Relational Communication

22000 Interpersonal Communication (CA) - 3 hr.

The course explores the complex process of communication between persons seeking meaningful and satisfying relationships. Emphasis is on perception, self concept, verbal and nonverbal messages, conflict resolution, relationships, decision-making as each relates to the communication process. Experiential learning is central to the format of the course.

22100 Group Interaction Processes - 3 hr.

This course examines the complex dynamics of small group life within the context of organizational systems. Small group theory as it applies to perception, membership, leadership, norms, communication, problem-solving and decision making is explored. The focus of the course is to develop individual competence in group settings. Through a laboratory approach students are provided with opportunities to experiment with new behaviors and to improve group effectiveness. Students experience the development of a group through predictable stages and engage in critical analysis of the experiment. A group project is required. Also listed as Management 221.

22200 Organizational Communication - 4 hr.

The course involves the study of communication theory as it relates to organizations. Topics include communication systems analysis, intergroup communication, team-building, goal setting, meetings, and organizational change. The course requires a field research project during which students work with actual organizations to diagnose communication systems. The course contains a significant writing component. Students will develop skill in writing proposals, letters, memos, agendas, progress reports, final reports, and executive summaries as they progress through the field research project. Also listed as Management 222. Prerequisite: Management 218, or Communication 220.

22300 Family Communication (CA) - 4 hr.

Family Communication is a course dedicated to applying a wide range of communication theories and practices to an experience shared by all persons-family life. Few relationships are more important to people's well-being than their family relationships. And while these relationships are often defined by genes and marriages, they are built, maintained, and destroyed by communication. No two people have the same familial experience, and this course offers students the opportunity to examine how diverse families function and their specific members interact with each other. Patterns of intimacy, rituals, roles, decision-making, and conflict are included as significant issues forming family patterns. Historical and other cultural familial relationships are also included to open perspectives beyond the students' immediate experiences. Classroom discussions, experiential activities and field projects are designed to help students gain insight into the people with whom they share their lives, as well as the workings of well-functioning or "normal" family.

22500 Nonverbal Communication (CA) - 3 hr.

This course is devoted to the study of nonverbal communication in our intimate, social, and working relationships. Nonverbal cues found in (a) the communication context, (b) the communicator's physical characteristics, and (c) his/her body movement and position (gestures, posture, touching, facial expressions, eye and vocal behavior) are explored alone and in conjunction with the total communication system to better understand how nonverbal behavior helps accomplish various communication goals (for example, closeness, identity, and deception). Students will be introduced to contemporary research studies as well as key works from the past to develop a theoretical perspective of the subject. Field experiments, observational studies, and classroom exercises are an integral part of the course and give students an opportunity to increase their sensitivity to messages communicated via nonverbal channels in a variety of natural settings.

32400 Gender Communication (CA) - 3 hr.

This course is concerned with the communication "about" and "between" men and women. "About" involves how the sexes are discussed, referred to, or depicted both verbally and non-verbally. "Between" is the interpersonal dimension. More specific topics include the social construction of gender and the influence of gender on: self perceptions, self disclosure, language usage, nonverbal communication, mass media, intimacy, friendship, and professional relationships.

35400 Intercultural Health Care Communication - 4 hr.

As the United States has become a culturally diverse nation, the need for knowledge and sensitivity about different cultures in health care settings has become crucial. Cultural beliefs about disease and health are closely intertwined with the belief about religion, life and death, and even gender and child-rearing. The interconnectedness between cultural belief systems and communication is the focus of this course. Students will learn both culture-general and culture-specific concepts to achieve the goal of greater knowledge, awareness, and understanding of intercultural health care.

