Instructor Margaret Rakus, M.A., Chair Associate Professors Jon Bekken, Ph.D. and Katherine Lehman, Ph.D. Assistant Professor Heidi Mau, M.F.A.

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1 Instructor Margaret Rakus, M.A., Chair Associate Professors Jon Bekken, Ph.D. and Katherine Lehman, Ph.D. Assistant Professor Heidi Mau, M.F.A. Major in Communications Combined Major in Communications Interdisciplinary Major in Digital Communications Courses Albright's Communications Department brings together conceptual and practical coursework and projects in a small, engaged community, developing students' capacity to be effective, responsible, socially aware communicators. Communications requires a core of intellectually rigorous conceptual courses and professional skills courses in one of two tracks: Journalism or Public Relations and Advertising Communication. The core courses provide a broad, critical and humanistic understanding of the communication process and its interaction with society. Other courses allow students to refine their skills in journalism, advertising, public relations and electronic publishing. The Communications major prepares students for careers in the mass media and professional communicators in a variety of corporate, government and nonprofit settings, and for advanced study in communications. Albright College Communications students are encouraged to become informed and critical consumers of media products. Classroom instruction is supplemented by opportunities to edit and write for the student newspaper, The Albrightian; the student magazine, Albright A.M. the department radio news program, Campus Radio News; and, to work with the college's radio station, WXAC-FM. Major in Communications Core Requirements COM 250 Media and Society COM 260 Communication Theories in the Semiotics of Digital Media (General Studies Foundations-Humanities) COM 320 System of Free Expression COM 321 Communication History COM 333 Practicum in Communications COM 390 Multi-Platform Writing COM 480 Senior Seminar in Communication Research 1

2 Track Requirements Journalism COM 219 Magazine & Feature Writing COM 222 Writing for the Mass Media COM 315 Public Affairs Reporting COM 316 Editing & Print Production Three electives, at least two of which must be in Communications, from the following list: COM 255, COM 280, COM 283, COM 317, COM 327, COM 383, ART 216, ART 265, DIG 201, DIG 301, DIG 315, ENG 235 (Literature of Journalism), HIS 207, IDS 208, IDS 240, IDS 252, PHI 203, SOC 331 Public Relations & Advertising Communication COM 317 Public Relations & Advertising Campaign Planning COM 327 Public Relations Writing COM 337 Public Relations & Advertising Research Four electives, at least three of which must be in Communications, from the following list: COM 219, COM 222, COM 255, COM 280, COM 283, COM 316, COM 383, ART 216, ART 265, DIG 201, DIG 301, DIG 315, HIS 207, PHI 150, PHI 203, SOC 331 COM 260 fulfills the General Studies Foundations-Humanities requirement. No other courses can be used to fulfill both a general studies and major requirement. Other electives may be allowed with the permission of the department chair. top Combined Major in Communications The Communications Combined Major is a group of courses that can combine with any other Albright College combined major program. It includes a core of intellectually rigorous conceptual courses and a choice of professional skills courses. Within the professional module, students may elect to refine their skills in journalism or public relations and advertising communication. Core requirements COM 250 Media & Society COM 260 Communication Theories in the Semiotics of Digital Media (General Studies Foundations-Humanities) COM 320 System of Free Expression or COM 321 Communication History COM 480 Senior Seminar in Communication Research Track Requirements Journalism: COM 222, 315 and either 219, 316, or 390, Public Relations & Advertising Communication: COM 317, 327, 337 One Communications Elective 2

3 top Interdisciplinary Major in Digital Communications This interdisciplinary course of study will develop students who are well-versed in the theory and practice of digital communications and have the skills to excel in the rapidly changing media industry. This major will provide opportunities to apply writing skills and industry knowledge through online and broadcast media and prepare graduates for careers in digital journalism and marketing, corporate communications, and public relations, among other fields. Courses emphasize the broader history and social effects of media and digital culture as well as theories guiding digital production and advertising, such as semiotics and media convergence. Theory is put into practice through specialized courses in writing, digital production, research, illustration and design, and experiential opportunities such as work with campus media and internships with regional publications and agencies. Digital Communications Curriculum The Digital Communications major is grounded in theory, social impact, and industry practice and extends practical experience in both writing and visual design and production, culminating with two seniorlevel courses. Students will take: 8 theory/social impact/industry practices courses 3 writing courses 2 visual design and production courses 2 senior-level courses Theory / Social Impact / Industry Practice Required courses: ART 265 Computer Graphics & Art Design (General Studies Foundations-Fine Arts) COM 260 Communication Theories in the Semiotics of Digital Media (General Studies Foundations-Humanities) DIG 201 Digital Video DIG 265 Digital Literacy COM 250 Media & Society COM/DIG 333: Practicum DIG 301 Video Production II Choose one: COM 317 Public Relations & Advertising COM 321 Media History COM 320 Freedom of Expression Writing Required: COM 222 Writing for Mass Media and COM 390 Multiplatform Writing Choose one: COM 219 Magazine & Feature Writing COM 315 Public Affairs Reporting 3

