Wilkes University

Communication Studies

COM-101. Fundamentals of Public Speaking

Credits: 3

Principles of study, application, and evaluation of public speaking. Emphasis will be upon meeting the needs of students through individualized instruction in oral communication settings. Taught every semester.

COM-102. Principles of Communication

Credits: 3

This course is an introduction to understanding the role of theory in communication studies. We will study traditions, contexts, and theories of communication and acquaint ourselves with communication as a process. We will also learn how to do research in communication studies and examine formal approaches to research within the communication discipline, including qualitative and quantitative methods Along the way, we will lay the foundation for further coursework in the discipline and begin to prepare for our professional pursuits in communication fields.

 

COM-124. Mass Media Literacy

Credits: 3
This is a survey course that takes a literacy approach to the study of mass media and their role in society. This course examines the historical, economic, cultural and political aspects of the mass media, and explores how media influence and shape public opinion and attitude. The class will identify techniques to become more media literate as individuals and a society.

COM-144. Department Practicum

Credits: 1-2

A-Debate and Forensics; B-P.R. Agency; C- WCHL Radio; D-The Beacon; E-Television; F- Department. The Department Practicum may be taken for one or two credits per semester with the total not to exceed six credits. Students may earn credit for major roles and positions of major responsibility in the above co-curricular activities. Credit for participation in these activities is optional, and voluntary participation (without credit) is also encouraged. The department, through the advisor or instructor of the activity, has the authority to approve or reject any contract for credit under this designation. Credits earned are applicable toward graduation, but do not count toward the degree requirements of any concentration in Communication Studies. Written approval of credit must be by advisor and Department chairperson. Taught every semester.

COM-201. Advanced Public Speaking

Credits: 3

In this class, students will improve upon communication skills learned in COM 101. In addition, they will develop an understanding and appreciation of the study and practice of rhetoric and communication in historical and contemporary contexts. Special attention will be paid to the functions and influences of speaking and listening in a democracy. Students’ understanding and appreciation of the art of rhetoric, as well as their critical orientation toward it, will be cultivated through in-class discussions of course readings and other materials, the composition and delivery of multiple public presentations, the analysis of public address texts and contexts, and the application of active and mindful listening skills.

 

COM-202. Interpersonal Communication

Credits: 3

Interpersonal, or dyadic, relational communication, is a critical component of human social interaction. In this course, we will explore the role of interpersonal communication in our individual lives and in society as a whole. We will not only learn the scholarly concepts and theories of interpersonal communication, we will also examine how we and others engage in interpersonal communication behaviors and practices. In that process, we will develop an understanding of mindfulness and competence, and generate solutions for improving interpersonal communication mindfulness and competence in and across various environments.

Pre-Requisites
COM-102 or consent of the instructor.

COM-203. Small Group & Team Communication

Credits: 3

This course is designed to enable students to improve their decision-making abilities within group and team settings. Emphasis will be placed on team-building, as well as task, leadership and interpersonal skills needed for effective group communication. 

Pre-Requisites

COM-204. Argumentation and Debate

Credits: 3

This course will provide training in the fundamentals of argumentation and debate, with practice in gathering and organizing evidence and support materials. Students will be required to build cases based on policy and parliamentary debate structures.  Emphasis will be placed on persuasive techniques including cross examination and research.  There will be team building activities that reinforce critical thought, problem solving, and open minded discourse.  Students will learn to process information quickly and respond with applied knowledge and excellent communication skills.  

Pre-Requisites
COM-101 or consent of the instructor.

COM-206. Business and Professional Communication

Credits: 3

In this class, students will develop theoretical and practical knowledge of professional communication broadly, critically interrogate the language and practices of “professionalism,” and apply course materials and critical thinking skills to the current job market, economy, and globalized context in which we live. Course readings, discussions, and assignments emphasize the significance of communication competence at different stages in the job search process, including preparing pre-interview documents, practicing and applying interview skills, interacting with others in multiple organizational contexts, including small group work, and cultivating and maintaining a professional portfolio in traditional and digital formats.

 

COM-220. Introduction to Electronic Media

Credits: 3

This course is an overview of the history, institutions, and message systems of the radio, television, cable, satellite, and internet industries. Emphasis is placed on electronic media development as public and commercial institutions, and the functions that they serve in society. The class focuses on the technical and managerial aspects of the telecommunications industry.

COM-222. Broadcast Production

Credits: 3

A study of the principles and techniques of audio and video production. A special emphasis is placed on the utilization of these techniques in broadcast settings.  Included will be: audio principles & recording, acoustics, camerawork, switching, studio equipment, set design, directing, and producing. After completing this course successfully, students will have the basic knowledge needed to perform a variety of jobs within the broadcasting profession.  This course is primarily production oriented, with emphasis on learning by doing.  The course progresses from basic concepts and tools of production, to slightly more advanced production techniques and production assignments. 



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COM-223. The Art of Film

Credits: 3

An introduction to the aesthetics, techniques, and critical analysis of cinematic art through the study of representative films of current and past film directors. The course focuses on key elements in film studies including photography, lighting, editing, sound and acting. Emphasis will placed on the analysis of films as texts.

