Department of Communication and Media

College of Arts and Humanities

202 Wayne Hall
610-436-2500
Department of Communication and Media
Denise Polk, Chairperson
Mike Boyle, Assistant Chairperson
Ola Kopacz, Assistant Chairperson

Programs of Study

Students study communication as a generalized degree with opportunities to take courses in interpersonal and intercultural communication; mass media and public relations; and rhetoric and public communication.

Majors are expected to meet with their advisors to plan a course of study, to select courses prior to scheduling, to discuss career opportunities, and to keep abreast of departmental co-curricular activities. Students are provided with handbooks to inform them of requirements for each program in the department. Students who wish to transfer into the communication studies program must meet “Program Admission Requirements” described in the "Policies" section.

Communication Studies (COM) is a re-designed major in the Department of Communication and Media. The new design provides students with a comprehensive and in-depth study of communication. Students in COM will be prepared to ethically employ learned strategies across career fields such as sales, corporate communication, human resources, government, entrepreneurship, and non-profits.

The COM major is grounded in a three-pronged framework, which empowers students through a well-rounded education lo become effective and persuasive communicators. Students majoring in COM are introduced to public, organizational, and relational communication contexts through focused plans of study, each of which is designed for comprehensive exploration and skill building. Students graduate with a clear understanding of how to execute professional and personal communication strategies across in-demand fields and industries.

The Media & Culture (MDC) program is intended for undergraduate students who want to develop specialized expertise and skills in media-related fields, be able to use and create content for a variety of media technologies, and think critically about the intersections of media and diverse cultural contexts. Students will be prepared to enter a wide range of fields in the global workforce including media production, broadcasting, advertising, strategic communication, social media & PR, international media, diversity training and development, and others. They will begin their careers with a versatile skill set and a professional portfolio of their work developed through hands-on coursework, internships, and practicum experiences.

Departmental Student Activities

The Forensic Team (speech and debate), the radio station, the WCU Studios, Students in Communication, Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), Lambda Pi Eta, and the National Association of Black Journalists are student organizations that involve department faculty and resources. The activities of these organizations are open to all students. For more information see the "Student Affairs" section.

Department Internships

Internships are available for academic credit for highly motivated and academically successful students who meet the department’s requirements. The department encourages students to take internships to enhance their academic studies with work experience in a professional organization. Students have been placed in congressional offices, radio and television stations, and local industries. Students and their placements are screened to assure mutual satisfaction for all parties involved. For details, students should check with the department's internship coordinator and/or the department's website.

All undergraduate students are held to the academic policies and procedures outlined in the undergraduate catalog.  Students are encouraged to review departmental handbooks for program tips, suggested course sequences, and explanations of procedures. When applicable, additional policies for specific department programs may be listed below.

Internal Transfer Admission Requirements (B.A. and Minor Programs)

Applicants who have earned a C or better in each of the prerequisite core classes (COM 219, COM 224, and SPK 208) will be admitted into the program at the conclusion of the semester, after grades have been posted. Students who do not gain admission can retake one or more of the prerequisite classes and reapply.

Accelerated Program Policy

Refer to the Accelerated Programs page for more information.

Professors

Michael Boyle (2006)

Assistant Chairperson, Communication and Media

B.A., East Stroudsburg University; M.A., University of Delaware; Ph.D., University of Wisconsin at Madison

Timothy J. Brown (2002)

B.A., M.A., West Chester University; Ph.D., Ohio University

Anita K. Foeman (1991)

B.H., Defiance College; M.A., Ph.D., Temple University

Elaine B. Jenks (1992)

B.A., University of Maryland; M.A., Gannon University; Ph.D., Pennsylvania State University

Bessie Lee Lawton (2008)

B.A., M.A., University of the Philippines; Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania

David G. Levasseur (1997)

B.A., M.A., University of Maryland-College Park; Ph.D., University of Kansas

Edward J. Lordan (2001)

B.A., West Chester University; M.A., Temple University; Ph.D., Syracuse University

Denise M. Polk (2005)

Chairperson, Communication and Media

B.A., Baldwin-Wallace College; M.A., Miami University; Ph.D., Kent State University

Martin S. Remland (1991)

B.A., Western Illinois University; M.A., Central Michigan University; Ph.D., Southern Illinois University

Philip A. Thompsen (1997)

B.S., Northern Arizona University; M.S., University of Southwestern Louisiana; Ph.D., University of Utah

Associate Professors

M. Ola Kopacz (2007)

Assistant Chairperson, Communication and Media

M.A., Warsaw University (Poland); Ph.D., University of Arizona

L. Meghan Mahoney (2011)

B.A., York College of Pennsylvania; M.A., West Chester University; Ph.D., Ohio University

Lisa Millhous (1999)

B.A., Macalester College; M.A., Ph.D., University of Minnesota

Elizabeth Ann Munz (2013)

B.A., University of Richmond; M.A., Ph.D., Purdue University

Michael V. Pearson (1988)

B.A., Iona College; M.A., William Patterson College; Ph.D., Temple University

Kanan Sawyer (2004)