34900 Media and Relational Communication - 3 hr.

Relational and media scholars have long debated whether the need to communicate can be fulfilled by connecting to others through mediated channels.  Some argue the media cannot be a substitute for face-to-face interaction while others describe media as a "functional alternative."  Others view media as a device for social learning or a way to meet others one might not encounter.  In this course, we will follow debates in the scholarly literature, and draw upon the seminal works of scholars to better understand and discuss these findings in the context of our own lives.  The course shall analyze both interpersonal and media theories and apply these to current interface issues (e.g., social networking, Mean World Syndrome, media portrayals and stereotypes).

Rhetorical Communication

23000 Argumentation and Advocacy - 4 hr.

Argumentation and advocacy are examined as reasoned discourse in formal and informal decision-making situations. An examination and evaluation of proofs, types and tests of evidence, proposition analysis, and their uses in the advocacy process. Students will assume the role of advocates in informal and formal contexts.

23100 Rhetoric of International Speakers (EW) - 3 hr.

An exploration of the messages of international speakers as representatives of a global rhetorical environment. Students will examine selected international speakers through a problem-solving approach looking at each speaker's rhetorical problem(s), the extrinsic and intrinsic factors affecting the discourse, and the rhetorical strategies employed to ameliorate rhetorical problem/s. Emphasis will be on examining each speaker as a product of his or her culture. Students will do a case study of a selected speaker.

23200 Presidential Rhetoric - 3 hr.

This course examines presidential discourse as reflected in speeches, interviews, letters, and press conferences.  Students will learn a critical framework for analyzing this genre of discourse, and they will write a critical paper on a selected presidential rhetoric.

25200 The English Language: A Linguistic Tradition - 3 hr.

This course traces the historical development of the English language from its Indo-European origins down to present day U.S. speech, with a special emphasis on the various contemporary American dialects. In studying this long evolution of our native tongue, students will be introduced to modern linguistic techniques and terminology. Some fieldwork in local dialects will be required. A student may receive credit for either 25200 or 25400 but not both. Also listed as English 25200.

25400 The English Language: A Linguistic Tradition - 3 hr.

This course traces the historical development of the English language from its Indo-European origins down to present day U.S. speech, with a special emphasis on the various contemporary American dialects. In studying this long evolution of our native tongue, students will be introduced to modern linguistic techniques and terminology. Some fieldwork in local dialects will be required. A revised version of this course is offered for three credit hours as Communication 25200. A student may receive credit for only one of these courses. Also listed as English 25400.

32600 Persuasion & Attitude Change - 4 hr.

This course focuses on the interaction of attitudes and verbal communication process emphasizing recent experimental studies dealing with source, message, receiver and environmental variables. Additionally, specific persuasive situations such as bargaining, negotiations, trial processes, marketing and political campaigns are examined. A research paper on an aspect of persuasion theory and recent experiments is required. Also listed as Management 326.

33200 Global Rhetorical Traditions (EW) - 4 hr.

An examination of the nature of rhetoric as it has developed as a human problem-solving process from the 5th Century B.C. to the present. Students will explore the contributions of major rhetorical figures from the Classical Period through the 20th Century with an emphasis on rhetoric as a cultural artifact that evolves from the political, philosophical, and social background of the times. The ethical dimension of rhetoric is stressed throughout. Applications will be made to contemporary examples. Students will engage in experiential learning through the re-enactment of a Roman banquet.

33300 Rhetorical Criticism (IM) - 4 hr.

An examination of the nature and practice of rhetorical criticism as theory and methodology for understanding and critiquing contemporary discourse.  The tools of rhetorical criticism, different methodological approaches, and the values of analyzing human discourse are explored.  Students will do critiques from a broad variety of contemporary discourse such as speeches, essays, letters, editorials, theater, television, film, and other symbolic contexts of their choosing.  Prerequisite: English 20600, Writing 22100, Communication 10100, or permission.  Also listed as Writing 33300.

33400 Social Movements (UD) - 4 hr.

The role of rhetoric in the political context is studied as it has been demonstrated in the major social movements of the 20th Century.  Students will examine movement stages, movement organization, movement leadership, and movement use of communication channels as expressed through different kinds of rhetorical messages.  Students will research a social movement of their choosing.

