Communication

Faculty/Staff

Michael Agee, Chair; Paul B. Kim, Glen Robinson

Adjunct: Chris Combest, David Pollock, John Williams

Mission

The mission of Southwestern Adventist University's Department of Communication is to prepare students to be effective Christian communicators. This includes developing skills in personal interaction, writing, speaking, creating media content, and managing the elements of communication technology. In addition, knowledge comes from learning about new forms of interaction in the areas of radio, television, film, online media, advertising, and public relations.

Aims of the Department

The aims of Southwestern Adventist University's Department of Communication are to:

  • Develop in students the essential skills necessary to enter careers in the communication field of their choice or to enter graduate school.
  • Prepare students for executive responsibilities at some point in their careers.
  • Establish a connection between communication and a relationship with Jesus Christ.
  • Instill in students a desire for long-term growth in communication.

Student Learning Objectives

Upon completion of coursework within the Communication Department, majors should be able to:

  • Describe the Communication discipline and its central questions
  • Employ communication theories, perspectives, principles, and concepts
  • Create messages appropriate to the audience, purpose, and context
  • Critically analyze messages
  • Demonstrate the ability to accomplish communicative goals, while applying ethical communication principles and practices

Facilities and Internships

Communication majors at Southwestern Adventist University choose one of the department's three emphasis areas of study:

  • Advertising & Public Relations (ADPR)
  • Online Media (OLME)
  • Radio-TV-Film (RTVF)

The department also offers minors in each emphasis, as well as Communication and Speech. Many communication students acquire valuable training and experience at the following facilities on the campus:

  • 88.3 The Journey, KJRN
  • The Studios at Southwestern and KGSW TV 18.1
  • The Communication Mac Lab
  • The department's three audio/video editing suites

Our Communication Department encourages all upper-division majors to complete an off-campus internship in their major emphasis. Even before graduation, and sometimes as a direct result of communication internship positions, many of our majors are hired by these firms, and communication alumni from Southwestern who have continued their education through graduate school have done so very successfully.

Department Policies

Withdrawing from or Repeating Courses

Communication majors or minors may withdraw from or repeat a course in their area of emphasis or minor only one time.

Multiple Communication Majors/Minors

A student cannot earn either two communication majors or both a communication major and minor in different emphasis areas. This is because there are similar core course requirements and because career preparation in two academic fields is preferable to only one.

Communication Competencies

Competence in both oral and written communication is required for progress in each of the emphases and minors offered by the department. Competence in oral communication is considered to be the completion of required Speech performance courses with a grade of C-or above.

Writing is a major component of upper-division communication courses. The department requires all students to have passed ENGL 220 Research Writing or its equivalent before enrolling in any upper-division course.

 

COMM 110 : Communication Media

An historical and critical survey of the role played by communication media in shaping culture. Media examined include books; newspapers; magazines; film; radio, recording, and popular music; television, cable, and mobile video; video games; and the Internet and World Wide Web. Also examined are the supporting industries of public relations and advertising, as well as theories and effects of mass communication; media freedom, regulation, and ethics; and global media. Attention is given throughout to improving students' media literacy.

credits

3

COMM 111 : Speech

This course covers the theories and practices of speech communication behavior in interpersonal, small group and public communication situations. The course is intended to enhance student understanding of and ability to use the basic skills of verbal and nonverbal communication, increase competence and confidence in delivery of presentations, enhanced critical thinking skills and enhanced interpersonal communication skills.

credits

3

COMM 112 : Announcing

Introduces the student to contemporary announcing techniques, especially for radio and television, but also for other media. Emphasis is given to interpretation of copy, audio and video performance, voice analysis and improvement, interviewing techniques, pronunciation and articulation, and general speech improvement. Some attention is also given to ad-lib announcing, as well as news, music, and sports announcing.

credits

3

COMM 115 : Discussion Techniques

A study of the democratic methods used to solve problems and conduct business in various kinds of group organizations. Includes a number of traditional face-to-face group activities as well as individual presentations.

credits

3

COMM 125 : Audio Production

An introduction to recording and manipulating sound, this course includes segments on sound behavior, equipment and software used for recording and manipulating sounds for broadcast, video, and film; signal processing, editing, and mixing. Supplies fee.

credits

3

COMM 127 : Photo and Graphic Editing

In this course, students will learn how to create and manipulate digital images captured from a camera, a scanner, or from scratch. Students will acquire the ability to manipulate and enhance digital images through the use of selection tools, image adjustments, filters, and blending modes. Supplies fee.

