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Communication and Media Studies Courses

COM 103. Writing and Media (AE) (3 credit hours)

Students develop research and writing skills needed not only to write a college research paper competently but also for various kinds of media writing and content creation. Students gain introductory skills in interviewing, writing news and feature stories, writing for blogs and social media, and creating media texts that incorporate not only words but also visuals, images, and sounds.

COM 104. Intro to Multimedia Workshop (AE) (1 credit hour)

Students serve as apprentice staff members of The Eagle Eye, the student-run campus online news outlet. This course provides students with an introductory experience working for the student multimedia news outlet. No prerequisites. May be repeated once for credit (maximum of two semesters).

COM 108. Communicating Effectively (3 credit hours)

COM 108 is an integrated communication skills course focusing on speaking, writing, listening, research and information literacy, leadership, teamwork, visual design, and the use of classroom technologies. Students learn to compose, organize, and express their arguments, ideas, and feelings in writing and in a range of speaking situations from formal public speaking to class discussions to interpersonal relationships.

COM 202. Media and Culture (GS)(KSSC) (3 credit hours)

Students learn about the changing role and cultural impact of mass media in our society and globally, along with gaining a critical understanding of our role as media consumers. This course is the gateway course for communication majors and a prerequisite for most upper-level, media-related classes. Prerequisite: ENG 101 and either ENG 102 or ENG 103 or COM 103 or SCI 103, or permission of instructor.

COM 204.  Intermediate Multimedia Workshop (AE) (2 credit hours)

Students serve as staff members of The Eagle Eye, the student-run campus online news outlet. This course provides students with an engaged experience working for the student multimedia news outlet.  Prerequisite #1: Completion of COM 104 with a grade of C or higher. Prerequisite #2: Completion of ONE of the following courses with a grade of C or better: COM 205 (News Writing), COM 206 (Feature Writing, COM 210 (Photojournalism), COM 220 (Audio Design), COM 250 (Digital Film & Video Production I), COM 306 (Integrated Multimedia Storytelling Strategies) or Permission of the course instructor. May be repeated for credit up to 12 credits. Max of 6 credits can be applied to CMS major electives. Max of 6 credits can be applied to General Electives.

COM 206. Feature Writing  (AE) (3 credit hours)

Students develop skills in creative non-fiction writing for a variety of media environments, culminating in the production of an online magazine for which students also provide photography and graphic design (layout). Students develop skills in nonfiction storytelling as well as in visually supporting their stories. Prerequisites: ENG 101 and either ENG 102 or ENG 103 or COM 103 or SCI 103

COM 207. Screenwriting (AE) (3 credit hours)

Students learn the various roles that the story script fulfills as the primary conceptualizing, defining, and guiding document for the media production process. Writing projects and exercises walk students through the process of script development for television and motion picture production, exploring essential story elements such as narrative form, dramatic tension and conflict, character development, plot, point of view, dialogue, and setting as well as the structural demands of the industry formats including legal and professional issues.  Prerequisite: ENG 101 and either ENG 102 or ENG 103 or COM 103 or SCI 103

COM 210. Documentary Photography (AE) (3 credit hours)

Students learn about the opportunities and challenges faced by professional photographers as they document the world around them. Students will learn the strategies and techniques used to apply photographic theory and principles to these occasions.  Prerequisite: ENG 101 and either ENG 102 or ENG 103 or COM 103 or SCI 103

COM 220. Audio Design (AE) (3 credit hours)

Students learn the basic concepts, theories, and methodologies of audio design and production for media projects that use moving images and dynamic sound. Students gain hands-on practical experience with specialized media production equipment and software used for recording, manipulating, and then editing audio signals for a wide variety of media projects.

COM 230: Research Methods (3 credit hours)

This course introduces both qualitative and quantitative research methods to apply both to academic research and to career-related research in the strategic media industries (e.g., journalism, PR, advertising). Students will develop a critical understanding of the process of inquiry in the social and behavioral sciences; the traditional paradigms, methods and techniques of such research; and the skills to gather data through a variety of methods and then to critically interpret, evaluate, and use the information.

COM 250. Introduction to Digital Storytelling  (AE) (3 credit hours)

Students learn to create professional media storytelling projects for film and television using moving images and dynamic sound. Using portable digital media production equipment in the studio and the field, students begin to master the basic production elements of developing an idea, writing a script, producing, directing, shooting and editing a project, and finding options for program distribution and exhibition.

COM 251. Cinematography (3 credit hours)

This course expands upon both artistic and technical skills needed to enhance visual storytelling through a camera lens, focusing upon composition, camera angles and movements, color, lighting, and other essential elements.   Prerequisite: COM 250, or permission of instructor

COM 252. Media and Sports (KSSC) (3 credit hours)

Students examines the interrelationship between sports and media in today’s society, including media’s role in shaping and reinforcing cultural values as they tell the story of sports. Students study several critical approaches to sports and apply those approaches to sports organizations and popular media.

