Public Relations

Courses in the public relations program seek to develop Christian perspectives on the media, on the ways media serve and might serve their communities, and on the roles our graduates will play within media organizations. These courses are complemented by the leadership and production experience students gain as members of Crosswalk Media, a departmental production group serving the broader community, and the Beacon, the college newspaper. The public relations major requires an internship—and excellent internship opportunities are available in Los Angeles, Washington D.C., and Chicago.

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Minor requirements:

COM 101x - Mass Media and Society
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.(4 credits)
COM 185WI - Media Writing
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. Prerequisite: COM 101x or permission of instructor. (4 credits) (Writing intensive)
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
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.(3 credits; alternate years, consult department)
COM 332 - Social Foundations of Advertising
(3 credits, alternate years, consult department) The primary objectives of this course are knowledge integration and skills application. By conceiving, researching, creating, executing, and evaluating a comprehensive advertising communication plan that incorporates research, creative, media, and promotions, students will understand how various components work together to provide a client with a cohesive campaign that communicates their message. Students will give a formal oral presentation to their client that includes a usable campaign and all the creative materials needed to execute the campaign.
Choose two credits: 2
COM 215 - Practicum in Public Relations
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. (1 credit)
COM 217 - Communication Practicum in Print Media
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. (1 credit)
Choose 8 credits: 8
ART 220 - Graphic Design I
COM 261 - Feature Writing
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.(2 credits; alternate years, consult department)
COM 263 - Layout and Design
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.(3 credits)
COM 310 - Advanced Topics in Communications *
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.(2-4 credits; alternate years, consult 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: ENG184 or equivalent and any of the following: COM263, ART220, ART230, or permission of instructor.
COM 340 - News Writing and Editing
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: COM185WI or permission of instructor. (4 credits, non-yearly, consult department)
COM 355 - Organizational Communication
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.(4 credits; alternate years)

Total credits required: 26

Note:

* COM 310 Must be a topic in Public Relations

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