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Department of Communication
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(509) 963-1055


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Department of Communication
Central Washington University
400 E University Way MS 7438
Ellensburg, WA 98926-7438


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Bachelor of Arts in Media and Journalism, Small Plan

This major trains students to conceive ideas and collect and present information using words, pictures, video and sound for distribution to a diversity of audiences via a variety of media channels. Students will learn how to research, report, communicate and engage audiences with news and non-fiction storytelling that make a difference in people's lives. Through coursework and experiential learning in the program's student media outlets (The Observer, PULSE magazine, CentralNewsWatch), Media and Journalism majors will learn how to produce and deliver content for online, broadcast and print presentation. Students will also understand the ethical, legal, historical and societal environment of journalism and the fundamental role media plays in our social, political and economic systems.

The major is offered in two plans: Large (62 credits) and Small (47 credits).

Program Requirements
Students must complete the two communication foundation courses (COM 201 and COM 207) with an overall average of B, in order to graduate from the major.

Program Learner Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this program, students will be able to:

  • Create thorough and compelling news and feature stories by discovering, evaluating and interviewing diverse sources, observing, working a beat, doing computer-assisted research, requesting and accessing documents, producing quality audio and video, and publishing professional-level content on appropriate online platforms;
  • Work as a team to produce media products for general distribution;
  • Craft effective messages by writing correctly and clearly in forms and styles appropriate for the media and communication professions, audiences and purposes they serve;
  • Apply tools and technologies appropriate for the media and communication professions in which they work;
  • Understand concepts and apply theories in the use and presentation of images and information;
  • Summarize professional ethical principles and apply them in pursuit of truth, accuracy, fairness and diversity;
  • Examine issues of gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation and, as appropriate, other forms of diversity in domestic society in relation to mass media and communication;
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the diversity of peoples and cultures and of the significance and impact of mass media and communication in a global society;
  • Think critically, creatively and independently; 
  • Conduct research and evaluate information by methods appropriate to the media and communication professions in which they work; 
  • Employ basic numerical and statistical concepts;
  • Illustrate and apply the principles and laws of freedom of speech and press in the United States and around the world, including the right to dissent, to monitor and criticize power, and to assemble and petition for redress of grievances;
  • Critically evaluate their own work and that of others for accuracy and fairness, clarity, appropriate style and grammatical correctness;
  • Outline the history and role of professionals and institutions in shaping media and communication.

Communication Foundation Core Requirements (10 credits)
    COM 201 - Introduction to Mass Communication Credits: (5)
    COM 207 - Introduction to Human Communication Credits: (5)

Media Core (12-14 credits)
Students must select one course from media studies, one course from ethics and law, and either one course from the communication theory list or an additional course from the media studies or ethics and law lists.

Media Studies (4-9 credits)
Choose one or two.
    COM 222 - Media Literacy in the Digital Age Credits: (5)
    COM 300 - Media Research Credits: (4)
    COM 369 - Mass Media and Society Credits: (4)

Ethics and Law (4-9 credits)
Choose one or two
    COM 202 - The First Amendment: Rights and Responsibilities Credits: (5)
    COM 333 - Communication Ethics Credits: (4)
    COM 460 - Communication Law Credits: (4)

Communication Theory (0-4 credits)
Choose one or none.
    COM 302 - Intercultural Communication Credits: (4)
    COM 340 - Rhetorical Theory Credits: (4)
    COM 350 - Persuasion and Culture Credits: (4)
    COM 362 - Conflict and Communication Credits: (4)
    COM 365 - Organizational Communication Credits: (4)
    COM 401 - Communication Theory Credits: (4)

Journalism Core Requirements (24 credits)

Journalism Basics (11 credits)
    COM 226 - Media Writing and Reporting I Credits: (4)
    COM 321 - Visual Storytelling Credits: (4)
    COM 347 - Media Copyediting Credits: (3)

Advanced Tools for Media Reporting (4 credits)
Choose one.
    COM 303 - Online and Social Media Strategies Credits: (4)
    COM 310 - Broadcast Journalism Credits: (4)
    COM 326 - Media Writing and Reporting II Credits: (4)
    COM 342 - Broadcast News Producing Credits: (4)
    COM 408 - Feature Writing Credits: (4)
    COM 409 - Freelance Writing Credits: (4)
    COM 464 - Nonfiction Multimedia Storytelling Credits: (4)
    COM 466 - Investigative Journalism Credits: (4)
    COM 486 - Advanced Journalism Seminar Credits: (4)

Student Media (9 credits)
Must take each student medium. Must be taken for a total of at least 9 credits.
    COM 442 - Central News Watch Credits: (3-6)
    COM 444 - The Observer Credits: (3-6)
    COM 446 - PULSE magazine Credits: (3-6)

Capstone (1 credit)
    COM 489 - Portfolio Assessment Credits: (1)



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