Curriculum & Courses

The Communications Department focuses on written and visual communication, including journalism, multimedia, public relations, radio, television and video production. Students will explore this rapidly growing field that offers career paths in business or corporate communications as well as the newspaper/broadcast industry and public relations. Emphasis will be given to current technology as well as historical development.

The bachelor’s degree requires completion of 124 credits, a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 and a grade of C– or above in all communications core and required courses in the major.

Prefix Number Course Credit
Hours

Communications Core Courses

 
COM 101 Graphic Core 2
COM 102 Digital Technology 2
COM 103 Mass Communications and Society 3
COM 104 News Gathering and Reporting 3
COM 201 Visual Theory 3
COM 280-283 Communication Practicum .5
COM 318 Editing 3
COM 401 Web Design 4
COM 441 Mass Media Law 4
COM 442 Media Literacy 4
COM 452 Senior Capstone 4
COM 401 Web Design 4
    Internship  
       

Digital Media Track

 
COM 202 Television Production 3
COM 203 Radio 3
COM 319 Electronic Field Production 3
COM 322 Broadcast Journalism 3
COM 434 Advanced Media 4
       

Graphic Deisgn Track

 
ART 134 Design 3
COM 227 Fundamentals of Typography 3
COM 301 Publication Design 3
COM 314 History of Graphic Design 3
       

Journalism Track

 
COM 104 News Gathering and Reporting 3
COM 211 Intermediate Journalism 3
COM 301 Publication Design 3
COM 432 Photojournalism 4
       

Public Relations Track

 
COM 202 Television Production 3
COM 203 Radio 3
COM 204 Introduction to Public Relations 3
COM 301 Publication Design 3
COM 422 Public Relations Skills 3
       

Communications Minor

 
COM 101 Graphic Core 2
COM 102 Digital Technology 2
COM 103 Mass Communications and Society 3
COM 104 News Gathering and Reporting 3
COM 401 Web Design 4
Students must choose between three of these courses:
COM 201 Visual Theory 3
COM 204 Introduction to Public Relations 3
COM 301 Publication Design 3
COM 318 Editing 3
COM 441 Mass Media Law 4

 


Suggested Curriculum

Electronic Media

   

Semester I

Digital Tech 102, (2 cr.)
Mass Communication, 103 (3 cr.)
Religion 103, (3 cr.)
English 101, (3 cr.)
Critical Inquiry 111, (3 cr.)
Practicum, (.5 cr.)
Total of 14.5

Semester II

Graphic Core 101, (2 cr.)
News Gathering 104, (3 cr.)
English 102, (3 cr.)
Artistic Expression 120, (3 cr.)
Math Elective, (4 cr.)
Practicum, (.5 cr.)
Total of 15.5

Semester III

Radio 203 or TV 202, (3 cr.)
Intro. to Public Relations 204, (3 cr.)
Lab Science, (4 cr.)
History Elective, Global, (3 cr.)
Sociology 221, (3 cr.)
Practicum, (.5 cr.)
Total of 16.5

Semester IV

Radio 203 or TV 202, (3 cr.)
Religion Elective
Visual Theory 201, (3 cr.)
Elective, (3 cr.)
Internship 395, (4 cr.)
Practicum, (.5 cr.)
Total of 16.5

Semester V

Publication Design 301, (3 cr.)
Editing 318, (3 cr.)
EFP 319, (3 cr.)
Phy. Ed. Electives, (1 cr.)
Wellness 201, (1 cr.)
Practicum, (.5 cr.)
Total of 14.5

Semester VI

Internship 395, (5 cr.)
Broadcast Journalism 322, (3 cr.)
Electives, (9 cr.)
Practicum, (.5 cr.)
Total of 17.5

Summer

Advanced Media 434, (4 cr.)

Semester VII

Media Law 441, (4 cr.)
Media Literacy 442, (4 cr.)
Public Relations Skills, 422 (3 cr.)
Elective, (3 cr.)
Practicum, (.5 cr.)
Total of 14.5

Semester VIII

Web Design 401, (4 cr.)
Senior Religion, (4 cr.)
Senior Capstone 452, (4 cr.)
Practicum, (.5 cr.)
Total of 12.5


Graphic Design

   

Semester I

Religion 103, (3 cr.)
English 101, (3 cr.)
Critical Inquiry 111, (3 cr.)
Graphic Core 101, (2 cr.)
News Gathering 104, (3 cr.)
Wellness 101, (1 cr.)
Practicum, (.5 cr.)
Total of 15.5

Semester II

English 102, (3 cr.)
Mass Communications 103, (3 cr.)
Artistic Expression 120, (3 cr.)
Math Elective, (4 cr.)
Digital Tech 102, (2 cr.)
Practicum, (.5 cr.)
Total of 15.5

