COMM - Communication Courses
COMM-101: Disinformation in the USA (Credits: 4)
Disinformation is the intentional spread of false, inaccurate, distracting, and/or distorted information for the purpose of gaining power. In this class, we'll explore the history of disinformation-from early propaganda to more recent manipulation of facts-to examine how we as consumers can better identify and fight media exploitation. Emphasis will be on evaluating, analyzing, and synthesizing primary and secondary sources to promote healthier media landscapes through information literacy. (WCORE: RE)
COMM-210: Media Writing I (Credits: 4)
Introduces students to the basics of newswriting in preparation for further study in journalism, public relations, 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 and consideration of legal and ethical questions.
COMM-211: Media Writing II (Credits: 4)
Develops interviewing and other research skills essential to gathering relevant information and crafting original stories suitable for publication in various media.
COMM-240: Media and Society (Credits: 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-250: Introduction to Human Communication (Credits: 4)
Helps students develop a more precise appreciation of the complexity of human communication and further develops their abilities and skills to communicate with competence in various situations. Students will develop their awareness of basic communication processes and skills and explore how these basic skills and processes work in different types and contexts of communication.
COMM-299: Forum Editorial Staff (Credits: 0 to 1)
Students learn best practices for running a student media organization, set performance goals, and evaluate progress throughout the semester. Students evaluate published content and plan strategies for creating and distributing content, reaching advertisers, maintaining operations, and managing staff reporters.
COMM-300: Special Topics in Communication (Credits: 1 to 4)
Presents special topics not offered in the regular Communication curriculum.
COMM-302: College Media: Forum (Credits: 4)
Provides practical experience producing print and online content for the university's student media organization.
COMM-305: Forum Staff Contributor (Credits: 1 to 2)
Students work independently with The Forum editors and faculty adviser to produce content, including written stories, photos, videos, audio, and social media projects. This course is repeatable for credit.
COMM-310: Business & Professional Communication (Credits: 4)
Strengthens professional writing skills in the workplace and in the community. Specifically, students will work on becoming adept at making critical writing decisions based on audience expectations, context and timing, organizational constraints, analysis of research, and the students' professional values and objectives. Projects will include business letters and memos; proposals; reports; and educational, persuasive, and/or informative articles for publication (digital and traditional). Emphasis is on research, writing style, and the revision process.
COMM-322: Multimedia Image Production (Credits: 4)
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-325: Designing Dynamic Images (Credits: 4)
This course focuses on learning the visual tools, concepts, and production of dynamic still images and motion graphics for persuasive visual communication and storytelling. We will look at the application of photo manipulation and animation through a graphic design lens. The core software used will be Adobe Photoshop along with other software such as After Effects to produce original design projects for multimedia such as web and social media content, film and podcast, print and advertising, and other current media.
COMM-326: Introduction to Web Writing and Design (Credits: 4)
This course explores the emerging conventions of website development from a communication, design and content strategy perspective. Students will create a complete, original website using a content management system (CMS) such as WordPress. Through the development of this website, students will plan, create, and implement web design best practices and digital content development. Students can expect to learn some or all of the following website development principles, practices, and theories: web hosting and domain name establishment; usability; accessibility; user experience design; digital content strategy; website analytics; search engine optimization; visual asset management; intellectual property for the web; and basic coding in HTML and CSS.
COMM-336: Public Relations Principles (Credits: 4)
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-345: Video Production (Credits: 4)
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: Leadership & Decision Making (Credits: 4)
Provides a broad survey of communication-based perspectives on leadership traits, skills, behaviors, and practices. Specific topics include change management, conflict management, creativity and innovation, crisis leadership, influence, power, and ethics. This course explores a variety of perspectives, problems, and practices that students will face in their future workplaces. Emphasis will be on both analyzing leadership in various contexts and on developing the skills necessary for effective leadership.
COMM-360: Race, Gender, Class, and Media (Credits: 4)
This course explores and challenges how issues and individuals, groups, and populations are presented in the media. Students will analyze the portrayals of race, ethnicity, gender (including gender identity), sexual orientation, age, ability and socioeconomic class in entertainment and news media. (WCORE: DE)
COMM-365: Intercultural and Global Communication (Credits: 4)
The major focus on this course is the exploration of the significance of culture in everyday life and how culture interrelates with and influences communication processes. Students will explore the ways in which attitudes, beliefs, values, and behaviors affect communication among people of different backgrounds. This course will address topics that challenge intercultural interactions, ranging from issues of privilege and power in society and representation of cultures and identities in popular media to the relationship between language, power, and culture. (WCore: EWRLD)
COMM-370: Design Foundations (Credits: 4)
Introduces students to foundational principles of visual communication and design. Students learn theories related to typography, color, layout, organization, photography, iconography, visual rhetoric, and related concepts in information design. Students learn to evaluate and apply these theories in emergent media both in print and in digital formats.
COMM-371: Multimedia Tools and Production (Credits: 4)
This course builds upon theories of design through the production of various projects that may combine text, photography, graphic images, video, animation, audio, and interactivity. Students learn to apply theories and technical application in design by using emerging and industry-standard tools and procedures for web and print. Possible projects include design for print media, file assets for web, layout design, personal branding, and multimedia presentations.
COMM-372: Design and the User Experience (Credits: 4)
This course applies principles of design and emergent media to the interface between the user and the designed product, focusing on studying how design choices engage the user. Topics covered include design thinking, interface design, usability, accessibility, inclusivity, user experience design, emotional design, and interactive design. Projects include analysis and development of various user interfaces including kiosks, websites, app prototypes, wayfinding systems and physical environments. The User Experience capstone project will be a compilation of design projects completed for a client.
COMM-380: Communication & Nonprofit Organizations (Credits: 4)
Nonprofit organizations often operate on a shoestring budget and require their employees to wear multiple hats. To be an effective communicator in a nonprofit organization, you will need a broad set of skills. This class may include aspects of public relations, including crisis response and brand identity development and management; event and cause marketing; grant-writing; and public education, including opinion management.
COMM-401: Directed Studies (Credits: 1 to 4)
Allows students to initiate proposals for intensive tutorial-based study of topics not otherwise offered in the Communication Program. Requires consent of instructor and school dean. This course is repeatable for credit.
COMM-425: Communication Law and Ethics (Credits: 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.
COMM-440: Internship (Credits: 1 to 6)
One internship is required for the major. A second internship is strongly recommended. Offers students the opportunity to integrate classroom knowledge with practical experience. Students will be graded on assigned coursework and evaluation by their site supervisor. Prerequisites: 60 university credits completed (for transfer students at least 15 hours competed at Westminster or permission of instructor), minimum 2.5 GPA, and consent of faculty advisor and Career Center internship coordinator. Interns will work for 42 hours per each registered credit. This course is repeatable for credit. Some majors limit how many internship credits may count towards the major, consult your faculty advisor. REGISTRATION NOTE: Registration for internships is initiated through the Career Center website and is finalized upon completion of required paperwork and approvals. More info: 801-832-2590 https://westminsteru.edu/student-life/career-center/internships.html
COMM-490: Portfolio Workshop (Credits: 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, internships, and professional work experience. Course should be taken in one of the last two semesters before graduation, preferably in the final semester. (WCore: SC)