Communication

Faculty/Staff

Michael Agee, Chair; Robert Mendenhall, Glen Robinson

Adjunct: Milton Siems, John Williams

Mission

The mission of Southwestern Adventist University's Department of Communication is to prepare students to be effective Christian communicators.  This includes developing skills in personal interaction, writing, speaking, creating media content, and managing the elements of communication technology.  In addition, knowledge comes from learning about new forms of convergence and interaction in the areas of radio, television, film, journalism, advertising, public relations, graphic communication, and the Internet.

Aims of the Department

The aims of Southwestern Adventist University's Department of Communication are to:

  • Develop in students the essential skills necessary to enter careers in the communication field of their choice or to enter graduate school.
  • Prepare students for executive responsibilities at some point in their careers.
  • Establish a connection between communication and a relationship with Jesus Christ.
  • Instill in students a desire for long-term growth in communication.

Facilities and Internships

Communication majors at Southwestern Adventist University choose one of the department's three emphasis areas of study: Advertising & Public Relations (ADPR), Journalism (JOUR), or Radio-TV-Film (RTVF).  The department also offers minors in both Communication and Speech.  Many communication students acquire valuable training and experience at the following facilities on the campus:

  • 88.3 The Journey, KJRN
  • The Studios at Southwestern and KGSW TV 18.1
  • The Communication Mac Lab

Our Communication Department encourages all upper division majors to complete an off-campus internship in their major emphasis. Even before graduation, and sometimes as a direct result of communication internship positions, many of our majors are hired by these firms, and communication alumni from Southwestern who have continued their education through graduate school have done so very successfully.

Department Policies

Withdrawing from or Repeating Courses

Communication majors or minors may withdraw from or repeat a course in their area of emphasis or minor only one time.

Multiple Communication Majors/Minors

A student cannot earn either two communication majors or both a communication major and minor in different emphasis areas. This is because there are similar core course requirements and because career preparation in two academic fields is preferable to only one.

Communication Competencies

Competence in both oral and written communication is required for progress in each of the emphases and minors offered by the department. Competence in oral communication is considered to be the completion of required Speech performance courses with a grade of  C– or above.

Writing is a major component of upper division communication courses. The Department requires all students to have passed ENGL 220 Research Writing or its equivalent before enrolling in any upper division course.

Programs

B.A. in Communication

  • Advertising and PR emphasis
  • Journalism emphasis
  • Radio-TV-Film emphasis

B.S. in Communication

  • Advertising and PR emphasis
  • Journalism emphasis
  • Radio-TV-Film emphasis

Minors in Advertising and PR, Communication, Journalism, Radio-TV-Film, and Speech.

Communication, B.A. Advertising and PR emphasis

COMM 110 Communication Media 3
COMM 115 Discussion Techniques 3
COMM 127 Photo and Graphic Editing 3
COMM 137 Media Techniques 3
COMM 224 Photography 3
COMM 227 Convergent Journalism 3
COMM 241 Public Relations 3
COMM 335 Persuasion 3
COMM 343 Visual Communication 3
COMM 351 Advertising 3
COMM 431 Media Law and Ethics 3
COMM 442 Applied Advertising and PR 3
COMM 451 Communication Theory 3
Total: 39

Communication, B.A. Journalism emphasis

COMM 110 Communication Media 3
COMM 112 Announcing 3
COMM 127 Photo and Graphic Editing 3
COMM 137 Media Techniques 3
COMM 224 Photography 3
COMM 227 Convergent Journalism 3
COMM 230 Broadcast Journalism 3
COMM 322 Reporting 3
COMM 343 Visual Communication 3
COMM 383 Editorial Techniques 3
COMM 422 Writing for Publication 3
COMM 431 Media Law and Ethics 3
COMM 451 Communication Theory 3
Total: 39

Communication, B.A. Radio-TV-Film emphasis

COMM 110 Communication Media 3
COMM 112 Announcing 3
COMM 125 Audio Production 3
COMM 137 Media Techniques 3
COMM 227 Convergent Journalism 3
COMM 230 Broadcast Journalism 3
COMM 237 Video Production I 3
COMM 313 Broadcasting in America 3
COMM 343 Visual Communication 3
COMM 351 Advertising 3
COMM 355 Understanding Film 3
COMM 431 Media Law and Ethics 3
COMM 451 Communication Theory 3
Total: 39

Communication, B.S. Advertising and PR emphasis

COMM 110 Communication Media 3
COMM 115 Discussion Techniques 3
COMM 127 Photo and Graphic Editing 3
COMM 137 Media Techniques 3
COMM 224 Photography 3
COMM 227 Convergent Journalism 3
COMM 233 Interpersonal Communication 3
COMM 241 Public Relations 3
COMM 322 Reporting 3
COMM 335 Persuasion 3
COMM 343 Visual Communication 3
COMM 351 Advertising 3
COMM 381 Development 3
COMM 431 Media Law and Ethics 3
COMM 442 Applied Advertising and PR 3
COMM 451 Communication Theory 3
Total: 48

