Course Descriptions

Communication Courses
Department Code: COMM

COMM101 Survey of Mass Communications
A course designed to develop the student’s ability to appreciate and evaluate the aesthetic, societal, and cultural functions of newspapers, magazines, advertising, film, radio and television. It will examine the nature, development, contemporary structure and influence of the mass media. Credit 3 hours.

COMM102 Elements of Oral Communication
This course offers students an introduction to the theoretical and practical performance of effective oral communication skills. Students will learn rhetorical strategies and opportunities to aid them in improving their interpersonal, intercultural, public, and group communication skills. Credit 3 hours.

COMM103 Graphic Design
The course will cover the basic design principles of layout, color, and typography. Class time will be spent on discussions, lectures, critiques, individual meetings, and work sessions. Cross-listed with Art. Credit 3 hours.

COMM104 Software Lab
Hands-on learning experience with graphic, communication and code-writing software. Students are expected to be familiar and adept at all software used in the various courses they intend to take before enrolling in those courses. The software laboratory is a collegial learning opportunity in which to accomplish this. Cross-listed with Computer Science and Digital Arts. Credit 1 hour. May be repeated up to 4 credits.

COMM110 Media Writing 1
The study of basic news gathering techniques and principles of news writing. Students will learn to write for a variety of media, purposes, and audiences. Emphasis will be on style, ethics, and accuracy. Credit 3 hours.

COMM114 Basic Video Production
This course focuses on the video techniques, field production principles, and story organization needed for commercial production and visual storytelling. Students work in teams on a number of video projects that address specific topics to include lighting, framing, shot selection, and non-linear editing decisions as they influence content and clarity. The course also features special effects usage. Two-dimensional animation is a learning option. Credit 3 hours.

COMM115 Radio Operations and Production
This course explores the broadcast radio industry, including operations, programming, production, marketing, and promotions. The course will also explore the digital element of the radio industry incorporating online steaming, podcasting, and use of websites and social media. Students will gain an understanding of how a radio station operates with instructions in building radio programming clocks, writing radio copy, and developing radio marketing strategies. Credit 3 hours.


COMM201 Media Writing 2
Advanced approach to news gathering, reporting, and writing techniques, including feature, editorial/op-ed, reviews, and investigative writing. Course will also examine legal issues affecting news reporters as well as situations requiring ethical decisions leading students to the development of a Professional Code of Standards and Ethics. Prerequisite: COMM 110 or consent of instructor. Credit 3 hours.

COMM202 Oral Storytelling
A course designed for students in disciplines where they are required to regularly read material (prose, poetry or non-fiction) before individuals, groups or the mass media. It is ideal for broadcasting majors, writers and teachers. Students will learn the basics of textual analysis (understanding that almost everything written contains a story) and how they can best communicate that experience to an audience. Credit 3 hours.

COMM203 Interpersonal Communication
Introductory study of communication between people and in relationships. Stresses awareness of how one’s communication behavior influences and is influenced by others and provides methods of improving interpersonal interactions. Credit 3 hours.

COMM205 Introduction to Photography
A study of camera, film, composition, light and lighting, flash and the principles of photojournalism as it relates to storytelling. Building a portfolio is included. Cross-listed with Art. Credit 3 hours.

COMM206 Digital Photography
An overview of digital photography and how it works. Among the topics covered will be features of digital cameras, managing and editing digital images, and making the transition from analog to digital. Credit 3 hours.

COMM208 Critical Thinking and Argumentation
Students enrolled in this course will learn the theoretical principles of critical thinking and argument as they apply to interpersonal, organizational, public and political concerns. Students will be guided in subject analysis, data gathering, evidence building, and evaluation of critical arguments. Credit 3 hours.

COMM211 Introduction to the Cinema
A study of the five technical elements that are involved in film: cinematography and visual editing, sound acquisition and music insertion, scriptwriting, performance, and the role of the director in pulling all this together. The course examines motion picture themes as a rhetorical communication medium, artistic expression, as well as a reflection of social and cultural thought. In each area of study, students will practice and improve their skills in creative and critical viewing. Credit 3 hours.

COMM213 Journalism Projects
Participation in production of newspaper or yearbook. The student will become proficient in a particular aspect of print publication such as layout, feature writing, or photography. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor. Credit 2 hours. May be repeated for credit.

COMM214 Video News Production
This course focuses on the video techniques, field production principles, and story organization needed for televised journalism. Students work in teams on a number of campus news stories. Convergence with print and other journalism venues on campus is stressed. Specific topics include lighting, framing, shot selection, and non-linear editing decisions as they influence content and clarity. Prerequisite: COMM 114 or consent of instructor. Credit 3 hours.

COMM215 Intercultural Communication
An investigation of the similarities and differences of communication patterns of various cultures. Examination of the values and cultural norms that inform and influence a culture’s communication. Credit 3 hours.

COMM216 Composing With Paint & Draw Programs 1
The application of art, illustration and graphic design principles using paint and draw programs such as Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator and Macromedia Flash. Focus on art work for screen-based and print-based media. Cross-listed with Art. Credit 3 hours.