Semester III

History Elective, (3 cr.)
Sociology 221, (3 cr.)
Design 134, (3 cr.)
Elective, (3 cr.)
Lab Science Elective, (4 cr.)
Practicum, (.5 cr.)
Total of 16.5

Semester IV

Religion Elective, (3 cr.)
Visual Theory 201, (3 cr.)
Global Requirement, (3 cr.)
Typography 227, (3 cr.)
Internship 395, (4 cr.)
Practicum, (.5 cr.)
Total of 16.5

Semester V

Editing 318, (3 cr.)
Psychology 111, (3 cr.)
Electives, (9 cr.)
Practicum, (.5 cr.)
Total of 15.5

Semester VI

Publication Design 301, (3 cr.)
Elective, (3 cr.)
Speech 111 or Radio 203, (3 cr.)
Internship 395, (4 cr.)
Phy. Ed. Electives, (1 cr.)
Practicum, (.5 cr.)
Total of 14.5

Summer

Photojournalism 432, (4 cr.)

Semester VII

Electives, (4 cr.)
History of Graphic Design 314, (3 cr.)
Mass Media Law 441, (4 cr.)
Media Literacy 442, (4 cr.)
Practicum, (.5 cr.)
Total of 15.5

Semester VIII

Web Design 401, (4 cr.)
Senior Religion, (4 cr.)
Senior Capstone 452, (4 cr.)
Practicum, (.5 cr.)
Total of 12.5


Print Media (Journalism)

   

Semester I

Religion 103, (3 cr.)
English 101, (3 cr.)
Critical Inquiry 111, (3 cr.)
News Gathering 104, (3 cr.)
Wellness 101, (1 cr.)
Practicum, (.5 cr.)
Total of 15.5

Semester II

English 102, (3 cr.)
Mass Communications 103, (3 cr.)
Artistic Expression 120, (3 cr.)
Math Elective, (4 cr.)
Digital Tech 102, (2 cr.)
Practicum, (.5 cr.)
Total of 15.5

Semester III

History Elective, (3 cr.)
Sociology 221, (3 cr.)
Int. Journalism 211, (3 cr.)
Elective, (3 cr.)
Lab Science Elective, (4 cr.)
Practicum, (.5 cr.)
Total of 16.5

Semester IV

Religion Elective, (3 cr.)
Visual Theory 201, (3 cr.)
Global Requirement, (3 cr.)
Elective, (3 cr.)
Internship 395, (4 cr.)
Practicum, (.5 cr.)
Total of 16.5

Semester V

Editing 318, (3 cr.)
Psychology 111, (3 cr.)
Electives, (3 cr.)
Practicum, (.5 cr.)
Total of 15.5

Semester VI

Publication Design 301, (3 cr.)
Elective, (3 cr.)
Speech 111 or Radio 203, (3 cr.)
Internship 395, (4 cr.)
Phy. Ed. Electives, (1 cr.)
Practicum, (.5 cr.)
Total of 14.5

Semester VII

Electives, (7 cr.)
Mass Media Law 441, (4 cr.)
Media Literacy 442, (4 cr.)
Practicum, (.5 cr.)
Total of 15.5

Semester VIII

Web Design 401, (4 cr.)
Senior Capstone 452, (4 cr.)
Senior Religion, (4 cr.)
Practicum, (.5 cr.)
Total of 12.5


Public Relations

   

Semester I

Religion 103, (3 cr.)
English 101, (3 cr.)
Critical Inquiry 111, (3 cr.)
Mass Communication 103, (3 cr.)
Digital Technology 102, (2 cr.)
Wellness 101, (1 cr.)
Practicum, (.5 cr.)
Total of 15.5

Semester II

English 102, (3 cr.)
News Gathering 104, (3 cr.)
Graphic Core 101, (2 cr.)
Math 101 (or higher), (4 cr.)
Artistic Expression 120, (3 cr.)
Practicum, (.5 cr.)
Total of 15.5

Semester III

Lab Science Elective, (4 cr.)
History Elective, (3 cr.)
Sociology 111, (3 cr.)
Visual Theory 201, (3 cr.)
Intro. to Public Relations, (3 cr.)
Practicum, (.5 cr.)
Total of 16.5

Semester IV

Internship 395, (4 cr.)
Elective, (3 cr.)
Radio 203, (3 cr.)
Religion Elective, (3 cr.)
Publication Design 301, (3 cr.)
Practicum, (.5 cr.)
Total of 16.5

 

Semester V

TV Production 202, (3 cr.)
Editing 318, (3 cr.)
Electives, (6 cr.)
Psychology 111, (3 cr.)
Phy. Ed. Electives, (1 cr.)
Practicum, (.5 cr.)
Total of 16.5

