Traditional Programs Adult Programs Course Descriptions Graduate Catalog

Communication Courses

COM 100 Introduction to Communication - 3 credits

Introduction to Communication aims to introduce students to the field of Communication and to strengthen students’ communication skills for a variety of situations. The course accomplishes this through study and training in the basic principles and theories of communication and through practice in intrapersonal, interpersonal, small-group, and public communication. The ability to communicate effectively has become increasingly important in helping to determine a person’s success as a responsible citizen, a productive professional, and an understanding human being. Everyone can improve and develop more confidence in the ability to communicate effectively by understanding the communicative process, training in basic communication principles, and experiencing varied communication situations.

COM 102 Media Literacy - 3 credits

The ability to makes sense of the thousands of media messages we see daily may seem like a daunting, if not impossible task. To navigate the rapidly changing media environment, students must work to analyze and evaluate media messages as well as learn how to create media messages in order to become informed and engaged citizens. Through exploration and analysis of mass media, popular culture and new and emerging media technologies, students will look at how each of us take and make meaning from media experiences.

COM 107 Digital Imaging with Photoshop - 3 credits

As all digital art relies on two-dimensional images in some way, it is vital to understand the concepts behind digital imaging in order to create and manipulate photographs, illustrations, and other graphics. In this course, students will learn the principles behind digital images, as well as how to use Adobe Photoshop, a foundational piece of software upon which digital artwork is created, and an industry-leading solution for digital imaging across all fields. Instruction in Photoshop covers topics and usage from an introductory level through advanced features and workflows. No prior Photoshop knowledge is required for this class, and students of all skill levels will learn new concepts, tricks, and techniques.

COM 108 Digital Design with Adobe Illustrator - 3 credits

Modern visual design (whether for graphic design, advertising, web development, or other purposes) relies on crisp visuals and striking imagery. To make these designs, professionals typically rely on “vector” artwork – highly editable graphics that always remain clear and sharp, no matter the circumstance. In this course, students will not only receive in-depth instruction in Adobe Illustrator, the leading vector art and graphic design software, used by professionals world-wide, but will also be taught the principles behind using vector imagery and best practices when designing logos, developing branding, and other common graphic design tasks. No prior Illustrator, design, or vector art knowledge is required for this class, and students of all skill levels will learn new concepts, tricks, and techniques.

COM 112 Media Industries- 3 credits

This course is a survey of the dominant media industries both in the United States and internationally. The course covers the current status of mass media industries such as Television, Film, the Internet, Advertising, Public Relations, Print Publishing, Music, and Radio. It discusses the economic as well as significant social and cultural impacts of media industries.

COM 120 Introduction to New Media – 3 credits

This course introduces students to new media---both as a set of new communication computer technologies and as a subfield of study within the discipline of Communication. Students will learn the fundamentals of blogging, podcasting, and other new media forms and environments, using software for interactive web design programs such as the Macromedia Flash. Student will be encouraged to create dynamic and interactive media for web sites, mobile devices, kiosks, etc. They will also learn about the social and cultural impact of new media technologies and study the ways new media are shaping people’s lifestyles and communication patterns.

COM 140 Introduction to Film - 3 credits

An introduction to the study of film, including the Hollywood production and exhibition process, the analysis of film narrative, elements of style (mise-en scene, cinematography, editing, and sound), and classifications of film genre. The course provides a historical overview of the development of film from its commercial premiere in 1895 by the Lumière Brothers to the diversity of today’s cinema.

COM 150 Introduction to Journalism - 3 credits

An introduction to the theory and practice of journalism. Students analyze, critique and write stories for print and electronic journalism. Contemporary issues in journalism are discussed and debated. Students also learn techniques of newsgathering within a socially responsible and ethical framework.

COM 152 “The Crestiad”: Staff - 1-3 credits

The Crestiad is Cedar Crest College's award-winning newspaper, produced independently by Cedar Crest students. This includes all staffing positions on “The Crestiad”: editor-in-chief, managing editor, layout/copy editors, reporters, photographers and columnists. Previous experience on school newspapers or COM 150 recommended but not required.

COM 200 Communication Theory and Research - 3 credits

This course provides an introduction to the major theories and research traditions in the discipline of Communication. This includes the basic divisions of rhetorical, semiotic, sociocultural, empirical, and critical approaches to communication phenomena. It will also review the major findings in the dominant research traditions such as media ecology, symbolic interactionism, cultivation theory, media effects on behavior, and more. 
Prerequisite: COM 100 or permission of instructor.

COM 209 Motion Graphics - 3 credits

Often described as “graphic design in motion,” motion graphics is a highly impactful form of animation frequently used in the creation of title sequences, logo animations, commercials, kinetic typography, and other forms of informational videos. In this course, students will learn the principles behind developing dynamic and visually interesting moving pieces, using Adobe After Effects to animate shapes, imagery, video, and text, along with intricately synching visual movement to audio. Upon successfully completing this course, students will have created finished, rendered works capable of delivery through any media, including DVD/Blu-Ray, Film/Television broadcast, and the Web. No prior knowledge of animation or computer graphics is necessary for this course.