COMM220 Interactive Story Telling
This course explores "live" story creation and oral delivery for interaction with live audiences, or as a model for interactive media such as computer games. Particular emphasis will be placed upon character-based (as opposed to plot-based) story creation and identifying parallels to the theory and practice of written stories. Traditional and emerging means for accomplishing successful interactivity will be explored. Cross-listed with English. Credit 3 hours.

COMM221 Newspaper Experience
Practical experience in working on staff of campus newspaper and student media online news site. Prerequisite: 2.0 GPA. Course graded S/U. Credit 1 hour. May be repeated for credit.

COMM223 Yearbook Experience
Practical experience in working on staff of campus yearbook. Prerequisite: 2.0 GPA. Course graded S/U. Credit 1 hour. May be repeated for credit.

COMM231 Radio Experience
Practical experience on air at KSWC-FM. Enrollment contingent on shift availability. Prerequisite: 2.0 GPA and consent of instructor. Course graded S/U. Credit 1 hour. May be repeated for credit.

COMM233 Television Experience
Practical emphasis for communication majors in television production with experience in preparing videotaped shows and features. Prerequisite: 2.0 GPA and consent of instructor. Course graded S/U. Credit 1 hour. May be repeated for credit.

COMM234 Digital Media Experience
Practical application of New Media/Digital Arts knowledge and skills. Projects include but are not limited to video features, Websites, CD-ROMS, computer games. Cross-listed with Computer Science and Digital Arts. Prerequisite: 2.0 GPA and consent of instructor. Course graded S/U. Credit 1 hour. May be repeated for credit.

COMM246 History of Television
An examination of social issues as explored through various television genres. Course may also explore news coverage of events and contemporary problems with television programming. Intended for non-majors as well as Communication majors. Credit 3 hours.

COMM248 History of the Cinema
The history of visual storytelling. This course examines the development of cinematography technology (camera, film, lighting, editing, sound) with an emphasis on techniques of video-only storytelling by such masters as the Lumiere Brothers (cinematography), Georges Melies (special effects), Sergei Eisenstein (montage), D.W. Griffith, Charles Chaplin, and Buster Keaton. The course also examines early attempts at sound acquisition and editing. It will culminate in a comprehensive analysis of what is critically considered to be the greatest American film: Citizen Kane. Credit 3 hours.

COMM250 Media Law and Ethics
This course will introduce students to the major legal, ethical, and policy issues related to the mass media. This will be done by exposing students to primary documents and cases as well as to methods of analysis. Upon completion, students should be able to explain in broad context existing media law and policy and be able to critique and analyze future laws and policies. Students should also be able to articulate the ethical issues that are relevant to media conduct. Credit 3 hours.

COMM262 Science Fiction Television
Examines the history of the genre to see how programming has dealt with significant political and social issues in a way unexplored in most dramatic television. It will also explore theories of Carl Jung to see how archetypes help to unify character and theme in Science Fiction TV. An additional focus will be on attempts of futuristic series to create a modern mythic construct for a society devoid of a unified native mythos. Credit 3 hours.

COMM294 Public Relations
Students will explore the major concepts and strategies of public relations for business and other organizations. Credit 3 hours.


COMM303 Family Communications
This course facilitates understanding of the major theories and concepts in the study of communication phenomena in family relationships and extends the basic concepts of family relationships discussed in the Interpersonal Communication course. Emphasis is placed on critical analysis of communication research into the family context. An important goal of this class is to foster students' insight into their own experience of family and to enable students to apply course-related concepts to their family relationships. Prerequisite: COMM 203. Credit 3 hours.

COMM310 Business Communication
This course focuses on audience-oriented communication in organizational settings, encompassing the understanding and practice of various rhetorical stances, audience analysis and adaptation of message to audience, collaboration and problem solving, and case study analysis. In addition, it considers the use of both traditional forms of written and oral communication and emerging media; the study of employment-related communication forms; and collaborative communication skills in the context of learning simulations. Cross-listed with English. Prerequisites: ENG 110, ENG 120 and COMM 102. Credit 3 hours.

COMM312 Visual Storytelling
This course focuses on visual storytelling with strong production values using state-of-the art shooting and editing stations. Students will create a project in one of the following areas: Video Essay, Still Photography, Animation (cartoon or stop motion), Original Short Fictional Feature, Short News Documentary, or Video Profile, with a view toward entry in regional or national competitions. Prerequisite: COMM 114 or consent of instructor. Credit 3 hours.

COMM315 Persuasion
A study of persuasive communication and the techniques that motivate persons to act or believe in a particular way. A variety of persuasive rhetorical theories will be discussed as tools for persuasion. Credit 3 hours.

COMM316 Composing With Paint & Draw Programs 2
A continuation of COMM 216. Cross-listed with Art. Prerequisite: COMM 216. Credit 3 hours.

COMM317 Advanced Presentational Speaking
This is an advanced course in the theory and application of public speaking in a variety of contexts and situations. Students will demonstrate an advanced level of understanding of how to engage audiences more effectively by using critical thinking, audience analysis, organization, technological and delivery skills. Prerequisite: COMM 102 or consent of instructor. Credit 3 hours.

