2002 - 2003 Communication

Visit the Communication Department home page.

Faculty Chair:
Alan B. Taylor Bouillon 232

Philip M. Backlund, Communication Studies
Corwin P. King, Communication Studies, Public Relations

Associate Professors:
Robert C. Fordan, Journalism
Michael Ogden, Journalism
Alan B. Taylor, Journalism, Public Relations, and Advertising

Assistant Professors:
Lois J. Breedlove, Journalism
Beatrice Coleman, Public Relations

General Departmental Information

Communication is a social science discipline that focuses upon how, why, and with what effects people use language to convey information. It is among the oldest and the newest fields of study, with historical roots going back to the Greeks and Romans, and other ancient cultures, and with modern roots grounded in the latest developments in science and technology. It provides academic preparation for employment in the media, business and industry, government, education, and social and community service, as well as for advanced work in communication or such fields as law and ministry.

Majors are offered in Journalism, Public Relations, and Communication Studies. The Journalism major acquaints students with the structures, functions, and work methods of the media in preparation for careers in print, broadcast, and online media utilizing oral, visual and written communication. The Public Relations major combines the study of oral, visual and written communication to prepare students for careers in the professional practice of public relations and advertising with corporations, agencies, and non-profit organizations. The Communication Studies major gives students the knowledge and skills necessary for effective communication in interpersonal, small group, and public situations, and is designed to prepare a student for graduate school as well as a variety of career opportunities.

Minors are available in several areas. They are a strong addition to majors in other fields, since there are few occupations where the ability to communicate well is not important.

Admission to Departmental Programs

1. Students pursuing either majors or minors are required to be advised by the departmental faculty.

2. Students must be enrolled in or have completed COM 201 and 289 before obtaining entrance to the majors. All potential majors must have a grade point average of at least 2.4 overall from CWU and have a passing score on the required grammar, spelling and punctuation test.

3. Students wishing to apply for entrance to any of the departmental majors must submit a major application form, a letter of application, and test scores from the departmental admissions test in accordance with department policies.

4. Students must earn a minimum grade of C- in each course allowed toward fulfilling major and minor requirements.

5. The Communication Department reserves the right to modify these requirements as the needs of the Department change and would supersede policies previously published in this catalog.

Department Policies

1. Some required upper-division Communication courses in Public Relations, Journalism, and Communication are limited to students who have been accepted as majors or minors in those programs. Permission to register for these courses must be obtained from the department office. Check catalog listings for specifics about each course.

2. Internship credits: All majors are required to take 5 credits of COM 490, Cooperative Field Experience. Communication Studies majors may elect to take COM 485, Thesis, instead of COM 490. Students shall receive COM 490 credit only if they have major status at the time they enroll for Cooperative Field Experience credit. Students not having major status shall receive COM 290 credit.

3. All Communication Department majors are required to complete a minor from outside the department of at least 20 credits. The minor must be approved by the student�s adviser as being compatible with the student�s long-term academic and career goals. Advertising is considered an internal-department minor and does not fulfill this requirement.

Honors in Communication

The Communication Department recognizes and rewards superior scholarship. Qualified students are encouraged to enter the Department�s honors program. Entrance requirements include junior or senior class standing, an overall GPA of 3.0, a GPA of 3.4 in courses taken in communication and completion of an honors project.. Please contact the Department Chair for further information.

Bachelor of Arts

These courses set the foundation of learning for all disciplines in the communication professions. Students will learn the concepts, skills and professional ethics needed to be communication professionals in our society. All Communication majors must complete the following core classes:


Required Courses                               Credits 
COM 201, Introduction to Mass Media                4 
COM 207, Survey of Oral Communication              4 
COM 208, Writing Across the Media                  4 
COM 289, Communication Orientation                 1 
COM 300, Communication Research Methods            3
COM 321, Visual Communication                      4 
COM 333, Communication Ethics                      3 
COM 489, Portfolio Assessment                      1 

                          Total Core Classes      24


Communication Studies (2010)

The Communication Studies major combines traditional liberal arts courses with professional courses in oral, written, and visual communication. It is intended for students who seek broad-based training in communication, suitable for graduate study, professional study, or a variety of careers in business and industry.

Communication Core Courses                        24 

Required Courses                                Credits 
COM 251,Group Discussion (4)                       4 
  OR COM 252, Argumentation and Debate (4) 
COM 253, Interpersonal Communication (4)           4 
  OR COM 302, Intercultural Communication (4) 
COM 401, Communication Concepts and Processes      4 
One of the following:                            3-4 
  COM 369, Mass Media and Society (3) 
  COM 382, Media History (3) 
  COM 330, Media Aesthetics (3) 
  COM 460, Communication Law (4) 
COM 340, Rhetorical Theories of Communication      4 
COM 345, Business and Professional Speaking        4 
COM 350, Persuasion                                4 
COM 365, Organizational Communication              4 
One of the following:                              4 
  COM 375, Interviewing (4) 
  COM 380, Nonverbal Communication (4) 
  COM 430, Listening (4) 
COM 445, Speech Criticism                          4 
  OR COM 450, Speech Composition (4) 
COM 451, Assessment of Communication Behavior      4 
COM 485, Senior Seminar (Thesis) OR 
COM 490, Cooperative Education                     5 

            Total (including core classes)     72-73

Public Relations Major (6625)

Organizations, whether they are industrial, governmental, educational, or corporate, require individuals who communicate with the various internal and external publics. Accurate information on internal operations as they affect the public, as well as policies and decisions of the organization, must be communicated by representatives of the organization. Such persons must be able to speak to groups persuasively, be familiar with all aspects of research, be responsible for monitoring public attitudes and concerns, and be capable of creating various types of campaign documents. Public relations practitioners design internal communication programs for employees, management and other key stakeholder publics.

Communication Core Courses                        24 

Public Relations Core Courses            Credits
COM 270, Introduction to Public Relations          4 
COM 370, Writing For Public Relations              4 
COM 440, Corporate Television (4)                  4 
   OR COM 440, Corporate Television (4)
COM 475, Public Relations and 
  Advertising Management                           4
COM 460, Communication Law                         4 
COM 470, Applied Public Relations                  5 
COM 487, Public Relations Professional Seminar     3 
M E 461, Advertising and Sales Promotion           4 
COM 490, Cooperative Education                     5 
Select from the following:                         5 
  COM 306, Introduction to Online Media (4)
  COM 310, Broadcast Newswriting (3) 
  COM 348, Publication Design (3) 
  COM 342A Newswatch Reporting (1) 
  COM 468, Observer (1-2) 
  COM 478, Advanced Newspaper Editing (3) 
Select one from the following:                     5
  MKT 469, Market Research (5) 
  MKT 360, Principles of Marketing (5) 
  MKT 462, Marketing Promotion Management (5) 

               Total (including core classes)     71