B.S., California Polytechnic State University; M.A., University of Washington; Ph.D., University of Texas

Assistant Professors

Camilo Diaz Pino (2018)

B.A., M.A., University of Auckland, New Zealand; Ph.D., University of Wisconsin, Madison

Roger Gatchet (2015)

B.A., Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo; M.A., University of Texas at Austin; Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin

Maxine Gesualdi (2016)

B.S., West Virginia University; M.A., West Chester University

Matthew Meier (2015)

Graduate Coordinator, Communication and Media

B.A., Capital University; M.A., Purdue University Calumet; Ph.D., Bowling Green State University

Julia Waddell (2016)

B.A., B.S., University of Florida; M.S., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Ph.D., University of Michigan

Instructor

Eryn S. Travis (2017)

University of Maryland, B.A.; West Chester University, M.A.

COM

COM 100. Internship in Computerized Communication. 1-3 Credits.

Internship for high school seniors to engage in a structural and supervised learning experience in computerized communication.
Repeatable for Credit.

COM 112. Communication Media Practicum. 1-3 Credits.

This course provides students with an opportunity to gain knowledge and skill as they do work at WCU media outlets.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.
Repeatable for Credit.

COM 200. Communication Careers Planning I. 1 Credit.

This course is designed to introduce the first of a two-phase, career-planning process. Self-assessment and exploration is provided through assigned readings, mini-lectures, reflective exercises, and small group activities.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.

COM 201. Fundamentals of Communication Technology. 3 Credits.

Examination of the use of computers and other technologies to create, organize, store, visualize, and present messages.

COM 204. Interpersonal Communication. 3 Credits.

One-on-one communication to give the student a fundamental understanding of the processes and experiences of the most basic type of human communication.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.

COM 206. Argumentation. 3 Credits.

This course develops abilities to engage in effective oral argument. Topics covered include the structure of arguments, reasoning, fallacies, refutation, argumentation ethics, and answering questions.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.

COM 209. Principles & Practice of Public Speaking I. 3 Credits.

This course is designed to build public speaking skills within the framework of an intensive "flipped" course format. Within this "flipped" format, students will be introduced to the theory of public speaking through a series of online lectures. In-class time will be reserved for public speaking practice and skill development. Topics covered include speech structure, speech introductions and conclusions, forms of support, speech delivery, persuasive speaking, and informative speaking.
Typically offered in Fall, Spring & Summer.

COM 211. Communication Literacy & Inquiry. 3 Credits.

This course explores research in the communication studies discipline. Topics covered include strategies for reading primary source research, library resources for communication research database searches, APA formatting, various methods for data collection and analysis.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.
Cross listed courses COM 224, MDC 255, COM 211.

COM 212. Mass Communication. 3 Credits.

A survey course designed to identify, analyze, and evaluate the pragmatic, persuasive, creative, and technical dimensions of mass media.
Distance education offering may be available.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.

COM 213. Public Communication. 3 Credits.

This course provides the theoretical foundation for studying public communication and persuasive influence. Topics covered include definitions of persuasion and rhetoric, the history of the rhetorical tradition and persuasion as social influence, as well as the nature and process of theorizing persuasive influence in communication.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.

COM 214. Relational Communication. 3 Credits.

This course explores theoretical approaches to communication in interpersonal (one-to-one) relationships. Topics covered include the place of our interpretations, selves, and roles in our one-to-one relationships as well as societal influences on our choices for friendship, romantic, and family relationships.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.

COM 215. Organizational Communication. 3 Credits.

This course explores foundational organizational communication and small group communication theory. Topics covered include explanations of the value of theory, major approaches to the study of organizations, select theories of small group communication, and theories related to organizational reputation.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.

COM 216. Small Group Communication. 3 Credits.

This course introduces communication skills needed when working with people in small group settings. The focus is on developing a working knowledge of theory and skills for the preparation of, analysis of, and participation in problem-solving oriented groups. This course focuses on the communication processes of the family, social, work, and political groups that we engage in throughout our personal and public lives. As such, this course will provide students with an understanding of basic concepts and theories that describe these processes, opportunities to analyze how these concepts and theories apply to their small group experiences, and practice in applying these concepts and theories to problem-solving situations.
Pre / Co requisites: COM 216 requires prerequisites of C or higher in COM 209, COM 211, and COM 215.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.

COM 219. Communication Theory. 3 Credits.

A study of human communication that includes a historical view of the field, examinations of definitions of communication, analyses of the nature of theory and the process of theorizing, assessment of perspectives of communication, and construction of models of communication.
Distance education offering may be available.
Typically offered in Fall, Spring & Summer.

COM 224. Communication Research. 3 Credits.

An examination of the nature of inquiry and research in communication. Emphasis on understanding and appreciating the strengths and weaknesses of various methods of research in communication. Students will gain knowledge of the fundamentals of research, research methodologies, and basic descriptive statistics.
Distance education offering may be available.
Typically offered in Fall, Spring & Summer.
Cross listed courses COM 224, MDC 255, COM 211.

COM 252. Writing for Broadcast and Public Relations. 3 Credits.