Communication, B.S. Journalism emphasis

COMM 110 Communication Media 3
COMM 112 Announcing 3
COMM 127 Photo and Graphic Editing 3
COMM 137 Media Techniques 3
COMM 224 Photography and Editing 3
COMM 227 Convergent Journalism 3
COMM 230 Broadcast Journalism 3
COMM 241 Public Relations 3
COMM 322 Reporting 3
COMM 324 Photojournalism 3
COMM 343 Visual Communication 3
COMM 383 Editorial Techniques 3
COMM 422 Writing for Publication 3
COMM 431 Media Law and Ethics 3
COMM 451 Communication Theory 3
Total: 45

Communication, B.S. Radio-TV-Film emphasis

COMM 110 Communication Media 3
COMM 112 Announcing 3
COMM 125 Audio Production 3
COMM 127 Photo and Graphic Editing 3
COMM 137 Media Techniques 3
COMM 227 Convergent Journalism 3
COMM 230 Broadcast Journalism 3
COMM 237 Video Production 3
COMM 313 Broadcasting in America 3
COMM 332 Electronic Media Management 3
COMM 337 Advanced Video Production or
COMM 437 Film Production 3
COMM 343 Visual Communication 3
COMM 351 Advertising 3
COMM 355 Understanding Film 3
COMM 431 Media Law and Ethics 3
COMM 437 Film Production 3
COMM 451 Communication Theory 3
Total: 48

Minor in Advertising and PR

COMM 110 Communication Media 3
COMM 137 Media Techniques 3
COMM 227 Convergent Journalism 3
COMM 241 Public Relations 3
COMM 351 Advertising 3
COMM 442 Applied Advertising and PR 3
Total: 18

Minor in Communication

COMM 110 Communication Media 3
COMM 137 Media Techniques 3
COMM 227 Convergent Journalism 3
COMM 343 Visual Communication 3
COMM 431 Media Law and Ethics 3
COMM 451 Communication Theory 3
Total: 18

Minor in Journalism

COMM 110 Communication Media 3
COMM 137 Media Techniques 3
COMM 227 Convergent Journalism 3
COMM 230 Broadcast Journalism 3
COMM 322 Reporting 3
COMM 422 Writing for Publication 3
Total: 18

Minor in Radio-TV-Film

COMM 110 Communication Media 3
COMM 112 Announcing 3
COMM 137 Media Techniques 3
COMM 237 Video Production I 3
COMM 313 Broadcasting America 3
COMM 332 Electronic Media Management 3
Total: 18

Minor in Speech

COMM 111 Speech 3
COMM 113 Oral Interpretation 3
COMM 115 Discussion Techniques 3
COMM 233 Interpersonal Communication 3
COMM 335 Persuasion 3
COMM 451 Communication Theory 3
Total: 18

Teaching Certification Program

The student must make formal application for admittance to the Teacher Education Program. Applications are available at the Education Department office.

Communication, B.A. or B.S., emphasis in Journalism - Secondary Teaching Area

The student must meet the requirements for a B.A. or B.S. degree in Communication - Journalism Emphasis.

Courses

COMM 110 - Communication Media (3 hours)

An historical and critical survey of the role played by communication media in shaping culture. Media examined include books; newspapers; magazines; film; radio, recording, and popular music; television, cable, and mobile video; video games; and the Internet and World Wide Web. Also examined are the supporting industries of public relations and advertising, as well as theories and effects of mass communication; media freedom, regulation, and ethics; and global media. Attention is given throughout  to improving students' media literacy. (Fall)

COMM 111 - Speech (3 hours)

Theoretical and practical instruction in the principles of effective oral communication, with a concern for its importance in a democratic society. Emphasis is placed on content, organization, speaker attitudes, critical listening, audience analysis, and delivery. (Fall, Spring)

COMM 112 - Announcing (3 hours)

Introduces the student to contemporary announcing techniques, especially for radio and television, but also for other media.  Emphasis is given to interpretation of copy, audio and video performance, voice analysis and improvement, interviewing techniques, pronunciation and articulation, and general speech improvement. Some attention is also given to ad-lib announcing, as well as news, music, and sports announcing. (Spring)

COMM 113 - Oral Interpretation (3 hours)

Introduction to and experience in discovering the meaning in literature and effectively sharing this meaning through oral presentations. A variety of readings will be selected from scripture, poetry, prose, and drama. (Spring, odd years)

COMM 115 - Discussion Techniques (3 hours)

A study of the democratic methods used to solve problems and conduct business in various kinds of group organizations. Includes a number of traditional face-to-face group activities as well as individual presentations. (Spring, even years)

