2009-2010 Communication Courses

COMM 201 Principles of Editing (4)
Emphasizes principles of grammar, punctuation, usage, and style and their application to the editing of sentences and paragraphs. Students develop the ability to identify and correct errors in their writing. They are also introduced to the concepts of writing with clarity and grace.
COMM 203 Writing for the Mass Media (4)
Introduces students to the basics of writing in preparation for further study in journalism, public relations, advertising, marketing, and business and technical writing. The framework of the basic news story is used to help students process complex information and write about it clearly and concisely. The course also includes basic editing, broadcast and feature story writing, and consideration of legal and ethical aspects of public communication. Prerequisite: COMM 201.
COMM 240 Introduction to the Mass Media (4)
Analyzes the history, nature, effects, responsibilities, influence, and power of the mass media. Media history leads into instruction about ethical principles and legal accountability.
COMM 300 Selected Topics in Communication (1-4)
Presents selected topics not offered in the regular Communication curriculum. Prerequisites may vary with course content.
COMM 301 Community News Writing (4)
Offers hands-on experience in covering and writing news for community newspapers. Using basic news-writing skills and a knowledge of Associated Press style, students cover news events at various times and places off campus. They think critically, reflect on the information they gather, write professionally and ethically, and work collaboratively. Assignments will lead to published material in a variety of community newspapers. Prerequisite: COMM 203.
COMM 302 College Publications: Forum (2)
Provides practical experience working on the college newspaper. May be taken more than once for credit. Prerequisite: COMM 203, equivalent transfer course, or instructor consent.
COMM 305 Forum Photo Staff (1)
Enhances skills in photography. Class assignments include action, candid, creative, and descriptive photography for the school newspaper. Students work with the publication editor and publication advisor in receiving assignments and meeting deadlines. Prerequisite: ART 180 or permission of instructor. May be repeated for credit.
COMM 306 Principles of Layout and Design (4)
Introduces students to fundamental techniques, concepts, and principles used to produce effective document designs. This course includes hands-on projects that develop students' visual literacy, basic desktop-publishing skills, and the ability to use digital-image-editing software. Designing layouts for letterheads, advertisements, flyers, newsletters, and magazine articles are possible projects.
COMM 307 Electronic Design (4)
Builds upon skills learned in COMM 306, and emphasizes hands-on projects in which students explore document-design principles and desktop-publishing techniques in greater depth. Students learn more about the publication design and production process and how to produce effective, professional-quality publications. Students continue to enhance their skills in digital image editing. Prerequisite: COMM 306.
COMM 310 Professional Writing (4)
Focuses on the writing of high-quality correspondence and a variety of other genres of professional writing. Students learn about communication in various contexts and develop skills in collaborative writing. Prerequisite: COMM 203 or equivalent.
COMM 320 Digital Imaging (3)
Covers basic technical skills for the digital photographer. These include image capture, processing, retouching, manipulation, and printing. This course also deals with visual and conceptual skills needed to produce effective images. Prerequisite: ART 180. Same as ART 320.
COMM 321 Digital Media Survey (3)
Introduces students to the possibilities for making art on a computer. It explores techniques in several popular software programs. Prerequisite: COMM 320. Same as ART 321.
COMM 324 Electronic Communication in the Global Community (3)
Provides students with the knowledge and skills needed to work with and produce electronic media. Students are introduced to electronic media and software tools for producing, presenting, and sharing information globally. Students use software designed to create online documentation, and develop the most effective methods for communicating messages in a global community. Prerequisite: COMM 310.
COMM 326 Introduction to Web Writing and Design (4)
Prepares students for on-the-job Web writing and design. Students are introduced to concepts ranging from Web usability to implementing a site design. Students learn to write content for the Web and to design a basic Web page or Web site.