Students are required to analyze, evaluate, and produce scripts for a variety of mass media formats. The course will focus on writing for radio and TV and will also emphasize public relations writing within those media. The primary course objective is to develop effective writing, critical analysis, and communication skills. This course is designed to help you improve your research and writing skills for each of these media and is geared toward students with a genuine interest in a media career.
Typically offered in Fall.
Cross listed courses COM 252, MDC 252.

COM 275. Media in Ireland. 3 Credits.

This course introduces students to the past, present and future of media in Ireland by examining the culture, history, law and economic conditions of the nation. It includes visits to the major historic sites and media centers in Dublin.
Typically offered in Summer.

COM 276. Media in London. 3 Credits.

This course explores the past, present and future of British media. Students will study England from a variety of perspectives (cultural, economic, legal, technological) as a way of understanding the evolution of British media, including both print and broadcast. Course includes three weeks in London visiting various media institutions.
Typically offered in Summer.

COM 292. Living in the Digital Age. 3 Credits.

New technologies result in immediate and far reaching changes in our communications systems and in our communication practices. They even effect how we define ourselves. This course examines a broad array of issues from Artificial Intelligence to the WWW.

COM 295. Communication and Disability. 3 Credits.

This course explores how individuals communicate through and about disability. Topics covered include the place of perceptions, identity, language, non verbal behavior, and assistive technology in interpersonal communicative interactions among and about individuals with disabilities in family, friendship, and professional relationships.
Gen Ed Attribute: American Sign Language Culture Cluster, Foreign Language Culture Cluster.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.

COM 304. Organizational Communication Consulting. 3 Credits.

This course extends organizational communication theory into the context of organizational effectiveness, and training and development. Through an examination of theories related to topics such as organizational structure, goal setting, organizational change, human resources, and organizational culture, the course provides students with tools to diagnose organizational issues and develop plans to address these issues at an organizational and personal level.
Pre / Co requisites: COM 304 requires prerequisites of C or higher in COM 209, COM 211, and COM 215.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.

COM 307. Nonverbal Communication. 3 Credits.

This course explores the intricacies of nonverbal communication through an appreciation for communication theory and research. This enhanced understanding, combined with honing skills, will help shape the way you experience and witness nonverbal communication in interpersonal interactions. In this way, the course will apply to the complexities and contexts of your daily life. Topics covered include physical appearance and attractiveness, kinesics, vocalics, haptics, proxemics, artifacts, and chronemics.
Pre / Co requisites: COM 307 requires prerequisites of C or higher in COM 209, COM 211, and COM 214.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.

COM 309. Principles & Practice of Public Speaking II. 3 Credits.

This course refines students' public speaking skills and introduces students to new forms of public speaking. Topics covered include speech structure, speech delivery, impromptu speaking, ceremonial speaking, motivational speaking, style, narratives, and visual aids.
Pre / Co requisites: COM 309 requires a prerequisite of a C or higher in COM 209.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.

COM 318. Forensics. 3 Credits.

Study in the philosophy and practice of forensics. Initiating, developing, and administrating a forensic program. Coaching and judging debate and individual events.
Pre / Co requisites: COM 318 requires prerequisites of SPK 208 and COM 219 and COM 224.

COM 332. Conflict Resolutions. 3 Credits.

This course explores resolving conflict in a variety of contexts from close interpersonal relationships to family relationships and work relationships. Topics covered include the means of resolving conflict through argument, negotiation, mediation, and arbitration.
Pre / Co requisites: COM 332 requires prerequisites of C or higher in COM 209, COM 211, and COM 214.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.

COM 335. Corporate Social Responsibility. 3 Credits.

This course explores the organizational communication topic of corporate social responsibility (CSR). CSR encompasses the activities of organizations to ethically serve customers, suppliers, the environment, and society. Through reviews of competing viewpoints of CSR, topics covered include the intersections of CSR and organizational communication and reputation, stakeholder approaches to CSR, global approaches to CSR, and contemporary examples of the evolution of CSR.
Pre / Co requisites: COM 335 requires prerequisites of C or higher in COM 209, COM 211, and COM 215.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.

COM 337. Communication and Leadership. 3 Credits.

This course is designed to focus on organizational theory as it relates to leadership and change concepts. Students will evaluate organizational leadership in the public sphere and reflect on their own personal leadership as it relates to their own interaction with organizations.
Pre / Co requisites: COM 337 requires prerequisites of C or higher in COM 209, COM 211, and COM 215.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.

COM 340. Political Communication. 3 Credits.

This course explores the role of communication in the political process. Topics include persuading with political messages, citizen talk about politics, media coverage of politics, political ads, political debates, and politics over the Internet.
Pre / Co requisites: COM 340 requires prerequisites of C or higher in COM 209, COM 211, and COM 213.
Typically offered in Fall.

COM 342. Persuasion. 3 Credits.

The focus of this course is to develop an understanding of the theories and means of social influence and persuasion that determine then drive audience change. Topics covered include: foundational theories of persuasion, applied persuasion efforts in various settings using varied mediums, and communication strategies for crafting written and spoken persuasive messages.
Pre / Co requisites: COM 342 requires prerequisites of C or higher in COM 209, COM 211, and COM 213.
Typically offered in Fall, Spring & Summer.

