Manchester University Academic Catalog 2018-2019

Communication Studies

Chair Judd A. Case, Michelle Calka, Mary P. Lahman, Timothy P. McKenna-Buchanan, Gabriela Morales

The Department of Communication Studies combines traditional academic work with hands-on, experiential, and problem-based learning to prepare students to succeed professionally and personally. Students are immersed in the classic modes of communication—interpersonal, small group, public and mediated—and have the opportunity to specialize in digital media, public relations and health communication. 

Baccalaureate Degrees

Major in communication studies; 39 hours: COMM 130, 230, 256, 324, 360, 370, 477 or 499; 18 hours of electives chosen in consultation with advisor and approved by department chair.

Major in digital media: 39 hours: COMM 130, 230, 232, 240, 256, 324, 360, 370, 477 or 499; 12 hours of electives from ART 221, ART 261, CPTR 117, COMM 234, 235, 314, 336, and 432.

Major in public relations; 39 hours: COMM 130, 230, 256, 260, 314, 324, 335, 360, 370, 477 or 499; 9 hours of electives from BUS 234*, COMM 221, 234, 240, 334, 341.

Major in health communication; 42 hours: COMM 130, 220, 230, 233, 241, 256, 324, 327, 360, 370, 477 or 499; three of the following: COMM 210, 335, 344; ECON 240; ESAT 343; SOWK 350.

Minor in communication studies; 21 hours: COMM 130, 256, 324, 360; nine hours of electives selected in consultation with advisor and with approval of the department.

Minor in digital media; 24 hours: COMM 130, 230, 232, 240, 360; 9 hours of electives from ART 221, ART 261, CPTR 117, COMM 234, 235, 336, and 432.

Minor in health communication; 21 hours: COMM 220, 233, 256, 327, 360; one of the following: COMM 241, 344, 370; ECON 240, SOWK 360.

Minor in public relations; 21 hours: COMM 256, 260, 324, 335, 360; 6 hours of electives from BUS 234*, COMM 130, 221, 234, 314, 338, 341.

Communication studies, digital media, health communication and public relations majors must successfully complete COMM 477 Senior Internship or COMM 499 Senior Research Project to meet the senior comprehensive evaluation requirement prior to graduation. Details are available from the department chair.

Beginning in 2018-19 academic year, students will also be able to major or minor in health communication.

*Students majoring or minoring in public relations are not required to take the prerequisite for BUS 234.

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Courses COMM

110 FOUNDATIONS OF HUMAN COMMUNICATION - 3 hours
Examines a broad variety of communication contexts focusing both on the theoretical foundations and the development of communication skills. The course covers the definition and models of communication, including basic concepts such as the speaker, the listener and the message. The course also addresses mediating variables that affect communication across contexts, such as gender and culture. Finally, the course demonstrates how to communicate effectively in various settings, including interpersonal, group, public and mediated communication. C-1O. Fall. Spring.

130 MEDIA LITERACY - 3 hours
Media analysis, interpretation and creation. Topics include media literacy, effects, audiences, economics, history, narrative structures and forms. Projects are designed to increase students’ media literacy and introduce media production tools. Fall.

210 INTERPERSONAL COMMUNICATION - 3 hours
A study of the factors involved in sending and receiving messages in interpersonal relationships. The student is encouraged to develop increased awareness of the effect one’s communicating has on others and on the self. Both theoretical and applied aspects are stressed.

212 SMALL GROUP COMMUNICATION - 3 hours
An introduction to small group communication theory and practice. Lectures and assignments will provide the opportunity to examine the impact of the following on communication in a small group setting: group roles, leadership, group interaction patterns and group formation and development. C-3RC.

220 INTRODUCTION TO HEALTH COMMUNICATION - 3 hours 
Examines the ways communication shapes health and health practices. Topics may include: provider-patient communication, organizational communication in health contexts, communication in community health education, information technologies in health communication and communication training for health care professionals. Students come away with a broad understanding of the implications of health communication on self and society.

221 DISCOURSE IN POLITICAL CAMPAIGNS AND SOCIAL MOVEMENTS - 3 hours
An examination of campaign and social movement discourse and development theory. Students analyze persuasive message strategies utilized in historical and current political campaigns and social movements.

230 APPLIED THEORIES OF COMMUNICATION - 3 hours
Students apply communication theory to examine human interaction, both interpersonally and in the larger social world. Emphasis on theories that can be applied in COMM 370. Fall.

