Since effective communication is essential to most aspects of successful human endeavor, the Department of Communication Studies focuses on achieving understanding in human thought, activity, and interaction. Students are given opportunities to create and test ideas, develop individual abilities, and gain competence and confidence.

The Department of Communica­tion Studies helps students acquire knowledge and increase abilities that enable them to function effectively in every area of their public and private lives. The department seeks to prepare skilled communicators for professional careers and Christian ­service, providing vital background for the fields of business, teaching, law, public relations, government, social work, television, radio, corporate media departments, and various church ministries.

The faculty of the Department of Communication Studies is committed to the importance of cross-cultural experiences for all majors. Students are encouraged to attend an off-campus intercultural program for an interim or semester.

COM 110 • Basic Communication. 3 Credits.

Informal and formal communication patterns that characterize daily life, analysis of communication situations, and improvement of effective communication. Includes interpersonal, intercultural, small group, and speaker/audience communication settings.
Offered: Fall, Interim, Spring.

COM 120 • Communication in a Virtual World. 3 Credits.

Examination of how communication technology and new media impact communication, including: identity formation, interpersonal relationships, group dynamics, and public presentations. Specific technologies such as online social networking and mobile devices are evaluated for their effect on users, challenging students to identify how to intentionally manage their personal use of technology.
Offered: Occasionally.

COM 135 • Forensics. 1 Credit.

Participation in off-campus forensics tournaments. Students work with the forensics coaching staff in the areas of debate, limited preparation speaking, public address, or interpretation, and participate in multiple tournaments.
Prerequisites: Consent of instructor. Repeatable course May be repeated for up to 4 credits. Special Notes: Open to Forensics Team members fall and spring. Offered: Fall and Spring.

COM 170A • Media Production I. 4 Credits.

Equips students with the most basic “hands-on” visual media production skills in which students learn the fundamentals of visual media production, including multi-camera studio production, digital filmmaking, and digital post-production.
Offered: Fall, spring.

COM 208U • Native Americans and the Media. 3 Credits.

Analysis of media portrayals of Native Americans. Emphasis on Native American cultures and voices, mainstream portrayals of Native Americans through a variety of media, and social and media critical tools for examining media mainstream images of minority groups.
Prerequisites: GES 130 (may be taken concurrently) or GES 244 (may be taken concurrently). Offered: Occasionally interim

COM 209 • Introduction to Health Communication. 3 Credits.

Introduces students to communication surrounding health care. Beginning with the history of health care and theoretical foundations of what health and illness mean, the course goes on to explore concepts like provider-patient communication, social support, health literacy, cross-cultural barriers to health care, ethical considerations surrounding health communication and a Christian approach to health and illness.
Prerequisites: HAS 110 (may be taken concurrently). Offered: Fall

COM 210 • Perspectives on Human Communication. 3 Credits.

Examination of the communication discipline through the exploration and application of communication theories. Provides a theoretical foundation for communication studies and media communication majors by exploring significant communication concepts in the areas of human, media, organizational, and rhetorical communication.
Offered: Fall, spring.

COM 213 • Media Communication. 3 Credits.

An overview of mass media industries, including print, broadcast, cable, film, and the internet. Survey of media history, functions, and impacts on society.
Offered: Fall, Occasionally interim, Spring.

COM 215 • Web Design for Mass Media. 3 Credits.

An introduction to the growing world of multimedia design on the web. Students are introduced to the process and techniques used in designing and publishing for the web.
Offered: Spring. Special Notes: No background with web design is necessary, but familiarity with the internet and a current browser is required.

COM 217A • Screenwriting. 4 Credits.

Study of the conventions of the screenplay and practice in screenwriting. Emphasis on creating and adapting, writing, and editing narrative screenplays.
Offered: Interim, odd # years.

COM 218 • Facilitating Difficult Conversations. 3 Credits.

Exploration of inter-group dialogue. Examines the challenges of engaging in difficult conversations, including topics such as perception, social identities, emotional triggers, narratives, and privilege. Students participate in dialogue on difficult topics throughout the course and become skilled in listening, questioning, and facilitating small group interactions.
Prerequisites: GES 140. Offered: Occasionally Fall.