COM 344. Rhetorical Criticism. 3 Credits.

This course explores a variety of approaches for analyzing and explaining messages and symbols. Topics include historical foundations for the study of rhetoric, contemporary critical methods, and public address.
Pre / Co requisites: COM 344 requires prerequisites of C or higher in COM 209, COM 211, and COM 213.
Gen Ed Attribute: Writing Emphasis.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.

COM 345. Communication and Gender. 3 Credits.

This course explores communication between and about women and men. Topics covered include interpersonal interaction between men and women in romantic, friendship, family, work, and professional relationships as well as societal assumptions and popular culture messages about communication and gender.
Pre / Co requisites: COM 345 requires prerequisites of C or higher in COM 209, COM 211, and COM 214.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.

COM 348. Rhetoric & Popular Culture. 3 Credits.

This course explores the rhetorical tradition as a way of understanding and interrogating popular culture in terms of what it does and how it contributes to the construction of our social reality. Topics include the rhetorical tradition, Neo-Aristotelianism, critical theory, feminism, Marxism, dramatism, and visual rhetoric.
Pre / Co requisites: COM 348 requires prerequisites of C or higher in COM 209, COM 211, and COM 213.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.

COM 349. Event Planning. 3 Credits.

This course explores the communication strategies relevant to event planning and production. Topics covered include the rhetorical situation, persuasion strategies, event proposal presentation techniques, event agenda management and agenda communication, rhetorical foundations of audience-centered invitations and thank you letters, audience analysis for event production, professional client communication, as well as managing and communicating in regard to event production.
Pre / Co requisites: COM 349 requires prerequisites of C or higher in COM 209, COM 211, and COM 213.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.

COM 375. Language, Thought & Behavior. 3 Credits.

This course explores the relationship between language, thought, and behavior. Topics covered include meaning, naming, censorship, indirectness, framing, and power, as well as how language used in both public and private settings affects our thoughts and behaviors and how our thoughts and behaviors affect our use of language.
Pre / Co requisites: COM 375 requires prerequisites of C or higher in COM 209, COM 211, and COM 214.
Gen Ed Attribute: Writing Emphasis.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.

COM 380. Health Communication. 3 Credits.

This course explores communication in health care settings. Topics covered include the changing perceptions of medical encounters, the language of illness and health, the roles of patients and caregivers, and health communication in historical, cultural, organizational, technological, and medical contexts.
Pre / Co requisites: COM 380 requires prerequisites of C or higher in COM 209, COM 211, and COM 214.
Typically offered in Spring.

COM 385. Family Communication. 3 Credits.

This course explores the ways in which families are built, maintained, and destroyed by communication. Family communication is a complex phenomenon, so it is not surprising that approaches to studying the family have spanned disciplines including communication, psychology, child development, sociology, and anthropology. In this course, students will be exposed to a sampling of interdisciplinary research and theories on families, but the main emphasis of the course will be on contributions to the study of families from within the communication discipline. Topics covered include family communication theories, courtship and mate selection, parent-child relationships, sibling relationships, divorce, family violence and abuse, and extended family relationships.
Pre / Co requisites: COM 385 requires prerequisites of C or higher in COM 209, COM 211, and COM 214.
Gen Ed Attribute: Writing Emphasis.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.

COM 387. Friendship Communication. 3 Credits.

This course explores communication in friendship relationships. Topics covered include the communication of similarity and difference between friends in various contexts from childhood and adolescence to adulthood through the theoretical perspectives of dialectics, narrative, and dialogue.
Pre / Co requisites: COM 387 requires prerequisites of C or higher in COM 209, COM 211, and COM 214.
Gen Ed Attribute: Writing Emphasis.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.

COM 396. Special Topics in Public Communication. 3 Credits.

This course explores a specific area of study in public communication. Topics will be announced in advance.
Pre / Co requisites: COM 396 requires a prerequisite of C or higher in COM 209, COM 211, and COM 213.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.
Repeatable for Credit.

COM 397. Special Topics in Relational Communication. 3 Credits.

This course explores a specific area of study in relational communication. Topics will be announced in advance.
Pre / Co requisites: COM 397 requires prerequisites of C or higher in COM 209, COM 211, and COM 214.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.
Repeatable for Credit.

COM 398. Special Topics in Organizational Communication. 3 Credits.

This course explores a specific area of study in organizational communication. Topics will be announced in advance.
Pre / Co requisites: COM 398 requires prerequisites of C or higher in COM 209, COM 211, and COM 215.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.
Repeatable for Credit.

COM 399. Directed Studies in Communication Studies. 1-6 Credits.

Research, creative projects, reports, and readings in communication studies. Students must apply to advisors one semester in advance of registration. Up to 6 credits may count toward major requirements.
Pre / Co requisites: COM 399 requires approval of the department chairperson, junior or senior standing, and prerequisites of C or higher in COM 209, COM 211, and one of the following courses: COM 213, COM 214, or COM 215.
Consent: Permission of the Department required to add.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.
Repeatable for Credit.

