Whether your message is a speech, news story, feature article or corporate newsletter, studying communications will help you develop your writing and speaking skills. Many communications majors also pursue minors or add second majors, preparing for careers as journalists or publicists in the arts and politics.
Public Relations Minor
|COM 101x - Mass Media and Society
(4 credits) Examines the historical development, organization and structure of the
mass media in contemporary society, as well as related issues and problems. Suggests
Christian perspectives on use of and participation in the mass media.
|COM 185 - Media Writing
(4 credits) Students learn genres of writing for print and broadcast journalism and video, as well as for public relations and advertising. They learn these genres in relation to each other and in relation to their organizational contexts and audiences. Included are reporting, organizing and writing, as well as basic legal and ethical guidelines for reporters and writers in journalism and PR.
|COM 225 - Media Law and Ethics
(2 credits) This class explores the ethical and legal judgments of media professionals
both past and present in an attempt to reveal the process by which important
communications decisions are made. By exploring the successes and failures of
others, students will learn to hone their own decision-making skills. They will
also learn how the law affects their field and ultimately the decision-making
processes of members of the media. Finally, this course will show students
there is no such thing as a universal ethic and that their own principles will
not always agree with the principles of others. Students will come to
understand the differences between secular ethical considerations and their own
Christian values. Prerequisite: COM101.
|COM 230 - Principles of Public Relations
(3 credits; alternate years, consult department) Introduction to the field of public relations. Its focus is on public relations theory and practice with an emphasis on emerging trends. This course is offered as an overview covering public relations history, theories, strategies and tactics.
|COM 332 - Social Foundations of Advertising
(3 credits; alternate years, consult department) An introduction to social and historical foundations of advertising. Includes a study of the role of advertising in American culture and economy.
|Choose two credits: 2
|COM 215 - Practicum in Public Relations|
(1 credit) Practical experience in public relations related projects such as publicity, promotions, employee and customer relations, special events, advertising, Web design, corporate research, grant writing, and human resources development and training. Project sites and sponsors may be campus departments and organizations, community businesses, and non-profit organizations. Prerequisites: completion of, or enrollment in, any of the following courses: COM230, 261, 263, 315, 332, 355, and ENG288, or permission of instructor.
|COM 217 - Communication Practicum in Print Media|
(1 credit) Practical experience working on the campus newspaper, the Beacon, or the college yearbook, the Cornerstone. Prerequisite: students must be accepted for membership on one of these publications before signing up for the practicum.
|Choose 8 credits: 8
|ART 220 - Graphic Design I|
(4 credits) Graphic Design I is an introduction to the computer applications used in
the communication, design and publishing fields. There will be an introduction to
graphic design problems and projects in order to learn how these applications
all work together.
|COM 261 - Feature Writing|
(2 credits; alternate years, consult department) Study of interviewing practices, research methods, organization, and interest-gathering techniques necessary for writing longer articles, profiles, columns and consumer affairs writing. Prerequisite: COM185 or permission of instructor.
|COM 263 - Layout and Design|
(3 credits) Covers basic principles of design as they apply to a wide variety of publications. Emphasis on selecting type, art and graphics appropriate to subject matter, purpose and audience.
|COM 310 - Advanced Topics in Communications *|
(2-4 credits; alternate years, consult department) This course is designed to be an upper- level course providing in-depth and additional knowledge and/or skill in specific discipline areas that are not well covered in the current curriculum. Topics will vary according to students' interests and needs, changes and developments in the communication discipline and practice, and faculty skills and interest. Potential topics may include additional instruction in advertising, public relations, magazine writing, advanced news writing and editing, advanced video editing, digital video directing, and international and intercultural communication. Prerequisites: to be determined by department.
|COM 315 - Writing and Design for the Web|
(3 credits; alternate years, consult department) Study of writing and design for a Web environment. Students will analyze Internet sites and design sites of their own, using a standard program for Web design. Prerequisites: any of the following: COM263, ART220, ART230, or permission of instructor.
|COM 330 - Multiplatform Communications|
(4 credits) Communication platforms are converging, and modern communicators must be
capable of telling stories in a variety of ways. This course explores
multiplatform storytelling and enables students to translate content from
traditional print media forms to digital platforms. Students will learn to
create appropriate content for websites, blogs, social media platforms and
tablet devices. They will also learn to make decisions about which platforms
are most appropriate for the telling of various story types. Prerequisite:
ART220 or COM263.
|COM 340 - News Writing and Editing|
(4 credits; alternate years, consult department) Principles of clear and forceful
journalistic writing. Includes fact gathering, story planning, lead and head
writing. Attention to editing for improved copy, headline writing, and selection
of photographs and art work. Prerequisite: COM185 or permission of instructor.
|COM 355 - Organizational Communication|
(4 credits; alternate years) Examination of the role of communication within and between organizations. Attention to communication tasks within an organization such as news releases, memo writing, conducting meetings, and communicating to an organization's constituencies.
|ENG 235 - Introduction to Rhetorical Studies|
(2 credits) This course functions primarily as an introduction to rhetoric and rhetorical analysis. It is designed to introduce students to the major and the minor in writing and rhetoric. Topics include the rhetoric of ancient Greece, definitions of rhetoric, past and present, rhetorical analysis of texts, and analysis of the rhetor's purpose, situation, genre and audience.
|ENG 288 - Writing in the Professions|
(2 credits) A study of professional writing. In a writing workshop setting, students will learn to adjust style, tone and content to accomplish a definite purpose with an identified audience. They will also learn strategies for creating texts that are clear, concise and accurate. The course is especially useful for those whose career goals require facility in written communication, such as those studying marketing, public relations, advertising, management or law. All students will choose a professional to be their mentor on a writing project related to the career they are interested in. Students will also build a small portfolio of professional writing that includes letters, a memo, a resume and a research report. Prerequisite: sophomore class standing.
|ENG 297 - The Rhetoric of Persuasion|
(4 credits) A study of the methods of persuasion: logical and emotional appeals and trustworthiness, ways of structuring arguments, and persuasive style. Students will learn to create and critique arguments on a variety of subjects. Prerequisites: sophomore class standing or permission of instructor.
|Total credits required: 26
* COM 310 Must be a topic in Public Relations