COMM 327 Web Design and Development (4)
Expands on the core skills of Web design by requiring students to work in depth with Web design software and HTML or XHTML. In addition to honing students' skills with Web authoring tools, the course introduces standards for designing and maintaining Web sites, including the use of CSS to design Web sites more efficiently. The course also focuses on managing Web projects and maintaining a Web site for a client. Students build Web sites for different audiences and purposes, as well as redesign existing Web sites in order to create more usable, well-designed sites. Prerequisite: COMM 326.
COMM 336 Public Relations Principles (3)
Presents methods of establishing and maintaining two-way communication between an institution and its publics. The course focuses on publicity and placement with the media, program planning and management, lobbying, administration, and public affairs. It also covers writing and editing, small-group communication, research procedures, and legal-ethical considerations.
COMM 337 Public Relations Writing and Campaign Planning (3)
Focuses on advanced writing and planning in public relations. Students use case studies to sharpen their understanding of the field. The course also focuses on the law and ethics of public relations. Students undertake a semester-long consulting project, learning the skills necessary to develop a comprehensive communications plan that addresses the needs and goals of an organization. Prerequisite:
COMM 336.
COMM 338 Principles of Advertising (4)
Explores the history, social impact, and mechanics of advertising. In addition to analyzing advertising as a medium of expression, the course focuses on the copywriting and designing of both print and electronic advertising.
COMM 340 Communication Theory and Persuasion (3)
Introduces students to various theories and strategies of persuasion in various communication situations. Students examine theories from ancient to contemporary eras and apply them to the analysis of written, visual, and electronic messages. Emphasis is on developing skills in argumentation and critical thinking. Prerequisite: COMM 203.
COMM 350 Business and Professional Communication (3)
Explores the nature of interpersonal, organizational, and group communication in business environments. Awareness of personal communication skills are critically examined through a variety of discussions and exercises. Prerequisite: SPCH 111.
COMM 360 Race, Gender, Class, and the Media (3)
Focuses on analyzing the portrayals of race, gender, and class in the media. The class introduces students to theoretical concepts in contemporary media studies, surveys some of the most influential and interesting genres of contemporary media, and focuses on issues of race, gender and sexuality, and class from a critical perspective.
COMM 401 Directed Studies (1-4)
Allows students to initiate proposals for intensive tutorial-based study of topics not otherwise offered in the Communication Program. Prerequisite: consent of instructor and school dean.
COMM 405 Advanced Writing and Research (4)
Introduces students to the concept of creative non-fiction to produce long, in-depth pieces that require traditional research, interviews, and/or participant observation. Emphasis is on developing a sense of style and a command of narrative and expository techniques. Class activities include intensive workshop sessions in which students comment on each other's work. Prerequisite: COMM 310 or consent of instructor.
COMM 410 Technical Writing (4)
Focuses on writing with clarity about technical subjects for various audiences. Projects might include technical descriptions, instructions or procedures, and technical manuals or reports. Technical writing style and effective peer review are emphasized. Some collaborative work is required. Prerequisite: COMM 310.
COMM 425 Communication Law and Ethics (4)
Provides an in-depth study of legal and ethical issues in communication. The course focuses on developing a basic understanding of the American legal system and how it applies to the communication industries. Students also study principles and concepts of ethical theory to develop expertise in moral reasoning with regard to ethical problem solving. Prerequisite: COMM 310.
COMM 440 Internship (2-6)
Offers students the opportunity to integrate classroom knowledge with practical experience. At least two separate internships are strongly recommended. Prerequisites: junior or senior standing (for transfer students, at least 15 hours completed at Westminster), minimum 2.5 GPA, completion of the Career Resource Center Internship Workshop, and consent of faculty supervisor and Career Center Internship Coordinator.
COMM 490 Portfolio Workshop (1)
Gives students an opportunity to create portfolios from samples of their work that reflect skills acquired in the Communication Program. Students learn to produce professional-quality portfolios displaying work completed in courses and internships. Course should be taken in one of the last two semesters before graduation, preferably in the final semester.