COMM 125 - Audio Production (3 hours)

An introduction to recording  and manipulating sound, this course includes segments on sound behavior, equipment and software used for recording and manipulating sounds for broadcast, video, and film; signal processing, editing, and mixing.  Supplies fee.  (Fall)

COMM 127 - Photo and Graphic Editing (3 hours)

In this course, students will learn how to create and manipulate digital images captured from a camera, a scanner, or from scratch.  Students will acquire the ability to manipulate and enhance digital images through the use of selection tools, image adjustments, filters, and blending modes.  Supplies fee.  (Fall)

COMM 137 - Media Techniques (3 hours)

This course is an introduction to the digital technologies and techniques applied to create contemporary media content.  Hands-on video and audio projects will expose students to the basic methods and procedures of creating content for digital media, including broadcast, the Web, DVDs, presentations, and mobile devices.  Supplies fee.  (Fall)

COMM 224 - Photography (3 hours)

Prerequisite: Permission of instructor

Introduces the basic tools, materials, and techniques of digital photography. Assignments are designed to develop skill in camera operation, composition, and editing and printing the digital photograph. The student must furnish a digital camera capable of creating RAW format files. Supplies fee.  (Spring)

COMM 227 - Convergent Journalism (3 hours)

Prerequisite: ENGL 121(Grade C- or above)

This course teaches future communication professionals how to write and communicate confidently across media platforms.  In addition to learning the basic reporting and interviewing skills needed for all media, students will learn how to repurpose broadcast and print news for the Internet and how to incorporate convergent journalism techniques into other emerging media. Students will also be introduced to the research skills used in the field of communication, produce a short communication research paper, and begin the process of senior portfolio development.  This course fulfills the requirement for UNIV 201: Research in an Academic Discipline as specified in Southwestern's Quality Enhancement Plan.  (Spring)

COMM 230 - Broadcast Journalism (3 hours)

Prerequisite: ENGL 121 (Grade C- or above)

This broadcast news course emphasizes the importance of clear, concise, and engaging writing, as well as accurate, thorough, and fair reporting. Other elements include writing to audio, producing newscasts and public affairs programs, writing to visuals, news for stations and other media including the Web, and ethics and law. (Fall, even years)

COMM 233 - Interpersonal Communication (3 hours)

Cognitive and experiential learning about interpersonal relationships. Students acquire insights about themselves and how they relate to others. Includes a segment on online social networks.   (Spring, even years)

COMM 237 - Video Production (3 hours)

This course introduces students to basic shooting and editing techniques used by video professionals. Hands-on experience will provide learning opportunities in operating a camera, as well as using both lighting and audio equipment.  Students will also learn key editing techniques to create professional-quality story segments used in news, magazine shows, and documentaries.  Supplies fee.  (Spring)

COMM 241 - Public Relations (3 hours)

A course dealing with definitions, basic objectives, and concepts of public relations. Attention is given to the role of public relations, research for public relations, publics and target audiences, communication concepts and channels, campaigns, and the legal and ethical environment of publics relations. (Also taught as MKTG 241.) (Fall)

COMM 291 - Selected Topics (1 hour)

Prerequisite: Permission of department chair

This course offers the lower-division student opportunity to pursue investigations in fields of special interest under the direction of the departmental staff. Content and method of study must be arranged prior to registration. May be repeated for a total of 2 credits.

COMM 313 - Broadcasting in America (3 hours)

An advanced study of broadcasting in the United States, this course includes elements on the origins and growth of broadcasting and cable; the physical bases of radio, television, and cable; programming, ratings, and effects; regulatory and constitutional matters; and current issues, including an international perspective. (Fall, odd years)

COMM 322 - Reporting (3 hours)

Prerequisite: COMM 227 or permission of instructor

A continuation of COMM 227, exploring the principles and practices of news reporting.  Emphasis is placed on writing for today's journalism, including Web reporting and preparing content for multiple platforms.  Extensive writing. (Fall, even years)

COMM 324 - Photojournalism (3 hours)

Prerequisite: COMM 224 or permission of instructor

An advanced study of the visual image as it is used to document social conditions. Emphasis is given to news photographs, editing, cropping, legal and ethical considerations, and the ability to tell stories using modern multimedia technology. Student must furnish digital camera. Supplies fee. (Spring, odd years)

COMM 332 - Electronic Media Management (3 hours)

An advanced study of the management of media organizations, this course includes segments on historical and contemporary management theory, ethics in management, financial and human resources, promotion and marketing, programming, and regulation.  (Fall, even years)

COMM 335 - Persuasion (3 hours)

A study and practice of the principles and techniques involved in persuasion. Elements include the psychology of persuasion; the relation of persuasion to imaging, advertising, and propaganda; and the role of persuasion in a free society. Students will work in teams to replicate published persuasive research and will present their findings in a public session. (Spring, odd years)