COM-252. Internship

Credits: 3-6

A supervised program of work and study in any of the concentrations. Written permission of the department is required. Offered every semester.

COM-260. Basic Newswriting

Credits: 3

This course explores the fundamentals of newsgathering, newswriting and news judgment for all media; study of news sources; fieldwork; research; and interview techniques. Students will learn how to write basic news stories using inverted pyramid and narrative writing structures. Students will also be expected to find and interview sources for stories, including subject experts from outside of campus. Basic legal terms and AP style will also be introduced.

 

COM-261. Multimedia Communication

Credits: 3

This course offers a skills-focused and theoretical approach to multimedia communication. Through a variety of readings, discussions and practical workshops, students will earn basic skills for navigating through multimedia platforms, including, but not limited to social media, apps, and audio/visual modes of communication. Students will be given the tools and information to adapt their knowledge and expertise as media and software packages change. Students will also critically analyze multimedia platforms to better understand their functions and the repercussions of releasing information on (or through) them. 

COM-262. Digital Storytelling and Design

Credits: 3

This course offers a hands-on approach to exploring the visual aspects of design and storytelling. Students will be introduced to basic principles of design that are applicable to a variety of career fields.  Students also will learn about visual storytelling, the power of visual messages, and the interconnectedness between verbal and visual messages. Through readings, class discussions and workshops, students will gain the knowledge to not only produce effective and quality visual messages, but they will also be challenged to critically analyze visual messages and discuss the ethics behind the messages and the message making process. 

COM-300. Communication Criticism

Credits: 3

From the perspective of communication studies, “criticism” is an essential concept that refers to the interpretive work of analyzing and evaluating the publicly addressed messages that humans produce and consume. In this class, we will explore the history and development of the practice and methods of interpreting human communicative acts, a process known as communication criticism or rhetorical criticism. Students will be introduced to and learn multiple modes of criticism, from neo-Aristotelian to feminist, and practice applying those frameworks to selected communicative texts and rhetorical artifacts.

Pre-Requisites

COM-301. Persuasion

Credits: 3

Persuasion is an inextricable component of human communication, especially as communication is understood broadly as symbolic influence or inducement. In this class, we will explore and critically analyze the historical development of rhetoric and persuasion, study the process and components of persuasion, examine the particular contexts in which rhetoric and persuasion occur, and consider the ethics of persuasion. These objectives will be pursued via several modes, including developing and orally presenting persuasive arguments and critically analyzing and evaluating persuasive messages.

Pre-Requisites

COM-302. Fundamentals of Public Relations

Credits: 3

This course is an introduction to the fundamentals of public relations practice, including program planning and evaluation, media relations, writing for PR, and coordinating special events and functions. Students will work in teams to assist clients in creating long- and short-term PR plans, as well as fulfilling pre-determined goals. Students will also become familiar with project management, as well as networking, in terms of client- and self-promotion.

Pre-Requisites

COM-303. Organizational Communication

Credits: 3

Course focuses on traditional and modern concepts of communication channels in simple and complex organizations. Considerable attention is given to interviewing and conducting communication audits. 

Pre-Requisites
COM-102 or consent of the instructor.

COM-304. Intercultural Communication

Credits: 3

Intercultural Communication is a systematic study of what happens when people from different cultural backgrounds interact face-to-face. The course is a balance between theoretical and practical knowledge, with emphasis on immediately usable knowledge. Guest speakers, in-class simulations, cross-cultural interviews, and research projects ask students to apply communication skills to actual intercultural situations. 

Pre-Requisites
COM-102 or consent of the instructor.

COM-305. Studies in Public Address

Credits: 3

This class is a hybrid or comparative approach to the study of public address in the United States. We will study traditional and critical rhetorical theories of public address. We will also engage with speakers and texts that both challenge and reinforce the "great speeches" mold. As we pursue these objectives, we will focus our study on selected social movement rhetorics in the United States, including those of women's and feminist movements, civil rights movements, labor movements, and LGBTQ movements. 

Pre-Requisites
COM-102 or consent of the instructor.

COM-306. Gender and Communication

Credits: 3
Gender is a social construct that is constituted, expressed, and interpreted via the processes of human communication. With that in mind, in this course, we will explore the relationships between gender as a social construct and communication as a symbolic process and critically interrogate the assumption that gender, sex, and sexuality are inextricable categories of personhood. Students will gain theoretical insights and develop analytical skills to identify gendered expectations and interrogate how these expectations impact people of all genders.

COM-320. Media Management

Credits: 3

This course will provide a framework for understanding the functions and methods of media managers in both print and non-print media. 

Pre-Requisites
COM-220 or consent of the instructor.

COM-321. Advanced Multimedia Reporting

Credits: 3

This course combines advanced reporting techniques with multimedia production to create news 'packages'. Students  will discuss audience analysis and determine  what makes a solid news package for a pa1iicular audience and/or demographic. The class will analyze existing news packages and then split into teams to create their own multimedia  news stories that relate not only to the university, but also to the Wilkcs-Barre area. Teams will be responsible for all reporting and multimedia work, including,  but not limited to, video, online  and photo components.  Near the end of the semester, students  will present  their  work  to a panel  of industry and/or academic professionals for feedback. 