COM 298. Special Topics in Communication (KSSC) (3 credit hours)

Students explore a topic of contemporary interest to the study of communication. May be repeated for credit.

COM 299. Independent Study in Communication  (3 credit hours)

Students work closely with a supervising professor to carry out an independent course of research and/or creative scholarship. Prerequisite: COM 202 and permission of instructor.

Prerequisites for all 300- and 400-level communications courses are ENG 101 and either ENG 102, ENG 103, COM 103 or SCI 103

COM 304. Advanced Multimedia Workshop (AE) (3 credit hours)

Students serve on the editorial team of The Eagle Eye, the student-run campus online news outlet. This course provides students with an editorial and leadership position on the student multimedia news outlet. Prerequisite #1: Completion of at least one semester of COM 204. Prerequisite #2: Completion of COM 306 (Integrated Multimedia Storytelling Strategies). May be repeated once for credit.

COM 305. Organizational and Professional Communication (3 credit hours)

Students gain an overview of the relationships between organizational and communication theories, a model for examining communication processes, and methods of diagnosing/managing organizational communication. Students will also enhance their professional skills as they research and explore future career paths in the corporate or nonprofit world.

COM 306. Integrated Multimedia Storytelling Strategies (AE) (3 credit hours)

Students actively engage in content production using both writing and design skills for developing storylines for transmedia, multi-platform, story-based experiences. Beginning with an understanding of how producers weave together audio, video, images, graphics, and text as components with which to tell a story, students learn to create multimedia story packages distributed across media platforms. Applications range from multimedia online journalism to transmedia marketing to other types of non-linear, modular, interactive fiction or nonfiction narratives for multi-platform release.

COM 308/ART 308. Digital Art I  (AE) (3 credit hours)

Students are introduced, through hands-on practice, to the fundamentals of digital art and graphic design using the computer as an art medium and design tool. A variety of imaging applications are explored through design problem solving and visual studio assignments. Prerequisite: ART 100 or permission of instructor

COM 309/ART 309. Digital Art II (3 credit hours)

This course expands upon the concepts and skills developed in COM/ART 308 with an emphasis on cross-application digital work and advanced presentation methods. Image sequencing and web application complement the burgeoning knowledge of digital art techniques. The class also focuses on the larger conceptual issues that underlie digital art and graphic design. Prerequisite: COM/ART 308

COM 310. Digital Media Editing (3 credit hours)

Students learn to edit  digital media stories such as television programs, documentaries, and dramatic films. Through hands-on work with digital non-linear editing systems, students gain familiarity with professional editing practices and techniques. Prerequisites: COM 250 or permission of instructor

COM 311. Public Relations Practices (3 credit hours)

Students learn about effective public relations principles and techniques and develop a foundational knowledge about planning and developing successful public relations campaigns for specific audiences. Prerequisite: COM 202 or permission of instructor

COM 312. Advertising Principles (3 credit hours)

Students engage with advertising principles and practices, learning techniques for working with clients to tell their stories and establish their brands through the development of effective advertising campaigns. Prerequisite: COM 202 or permission of instructor

COM 313. Educational Public Relations (3 credit hours)

This advanced public relations course examines the skills necessary for communicating with internal and external publics in the educational environment and introduces the practical application of these skills for practitioners, teachers, administrators, and staff members. Prerequisite: COM 311 or permission of instructor.

COM 314. Strategies for Advertising and Public Relations Campaigns (3 credit hours)

This advanced course, students explore the cross-functional organization of integrated marketing communication with special emphasis on the areas of advertising, public relations, and marketing. Students gain hands-on experience applying the skills and techniques needed to influence and change the market through development of a comprehensive and well-organized plan. Prerequisites: COM 311 and COM 312

COM 315. Directing and Producing (3 credit hours)

Students learn about the roles and responsibilities of the producer and the director in creating a media project such as a TV program, film, or streaming video segment. Through hands-on practice, students learn how to guide media production teams efficiently with an emphasis upon managerial skills of personal initiative, dependability, and follow-through. Prerequisite: COM 250

COM 325. Web & Interactive Media Design I (AE) (3 credit hours)

Students focus on the design and development of web sites and interactive media that might include dynamically-driven Internet applications, video games, virtual online environments and ubiquitous computer applications. Students learn critical skills; develop their visual aesthetics, interactive design, technical and analytical skills; and achieve an introductory understanding of industry-standard tools.