COM 400. Internship in Communication Studies. 3-15 Credits.

This internship provides students the opportunity to gain vital hands-on work experience in the communication discipline that cannot come from classroom experience alone. Credits earned vary based upon the amount of time spent on the job. All internships must be approved by the Department's Internship Coordinator and must meet federal guidelines. This course counts as an applied area course rather than as an upper-division course in the COM major. Please see the department website for more information.
Pre / Co requisites: COM 400 requires prerequisites of C or higher in COM 209, COM 211, and one of the following: COM 213, COM 214, or COM 215; one 300-400 level COM course with a grade of C or higher; enrollment as a COM major or minor; and a minimum 2.8 cumulative GPA.
Consent: Permission of the Department required to add.
Typically offered in Fall, Spring & Summer.
Repeatable for Credit.

COM 405. Argumentation & Debate. 3 Credits.

Functions and principles of argumentation and debate, including analysis, evidence, reasoning, and refutation. Class debates on vital issues.
Pre / Co requisites: COM 405 requires prerequisites of SPK 208 and COM 219 and COM 224.
Gen Ed Attribute: Writing Emphasis.
Typically offered in Spring.

COM 490. Capstone in Communication Studies. 3 Credits.

This course is designed to integrate students' learning experiences across the Communication Studies major. Students will be asked to bring together their understanding of communication theory and research with their oral communication skills. Topics examined vary by instructor.
Pre / Co requisites: COM 490 requires prerequisites of C or higher in COM 209, COM 206, COM 211, COM 213, COM 214, COM 215, and COM 309.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.

COM 499. Communication Seminar. 3 Credits.

Intensive examination of a selected area of study in the field of communication studies. Topics will be announced in advance.
Pre / Co requisites: COM 499 requires prerequisites of SPK 208 and COM 219 and COM 224.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.
Repeatable for Credit.

MDC

MDC 203. The Philadelphia Media Experience. 3 Credits.

This course introduces students to the history of media professions in the Philadelphia area, exposes them to media opportunities and helps them to improve the skill set needed to obtain jobs in emerging media organizations.
Typically offered in Summer.

MDC 217. Introduction to Video Production. 3 Credits.

This course explores the basic television production process. Topics covered include theories of production process, camera operation, lighting, audio recording, editing, visual effects, design, and production staff, as well as the application of these processes to actual production situations.
Typically offered in Fall.

MDC 250. Intercultural Communication. 3 Credits.

A study of factors that contribute to communication breakdowns between diverse cultures and between fragmented segments within the same society.
Gen Ed Attribute: Diversity Requirement.
Distance education offering may be available.
Typically offered in Fall, Spring & Summer.

MDC 251. Media Technology. 3 Credits.

This course introduces the students to key technologies used in producing digital messages, as well as professional standards applied in using these technologies. As part of the course, students will also develop basic, practical skills in using current media technology applications.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.

MDC 252. Media Writing. 3 Credits.

This course provides a survey of mass media formats and writing techniques, including print, social media, and public relations. This course is designed to enhance the appreciation for media professionals as well as provide an understanding of the basic techniques media writers use to inform and/or persuade their audiences. Students will create a professional quality media kit, a portfolio of media artifacts promoting an event or awareness campaign.
Distance education offering may be available.
Typically offered in Fall, Spring & Summer.

MDC 253. Media Literacy. 3 Credits.

Media literacy is a way of critically thinking about modern media: a way of analyzing media messages to gain control over them, understanding their commercial, theoretical and ideological influences, mastering control over the psychological tricks embedded throughout modern technologies and creating new messages as a member of our social information society. In this course, we will explore the effects and influences of mass media and communication on us and in society. We will examine the historical and contemporary influences of mass communication and media - music, film, television, advertising the internet, video games, and social media.
Typically offered in Fall.

MDC 254. Media & Culture Theory. 3 Credits.

This is an introductory course designed to explore the connection between media technologies and culture by examining basic theoretical arguments in media studies today. Students will examine key theoretical approaches to understanding the influence of media in contemporary culture, including audience studies, behavior change theories, computer-mediated communication, critical cultural studies, media convergence, and media literacy. By semester's end, students will be able to understand, apply, and contribute to research in the field of media studies. This knowledge will aid in the process of becoming responsible media producers and critical media consumers in today's digital world.
Distance education offering may be available.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.

MDC 255. Mass Communication Research Methods. 3 Credits.

An examination of the nature of inquiry and research in communication. Emphasis on understanding and appreciating the strengths and weaknesses of various methods of research in communication. Students will gain knowledge of the fundamentals of research, research methodologies, and basic descriptive statistics.
Distance education offering may be available.
Typically offered in Fall, Spring & Summer.
Cross listed courses COM 224, MDC 255, COM 211.

MDC 308. Multimedia Performance. 3 Credits.

This course is designed to introduce the student to both the theory and practice of professional performance across multiple platforms, including social media, mediated public presentation sites, and interviewing.
Pre / Co requisites: MDC 308 requires prerequisites of MDC 250 and MDC 251, or instructor/department chair permission.
Gen Ed Attribute: Speaking Emphasis.
Distance education offering may be available.
Typically offered in Fall, Spring & Summer.

