Communication (COMD)

Communication Courses

COMD 225  Science and Technology Communication  3 Credits (3,0)

This course introduces the practices of communicating news and issues in science and technology to a variety of publics through magazine-style writing and public speaking. Guest speakers will present research questions, methodologies and issues within the sciences. Coursework also includes readings from successful science and technology communicators, illustrating various solutions to writing about complex subjects. Special topics include identifying science and technological stories, evaluating sources and information, and communicating findings clearly, comprehensibly and accurately for publication and speaking engagements.
Prerequisites: ENGL 221 or ENGL 222.

COMD 230  Digital Photography  3 Credits (3,0)

This course introduces fundamental photographic skills through digital technologies. Emphasis is placed on the tools, techniques, and aesthetics of a range of photographic applications pertaining to graphic design and interactive media.

COMD 260  Introduction to Media  3 Credits (3,0)

The structure of professional opportunities in, and social sciences arising from media industries. Required of all Communication students. Must be taken within the first year of entering the program.
Prerequisites: ENGL 123.

COMD 265  Introduction to Newswriting and Reporting  3 Credits (3,0)

Introduction to the fundamentals, theories and practice of news writing and reporting. Identify what constitutes news, as demonstrated by daily news media, conduct interviews, generate story ideas, and write and report news stories using Associated Press style, inverted pyramid organization, and the five Ws of news writing content. Introduction to how editorial departments in contemporary news organizations operate, to the legal, ethical and cultural issues in the news business, the evolution of digital and social media in the news media, and various news-writing strategies beyond the inverted pyramid.
Prerequisites: ENGL 123.

COMD 295  Rhetorical Strategies and Analysis  3 Credits (3,0)

An examination of the theory and practice of effective persuasion for the purposes of shaping public opinion and policy. Students study the principles of Aristotelian rhetoric, and examine how they are applied in public discourse by opinion writers, politicians, political parties, public policy advocates, special interest groups, and documentary film-makers. This writing-intensive course also focuses on effective composition of rhetorical analysis essays.
Prerequisites: ENGL 123.

COMD 320  Mass Communication Law and Ethics  3 Credits (3,0)

A case study-based Communication course introducing students to the legal and ethical environments underpinning First Amendment rights in the United States from the nation's founding to the present. Topics in law include intents of the framers, prior restraint, libel, privacy, obscenity, freedom of information laws, shield laws, copyright and broadcast and cable regulation. Practices of journalists, media relations practitioners and Internet communication will be examined. Topics in ethics concentrate on models for decision making in difficult situations.
Prerequisites: ENGL 221 or ENGL 222.

COMD 322  Aviation and Aerospace Communication  3 Credits (3,0)

This course introduces the practices of communicating news and issues in aviation and aerospace to a variety of publics through magazine-style writing and public speaking. Students will learn how to recognize the news value of contemporary aviation issues, to gain an understanding of those issues through research and interviews with experts, and to write about and discuss the issues. Coursework also includes readings from respected aviation writers that illustrate aviation's economic and social impact on society. Special topics include safety, airport security and congestion, emerging legal issues, and international aviation trends.
Prerequisites: ENGL 221 or ENGL 222 and COMD 265.

COMD 335  Technology and Modern Civilization  3 Credits (3,0)

This course is a humanistic analysis of technology, with attention to its influence upon modern American culture in a global context. Topics include the history and development of technology; the influence of technology upon certain philosophies such as determinism and utilitarianism; the influence of technology on the ecosphere; and the depiction of technology in imaginative literature and the fine arts.

COMD 350  Environmental Communication  3 Credits (3,0)

An examination of a specific national and/or regional environmental issue, including such topics as climate change, pollution, conservation, policy-making and policy change. Course focuses on food as a specific environmental issue. Students' individual interests determine their research focus.
Prerequisites: ENGL 221 or ENGL 222.

COMD 360  Media Relations I  3 Credits (3,0)

This course focuses on different theories of persuasive communication and the construction of persuasive messages. Individual instructors may explore persuasive communication in public service and political campaigns, interpersonal communication, social movements, persuasive writing, or advertising. Students are evaluated on their ability to recognize, apply, and evaluate the communication theories used to design persuasive messages.
Prerequisites: COMD 265.

COMD 362  Communication and Organizational Culture  3 Credits (3,0)

Analysis of organizational culture, a study of theory, as well as application of research methods in communication. Allows students to assess particular organizations and to increase their ability to initiate organizational change. Entails a variety of research methods, including rhetorical, qualitative and quantitative methods.
Prerequisites: SPCH 219.

COMD 363  Communication and Society  3 Credits (3,0)

An examination of human communication with specific focus on gender and sexuality. Analysis of verbal discourses, non-verbal communication, symbolic imagery and media as means of constructing identity and social norms.
Prerequisites: SPCH 219.

COMD 364  Visual Design  3 Credits (3,0)

This course presents principles of visual design applying to print and electronic publications, including unity, emphasis, balance, line, shape, value, color, and texture. Special topics include ethics, typography, semiotics, and layout. Students analyze existing graphical artifacts and create print and electronic projects focused on communicating science and technology, using professional design software.
Prerequisites: ENGL 221 or ENGL 222.

COMD 415  Nonverbal Communication  3 Credits (3,0)

Nonverbal Communication entails the study of communication behaviors and processes, not involving the expression of written or spoken words, which contribute information to a message. Special attention is directed to the study of voice qualities; facial expression and body language; space, personal distance, and touch; the use of time and objects; and personal appearance. Study also involves nonverbal communication in applied settings, as well as research strategies for observing, measuring, and understanding nonverbal phenomena.
Prerequisites: SPCH 219 and ENGL 221 or ENGL 222.

COMD 420  Applied Cross Cultural Communication  3 Credits (3,0)

An examination of the challenges to communicating across the variety of subcultures present in work environments. Ethnicity, nationality, gender, physical impairment and sexuality are among the areas of difference often present in business and professional environments which may influence the establishment of cooperative working relationships. Means for analyzing and developing strategies to transcend and make positive use of sub-cultural differences will be considered.
Prerequisites: SPCH 219.

COMD 460  Media Relations II  3 Credits (3,0)

Mastery of writing and speaking genres in media relations with an emphasis on crisis communication.
Prerequisites: ENGL 221 or ENGL 222 and COMD 360.

COMD 495  Senior Project  3 Credits (3,0)

One option for the capstone experience for the communication program. Provides students with the opportunity to integrate and exhibit knowledge and communication skills acquired during their program of study. Allows students to select from a number of project options, such as researching, writing, and presenting a conference paper; developing a website; creating and delivering a workshop; engaging in a service-learning project; and conducting an empirical study. Requires students to assemble a professional eportfolio that illustrates the depth and breadth of work completed in the program. Pre-Requisite: Senior status.