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Pre-Requisites

COM-322. Advanced Video Production

Credits: 3

The advanced study of the principles and techniques of video production.  Scripting, producing, and editing video are subjects covered in this course.  Each student will participate in several video productions.  Strong focus on “hands-on” experience, including the production of a mini-documentary.  Classroom and studio work places an emphasis on current principles of both multi-camera studio and field production. Creativity, teamwork, time management, distribution or labor, and applied aesthetics are also strongly emphasized. 

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Pre-Requisites
COM-222 or consent of the instructor.

COM-323. Advanced Audio Production

Credits: 3

This advanced level course builds on the basic skills learned in Broadcast Production with an emphasis on radio and the radio industry. Students  will learn the theory and techniques of in depth radio production, including multi-track recording, mixing, signal processing, editing, mastering, creative radio production, and sound design for media. Students will be expected to work independently and within the group to produce broadcast quality production content suitable to be aired on WCLH. 

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COM-324. Communication Research Methods I

Credits: 3

A study of the basic foundations in the theory and practice of communication research.  The course will review the varied concepts and methods used in designing and conducting research specific to the discipline of Communication Studies and introduce students to the process of applying to the Institutional Review Board for research permission involving human subjects. Emphasis on ability to hone research topics, identify research sources, and write literature reviews. Required of all majors. Taught every fall semester.

Pre-Requisites

COM-325. Communication Research Methods II

Credits: 3

A focus on the principles and techniques of sampling, data analysis, and data interpretation as applied to communication research.  Qualitative and quantitative analyses will be explored, as will fundamental aspects of both descriptive and interpretive statistics.  An emphasis is placed on students’ ability to work independently to gather, analyze, interpret, and report original research findings.  Required of all majors. Taught every spring semester.

Pre-Requisites

COM-352. Advanced Public Relations Campaigns

Credits: 3

An advanced course in public relations, taught in seminar format. Emphasis is placed on planning, researching, budgeting, carrying out and evaluating actual public relations campaigns. The course is both writing and speaking intensive. In cooperation with various community-based businesses and non-profit clients, student 'teams' conduct actual semester-long promotional campaigns. Students should be competent in basic newswriting, interviewing, and fundamentals of public relations. 

Pre-Requisites

COM-354. International Field Experience in Communication

Credits: 1-6

One to six creditsInternational Field Experience in Communication is an international service-learning experience that focuses on social and communication issues. Students will do a service project related to an area of communication studies including, but not limited to, Broadcast and Print Media, Public Relations, or Strategic Communication. Qualifies for Study Tour Experience (STE) credit pricing. Taught as offered.

COM-361. Feature Writing

Credits: 3

The course explores the study of feature articles for newspapers, magazines and specialized publications (online and otherwise). Students will read and write feature stories as they practice research, interviewing and writing techniques, as well as pitching stories to media outlets. Multimedia storytelling will also be discussed and utilized as students create their narrative pieces.

Pre-Requisites

COM-362. Mass Communication Law

Credits: 3

The course examines current legal problems, theory of controls in journalism, television, and radio; libel, copyright, privacy law, and other legal issues affecting the mass media and free speech. Using a case study approach, students will study current issues, as well as seminal cases. Students will also write case briefs as part of the learning process.

COM-372. Managing a Public Relations Agency

Credits: 3

Focus on difference between in-house public relations and agency operators. Students work with several clients. 

Pre-Requisites

COM-397. Senior Seminar/Communications

Credits: 3

A focus on the principles and application of ethics within the discipline of Communication Studies.  Emphasis is placed on in-depth investigation and discussion of current research and ethical issues to provide students with a foundation for making ethical decisions in their professional careers.  Through writing, speaking, and discussion of real-world issues and cases, students will examine how ethical decisions are made and how they apply to the field’s numerous ethical codes.  This class is also designed to integrate alumni mentoring into its curriculum in order to provide senior communication studies students a wide variety of learning and networking opportunities.  By instilling a fundamental basis for practical, ethical decision-making, this class endeavors to act as a bridge between the undergraduate experience and the professional world by providing instruction and mentoring in a wide variety of skills pertinent to professional success. Course taught every spring semester.

 

Pre-Requisites
Junior or Senior standing.

COM-398. Topics

Credits: 1-3

A study of topics of special interest not extensively treated in regularly offered courses. As offered.

COM-399. Cooperative Education

Credits: 1-6

Professional cooperative education placement in a private or public organization related to the student’s academic objectives and career goals. In addition to their work experience, students are required to submit weekly reaction papers and an academic project to a Faculty Coordinator in the student’s discipline. (See the Cooperative Education section of this bulletin for placement procedures.) As offered.

Pre-Requisites
Completion of Sophomore year, 2.25 cumulative GPA, consent of academic advisor, and approval of placement by department chairperson.

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