MDC 311. Communication Professions in Sports. 3 Credits.

Course focuses on the communications businesses related to sports in America, including marketing, public relations, journalism, emerging media, etc. Includes sections on media history, communication ethics, race relations, and gender issues in sports media. Guest speakers from major media and local professional teams provide insight into communications-related professions in sports.
Pre / Co requisites: MDC 311 requires prerequisites of MDC 250 and MDC 251.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.

MDC 314. Games Culture and Theory. 3 Credits.

More people are playing video games than ever before, but what does it mean to be a gamer? What does it mean to be part of gaming culture? How does theory help us understand the impact of video games on us? In this class, we will explore video games, both classic and contemporary. You will not only play them, but you will also deconstruct your own relationship with video games themselves as well as humanity's. You will explore the ways people are influenced by games, and the way that games influence culture and society, for better and for worse.
Pre / Co requisites: MDC 314 requires prerequisites of SPK 208, COM 219, and COM 224 or MDC 250 and MDC 251.
Typically offered in Fall, Spring & Summer.

MDC 316. Mediated Communication: The Internet, Culture, and Society. 3 Credits.

We communicate using technology every day. In fact, our digital communication technologies are so pervasive that they seem almost invisible as most of us increasingly rely on some form of media in order to communicate with one another. Technologies such as Facebook, Twitter, SMS, e-mail, and any number of other programs have blurred the lines between interpersonal and mass communication, causing us to rethink how we understand human interaction in this new mediated world. Mediation has challenged some of the most basic assumptions of how we form relationships, both with each other and with ourselves, and how technology can be used to enhance or inhibit these relationships. This course examines the effects that digital mediated communication technologies have on our everyday lives, personal identities as well as our interpersonal, intrapersonal, and organizational relationships.
Pre / Co requisites: MDC 316 requires prerequisites of MDC 250 and MDC 251.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.

MDC 317. Advanced Video Production. 3 Credits.

This course explores advanced television production processes. Topics covered include proposal and budget writing, visualization and storyboarding, composing and staging shots and the advanced use of editing tools in pre-production, production, and post-production.
Pre / Co requisites: MDC 317 requires prerequisites of COM 217, COM 219, COM 224, and SPK 208 or MDC 250 and MDC 251.
Typically offered in Spring.

MDC 320. Communication on Television and Radio. 3 Credits.

A course on the professional practice of communicating through radio, television and digital broadcast media. Topics include communicating through radio and audio media, television and video media, commercial voiceovers, news reporting, and performing in a studio environment.
Pre / Co requisites: MDC 320 requires prerequisites of MDC 250 and MDC 251.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.

MDC 321. Search Engine Optimization Management. 3 Credits.

This course examines the relationship between communication and marketing on the internet, with emphasis on the strategic use of content in the marketing process. Topics include: online communication environments, audience analysis, message design, editorial plan, and the analysis of outcomes.
Pre / Co requisites: MDC 321 requires prerequisites MDC 250 and MDC 251.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.

MDC 322. Culture and Organizations. 3 Credits.

Organizational dynamics can be understood to operate using deeper assumptions and values, much like national cultures. Different scholarly approaches to culture are used to craft strategic responses to practical organizational challenges using the media. The particular cultures of media organizations are also analyzed using case study examples.
Pre / Co requisites: MDC 322 requires prerequisites of MDC 250 and MDC 251.
Distance education offering may be available.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.

MDC 323. Media Audiences. 3 Credits.

Media scholars and practitioners have long been interested in understanding and measuring 'the audience'. Increasing levels of media convergence, fragmentation, and polarization present many new challenges for making sense of media users. The purpose of this course is to explore various assumptions of media audiences and the different methodological attempts to measure them. First, students will explore a 'push' media perspective by examining mass communication media effects research. Students will examine pop culture texts of today and learn more about ratings analysis. Next, students will reflect on critical responses to emergent audiences through 'pull' media research. Here, students will learn more about audience reception research and the many ways in which audiences experience and make sense of media technologies. Finally, students will examine how these different approaches inform the concerns, questions, methods, findings, and implications of audience research today.
Pre / Co requisites: MDC 323 requires prerequisites of MDC 250 and MDC 251.
Distance education offering may be available.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.

MDC 325. Strategic Social Media. 3 Credits.

This course is designed to explore the influence of digital historical landscape, best marketing practices and mobilization through social media in the twenty first century. We will address key concepts in the field of new media, including issues such as media literacy, personal identity, community, globalization and the convergence culture. It is necessary to question whether there is anything "new" about these new technologies by comparing them with historic media transformations of our past. Once an adequate understanding is gained of the historical and present landscape of new media, we will learn to utilize technologies for personal online reputation management. Finally, we will critically explore how to best market new media by examining various business models and theories in the field, as well as how organizations and businesses utilize new media most effectively. Students will have an opportunity to apply course concepts to a final social media marketing project.
Pre / Co requisites: MDC 325 requires prerequisites of MDC 250 and MDC 251, and at least one of the following: MDC 252, MDC 253, or MDC 254.
Distance education offering may be available.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.