Mediated Communication

23700 Media Law and Ethics (ES) - 3 hr.

The challenges of our times require civic engagement and careful, thoughtful judgment of our information sources.  The agenda-setting and watchdog functions of the media define our experience with the United States capitalist and democratic system.  Through intense research and class discussion, we will explore legal and ethical issues in the media.  We will read and discuss popular press, peer-reviewed journal articles, and legal documents, to improve media literacy and explore the symbiotic relationship between what is legal and what is ethical.  We will cover a variety of legal issues including First Amendment struggles, libel, slander, and invasion of privacy.  We will also explore ethical dilemmas in mainstream media including current ethical issues.  Course components include: in-class and out-of-class assigned readings, in-class viewing of related videos and films, ongoing class discussion, and in-class and out-of-class group and individual projects.

24000 Survey of Journalism - 4 hr.

This course examines the contemporary professional journalistic field, particularly the areas of writing for media, design, layout, public relations and advertising. It provides students with practical experience and also an understanding of ethical and legal problems facing contemporary journalism. By examining the way First Amendment principles have translated in different political and social arenas, it also addresses how effectively journalism serves its various constituencies. Also listed as Writing 24000.

24100 Mass Media and Society - 3 hr.

Discussions covering the evolution of print and electronic media systems in general and their impact on different kinds of societies are the central focus of the course. Audience insights will be an important part of this exercise. Press freedom, a key component of many political systems, will also be evaluated. Students will be required to analyze media content and audience responses in research papers that address these issues. Some discussion of research methodology will therefore be conducted.

24500 Public Relations - 4 hr.

This course will introduce students to how public relations function in corporations, government, nonprofit organizations, and other institutions and provide an overview of many facets of public relations: its history, development, ethics, practice, and application.  We will look at the process of public relations, including research, planning, implementation, and evaluation of public relations campaigns, survey techniques, strategies and tactics used by public relations practitioners, and how to practice public relations effectively and ethically in today's global society.  Analysis of case studies gives students the opportunity to apply public relations concepts to a realistic situation and to begin to understand the actual, creative challenges available in the public relations profession.

24600 Sports Journalism - 4 hr.

This course is an overview of sports journalism and includes the study of story development from a single idea to a published story in the field of sport. This course examines the various elements necessary to bring a sporting event from the playing field to the public through the print media. Topics include types of print media, the role of sports department personnel, coverage of the sporting event, developing contracts, gaining access to sports figures, interviewing, and story development. The course focuses on developing effective writing skills by approaching sports writing as a process. Also listed as Writing 24600.

24800 Media & Multiculturalism (UD) - 4 hr.

In a world pervaded by communication technologies, many of our perceptions about current affairs, others, and social realities are based on the types of information provided to us by the media.  One result of this situation is that we witness the rise of different trends in and out of group consciousness.  For the first time in the history of humankind, groups and individuals began to see themselves from outside as well as from inside.  This course will initiate a critical exploration of representations and misrepresentations in the media of African-Americans, Hispanics, Asians, Native Americans, women, gays and lesbians, and other traditionally under-represented groups, and prepare students to critically evaluate information they receive from the media about these groups.

24900 Advertising - 3 hr.

This course is designed to introduce students to the theory and application of creativity in advertising.  Based on the idea that good advertising always starts with an understanding of people and an awareness of their needs, this course moves through the creative process step by step, focusing first on the creative person, then on strategy and problem solving.  It covers a range of topics including the nature of creativity, the history of advertising creativity and the application of creative strategy to various media.  Students will also learn how advertising is evolved and regulated and learn about key social issues and consumer problems with advertising.  The emphasis throughout the course is on developing good advertising based on solid strategic thinking, and students will be required to write, design and present original advertisements and critique various advertisements.