COM 210 Interpersonal Communication - 3 credits

Provides an introduction to the study of interpersonal communication. Students are able to combine theory and application of communication principles involved in initiating, developing, and maintaining relationships in both personal and small group settings. The course teaches students to observe and analyze everyday communication (verbal and non-verbal) and to understand the ways language use creates and presupposes moral orders for participants. Aspects of one-on-one and small group communication are explored, including perception, self-concept, identity, listening, intercultural and gender communication, and conflict management. Interpersonal communication is defined as face-to-face, dyadic, purposeful, relationship-centered, and meaning-exchanging dialogues.

COM 212 Intercultural Communication- 3 credits

This course introduces students to the historical and theoretical foundations of intercultural communication. We will examine issues related to intercultural communication and its role in an era of globablization, and learn the importance of dialogue, personal growth, and leadership in intercultural communities.

COM 215 Organizational Communication - 3 credits

An exploration of both the structural and interpersonal determinants of communication within organizations. Topics cover the role of organizations in the social order, myth and ritual within organizations, communication patterns and roles, communication network and the use of persuasion and identification in organizational socialization.

COM 216 Public Relations and Society - 3 credits

An exploration of the field of public relations from a variety of perspectives and an outline of the history and development of the field and its growing influence in national and international economies. The fundamentals of public relations writing and ethical issues of public relations practitioners and their audiences are also discussed.

COM 224 Intro to Video Production - 3 credits

An introduction to the multiple elements of video production and how it can be applied to web formats. Students gain experience in shooting and editing video and applying their work to online platforms. No previous experience with video is necessary.

COM 225 Digital Photography - 3 credits

This course is intended to teach the basic principles of digital photography to students with little or no background in photography. These principles will be illustrated through lecture, lab work with software, and also field work with a digital camera. Principles and techniques for using digital cameras will be emphasized, along with the ability to use Photoshop Elements, with the intention of providing students the fundamental skills to produce quality digital photographic projects. The course also focuses on both the aesthetics and criticism of photography as a communication medium and art form.

COM 240 History of Cinema - 3 credits

History of Cinema surveys major developments in international film culture and aesthetics from 1895 to the present. Topics include the origins of motion pictures and growth during the silent era; the development of narrative cinema; European innovations such as Soviet montage theory or German Expressionism; the rise and influence of sound; the Hollywood studio system; global trends such as post-WWII Japanese, Indian, or Hong Kong films; and the independent, experimental, and media-conglomerate cinemas of today.

COM 244 Topics in Film - 3 credits

This course acquaints students with the critical and analytic tools and language used in the analysis and criticism of film. Various films from different national traditions and time periods are viewed. Topics may include a historical study of film practices and theory as they evolved over time. Selected themes within film criticism, such as Women in Film or Alternative Cinema; or a consideration of the cultural impact of film and media. Course may be repeated once as topics change.

COM 245 Topics in Popular Culture - 3 credits

This class invites students to explore the phenomena of and to apply the skills of critical analysis to modern popular culture forms such as music, film, television, advertising, sports, fashion, toys, magazines and comic books, and cyberculture. Sample course topics include The Beatles and Bob Dylan in the Sixties; American Pop Culture; Popular Music and the 1970’s.

COM 246 Women in a Digital Culture - 3 credits

Women have been using, participating, and creating technological and digital cultures throughout history. This course introduces local, national, and international communities of women situated in the context of digital cultures, technology, media, and communication theories. The ways technology connects and dis-connects women within cultures around the world will be discussed. Communication theories and qualitative methods will be applied to studying, researching, and participating in various online locations where digital citizenship and communities are formed and developed. Topics such as the history of technologies and communities, guidelines for virtual behavior, creative online learning communities, and women’s global movements will be discussed. The importance of dialogue, personal growth, and leadership will be emphasized in this course.

COM 252 Digital Journalism- 3 credits

This course introduces students to the fast-paced world of online journalism and the platforms where readers find news online. Students analyze, critique and produce content for an online format. Contemporary legal and ethical issues in both traditional and online journalism are discussed and debated. Students ultimately produce multimedia content for Cedar Crest College's online news source

COM 255 Media, Law, and Ethics - 3 credits

A study of the historical and philosophical positions that underlie contemporary thinking on issues of press freedom, free speech, privacy, libel, obscenity and social control. These issues derive from our understanding of the nature of our society, of the appropriate role of the media, and of the boundaries between public and private. Plato, Milton, Mill and others provide the background material. In addition to the philosophical and historical material, course content covers current legal thinking as exemplified in court decisions and briefs.