232 NEW MEDIA - 3 hours
Introduces the forms, narrative structures and cultural implications of digital media. Students learn of fundamental phenomena, such as interactivity, convergence, transmedia and fan cultures, and they apply what they learn to a transmedia storytelling project.   

233 HEALTH LITERACY - 3 hours
In the U.S., close to 30 million adults have below basic health literacy and only 12% have the health literary skills needed to understand most of the health instructions provided by healthcare professionals (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, n.d.).  Even those with higher education often struggle to comprehend and navigate the U.S. health care system.  In this course, we will examine and analyze the definition of health literacy.  Health literacy means that a person is able to read, understand, and act on health information.  This course will also look at national and international literacy levels.  We will examine at risk populations for low literacy, health literacy research and measurement tools.  We will also learn about plain language and will apply it to current health information as well as examine health communication techniques being used to address low literacy and other issues

234 INTRODUCTION TO SOCIAL MEDIA - 3 hours
This course encourages hands-on familiarity with current social media platforms, explores the history of social media and discusses ethical considerations for social media use. Prerequisite: COMM 110.

235 COMMUNITY PODCASTING - 3 hours
Students use microphones, digital audio files, audio production software and the Spartan Stream production facilities to tell stories that are relevant to the North Manchester community. Students record and edit stories and then create Spartan Stream channels for them. Lectures include formal instruction on equipment usage, audio composition and the role of podcasting in communities.

240 PROFESSIONAL COMMUNICATION - 3 hours
A study of, and hands-on experience with, professional presentations, interviews and negotiations. Course content will emphasize strategies, technology issues, verbal and nonverbal communication, roles and ethics.

241  COMMUNITY HEALTH WORK - 3 hours
In this course, we examine and analyze the broad context of public health, health inequality, public policy, and community health. We then learn core competencies and skills relevant to community health work at the interpersonal, group, and community levels. We explore application of these core competencies and skills to specific health topics within given situations. The course material comes recommended by the Indiana Community Health Workers Association which will provide an optional opportunity for students to earn certification as a community health worker through the association after the completion of this course.

256 INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATION - 3 hours
An examination of how communication is influenced by culture and how culture is created and maintained through communication. Students explore the complex relationship between culture and communication and how these issues interact with context and power in intercultural interactions. Fall.

260 INTRODUCTION TO PUBLIC RELATIONS - 3 hours
An introduction to the ethical management of relationships between organizations and the publics that can affect their success. Students learn the public relations process of research, planning, communication and evaluation.

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314 LANGUAGE AND THOUGHT (W) - 3 hours
Examination of some of the connections between the structure of language and the structure of thinking. Types of misevaluation are analyzed in terms of the language habits from which they spring. Effort is made to help students be more aware of the interpersonal and organizational problems created by unexamined attitudes toward language. C-3RC.

324 PERSUASION - 3 hours
A study of the messages that move humans to act. Emphasis on the persuasive, argumentative and propagandistic appeals used to secure or resist social change. Students employ a number of analytical tools to build critical inquiry skills and develop advocacy skills by creating and presenting ethical arguments. Spring.

327   CULTURAL AND HEALTH DISPARITIES - 3 hours
In the U.S. healthcare system, there are a number of health disparities that are caused by race, ethnicity, class, gender, religion, sexual orientation, age, and socioeconomic status, and that influence medical decision-making and/or outcomes.  This course will analyze and examine how health communication contributes to the understanding of culture and the reduction of health disparities by focusing on elements of cultural sensitivity and cultural competence.

335 ADVANCED PUBLIC RELATIONS - 3 hours
Students refine skills learned in the introductory course by designing their own PR campaigns and by working in teams on crisis response simulations. Particular emphasis is placed on developing appropriate and individual approaches to community relations. Prerequisite: COMM 260.

336 VIDEO GAMES AND VIRTUAL IDENTITIES - 3 hours
A study of the convergence of media and rhetoric in video games. Students learn how to analyze video games as cultural artifacts, as configurations of distinct but interlocking units of meaning. Lectures emphasize the interactivity, rhetoric and cultural implications of this emergent medium. Assignments include theoretical analyses and a presentation on contemporary issues.

338 COMMUNICATION, TRAINING, AND DEVELOPMENT - 3 hours
An in-depth exploration of the art and methods of training and development as applied to communication problems in organizational settings. Provides students the opportunity to develop and/or refine training and facilitation skills and to link communication theory and research to organizational practice. Students come away equipped to apply insights in organizational settings.