COM 326. Web & Interactive Media Design II (3 credit hours)

This course develops more advanced skills in web and interactive media design, including the aesthetic and technical skills for development of complex web sites and interactive media as well as professional skills in working in collaborative design teams and in using the internet for business communications. Students learn and practice critical and technical skills in visual aesthetics, design philosophies, architectural structures for interactive design and analysis, while at the same time achieving a working knowledge of industry- standard tools. By the end of the course, the students will have all the tools and skills they need to take on free- lance web construction work. Prerequisite: COM 325

COM 340. Strategic Writing (3 credit hours)

This course improves all aspects of students’ writing skills, with special attention to mastering the requirements for content, style, format and design for strategic writing in professional careers such as newswriting, public relations, advertising and related fields. Prerequisite: ENG 101 and either ENG 102 or ENG 103 or COM 103 or SCI 103

COM 350. Introduction to Television and Film Studies (AE) (4 credit hours)

Students gain interpretive skills for analyzing and better understanding films and television programs, both fiction and nonfiction (documentary), within a variety of stylistic, historical and cultural contexts. Prerequisite: COM 202 or permission from instructor

COM 352. Styles and Genres of Motion Media (KSSC) (3 credit hours)

Usually focusing upon a particular genre, such as science fiction or documentary, this course exposes students to the formal and stylistic strategies valued in a particular body of films or TV series, including narrative structures and visual storytelling techniques such as cinematography, lighting, sound, staging, editing, and special effects. Students also examine the critical and philosophical assumptions underlying the artistic choices shaping each work, considering the impact of audience response as well.

COM 360. Intercultural Communications (GS)(KSSC) (3 credit hours)

Students gain insights, knowledge, and new understandings about the opportunities and challenges created by cultural and ethnic diversity in American as well as international contexts. Includes fundamental concepts from cultural anthropology as well as research techniques in historical, archival and ethnographic methodologies.

COM 365. Global Media (GS) (3 credit hours)

Students examine the media in one or more geographical or cultural regions of the globe, paying special attention to the cultures, societies and politics of the region that have a bearing upon the artistic and industrial production of media, the forms and styles of those media, and the roles that media play in the cultures and societies of the region, as well as in the larger globalized economy. The focal topic of the course will vary from semester to semester. May be repeated for credit.

COM 370. Media Law & Ethics (VE) (3 credit hours)

Students will examine legal and ethical issues in the field of communication, particularly those affecting the contemporary mass media industries. Prerequisites: COM 202 or permission of instructor

COM 398: Special Topics in Global/Intercultural Communication (GS) (3 credit hours)

Students explore global or international issues of contemporary interest to the study of communication or advanced issues in intercultural communication. May be repeated for credit. Prerequisite: COM 202 or permission of instructor.

COM 403. Theories of Media and Visual Culture (3 credit hours)

Students gain an understanding about the contributions of various intellectual and theoretical traditions to the contemporary field of media studies, examining theories of media and culture at the level of production, textual analysis, and reception of media messages. Prerequisites: COM 202 and COM 360 or permission of instructor

COM 406. Special Projects (1-6 credit hours) 

This independent learning course provides students with the opportunity to develop special media-related projects working under the supervision of a professor.  The professor and student will develop a plan and determine the scope of the project and what must be completed to earn the agreed-upon number of credits. Students may sign up for one to six credit hours. Prerequisites: Must be preapproved by instructor and Program Coordinator.

COM 407. Communication Internship (3-6 credit hours)

A supervised program of on-the-job study for the Communication & Media Studies major, this course provides practical, hands-on experience in a real-world work environment. The internship may be in areas such as marketing, editorial writing, human resources, public relations, TV production, news media, etc. This is not an independent study or special projects course; students must be working under the supervision of a professional in a corporate office or production environment. Prerequisite: Completion of 24 credit hours of COM (or ENG, for ENG majors) courses at the 200-level or above, plus approval by the CMS faculty Internship Coordinator.

COM 450. Thesis Project (3 credit hours)

Students plan and carry out an independent, semester--long project of substantial academic research and/or creative scholarship in consultation with a thesis project director approved by the student's major advisor and the CMS Program Coordinator. May be repeated for credit. Prerequisite: Preapproval by instructor and Program Coordinator.

COM 490. Transmedia Storytelling: Capstone Seminar Course (3 credit hours)

This capstone course for graduating seniors provides students with the opportunity to integrate all they have learned in their major coursework in a collaborative seminar where each student develops and carries out a transmedia storytelling capstone project. This can be a creative narrative story, a documentary project, or a promotional project for a small business or nonprofit client. The seminar uses a student-led pedagogical style in which students take greater responsibility for their own learning. Prerequisite: COM 403 or Permission of Instructor

COM 498. Special Topics in Communication (3 credit hours)

This senior-level seminar course explores a topic of contemporary interest to the study of communication. May be repeated for credit.

COM 499. Independent Study (3 credit hours)

Students work closely with a supervising professor to carry out an independent course of research and/or creative scholarship. Prerequisite: Completion of advanced coursework and permission of instructor.

SSC 321. Qualitative Research Methods (3 credit hours)

In this course, students learn both the theoretical rationale and the practical application of research methods such as participant observation in naturalistic settings, in-depth interviewing, document analysis and focus group studies. Preparation of field notes and interview data, thematic data analysis strategies and their uses in case studies, program evaluation and interpretive sociology are explored.