COM 220 • Group Communication. 4 Credits.

Vital role that small groups play in daily life, group problem solving and group interaction, and greater effectiveness in working in small groups. Examination of leadership, group cohesiveness, and conflict management.
Offered: Fall, spring.

COM 230L • Introduction to Rhetoric and Public Influence. 3 Credits.

An introduction to rhetorical theory and persuasion. Basic principles of rhetorical analysis and the importance of rhetoric and persuasion theory in everyday life. Application of rhetorical theory to a variety of different media, political, and social situations, particularly with regard to the United States in the post-Civil War era.
Prerequisites: GES 130 and GES 160 (may be taken concurrently) or GES 244 (may be taken concurrently). Offered: Fall

COM 235 • Forensics. 1 Credit.

Participation in off-campus forensics tournaments. Students work with the forensics coaching staff in the areas of debate, limited preparation speaking, public address, or interpretation, and participate in multiple tournaments.
Prerequisites: Consent of instructor. Repeatable course May be repeated for up to 4 credits. Special Notes: Open to Forensics Team members fall and spring. Offered: Fall, Spring.

COM 248 • Organizational Communication. 3 Credits.

Communication practices and problems found in organizations. Communication concerns related to organizational structure, conflict, effectiveness, roles (emphasizing leadership), work processes, and decision making. Interviewing as an organizational practice and as a research tool.
Offered: Fall.

COM 264 • Storytelling. 3 Credits.

An examination of communication in electronic media through the analysis and development of narrative structure and story elements as they are used in a variety of media industries. Students will learn to create compelling stories for audio and visual media through the analysis of scene, character arc, action, motif, etc.
Prerequisites: COM 170A or consent of instructor. Offered: Interim, even # years

COM 270 • Media Production II. 4 Credits.

The second of two “hands-on” media courses in which students learn the specific techniques of cinematography, audio, and editing visual productions. Training in the critical aspects of editing theory and the analysis of the post-production process.
Prerequisites: COM 170A. Offered: Fall, Spring.

COM 301A • Oral Interpretation. 4 Credits.

Focuses on the creative process involved in the oral performance of prose, poetry, and drama. Students explore and practice methods and techniques for selecting, analyzing, understanding, and adapting literature for oral performance. Emphasizes artistic expression through the performance of compiled literary scripts individually and in groups.
Prerequisites: Junior standing or consent of instructor. Offered: Fall

COM 302 • Media Law. 3 Credits.

Examination of mass media law and policy through the use of court cases, policy documents, legislation, legal history, and legal philosophy. Special emphasis on First Amendment and ethical issues related to media practices.
Offered: Fall, spring.

COM 310K • Communication, Technology and Society. 3 Credits.

An examination of the impact communication technology has on communication and society. Evaluation and exploration of technologies such as digital media, the internet, and other emerging technologies. Analysis of the ethical and spiritual implications and applications of these technologies.
Prerequisites: Laboratory Science (D) course; Mathematics (M) course. Offered: Fall, Occasionally interim, Spring.

COM 314G • Gender Communication. 3 Credits.

Examination of the force of rhetoric on historical and social movements since 1800. Concentrates on movements that cross gender lines and impact modern men and women. Studies religious revivals and Christian action groups as related to the sweep of history. Considers gender differences and similarities, verbal and nonverbal.
Prerequisites: [GES 130; GES 160; Contemporary Western Life and Thought (L) course; World Cultures (U) course] or [GES 244; World Cultures (U) course]. Offered: Fall

COM 315G • European Language and Culture Area Study. 3 Credits.

An introduction to specific European cultures, languages, and communication styles. Students experience European cultures through first-hand interaction, special speakers, readings, and class excursions. Language lessons equip students to complete basic social tasks. Topics include worldview, education, political economy, ecology, history, and art as reflections of regional communication style.
Offered: Europe term; Fall, odd # years.