26000 Desktop Publishing - 4 hr.

The increasing emphasis on a multimedia environment has forced journalism organizations to generate reader interest in its paper forms, particularly under the demand of traditional revenue models. We will examine the state of desktop publishing in news media as well how to integrate current trends in the creation of professional and academic documents. Thus, a firm understanding of media literacy as it relates to content production is imperative. This course focuses/teaches uses of current software for various types of document design. Students will learn how to integrate text, graphics, and photographs to create a variety of professional quality documents for journalistic and general professional use. Upon completion of the course, students will be able to combine their understanding of mass communication theoretical perspectives with common techniques for getting and maintaining a media consumer's attention.

26200 Web Design - 4 hr.

This course presents topics related to basic Web design principles.  We will explore Web usability, changes in the online information landscape, as well as issues confronting Web designers.  We will learn the Macintosh operating system, Web design standards, Dreamweaver current software and its components, and learn to develop unique, basic Web pages.

34900 Media and Relational Communication

(see description in the relational track)

Intercultural Communication

23100 Rhetoric of International Speakers (EW) - 3 hr.

(see description in the rhetorical track)

24800 Media & Multiculturalism (UD) - 4 hr.

(see description in the relational track)

25000 Communication Between Cultures (EW) - 3 hr.

Communication channels carry our symbolic universe, create our perceptions of reality, and act as sources of influence. This course will include an examination of international and national, as well as private and public channels of communication. The emphasis will be on the effects of changing communication patterns and strategies on family structures, institutional structures, personal identity, belief systems, and cultural values. The course will examine the reciprocal nature of communication and will stress the interplay between individuals and their cultures. Different countries and cultures will be the focus in different years the course will be offered.

25200 English Language - 3 hr.

(see description in the rhetorical track)

32400 Gender Communication - 3 hr.

(see description in the relational track)

35400 Intercultural Health Care Communication - 4 hr.

(see description in the relational track)


Students entering prior to fall of 2012: Choose two Writing courses, as designated above the First-Year Seminar (FSEM) level (for example: COMM 24000, 24600, 33300, 34500; WRIT 23100, 30400, 30500, 30600 etc.) or, a Foreign Language sequence through 10300 or competency.If a Communication course is selected as a Writing requirement, it cannot also count as a Communication elective. Students entering in fall 2012 or later will choose one writing course.

Departmental Grade Point Average

The Communication Department calculates the departmental grade point average by considering all courses taken in the department that are used for the major, but not the correlatives. Students must attain a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 in courses for communication and have a "C-" or better in Communication 10100 and Communication 30000. If a student meets the criteria established by the College for departmental honors (please refer to that section in the catalog), then the additional requirement is participation in a selected "honors" discussion with other honor students and faculty to share scholarly perspectives on a socially significant issue, as determined by the faculty.

Apprenticeship in Communication

Students are also required to complete an Apprenticeship in Communication, which is an experience for practical application of their oral and written skills. This can be done on or off campus with or without academic credit. Many students choose to do internships or work in one of the many campus organizations that utilize their communication skills. The most traditional manner of fulfilling the practicum off campus is through either internships or field experiences.

On campus opportunities include working Advance, WHRM, The Vision, Student Senate, KCPB Programming Board, Intercultural Forum or campus jobs with the Alumni, Development, Career or College Relations Offices. More information on these can be found on the On-Campus Opportunities page.

The Apprenticeship Program is required for all students who are majoring in Communication and is strongly encouraged for those who are minoring.

Additional Options

28000 Seminar *
28100 Independent Study #
29800 Internship Program: Field Experience #
38000 Special Topics in Communication *
48100 Independent Research #
49800 Internship #
62000 Radio Broadcast Techniques
62100 Radio Station Management
63000 Newspaper Techniques
63100 Yearbook Techniques
63200 Print Media Management

* These offerings can be in any of the tracks, so check with departmental faculty for confirmation of 28000 and 38000 course allocations.
# These offerings are not generally counted as part of the nine courses for completion of the major. Only under extenuating circumstances does the Department change this position.

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