credits

3

COMM 137 : Media Techniques

This course is an introduction to the storytelling, digital technologies and techniques applied to create contemporary media content across a range of platforms. Hands-on video and audio projects will expose students to the basic methods and procedures of creating content for digital media. An emphasis is placed on story development and its pre-production, production, postproduction and delivery methodologies used across the disciplines of film, television and radio. Supplies fee.

credits

3

COMM 224 : Photography

Introduces the basic tools, materials, and techniques of digital photography. Assignments are designed to develop skill in camera operation, composition, and editing and printing the digital photograph. Supplies fee.

credits

3

COMM 233 : Interpersonal Communication

Cognitive and experiential learning about interpersonal relationships. Students acquire insights about themselves and how they relate to others.

credits

3

COMM 237 : Video Production I

This course builds on student's basic exposure in COMM 137 to story, camera and editing techniques used by film and television professionals across a range of platforms. Hands-on experience will provide learning opportunities in operating a camera, as well as using both lighting and audio equipment to tell their stories. Students will also learn to integrate this technical knowledge into key development, pre-production, production, postproduction and delivery methodologies used across the disciplines of film, television, new and emerging media. Supplies fee.

credits

3

Prerequisites

COMM 241 : Public Relations

A course dealing with definitions, basic objectives, and concepts of public relations. Attention is given to the role of public relations, research for public relations, publics and target audiences, communication concepts and channels, campaigns, and the legal and ethical environment of public relations. (Also taught as MKTG 241.)

credits

3

COMM 261 : Media Writing I

This course teaches future communication professionals how to write and communicate confidently across multiple platforms. In addition to learning the basic reporting and interviewing skills needed for all media, students will learn how to repurpose broadcast and print news for the Internet. Students will also be introduced to the research skills used in the field of communication, and begin the process of senior portfolio development.

credits

3

Prerequisites

Prerequisite: ENGL 121 (grade C- or above).

COMM 270 : Social Media Strategy

This course introduces students to both the theory and application of today's social media platforms and digital tools. Students will explore the development and influence of user-generated content as well as strategic use of branded content, all in the context of managing multiple digital channels. We will study theories on how content goes viral and examine case studies on ways viral videos have impacted the reputation of individuals and corporations. Overall, students will learn best practices in social media marketing as used by content creators, brands and major institutions.

credits

3

COMM 298 : Individual Study Topics

This course offers the lower-division student opportunity to pursue investigations in fields of special interest under the direction of the departmental staff. Content and method of study must be arranged prior to registration. May be repeated for a total of 2 credits.

credits

1 - 2

Prerequisites

Permission of department chair

COMM 299 : Directed Group Study Topics

Provides academic departments an opportunity to offer courses in specialized or experimental areas, either lower or upper division, not listed in the undergraduate Bulletin.  May be repeated for a total of 3 credits.

credits

1 - 3

Prerequisites

Approval by department chair

COMM 332 : Media Management

An advanced study of the management of media organizations, this course includes segments on historical and contemporary management theory, ethics in management, financial and human resources, promotion and marketing, programming, and regulation.

credits

3

COMM 333 : Narrative Writing

The course focuses on the writing of narrative, specifically in the creation of novels and short stories, examining traditional and non-traditional plots, character development, dialogue, setting, and other literary techniques.(Also taught as ENGL 333)

credits

3

COMM 335 : Persuasion

A study and practice of the principles and techniques involved in persuasion. Elements include the psychology of persuasion; the relation of persuasion to imaging, advertising, and propaganda; and the role of persuasion in a free society. Students will demonstrate what they have learned by applying it to a persuasive campaign project of their own making during the semester.

credits

3

COMM 337 : Video Production II

This course will expose students to advanced storytelling, editing techniques, production, and video. As a major component of the course, students will actively collaborate to develop, produce and deliver content intended for online delivery platforms. Supplies fee. 

credits

3

Prerequisites

COMM 237 or permission of instructor

COMM 340 : Drama Writing

This course focuses on writing for performance, which may include the creation of stage plays as well as screenplays. Students will coordinate with COMM 337 Video Production II students in the development of scripts for production during the semester. General concepts are included to provoke thought about writing on a much broader basis. This includes discussions on dialogue, characterization, conflict, action, and setting, as well as the differences in writing for screen versus stage. (Also taught as ENGL 340)

credits

3

Prerequisites

COMM 343 : Visual Communication

A study of visual rhetoric, specifically the relationship between images and the messages they convey. The course will survey images in all areas of modern mass communication, including advertising, public relations, journalism, graphic design, photography, motion pictures, television and video, and the World Wide Web.