COM 318 • Argumentation and Debate. 4 Credits.

Argumentation and debate principles, with application to written analysis, briefs, speeches, and debates. Analysis of an issue, reasoning and evidence, in-depth research, and oral delivery.
Offered: Spring.

COM 319 • Health Campaigns and Technology. 3 Credits.

Explores how health campaigns and technology influence individual and societal health behavior and attitudes. Examines both teoretical and applied approaches to health literacy, health informatics, and the process of influencing health-related choices. Culminates with the creation of a health campaign that utilizes appropriate theories, methods, and technologies.
Prerequisites: COM 209. Offered: Spring

COM 322 • Advanced Group Communication. 4 Credits.

Advanced examination of group development and team building. Various theories and models of group formation and team building are analyzed and experienced as students become part of multiple Christian communities during the Europe Term in Intercultural Communication. Students learn how groups relate in differing cultures as well as how their Christian faith can play a role in group functioning.
Offered: Europe term; Fall, odd # years.

COM 323 • Event Management & Leadership. 3 Credits.

Designing integrated communication approaches for conferences, professional meetings, celebratory events, and community outreach programs. Using a theory-informed approach, students engage the professional, interpersonal, and organizational coordination of information, people, and budgets. Specific attention to developing creative and constructive responses to unanticipated “rhetorical interruptions” and to identifying opportunities for institutional enhancement.
Prerequisites: COM 248. Offered: Spring, odd # years

COM 324 • Professional and Technical Communication. 4 Credits.

Introduction to professional and technical communication skills. Topics include interviewing, technical speaking, speaking and writing to a lay audience, and visual communication skills. Students will learn how to present complex information in a variety of formats with an audience centered approach.
Offered: Spring even # years.

COM 325 • Political Communication. 3 Credits.

Analysis of the theoretical background behind political communication from a public speaking and media perspective. Attention to decision-making skills required in political campaigns. Discussion of advanced persuasive campaign theory.
Prerequisites: COM 110 or COM 210 or consent of instructor. Special Notes: Carries cross-credit in political science. Offered: Occasionally.

COM 335 • Forensics. 1 Credit.

Participation in off-campus forensics tournaments. Students work with the forensics coaching staff in the areas of debate, limited preparation speaking, public address, or interpretation, and participate in multiple tournaments.
Prerequisites: Consent of instructor. Repeatable course May be repeated for up to 4 credits. Special Notes: Open to Forensics Team members fall and spring. Offered: Fall, Spring.

COM 350 • Corporate Communication. 3 Credits.

Theories and principles of corporate communication including issues related to public relations, media relations, corporate identity management, investor communication, and crisis communication in both for-profit and not-for-profit organizations.
Prerequisites: BUS 230 or COM 248; ENW 115. Offered: Interim.

COM 352 • Broadcast Journalism. 3 Credits.

Theories and principles of broadcast writing with practical experience in writing news stories for radio and television. Analysis of broadcast news programming and procedures.
Prerequisites: COM 213. Offered: Fall, Spring

COM 355Z • Intercultural Communication. 4 Credits.

An exploration of the richly varied cultures of humankind and the influence of culture on verbal and nonverbal communication. The examination of theory is balanced by an examination of practical applications designed to improve intercultural competence in various contexts.
Prerequisites: World Cultures (U) course. Special Notes: The course includes a 30-hour intercultural service learning component. Offered: Fall, Spring, (offered on Europe term fall odd # years).

COM 361 • Rhetorical Criticism. 3 Credits.

Study of approaches to rhetorical criticism. Critical evaluation of a wide range of communication texts, their possible meanings, and their implications for various audiences and situations. Students learn methods used to analyze communication texts as well as historical and future trends in the field of rhetorical criticism.
Prerequisites: COM 210 or COM 230L. Offered: Occasionally

COM 363 • Methods of Communication Research. 4 Credits.

The modern foundations for study, evaluation, and research in the entire field of communication. Readings, statistics, and finished research projects are the focus of study.
Prerequisites: COM 210; two courses in communication. Offered: Fall, spring

COM 365 • Crisis Communication. 3 Credits.

