethics, visual communication, video game studies, etc.  May be repeated as the topic changes.  Prerequisites vary with the topic.  See descriptions in the registration bulletin.

382 Special Topics in Message Design (4)
A study of a special topic in message design not ordinarily treated in standard courses.  May be repeated as the topics change.  Prerequisites vary according to the topic.  See description in registration bulletin.

384 Special Topics in Communication Analysis (4)
A study of a special topic in communication analysis not ordinarily treated in standard courses.  May be repeated as the topics change.  Prerequisites vary according to the topic.  See description in registration bulletin.

387 Special Topics in communication and Community (4)
A study of a special topic in communication and community not ordinarily treated in standard courses.  May be repeated as the topics change.  Prerequisites vary according to the topic.  See description in registration bulletin.

386 Studies in Film. (4)
This course will read film through one or more theoretical/critical aspects. Psychoanalytical, feminist, cultural studies, and reader-response theories are among possible approaches offered. A selection of films will be viewed for illustrative and interpretive purposes. Cross-listed with ENGL 386.

392 Communication Practicum. (1)
Under the supervision of an approved faculty moderator, a student who participates in a practical communication-related activity (e.g. KJNB radio or any official student-edited publication) may receive credit. Evidence of work completed (e.g. portfolio, audio tapes) letters of evaluation by supervisors, regular conferences with the faculty moderator, a structured self-evaluation, and a minimum number of hours (30 per term) and projects completed are required. Students present a proposal to a faculty moderator and obtain approval prior to registering for this credit. Course is repeatable for total of 4 credits.  It may not be applied toward completion of the communication major or minor.

395 Capstone: Research Paper (4)
Student proposed research project not ordinarily available in standard courses.  Prerequisites may vary according to topic.

397 Internship. (1-16)
Practical work  experience for juniors and seniors. Experience is arranged by the student with the advice and approval of the internship director and the departmental faculty moderator prior to registering for the course. Credit will be earned by demonstrating knowledge gained as a result of the work experience.  Additionally, students must demonstrate the ability to apply this knowledge to past communication department concepts and courses.  Departmental moderator supervises and evaluates the experience. Internship credits may not be applied toward completion of the minor. Faculty in the department are limited to a maximum of three internship supervisions each term. Consequently it is not guaranteed that all students who desire to complete an internship for credit will be accommodated.  Prerequisite: Legal and Professional Issues Seminar.  No student will be permitted to register for an internship without completing this seminar.  Fall, Spring, and Summer.

398 Capstone: Honors Thesis/Senior Thesis. (4)
Independent project required for graduation with "Distinction in Communication." Prerequisite: HONR 396 and approval of the department chair and the director of the Honors Thesis Program. For further information see HONR 398.