credits

3

COMM 351 : Advertising

This course studies the role of advertising in society, its impact on the economy, its function in business and marketing, and its communication aspects, including media applications. Attention is given to social, legal, and ethical considerations; the business of advertising; consumer behavior; and creative strategies and processes. (Also taught as MKTG 351)

credits

3

COMM 355 : Understanding Film

A study of film, including its history and the major theories used to understand what is still a very young medium. The course provides an overview of the key ideas in understanding film, while also exploring the major movements in their social and cultural contexts that shaped filmmaking's development. Starting with some of the earliest films, the course progresses through the medium's evaluation, arriving at a deeper understanding of contemporary cinema. Along the way, we will take note of influential directors and their techniques that contributed to the making of a powerful global art form that still refuses to be defined.

credits

3

COMM 361 : Media Writing II

A continuation of COMM 261, this course teaches the student how to cover news stories in all situations and using multiple media. Study will include writing for today's journalism, preparing content for multiple platforms, the history of journalism, editing and cropping, and ethical and legal issues. The student will refine his or her ability to write and photograph the news story, using audio, video, web, print and other media. Supplies fee.

credits

3

Prerequisites

COMM 381 : Development

A study of fundraising and the philanthropic tradition and its role in the successful operation of nonprofit organizations. Attention is given to the techniques of producing fundraising proposals and campaigns directed to individuals, foundations, corporations, and other philanthropic organizations.

credits

3

COMM 424 : Writing and Editing

This course deals with the relationship between writers and editors from both perspectives, with students during the semester taking on both the role of editors seeking writers to produce material as well as the role of writers seeking publication. Elements include working with writers, a production staff and deadlines. In addition, emphasis is placed on students publishing articles in on- and off-campus publications.

credits

3

Prerequisites

or permission of instructor

COMM 431 : Media Law and Ethics

A study of the major principles of media law and media-related ethical concerns. Emphasis is given to the most important court decisions and statutory enactments in communication law, including prior restraint, libel and slander, fair trial/free press conflicts, and the First Amendment. Attention is given to building a personal approach to ethics within the context of the individual's relationships both with supervisors and with the public.

credits

3

COMM 437 : Film Production

This course builds on student's exposure in COMM 237 to story, camera and editing techniques used by film and television professionals across a range of platforms. Hands-on experience will provide advanced learning opportunities in operating a camera, as well as using both lighting and audio equipment to visually bring their stories to life. Students will also learn to integrate their technical knowledge into key development, pre-production, production, postproduction and delivery methodologies used across the disciplines of film and television, new and emerging media. Supplies fee.

credits

3

Prerequisites

or permission of instructor

COMM 442 : Applied Advertising and Public Relations

This course uses team projects to teach the tools and techniques necessary to work in the fields of advertising and public relations. Advertising assignments may include, but are not limited to, image and identity, political advertising, jingles and slogans, campaigns for large and small companies, and demographic and psychographic research. Public relations assignments may include but are not limited to, crisis management, special events, media relations, publications, and internal communications. (Also taught as MKTG 442)

credits

3

Prerequisites

COMM 451 : Communication Theory

This course presents the theoretical bases of interpersonal communication, group and public communication, mass communication, and communication in cultural contexts. Attention is given to the nature of inquiry and theory as well as several topics in communication theory, including interpersonal messages, cognitive processing, relationship development and maintenance, influence, group decision making, organizational communication, public rhetoric, media and culture, media effects, and intercultural and gender communication. There are ethical elements throughout the course as well as discussion integrating and relating the communication theories covered.

credits

3

COMM 480 : Communication Internship

This internship course offers the advanced student university credit for on-the-job, off-campus work in film, radio, television, public relations or advertising under the joint direction of departmental staff and a supervisor at the organization or business selected. Ideally, the internship will occur the summer between the student's junior and senior years. Eligible for IP grading.

credits

1 - 3

Prerequisites

Permission of the department chair and instructor.

COMM 481 : Senior Portfolio Seminar

In this course, communication majors will finalize the contents of their portfolios before graduation. Students will also complete their senior thesis in this course, pursuant to their specific capstone class. This course required of all graduating communication majors and will be taken in their senior year.

credits

1

COMM 498 : Individual Study Topics

This course offers the advanced student opportunity to pursue investigations in fields of special interest under the direction of departmental staff. Content and method of study must be arranged prior to registration. May be repeated for a total of two credits.

credits

1 - 2

Prerequisites

Permission of department chair

COMM 499 : Directed Group Study Topics

Provides academic departments an opportunity to offer courses in specialized or experimental areas, either lower or upper division, not listed in the undergraduate Bulletin.  Student may be allowed to repeat the course for credit.

credits

1 - 3

Prerequisites

Approval by department chair