COM 260 – 265 Special Topics Media Studies/New Media – 3 credits
COM 270 Race And Gender in the Media - 3 credits

As consumers and producers of media, it is important that communication majors and non-communication majors critically examine the role of media in forming our beliefs about race, ethnicity, and gender in society. Media have the ability to shape, challenge, and uphold our beliefs about others and ourselves. Through this course, students will explore the social construction of race and gender through readings, discussion, and research. Specifically, the class will focus on critically viewing race and gender in film, television, and print media. Cross-listed as GND 222.

COM 272 Children and the Media – 3 credits

As consumers and producers of media, it is important that communication majors and non-communication majors critically examine the role of media in forming our beliefs about the world around us. Media have the ability to shape, challenge and uphold our beliefs about others and ourselves. Through this course, students will explore through readings, discussion, and original research how children see and are seen in the media. We will look at print, screen, audio and interactive media.

COM 275 Persuasion and Propaganda – 3 credits

This course is an advanced level examination of the study of contemporary and historical uses of propaganda. Students will be examining advanced readings and theories about persuasion; specifically, we will be looking at how people’s opinions and attitudes are shaped through techniques of persuasion and propaganda, and how these techniques shape identity. The question of identity is a major issue in contemporary persuasion theory; some questions include: how are identities formed? How do persuasive communication techniques and technologies contribute to identity group formation? How are political issues crafted through propaganda techniques, and how do these shape the current political landscape?

COM 278 Debate and Argumentation - 3 credits

Teaches the fundamentals of debate preparation and presentation, as well as the process of creating a sound argument and making informed, critical decisions. Students debate current issues through the use of appropriate claims, warrants and evidence. Students also study the types of arguments people make, how those arguments are defended and how to recognize false or misleading claims and propositions.

COM 280 Social media: Promises and Pitfalls- 3 credits

Communication travels at lightning speed in today's social media landscape. The ability for news to travel around the world in minutes and hours rather than days and weeks is changing the way we learn about the world and how we see ourselves in that world. This course aims to familiarize students with multiple social media platforms and how these platforms are changing our lives. The course will allow them to critically look at both the promises and pitfalls of social media as well as equip them with the skills to successfully utilize these platforms.

COM 285 Global Issues in New Media - 3 credits

This course introduces international issues and topics of globalization situated in the context of new media and communication theories. Current events, gender, politics, war, sports, popular culture, and social movements are possible topics to be examined in a global context. Other topics may include: digital capitalism, media imperialism, and the role of international organizations and NGOs.

COM 300 Readings in Communication and Culture - 3 credits

This seminar style class offers students selected debates and issues in contemporary communication. We will read and discuss recent books and publications that feature advanced topics in intercultural, interpersonal, and organizational communication, as well as the fields of persuasion theory, political and health communication, and critical/cultural studies. Prerequisite: Junior standing or consent of instructor.

COM 310 News Media in America - 3 credits

In this course, students will analyze the ongoing debate about press freedom and look at the relationship between the news media and the American public and their ideals. This course is designed to make students critical consumers of news and aims to expand their knowledge of the press in America.

COM 324 Video Production II - 3 credits

This course allows students to go beyond the fundamentals of video production and become more expert in their camera, lighting, and editing skills. Students are encouraged to develop “personal styles” and complete longer-form video projects in a variety of genres.
Prerequisite: COM 224 or permission of instructor.

COM 325 Advanced Digital Photography- 3 credits

The purpose of this class will to build upon the basic aesthetic and technical principles learned in COM 225, Digital Photography. Students will learn to create stronger and more interesting compositions with the goal of developing a personal portfolio of images that relate to a common theme or purpose. Digital editing skills will be further developed using software such as Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom. Students will also work toward the goal of showcasing their photographs on the Cedar Crest website. The course will emphasize the necessary language, critical thinking and analytical skills that students need to communicate their ideas to others about the photographic medium.
Prerequisite: COM 225 or permission of instructor.

COM 350 Senior Seminar I – 3 credits

Students will review qualitative methods for primary research in the field of Communication, and begin to prepare for their senior capstone project. Typically, students will complete a literature review and a methods section for their senior thesis, which is completed in the spring semester of their senior year by taking COM 352.

COM 352 Senior Seminar II - 3 credits

Students conduct research for a chosen thesis topic. They are expected to present their work-in-progress in class and to engage in the critique and assessment of each other’s work. Offered in the spring only. Prerequisite: COM 350 or permission of instructor.

COM 370 Internship in Communication - 1-6 credits

An internship for credit is a supervised, semester-long, fall, spring or summer work experience for which pass/fail academic credit is granted. It is intended to serve as a meaningful practical supplement to classroom instruction and is done under the supervision of a Faculty Supervisor; an On-Site Supervisor at the sponsoring organization; and the Career Planning Center. An internship in communication must be approved by communication faculty, and needs to include professional experience in a communication discipline, including, but not limited to, media production, research, and community outreach.

COM 390 Independent Study - 1-3 credits


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