COMM 337 - Advanced Video Production (3 hours)

Prerequisite: COMM 237 or permission of instructor

This course will expose students to advanced shooting and editing techniques, including multi-camera production.  Students will be required to shoot and edit story segments for a live, multi-camera show produced several times during the semester.   Supplies fee.  (Spring, odd years)

COMM 343 - Visual Communication (3 hours)

A study of visual rhetoric, specifically the relationship between images and the messages they convey. The course will survey images in all areas of modern mass communication, including advertising, public relations, journalism, graphic design, photography, motion pictures, television and video, and the World Wide Web. Supplies fee.  (Fall)

COMM 351 - Advertising (3 hours)

This course studies the role of advertising in society, its impact on the economy, its function in business and marketing, and its communication aspects, including media applications. Attention is given to social, legal, and ethical considerations; the business of advertising; consumer behavior; and creative strategies and processes. (Also taught as MKTG 351.)  (Spring)

COMM 355 - Understanding Film (3 hours)

A study of film, including the medium's history and the development of cinema structure within social and cultural contexts. Elements include photography, mise en scène, movement, editing, sound, acting, drama, story, writing, ideology, and critique. Viewing and analysis of significant films in cinema history. 2 Lec 3 Lab. (Spring, even years)

COMM 381 - Development (3 hours)

A study of fundraising and the philanthropic tradition and its role in the successful operation of nonprofit organizations. Attention is given to the techniques of producing fundraising proposals and campaigns directed to individuals, foundations, corporations, and other philanthropic organizations. (Fall, odd years)

COMM 383 - Editorial Techniques (3 hours)

Prerequisite: COMM 227.  Prerequisite or corequisite: COMM 322.

This course emphasizes the principles and practices of copy preparation and editorial decision making. Elements include working with writers, a production staff, and deadlines, as well as  headline writing, picture editing, writing photo captions,  and editing copy for accuracy, newsworthiness, language effectiveness, legality, and good taste. Students will learn practical application through editorial responsibility for the Southwesterner, the campus news website. (Fall, even years)

COMM 422 - Writing for Publication (3 hours)

Prerequisite: COMM 227 or permission of instructor

A course dealing with newspaper and magazine features. Emphasis is placed on publishing articles in on- and off-campus publications. Extensive practice in writing various types of feature stories and in dealing with editors and deadlines. (Fall, odd years)

COMM 431 - Media Law and Ethics (3 hours)

A study of the major principles of media law and media-related ethical concerns. Emphasis is given to the most important court decisions and statutory enactments in communication law, including prior restraint, libel and slander, fair trial/free press conflicts, and the First Amendment. Attention is given to building a personal approach to ethics within the context of the individual's relationships both with supervisors and with the public. Communication seniors in this course will complete their senior thesis and finalize the contents of their senior portfolio.  This course fulfills the requirement for an upper division course with components as specified in Southwestern's Quality Enhancement Plan.   (Spring, even years)

COMM 437 - Film Production (3 hours)

Prerequisite: COMM 237 or permission of instructor

In this course students will produce short films using advanced digital video methods, including 24-frame, single-camera filming techniques.  Emphasis will be placed on producing, directing, and editing dramatic segments.  Students will also have the opportunity to work with advanced post-production techniques, including color correction and sound sweetening of their projects.  Supplies fee. (Spring, even years)

COMM 442 - Applied Advertising and Public Relations (3 hours)

This course uses team projects to teach the tools and techniques necessary to work in the fields of advertising and  public relations. Advertising assignments may include, but are not limited to, image and identity, political advertising, jingles and slogans, campaigns for large and small companies, and demographic and psychographic research.  Public relations assignments may include, but are not limited to, crisis management, special events, media relations, publications, and internal communications.  (Fall, odd years)

COMM 451 - Communication Theory (3 hours)

This course presents the theoretical bases of interpersonal communication, group and public communication, mass communication, and communication in cultural contexts. Attention is given to the nature of inquiry and theory as well as several topics in communication theory, including interpersonal messages, cognitive processing, relationship development and maintenance, influence, group decision making, organizational communication, public rhetoric, media and culture, media effects, and intercultural and gender communication. There are ethical elements throughout the course as well as discussion integrating and relating the communication theories covered.  Communication seniors in this course will complete their senior thesis and finalize the contents of their senior portfolio. This course fulfills the requirement for an upper-division course with components as specified in Southwestern's Quality Enhancement Plan.  (Spring, odd years)

COMM 471 - Radio Internship (1-3 hours)

COMM 472 - Television Internship (1-3 hours)

COMM 473 - Journalism Internship (1-3 hours)

COMM 474 - Public Relations Internship (1-3 hours)

COMM 475 - Advertising Internship (1-3 hours)