COMM320 Advanced Website Design: Graphic Techniques
This course builds upon the planning and design principles in CPTR 211, extending site effectiveness through the use of advanced graphic techniques. Prerequisite: CPTR 211. Credit 3 hours.

COMM321 Convergent News Experience
Practical experience in working on staff of campus newspaper, television news, radio news, and student media online news site. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor. Course graded S/U. Credit 2 hours. May be repeated for credit.

COMM325 Convergent Media News
Through repeated enrollments, students will learn to consult among the whole editorial staff of all media to assist in productions in Audio, Video, Print, and Web, that, while perhaps strongest in a given medium, can be modified to fit various other media. Students will learn to work with and profit by the insights of other students in other media. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor. Credit 1 to 2 hours. May be repeated for credit.

COMM340 Communicating Teamwork, Leadership, and Group Communication
This course emphasizes that developing good communication skills are essential to effective leadership and group work. This course will study the interpersonal, intercultural, and rhetorical communication practices within businesses, large private or nonprofit associations, larger community groups, and governments. Students will also practically apply communication theories in leadership and group activities. Credit 3 hours.

COMM341 Radio Management
Learning and practical application of management and supervisory skills for KSWC. Available only to radio management staff. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor. Graded S/U. Credit 2 hours. May be repeated for credit.

COMM343 Television Management
Learning and practical application of management and supervisory skills for television production. Available only to television management staff. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor. Course graded S/U. Credit 2 hours. May be repeated for credit.

COMM347 Editing and Design
The course will help students to learn copy editing fundamentals, design and layout skills and the legal and professional responsibilities of journalists. They will practice specific elements of design and communication for each medium and examine how different media help interpret the message for an audience. Credit 3 hours.

COMM348 International Cinema: Western Culture
An examination of the foreign film from traditional western cultures to include, among others, France, Spain, Mexico, Scandinavia, Italy, Greece, Germany, Russia, Australia, and New Zealand. Students will study the major trends and styles of cinema and how national identity and customs are reflected in those films. Course is designed to give global perspective to non-majors as well as majors. Credit 3 hours.

COMM349 International Cinema: Asian Culture
An examination of the foreign film from traditional eastern cultures to include, among others, Japan, China, Hong Kong, India, Korea, Vietnam, and Taiwan. Students will study the major trends and styles of cinema and how national identity and customs are reflected in those films. Course is designed to give global perspective to non-majors as well as majors. Credit 3 hours.

COMM350 Communication in Pop Culture
This course explores the idea that popular culture is the dominant persuasive, rhetorical influence in most people's lives today. The premise of this course is that communication should be viewed as a social function of managing meaning-a function with many complex manifestations. In this course, students will apply specific communication theoretical frameworks to popular culture. Credit 3 hours.

COMM362 Experience in Public Relations
A practical, hands-on experience with the Southwestern College Communications Office, under the supervision of the office staff. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor. Credit 3 hours.

COMM395 Research Methods
This course teaches students the basic research methods used for studying communication examining research methods applicable to the study of communication problems, processes, contexts, and artifacts. Students enrolled in this course will develop the ability to independently conduct undergraduate communication research. Credit 2 hours.

COMM399 Screenwriting
A study of the principles and practices in writing an original script for film and television. Course offered on demand for students with Film Production emphasis only. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor. Credit 3 hours.


COMM400 Communicating the Law, Social Unrest, and Political Change
This course studies the contemporary and conventional theories of communication (discourse, language, argumentation, narrative, dramatism, and games) along with fundamental legal principles, procedures and protocols through one or more of the communication lenses previously discussed, students will examine and analyze the communication dynamics and how such communication perspectives broadens the understanding of social agendas. Credit 3 hours.

COMM401 Debate Question Analysis and Case Construction
This course is designed to acquaint students with critical analysis and case construction of debate questions including high school and intercollegiate organizations. Special emphasis is placed on case construction and analysis in a workshop setting. Prerequisite: COMM 102, 208, or consent of instructor. Credit 3 hours.

COMM410 Theories of Human Communication
The focus of this course includes an overview of current and historical theories and research in the major sub-fields of human communication. Prerequisite: COMM 102 or consent of instructor. Credit 3 hours.

COMM420 Recreating Image: Religion, Sport, Organizations, and Politics
On occasion, public celebrities, corporations, institutions and government agencies commit blunders that damage their credibility. They will employ a communication strategist to help them communicate strategically to restore their image and regain public trust. In this course, students will study various communication strategies used to persuade the public in defensive campaigns to restore public trust and restore public image. Students will apply communication image management theories and create a communication restoration campaign. Credit 3 hours.

COMM421-422 Journalism Management
Available only to chief editors of The Collegian and The Moundbuilder. Course graded S/U. Credit 2 hours. May be repeated for credit.

COMM450 Contemporary Issues in Communication
This course examines contemporary communication problems: significant speeches, social, international affairs, race, gender, and technology, this course attempts to develop a rhetorical appreciation for how communication influences contemporary social contexts. Credit 3 hours.

COMM454 Senior Project in Film
Student will prepare a brief video feature. Course offered on demand. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor. Credit 3 hours.



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