Crisis communication is a subfunction of organizational communication. Because crises can impact an organization's reputation and, at times, existence, careful preparation and communication are vital. Examines examples of crises, crisis communication theory, and crisis management approaches, in addition to ethical considerations for all phases of dealing with organizational crises.
Prerequisites: COM 350 or consent of instructor. Offered: Occasionally

COM 366 • Strategic Social Media in Organizations. 3 Credits.

Examination of the role of social media in business marketing and public relations. Analyzes how new media are changing the way businesses sell their products, communicate with customers, make decisions, and create community.
Offered: Fall.

COM 367 • Interpersonal Conflict. 3 Credits.

Theories and principles of interpersonal conflict are examined. Study ways in which personal history, tactics, styles of expression and strategies of interaction impact types of conflict and their eventual resolution. Evaluate models of conflict resolution with an emphasis on issues of forgiveness and reconciliation.
Offered: Fall.

COM 368 • Nonverbal Communication. 3 Credits.

Nonverbal communication codes will be examined, including their structures, usages, and interrelationships. Stresses student understanding, analysis, and application of nonverbal communication through lecture, discussion, and experiential activities. Explores the impact of nonverbal communication on culture and interaction.
Offered: Fall.

COM 370 • Interpersonal Communication. 4 Credits.

The interpersonal communication process. Theory and pragmatics related to dyadic communication. Explores issues such as self-identity, self-esteem, listeners, emotions, conflict, relational development and maintenance, gender, and nonverbal communication. Opportunity to evaluate and develop personal interaction skills.
Offered: Fall, Spring.

COM 373 • Digital Filmmaking. 4 Credits.

An advanced media course in which students learn hands-on, single-camera production on location. Areas of study include cinema verité, documentary, and experimental/music video. All projects are edited with non-linear computer systems, and published to DVD and web.
Prerequisites: COM 170A; COM 270, or consent of instructor. Offered: Spring

COM 374 • Broadcast Production. 4 Credits.

An advanced media production course that provides an in-depth understanding of audience analysis, news and sports programming, advanced multi-camera, live production, and field news reporting. Implementation of new digital technologies and production techniques for webcasting are included.
Prerequisites: COM 170A or consent of instructor. Offered: Fall

COM 375 • Media Criticism and Theory. 3 Credits.

Explores theoretical and critical approaches to the study of video, audio, film, and digital culture. Theories and methods in this course examine issues relating to production and authorship in the media arts, audience reception and effects, political ideology, ethics, aesthetics, cultural diversity, and schools of thought within the liberal arts. Extensive critical writing and reading in media criticism and theory.
Prerequisites: COM 210; COM 213. Offered: Spring

COM 376 • Public Relations Writing and Strategies. 3 Credits.

Explores approaches and techniques for conducting research and writing within key public relations contexts. Students practice essential writing skills and strategies needed to perform a variety of projects in the public relations profession, including biographies, press releases, fact sheets, backgrounders, newsletters, brochures, pitch letters, speeches, feature stories, and social media posts.
Prerequisites: COM 248; COM 350. Offered: Spring, even # years

COM 386 • Advanced Public Speaking. 4 Credits.

Preparation and delivery of speeches at an advanced level. Speeches can include persuasive, entertaining, informative, special occasion, business presentations, and storytelling.
Prerequisites: Junior standing or consent of instructor. Offered: Fall.

COM 387 • Speaking in Ministry Contexts. 4 Credits.

Creation and delivery of presentations that prepare students to deliver the types of messages required in ministry contexts. Students work on biblical interpretation, adapting a biblically based message to specific audiences and contexts, and learning to communicate in a clear and relevant manner.
Prerequisites: Junior or senior standing, consent of instructor. Offered: Spring, odd # years

COM 400 • Family Communication. 4 Credits.