Semester VI

Public Relations Skills 422, (3 cr.)
Electives, (6 cr.)
Internship 395, (5 cr.)
Practicum, (.5 cr.)
Total of 14.5

Semester VII

Media Law 441, (4 cr.)
Media Literacy 442, (4 cr.)
Electices, (6 cr.)
Practicum, (.5 cr.)
Total of 14.5

Semester VIII

Web Design 401, (4 cr.)
Senior Capstone 452, (4 cr.)
Senior Religion 435, (4 cr.)
Elective (3 cr.)
Total of 15.5


 

Communications Course Descriptions

COM 101 Graphic Core (2 cr.)

The course Graphic Core provides students with an introduction to the Adobe Creative Suite (the software used in the field of communications). Students will have hands-on experience learning and using Illustrator, Photoshop, and InDesign. This course also familiarizes students with the multimedia lab.

COM 102 Digital Technology (2 cr.)

Students will learn basic computer skills and explore the equipment associated with the field of visual communications. This introductory course will give students practical experience using digital equipment (such as a video camera, a digital camera with adjustable shutter speeds and apertures, etc.) and then educate them in production processes, techniques, and software related to each tool.

COM 103 Mass Communications and Society (3 cr.)

A history and explanation of the relationship between mass communication and our popular culture, including technological, economic, and legal. Magazines, newspapers, movies, radio, television, and music are examined along with types of media control, advertising, public relations, and changing technologies.

COM 104 News Gathering and Reporting (3 cr.)

What news is, how it is gathered, and how it is reported forms the basis of this course which offers practice in news writing and editing. Student work is used to positively affect the quality of Waldorf’s newspaper, The Lobbyist. 

COM 201 Visual Theory (3 cr.)

This course attempts to provide students with the critical thinking skills necessary for viewing and producing visual media. The objective of the course is to provide students with a grounding in visual communication theory, sharpen their critical eye in viewing visual phenomena and to provide them with the skills to produce effective visuals.

COM 202 Television Production (3 cr.)

Acquaints students with the basic equipment, techniques, and procedures of video production and writing. Emphasis is hands-on production in Waldorf’s all-digital video facilities. (Students should also enroll in Television Practicum while taking this course.) (Course Fee $40)

COM 203 Radio (3 cr.)

Acquaints students with the basic equipment, techniques, and procedures of radio production and control room operation. Emphasis is hands-on production and On-Air performance in Waldorf’s all-digital radio station, KZOW-FM 91.9. (Students should also enroll in Radio Practicum while taking this course.) (Course Fee $40)

COM/POL 204 Introduction to Public Relations (3 cr.)

A general overview of public relations as a four-step process. Process application as it relates to case studies in media relations, internal communications, community relations, public affairs, and communications.

COM 211 Intermediate Journalism (3 cr.)

Continuation of News Gathering and Reporting. The course includes writing of feature stories and more in-depth news stories, such as investigative reporting and editorial writing. Students are given more time to write and more feedback from the instructor in developing stories. (Prerequisite: COM 104 or consent of instructor)

COM 227 Fundamentals of Typography (3 cr.)

Basic graphic design concepts will be used in conjunction with principles of typography to explore 2-D and 3-D design composition. Students will learn how to integrate typography with images and symbols and how to use type for communication. Theory and investigation of grid systems, structures, and the principles of visual organization will also be explored. (Prerequisite: COM 101 or consent of instructor)

COM 280, 281, 282, 283 Communication Practicum (.5 cr.)

Offers authentic production experience and leadership training in one or more of the campus media—radio, video, newspaper, magazine. Required of all mass communications majors.

COM 301 Publication Design (3 cr.)

Publication Design is the process of selecting type and images and arranging these elements into an aesthetically pleasing multi-page document. This course will challenge students to consider page flow and layout, while undertaking the task of learning the page layout software, InDesign.

COM 314 History of Graphic Design (3 cr.)

This course surveys the major historical eras and the graphic designers influential in each era. It will also explore how these developments and achievements have led to the current state of graphic design. Students will be introduced to the innovations and breakthroughs in technology that have shaped the field of graphic design from the earliest form of communication to the present.

COM 318 Editing (3 cr.)

Students learn that editing is part science, part art, and part diplomacy. Science means mastering language skills—spelling, grammar, punctuation, usage, and style—and using them to ensure that copy is clear, accurate, and consistent. Art means making the writing tight and effective through word choice and economy. Diplomacy means knowing when to change copy and when to leave well enough alone. Students learn how editors play the roles of gatekeeper and quality-control agent. Those not interested in editing as a career will learn valuable skills to improve their writing.