MDC 350. Advanced Intercultural Communication. 3 Credits.

Intercultural communication examines communication across various areas of difference: age, race, gender, class, orientation, region. Graduate Intercultural Communication examines the relationship between communication and culture. Analysis of communication variables as they relate to the communication of difference and the ways in which difference matters in everyday intercultural communication are examined. Emphasis is placed on the influence of culture on the communication process, including differences in values, assumptions, and communication practices/rules.
Pre / Co requisites: MDC 350 requires prerequisites of MDC 250 and MDC 251.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.

MDC 355. Introduction to Public Relations. 3 Credits.

An introduction to the role of the public relations practitioner in the formation of public opinion. Communications theory will be combined with specific techniques for working with the press, producing printed material, and conducting special events.
Pre / Co requisites: MDC 355 requires prerequisites of MDC 250 and MDC 251.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.

MDC 360. African American Culture and Communication. 3 Credits.

African American communication explores the ways messages, verbal and non-verbal, produce, maintain, transform and repair reality for Black community members over the media and in interpersonal contexts. As such, the course explores the significance of discursive identity construction in over the media and in human interaction. We aim to develop intercultural communication competency in this subject area. We accomplish this as we examine the ways in which Black/African American identities have been discursively and socially constructed, sustained, problematized, celebrated, and enacted in media, institutional, and societal settings. The dynamic process of acquiring, managing and executing the rhetorical qualities, patterns of thinking, values, assumptions, and concepts which constitute subjective culture are explored.
Pre / Co requisites: MDC 360 requires prerequisites of MDC 250 and MDC 251.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.

MDC 370. Event Production Using Media. 3 Credits.

Producing a large event requires strategic leadership to coordinate multiple stakeholders to achieve concrete goals. The media play a variety of roles in this complex production process. This course considers application of theory and research to the practical problems of envisioning and executing events on a larger scale using a variety of mediated forms in different supporting roles.
Pre / Co requisites: MDC 370 requires prerequisites of MDC 250 and MDC 251.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.

MDC 420. Mass Media & Social Protest. 3 Credits.

This course will address multi-disciplinary theory and research that has contributed to our understanding of both the antecedents and consequences of mediated messages as they affect processes related to social protest. This will include analyzing the ethical codes guiding journalists covering protest groups as well as the ethics guiding protesters and their actions. Readings will draw from mass communication, political science, sociology and other disciplines to examine questions about the role of communication media in the dynamics of social protest considering both traditional and new/emerging media.
Pre / Co requisites: MDC 420 requires prerequisites of MDC 250 and MDC 251.
Gen Ed Attribute: Ethics Requirement.
Typically offered in Spring.

MDC 421. Content Strategy. 3 Credits.

This course examines the relationship between communication and marketing on the internet, with emphasis on the strategic use of content in the marketing process. Topics include: online communication environments, audience analysis, message design, editorial plan, and the analysis of outcomes.
Pre / Co requisites: MDC 421 requires prerequisites of SPK 208, COM 219, and COM 224 or MDC 250 and MDC 251.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.

MDC 422. Consulting for Careers in Media and Culture. 3 Credits.

The goal of this course is to explore the links between abilities and perspectives refined by those who study organizational culture and the needs of modern organizations. In this course, students will explore the elements of organizational culture and apply their learning in conducting an in-depth analysis of a specific organization and with the goal of improving organizational effectiveness and creating positive organizational change.
Pre / Co requisites: MDC 422 requires prerequisites of MDC 250 and MDC 251.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.

MDC 423. Media Campaigns. 3 Credits.

This course examines key theories of mass media influence and applies them to the practice of persuasive media campaigns.
Pre / Co requisites: MDC 423 requires prerequisites of MDC 250 and MDC 251.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.

MDC 455. Public Relations Management. 3 Credits.

This is an upper-level course designed for students who have completed the introduction to public relations courses and have a foundation in public relations and news analysis. The course builds on introductory principles from Introduction to Public Relations to provide students who are serious about a career in public relations with an opportunity to learn about strategic planning and implementation of public relations programs. This course explores the longer-term, management-oriented aspects of public relations, where practitioners conduct research, identify communications goals, develop overall strategy and use social science research methods to evaluate the effects of campaigns. Students use a case study approach, applying management theory to real public relations cases to identify tangible communication objectives, understand the values of key audiences, develop appropriate and effective message strategies, work with the media to distribute messages and develop appropriate research methods to determine the effectiveness of their campaigns.
Pre / Co requisites: MDC 455 requires prerequisites of MDC 250, MDC 251, and MDC 355.
Typically offered in Fall.

MDC 460. Communication and Advertising. 3 Credits.

This course explores the relationship between communication and advertising. Topics covered include the interconnection among advertising, media, and a range of publics, as well as the process and history of advertising, message strategies, media planning, and campaign evaluation, ethical and regulatory issues.
Pre / Co requisites: MDC 460 requires prerequisites of MDC 250 and MDC 251.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.