Communication patterns that help or hinder relationships within the family system. Functioning in simulated family groups, students develop personal roles. Various approaches to ­conflict, power, stress, intimacy, and family health. The family system in light of Christian attitudes and life patterns.
Prerequisites: Junior standing. Special Notes: Students taking COM 400 may not use GES 426P to fulfill a requirement in the BA in Communication Studies major. Offered: Spring.

COM 435 • Forensics. 1 Credit.

Participation in off-campus forensics tournaments. Students work with the forensics coaching staff in the areas of debate, limited preparation speaking, public address, or interpretation, and participate in multiple tournaments.
Repeatable course May be repeated for up to 4 credits. Offered: Fall and Spring. Special Notes: Open to Forensics Team members fall and spring.

COM 460 • Topics in Organizational Communication. 3 Credits.

Advanced studies in organizational communication with the specific topic announced prior to registration. Possible topics may include public relations, corporate communication, consulting, training and development, or media relations. Emphasis on exploring current issues from both a theoretical and hand-on perspective.
Prerequisites: COM 350 or consent of instructor. Repeatable course May be repeated if a different topic is emphasized. Offered: Occasionally fall.

COM 462 • Topics in Relational Communication. 3 Credits.

Explores the cognitions, language, and relationship behaviors related to interpersonal and the resulting intergenerational communication across the lifespan. The class will explore the communication development patterns of children, adolescents, family communication, peer-group communication (among age cohorts), intergenerational communications, later-life communication, as well as longitudinal studies of lifespan communication development and communication during lifespan transitions.
Offered: Occasionally fall.

COM 463 • Topics in Communication Analysis. 3 Credits.

Special and/or advanced studies in rhetorical analysis with the topic announced prior to registration. Possible topics include rhetoric of religion, crisis communication, and presidential rhetoric. Theories applied to contemporary and historical communication artifacts.
Prerequisites: COM 210. Repeatable course: May be repeated if a different topic is emphasized. Offered: Interim, Occasionally Spring

COM 464 • Dating, Mating, & Relating: Lifespan Communication. 3 Credits.

Explores the communication development and patterns of children and adolescents, family communication, peer-group communication (among age cohorts), intergenerational communication, and later-life communication, as well as theoretical studies of lifespan communication development, communication during lifespan transitions, and lifespan communication research methods.
Offered: Occasionally fall.

COM 481 • Internship in Communication. 3-4 Credits.

Apply and expand communication knowledge and skills in structured, off-campus settings, such as corporations, governmental offices, nonprofit organizations, television and radio stations, and corporate media departments.
Prerequisites: Junior standing; consent of department. Repeatable course: May be repeated for credit. Offered: Fall, Spring.

COM 493 • Capstone: Independent Filmmaking and Media Production. 4 Credits.

Introduction of different forms of documentary filmmaking and how it shapes viewers' understanding of the world and how they represent the world and comment on representation by using, parodying, or critiquing reality, authenticity, truth, fact, and objectivity. Students demonstrate understanding and skill in filmmaking/media production through the art of documentary filmmaking.
Prerequisites: COM 302; COM 373 or COM 374; Senior standing. Offered: Spring.

COM 494 • Capstone: Organizational Communication. 4 Credits.

Engages students in the process of researching, structuring, conducting, and evaluating communication audits or public relations campaigns. Emphasizes synthesis and integration of skills and theories learned in the organizational communications major.
Prerequisites: COM 350; COM 363; Senior standing. Offered: Spring.

COM 497 • Capstone: Relational Studies. 4 Credits.

Guided exploration of “understudied relationships” specific to the relational communication discipline. Focus on synthesizing and integrating faith, communication skills, knowledge, theory, research, and competencies learned in the relational communication emphasis.
Prerequisites: COM 220 or COM 322; COM 363; COM 370. Offered: Spring

COM 498 • Capstone: Rhetoric and Public Influence. 4 Credits.

Advanced study in foundational rhetorical theory as well as within a specific rhetorical tradition of the student’s choosing. A significant presentation on a specific theoretical framework and a major research paper are required.
Prerequisites: COM 230L; COM 361. Offered: Spring, odd # years.