COM 319 Electronic Field Production (3 cr.)

A practical experience in the essential techniques of Electronic Field Production EFP/Single Camera Video SCV. An exploration of the client-producer relationship established through the Action Plan process. The class at large will be involved in a client based project. Students will also be required to acquire and produce a client based video project. (Students should also enroll for TV Practicum while taking this course.)

COM 322 Broadcast Journalism (3 cr.)

A practical experience in the essential techniques of writing and producing a weekly news broadcast. Each student will be responsible for producing a weekly story and fulfilling a role in the production crew. Emphasis – hands-on production in Waldorf’s state of the art WALTV, Channel 3 FCTI, and Channel 99 Mediacom. (Students should enroll for TV Practicum while taking this course.) (Prerequisite: COM 202 or consent of instructor) (Course Fee $40)

COM 370 Techniques of Literary Journalism (3 cr.)

This course will be a hybrid of textual study and writing. Students will read, discuss, and write about a broad selection of contemporary creative nonfiction and literary journalism; however, all analysis will be primarily opportunistic, which is to say that students, with the guidance of craft texts, will read and discuss as writers themselves, with the intent of discovering new possibilities and techniques inside the genre of creative nonfiction/literary journalism. Students will also draft a significant number of essays and articles in response to the readings and revise them for a techniques workshop and a final portfolio. (Prerequisites: CWR 201 or COM 211 or consent of instructor)

COM 395 Communication Internship (4-12 cr.)

Internships are designed to give students practical experience in the field of their choice by placing them in a professional setting. Students are required to do two internships at separate locations. A minimum total of 100 hours of work is required for four credit hours. (The communication internship will be evaluated with a letter grade, rather than being graded on a pass/fail basis.)

COM 401 Web Design (4 cr.)

This course explores the basics of designing and developing functioning web pages. Students examine effective interface design, target marketing, along with client development, user experience, and usability. Throughout the duration of the course students will produce both a portfolio website for their personal use and have a practical experience with a client-based web project. (Prerequisite: COM 201 or consent of instructor) (Course Fee $40)

COM/POL 422 Public Relations Skills (3 cr.)

Instruction in the basic skills needed for public relations programming including strategic and organizational planning, special events planning, and persuasive writing. Includes sample analysis, writing projects, and actual events planning.

COM 432 Photojournalism (4 cr.)

The class objective is to learn to create meaningful pictures that are sound in composition and technique, and that tell a story. The students will learn to match pictures with words, and to use pictures to portray a chronology or a process, or to show relationships. The students will learn how photography departments work at newspapers and magazines. All photos will be edited electronically using digital scanners and Adobe Photoshop.

COM 434 Advanced Media (4 cr.)

An advanced project-oriented approach to either television, video, radio, or multimedia production. Emphasis is on practical application of production skill learned in previous courses. All projects must be client-based and require distribution. (Prerequisite: junior standing and consent of instructor)

COM 441 Mass Media Law (4 cr.)

Discusses the legal issues affecting the mass media, including First Amendment rights, libel, fair trial rights, privacy, and public access to information. Students study the U.S. Constitution, court cases, and legislative actions which are the foundations for media law.

COM 442 Media Literacy (4 cr.)

Senior level course that examines issues in communications. Topics will vary from year to year.

COM 452 Senior Capstone (4 cr.)

Gives students a chance to prepare a portfolio of work which can be used to gain entrance to graduate school or gainful employment. Students will be allowed to stress their area of interest—news writing, radio, video, public relations, etc.—but will also be required to show a broad range of talent in the communications area.

COM 461 Web Design II (4 cr.)

This course will introduce students to user interface design: the process of analyzing, testing, and formulating conclusions in order to facilitate a user’s experience online. Students will learn methods for testing, allowing them to find patterns where usability issues stand out, break down these issues, and recommend new solutions for improvement. (Prerequisite: COM 401 or consent of instructor)

COM 462 Radio II (3 cr.)

A practical experience in station programming, management, and on-air operations. Emphasis placed on hands-on operation of Waldorf’s all-digital radio facilities, KZOW-FM 91.9. (Students should also enroll in Radio Practicum while taking this course) (Prerequisite: COM 203 or consent of instructor) (Course Fee $40)

COM 470 Advanced Writing Workshop- Literary Journalism (3 cr.)

This course will allow students to receive informed feedback on their own written work from an engaged and concerned audience. Over the course of the semester, students will write at least three full-length pieces and present them in class for discussion. Utilizing the advice and ideas they receive in workshop, students will then revise each piece for inclusion in a final portfolio of work. Each week, students will also respond to the work of their classmates with letters that address the aims, strengths, and weaknesses of the essays under discussion. (Prerequisite: COM 370 or consent of instructor)