2013–2014 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 Design Foundations (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 Advanced 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. They continue to enhance their skills in digital image editing. Prerequisite: COMM 306.
COMM 310 Professional Writing (4)
Focuses on the writing of high-quality business and organizational writing. Students learn about communication in various contexts and develop skills in collaborative writing. Emphasis is on writing for community-based clients. 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 322 Multimedia Image Production (3)
Emphasizes the aesthetic and technical skills necessary to produce multimedia images. This course explores multimedia image creation within a variety of formats including digital photography, video, and animation. The course emphasizes the artistic tradition within multimedia imaging, but projects will be applicable to fields ranging from advertising to game design.
COMM 324 Communication in the Global Community (3)
Addresses ethical and practical concerns faced by communication professionals seeking to establish global relationships and organizations. Students analyze and engage in communication using emerging electronic and web-based tools. Prerequisite: COMM 310.
COMM 326 Introduction to Web Writing and Design (4)
Prepares students to develop basic web design skills and to create an original website. Students are introduced to concepts such as web-design conventions and usability and learn the fundamentals of working with HTML, Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), and Dreamweaver. Students create an original website that might be used as a digital portfolio or small organizational website.
COMM 327 Web Design and Content Management (4)
Expands on the core skills of Web web design by requiring students to learn how to develop working websites for community-based clients. Students work with content management systems to develop a website that can be easily edited and transferred to people with little or no web-design background. Students further learn how to develop and edit audience-appropriate written and visual content for the web on a site that they design and develop individually or in groups. 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 multimedia advertising.
COMM 340 Communication Theory and Persuasion (3)
Introduces students to 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 multimedia messages. Emphasis is on developing skills in persuasion and critical thinking. Prerequisite: COMM 203.
COMM 345 Introduction to Video Production (3)
Covers the basics of video production and editing. Topics include storyboarding, camera operation, sound, lighting and editing, as well as a wide variety of film and video genres including narrative, documentary, and experimental.
COMM 350 Business and Professional Communication (3)
Provides a broad survey of communication-based perspectives on organizational topics such as interviewing, rationality, decision-making, culture, identity, leadership, networks, power, ethics, and conflict. Designed as a first course in the area of organizational communication, this course explores the nature of organizational communication in business environments. Special attention is given to personal communication skills, which are critically examined through a variety of discussions and group 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 non-fiction genres 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, as well as strategies for research, writing, reviewing, revising, and editing. Prerequisite: COMM 310 or consent of instructor.
COMM 410 Technical Writing (4)
Focuses on writing with clarity about technical subjects for various audiences, including nonprofit clients. 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 430 Administration of Non-profits (4)
Introduces management concepts as applied to the arts. Particular attention is paid to current events and challenges facing the arts. Major career paths and the skills needed to pursue them are also addressed. Prerequisites: COMM 201; COMM 310 or ARTAD 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, and consent of faculty supervisor and Career Center internship coordinator.
COMM 490 Portfolio Workshop (2)
Gives students an opportunity to create portfolios from samples of their work that reflects skills acquired in the Communication program. Students learn to produce professional-quality portfolios displaying artifacts completed in courses and, internships, and through professional work experience. The course should be taken in one of the last two semesters before graduation, preferably in the final semester.