Catalogue: Traditional Program: Communication

Communication (COM)

Assistant Professor Moak, Chair

The Department of Communication seeks to prepare students for the fields of journalism, mass communication, public relations and sports broadcasting. Students majoring in communication will be exposed to professionals in the classroom as well as the workplace. Non-majors will benefit by acquiring basic knowledge that will assist them in becoming more informed citizens. Society needs individuals who are trained in not only journalistic skills, but also moral standards to give the public the best information possible with which to make important decisions.

The Departments of Communication and Sports Administration have partnered to offer a concentration in Sports Broadcasting. Students interested would major in Communication and concentrate in Sports Broadcasting. Students would be able to focus on writing, reporting, or production as it relates to sports. This concentration will offer a wide array of opportunities in the area of Sports and Communication.

The communication major has four areas of concentration, journalism, electronic communication, public relations and sports broadcasting which require a total of 39 semester hours, including core courses COM 201, 203, 300, and 440; SPC 102; 21 hours of area of concentration courses (24 hours in Sports Broadcasting concentration); and an additional three-credit-hour major elective (not required for Sports Broadcasting concentration).

Area of Concentration I: Journalism
Required Courses: COM 302, 303, 305, 402, 404, 420, and 450.

Area of Concentration II: Electronic Communication
Required Courses: COM 302, 303, 307, 402, 414, 450, and 480.

Area of Concentration III: Public Relations
Required Courses: COM 302, 303, 307, 309, 350, 418, and 450. Recommended electives: ART 240, BUS 320, GDS 110, 200, 210.

Area of Concentration IV: Sports Broadcasting
Required Courses: COM 303, 307, 450, 480, SAM 306, 400, 410 and 435.

Please note that COM 450 is internship and is a requirement for the major. Every job in communication requires experience, and the best way to gain that real-world experience is through the internship. In order to be approved by the University to do an internship, the communication student must have an overall GPA of 2.75. (If a 2.75 overall GPA is not obtained by final semester, three hours of relevant coursework will be chosen by the department chair for substitution.)

The communication minor requires a total of 18 semester hours to include COM 201, 203, 300, 302, 440, and 480. The journalism concentration requires COM 303 while the electronic communication concentration requires COM 307.

Honors Program: The communication department offers opportunities for students to enroll in honors courses from its department. The following are courses that may be taken as honors courses: COM 201, 300, 302, and 440. For students majoring in this department, one must pass a minimum of nine hours of honors courses within the discipline and a minimum of nine hours from the honors courses of other departments. Each course must be passed with a B or better. No more than 18 hours are required for the honors degree. For other honors program policies, see "Honors Program" found in the "Administration of the Curriculum" section of this catalogue.

201 Introduction to Mass Communication (3).
The historical development of man's dissemination of information and the economic and social impacts of media are discussed. (Fall and spring)
203 Introduction to News Writing (3).
This course is designed to acquaint students with the style of writing required in electronic communication, print journalism, and public relations. Wire systems also will be introduced and discussed. (Spring only)
300 Ethics in Mass Communication (3).
A study of the ethical, moral, and Christian values that journalists should possess as members of the working press. An exploration of the standards that the general press should follow when dealing with the lives of public and private individuals. (Spring only)
302 Introduction to News Reporting (3). Prereq: COM 201, 203.
Beginning course designed to teach the fundamentals of news writing, news style, news gathering, news evaluation, and ethics for the media. (Fall only)
303 Public Affairs Reporting (3). Prereq: COM 302.
Determining how to locate sources to obtain information. Using research and other sources to gather and disseminate information to the general public. (Fall only)
305 News Editing (3). Prereq: COM 302.
Editing of stories, writing headlines, developing acceptable writing skills, using basic computer systems, and becoming familiar with the Associated Press stylebook. (Fall only)
307 Broadcast Journalism (3). Prereq: COM 201, 203, 302, or consent of the department chair.
A study of the delivery of broadcast news. Analysis of oral communication skills and interviewing techniques. Presence, style, and ethics are also discussed. (Spring only)
309 Introduction to Public Relations (3). Prerequisites COM 201, 203, Fall Semester
Designed to introduce and develop a broad understanding of public relations as a communication profession. Topics covered include public relations in both public and private enterprises; basics of planning and implementing a public relations communication campaign; techniques for communicating with various public; and the laws and ethics governing the practice of public relations.
350 Organizational Communications (3). Prerequisites COM 201, 203, 309 Spring Semester
An examination of organizations from a communication perspective. The nature of organizational communication competencies is learned and subsequently practiced thus developing effective communication skills. Topics may include communication networks and climates, superior-subordinate relationships, computer-mediated communication, organizational identification, communication audits, group and team communication, interviewing, meetings, and presentations.
402 Advanced News Reporting (3). Prereq: COM 302.
An extensive course in news writing that emphasizes ethics and the news gathering process. (Spring only)
404 Advanced News Editing (3). Prereq: COM 302.
Additional edit work in more complex stories. (Fall only)
414 Electronic Field Production (3). Prereq: COM 201, 203, 302, or consent of the department chair.
This course is designed to examine the realities of operating a broadcast facility. Specific areas include programming, news production, operations, sales traffic, and technical services. (Spring only)
418 Public Relations Campaigns (3). Prerequisites COM 201, 203, 300, 309, and 440.
Designed to help develop and refine the student's ability to select, create and apply tools, techniques and principles of public relations to a variety of managerial cases and problem situations. Use of real-life cases studies, tracking of current public relations issues, and creation of a full-scale public relations plan for an actual "client" are planned. This course is for students who have mastered most or all of the skills courses and can apply their knowledge base to a real-life public relations problem. Students will utilize the principles and techniques of public relations to analyze case studies, track current public relations issues, and create public relations campaigns.
420 Feature Writing (3). Prereq: COM 201, 203, 302.
This course requires substantial research. Reporting of issues concerning public affairs, concepts, and critical issues of today. (Fall only)
430 Digital Editing Processes (3).
This course will give students the opportunity to develop their understanding of digital editing using a variety of software applications and processes.
440 Mass Communication Law (3). Prereq: COM 201, 203, 300.
A study of the laws governing print and electronic journalism; legal codes dealing with slander, libel, and rights to privacy; current FCC rulings as well as the examination of historical cases that have set a precedence in media law. (Fall only)
450 Internship in Mass Communication (3). Prereq: All core and appropriate concentration courses plus consent of the department chair. Open in each concentration on the basis of written application submitted one semester in advance by senior students. All applications are forwarded to the department chair. Refer to "Student Intern Programs and Practicums" for further requirements. (Fall and spring)
480 Selected Topics in Mass Communication (3-6). Prereq: Enrollment requires the consent of the department head, who will contact the agency allowing the student to complete a practicum. Students will be requested to complete a major project that will assist the student in adding real-world experience to their r-sum-. (Fall and spring)