MDC 470. Intercultural Communication Training. 3 Credits.

Intercultural training is an experiential activity that engages cognitive, behavioral and affective learning to help individuals to bridge cultural differences in their communication. This course teaches students the theory behind intercultural training for the workplace through the experience of workshops and through designing their own workshops. The use of media in training workshops is addressed explicitly using theory and experiential examples.
Pre / Co requisites: MDC 470 requires prerequisites of MDC 250 and MDC 251.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.

MDC 490. Special Topics Seminar in Culture. 3 Credits.

The mass media is a staple of modern-day society. We have interactions daily with media messages, both intentionally and unintentionally. Media researchers have been examining the impact of the mass media on individuals' thoughts, attitudes, and behaviors since the Industrial Era and continue to investigate the influence of newer technologies. This course will take an in-depth look at the critical and empirical research into the different discussions and theories on how the media affects people, both at an individual and societal level.
Pre / Co requisites: MDC 490 requires prerequisites of MDC 250 and MDC 251.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.
Repeatable for Credit.

MDC 491. Special Topics Seminar in Production. 3 Credits.

This course serves as an intensive examination of a selected area of study in the field of media production. Specifically, the seminar will focus on the creation of short-form videos. Videos currently account for over half of all internet traffic, with the average length of videos decreasing each year. Online users are interested in short, professional-quality video content. We will examine the art of creating short video content through three sections. First, we will examine the history and production of short videos on social media. Second, we will study tips for creating short videos in an abbreviated time frame through the film race genre. Finally, we will apply knowledge to creating short videos for business settings.
Pre / Co requisites: MDC 491 requires prerequisites of MDC 250 and MDC 251.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.
Repeatable for Credit.

MDC 492. Special Topics Seminar in Strategic Communication. 3 Credits.

This course serves as an intensive examination of a selected area of study in the field of strategic communication. Specifically, the seminar will provide an in-depth examination of audience behavior for public relations, social media, and content marketing specialists. Understanding audience behavior in a convergent media environment has never been more important or difficult to achieve. By focusing on research tools used to understand audience demographics and psychographic characteristics, incorporating these findings into strategic media campaigns, and utilizing communication research methods to monitor and evaluate results, students will be better prepared to enter the field of strategic communication.
Pre / Co requisites: MDC 492 requires prerequisites of MDC 250 and MDC 251.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.
Repeatable for Credit.

MDC 493. Directed Studies in Media and Culture. 1-3 Credits.

Research, creative projects, reports, and readings in communication studies. Students must apply to advisors one semester in advance of registration.
Pre / Co requisites: MDC 493 requires prerequisites of junior or senior status, a minimum GPA of 2.5, and MDC 250, MDC 251, MDC 252, MDC 253, MDC 254, and MDC 255.
Consent: Permission of the Department required to add.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.
Repeatable for Credit.

MDC 494. Internship in Media and Culture. 1-12 Credits.

The internship provides students the opportunity to gain vital hands-on work experience in the communication discipline that cannot come from classroom experience alone. The program is designed to provide students with exposure to professional opportunities related to the field, as well as helping them to build their resumes and begin developing a network of industry contacts. Credits earned vary based upon the amount of time spent on the job. All internships must be approved by the Department's Internship Coordinator and must meet federal guidelines. Note: This course fulfills the requirement for an MDC major to complete an internship or practicum as part of the major.
Pre / Co requisites: MDC 494 requires prerequisites of MDC 250 and MDC 251; one upper-level MDC course; the student must be a declared MDC major; and have a cumulative GPA of 2.8 or higher.
Consent: Permission of the Department required to add.
Typically offered in Fall, Spring & Summer.
Repeatable for Credit.

MDC 495. Media and Culture Practicum. 1-3 Credits.

This course is a supervised, in-house internship, which allows the students to apply the concepts and skills learned in media culture courses. Students do so by creating content for student media (e.g., the Quad, WCU Weekly, or the COMStudent blog).
Pre / Co requisites: MDC 495 requires prerequisites of MDC 250, MDC 251, and at least 15 credits of MDC coursework completed.
Consent: Permission of the Department required to add.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.
Repeatable for Credit.

SPC

SPC 199. Transfer Credits. 1-10 Credits.

Transfer Credits.
Repeatable for Credit.

SPK

SPK 199. Transfer Credits. 1-10 Credits.

Transfer Credits.
Repeatable for Credit.

SPK 208. Public Speaking. 3 Credits.

Development of skills necessary to understand the theory of communication as a problem-solving tool in the community. Special emphasis is on the student's performance as a sender and receiver of messages directed at social action.
Gen Ed Attribute: Speaking Emphasis.
Distance education offering may be available.
Typically offered in Fall, Spring & Summer.

SPK 230. Business and Professional Speech Communication. 3 Credits.

LEC (3), LAB (0)
Practice in effective speaking and listening. Interpersonal communication in the business and professional setting, including reports and sales presentations, policy speeches, conference leadership techniques, group dynamics, and speaking.
Gen Ed Attribute: Speaking Emphasis.
Typically offered in Fall, Spring & Summer.