341 COMMUNICATION IN ORGANIZATIONS (W) - 3 hours
An examination of approaches to the study of communication channels in complex organizations. Units cover organizational theories, communication climate, message flow, communication audit and communication with the public. Prerequisite: FYS or ENG 111. Spring.

344 LISTENING: A RELATIONAL APPROACH TO SALES - 3 hours
Explores the appropriate attitudes and relevant listening principles needed to develop effective sales relationships. Because effective listening skills and empathy have a positive effect on sales performance and buyer satisfaction, students develop proficiency in the interrelated listening processes of hearing, understanding, remembering, interpreting, evaluating and responding. As students develop an ethics of listening they consider important choices that must be made each time they communicate with others. Students learn in theory and practice that effective and appropriate communication begins with listening: competent communicators work harder to understand than to be understood.

360 COMMUNICATION ETHICS AND FREE SPEECH (W) - 3 hours
Examination of the tensions between free and responsible communication in society. Using selected case studies of communication (taken from a variety of contexts and forums: interpersonal, organizational and public), students examine the moral implications of human communication. Spring.

362 TELECOMMUNICATIONS - 3 hours
A study of the economic, cultural and technological implications of cell phones, PDAs, IPods, laptops, cameras and surveillance technologies. Students learn the implications of these everyday media for larger issues, such as citizenship, consumerism and civic activism. Course content emphasizes the challenges and possibilities of adapting telecommunication technologies to civic purposes, and of the power of distance-collapsing and space-transforming media. Prerequisites: COMM 232.

367 TV CRITICISM - 3 hours
An application of critical theory to the television industry and television programs. Students learn how TV meaningfully combines images, sounds and words and how audiences can negotiate and subvert these combinations. Particular attention is paid to aesthetics, issues of representation, and audience behaviors. Other topics include reality TV, television as a culture industry, interactive TV and the global television market.

370 RESEARCH METHODS - 3 hours
This course provides an introduction to communication research. It includes framing appropriate questions for research, choosing a suitable qualitative or quantitative method and sample, crafting the research design and data collection. Data analysis and interpretation, as well as research ethics, are also addressed. Spring.

375 INTERNSHIP IN COMMUNICATION STUDIES - 3 hours
Students function as applied professionals in communication fields appropriate to their interests and training, including radio and television stations, theatres, public relations firms, etc. May not be repeated for credit. Application forms are available from faculty advisors. Prerequisite: Juniors or seniors majoring or minoring in communication studies, digital media or public relations.

415 RHETORIC OF WAR - 3 hours
An exploration of war rhetoric found in current and historical artifacts. Students utilize classical and contemporary methods of rhetorical criticism and reflect upon the ethical nature of persuasive appeals. Course content includes a survey of historical, political, philosophical and religious documents. Course activities include investigations of site specific commemorative rhetoric such as the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and the Korean War Veterans Memorial. C-3RC.

432 GUERRILLA JOURNALISM - 3 hours
At the intersection of professional media production and political activism, guerrilla journalists use cameras, microphones and post-production editing to craft media processes. Students form production teams, produce audio and video projects and upload these projects to Spartan Stream. Activities include formal instruction on equipment usage, video composition, distribution strategies and the role of guerrilla journalism in civic activism. Prerequisites: COMM 232.

477 SENIOR INTERNSHIP IN COMMUNICATION STUDIES - 3 hours
Students work in a professional environment as a part of their senior comprehensive evaluation. Students design the internship with the help of the communication studies faculty member in charge of internships. Senior internships may not be repeated for credit. Application forms are available from faculty advisors. Prerequisite: COMM 370.

499 SENIOR RESEARCH PROJECT - 3 hours
Students conduct original research as part of their senior comprehensive evaluation. Students will design a research study with the help of a communication studies faculty member. Senior research projects cannot be repeated for credit. Students must complete an application form available from faculty advisors. Prerequisite: COMM 370.

380 or 480 SPECIAL PROBLEMS - 1-4 hours
A student who has demonstrated ability to work independently may propose a course and pursue it with a qualified and willing professor. The department chair and college dean must also approve.  A set of guidelines is available at the Office of the Registrar.

385 or 485 SEMINAR - 1-4 hours
An in-depth consideration of a significant scholarly problem or issue. Students pursue a supervised, independent inquiry on an aspect of the topic and exchange results through reports and discussions.

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