Communication Courses



COMM 210 Media Writing I (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 (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 (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 (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 300 Special Topics in Communication (1-4)
Presents special topics not offered in the regular Communication curriculum.
COMM 302 College Media: Forum (4)
Provides practical experience producing print and online content for the college’s student media organization.
COMM 305 Forum Staff Contributor (1-2)
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 and Professional Writing I (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 311 Business and Professional Writing II (4)
Focuses on writing with clarity and concision about technical subjects for various audiences, including nonprofit clients. Projects include technical descriptions, instructions, procedures, and/or documentation; usability testing reports; and large-scale collaborative reports. Emphasis is on project management and testing.
COMM 312 Creative Non-Fiction (4)
Introduces students to the concept of creative non-fiction to produce long, in-depth pieces that require traditional research, interviews, and/or participant observation.
COMM 322 Multimedia Image Production (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 326 Introduction to Web Writing and Design (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 (4)
Presents methods of establishing and maintaining two-way communication between an organization and its publics. The course covers strategic planning, writing and editing, small-group communication, research procedures, and legal/ethical considerations.
COMM 338 Principles of Advertising (4)
Explores the history, social impact, and mechanics of advertising. In addition to analyzing advertising as a medium of expression, the course focuses on the copywriting and designing of both print and multimedia advertising.
COMM 340 Communication Theory and Persuasion (4)
Introduces students to theories, strategies, and methods of persuasion in various communication situations. Students examine theories, including critical theories, from ancient to contemporary eras and analyze messaging. Emphasis is on developing skills in persuasion and critical thinking.
COMM 345 Video Production (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 Organizational Communication (4)
Provides a broad introductory survey of communication-based perspectives on organizational communication topics such as structure, rationality, decision-making, culture, diversity, identity, leadership, networks, power, change, ethics, and conflict. Students will gain a basic understanding of the range of communication phenomena in and around contemporary organizations and will have some useful analytical tools for describing, critiquing, and improving organizational communication.
COMM 360 Race, Gender, Class, and the Media (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.
COMM 365 Intercultural and Global Communications (4)
The major focus on this course is the exploration of the significance of culture in everyday life and how culture interrelates with ans 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 (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 (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 (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 and Nonprofit Organizations (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 (1-4)
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 (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 (2-6)
Offers students the opportunity to integrate classroom knowledge with practical experience. At least two separate internships are strongly recommended. Only two internships will count towards the communication major. Additional internships will count as general elective credit towards graduation. Prerequisites: junior or senior standing (for transfer students, at least 15 hours completed at Westminster), minimum 2.5 GPA, and consent of faculty supervisor and Career Center internship coordinator. This course is repeatable for credit.
COMM 490 Portfolio Workshop (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 and internships, as well as through professional work experience. The course should be taken in one of the last two semesters before graduation. (WCore: SC)
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