4 COM 327 Writing for Public Relations & Advertising Visual Design & Production Choose Two-Course Sequence Web Design: DIG 315 Web Design and DIG 383 Web Design II Graphic Design: DIG 270 Illustration & Design and DIG 383 Design II Senior Requirement COM 48: Senior Seminar in Communications DIG 420 Capstone Seminar top Courses COM 219 Magazine & Feature Writing Practice in planning, research, reporting, writing and marketing nonfiction articles to general and specialized magazines, newspapers and online publications. COM 222 Writing for the Mass Media Introduction to the fundamentals of gathering, sifting and writing for print, online and broadcast news media: information gathering, news concepts, story structure, news style, and so forth. COM 230 Public Speaking An introduction to research, organization, composition, and delivery of speeches for various occasions, with emphasis on developing and supporting arguments, listening skills, informative and persuasive speaking, and small group communication. COM 250 Media and Society Examination of the historical, social, economic, cultural and political influences that have shaped present-day mass communication and the effects of media industries, contents and processes on contemporary society. Survey of mass communication theories and the interaction of media and society. COM 255 Desktop Publishing An introduction to designing and creating publications using Adobe InDesign and related programs, as well as an introduction to the theory and practice of designing and producing a variety of publications (from advertisements and business cards to newsletters and magazines) from conception to final product. COM 260 Communication Theories in the Semiotics of Digital Media This theory introduces students to communication as a discipline and provides students opportunities to explore the intersection of semiotics 4

5 and digital media. Through an examination of the emergence of the discipline, students will learn the basic concepts, language and analytical tools and perspectives employed in the field of study. GENERAL STUDIES FOUNDATIONS: HUMANITIES. COM 280 Latin American Media Students explore the interplay between culture and media, becoming immersed in local Ecuadorian media and daily life, attending classes and completing an informal mini-ethnography of host family media use and analyzing media. Readings, discussions, tours, and local excursions and lectures are led by local media professionals, academics and indigenous peoples. Students attend Spanish language classes geared toward their proficiency level, from 101 to advanced. Student projects focus on a particular site of the intersection of culture and media such as images in advertising, religion & media, domestic cinema, media ownership, regional differences. This course requires an additional fee and international travel. GENERAL STUDIES GLOBAL CONNECTIONS COM 283 Special Topics in Communications Courses are offered on an occasional basis according to instructors' and students' needs. Recent topics have included fashion writing and health communication. COM 315 Public Affairs Reporting Advanced reporting and writing techniques, with an emphasis on local, county, and state reporting on government, politics, courts and business. Practice in investigative reporting, information gathering skills, use of federal and state Freedom of Information Acts, and so forth. Rights and responsibilities of public communicators. Prerequisite: COM 222 COM 316 Editing and Print Production Editing, design and layout of print and online publication. Course introduces desktop publishing technologies, develops editorial plan and prototypes and practices techniques of news evaluation, copy editing, headline writing, picture editing, illustration, and editorial strategy. Prerequisite: COM 222 COM 317 Public Relations and Advertising Campaign Planning Introduction to the theory, principles and practices of advertising and public relations through the campaign planning process. Students explore market research, strategic planning, targeted message design, and media selection and scheduling. Study of the influences of advertising and public relations and the role and responsibilities of advertising and public relations practitioners. COM 320 The System of Free Expression 5

6 The system of free expression, legal doctrines of political and commercial speech, press freedom and censorship. Study of the legal rights and constraints of mass communications industries, including print, broadcast, cable and online media, advertising and public relations. COM 321 Media History A survey of the history of American mass media from a historical perspective, with an emphasis upon their social, political and economic environments. COM 327 Public Relations Writing In this course, students will build public relations writing skills through hands-on practice crafting public relations pieces such as press releases, brochures, radio spots and newsletters. Students will also gain experience in basic print design and layout techniques. Through classroom instruction and lab experience, students will come to understand the basic writing and production skills needed to enter the public relations field. Prerequisite: COM 222 or 317 COM 333 Practicum in Communication Supervised internships with newspapers, broadcasting stations, and advertising and public relations agencies. Prerequisite: COM 222 or 317 COM 337 Public Relations & Advertising Research This applied research course focuses on consumer and market research that are used in today's public relations and advertising industries to plan and evaluate creative campaigns. Students will explore audience segmentation, media audience measurement and profiles, surveys, focus groups and concept testing. Prerequisite: COM 317 COM 383 Special Topics in Communications Courses are offered on a regular basis according to instructors' and students' needs. Recent topics have included gender and mass media, citizen journalism, and multimedia reporting. COM 390 Multiplatform Writing In this advanced writing course students apply writing and design skills and concepts across a variety of media including print, broadcast, and online venues in journalism, public relations, and advertising contexts. Audience analysis and aesthetics are key component of this course, which incorporates service learning portfolio-building elements. Prerequisite: COM222 and one 300-level writing course COM 480 6

7 Senior Seminar in Mass Communication Research Students are introduced to the role of theory in shaping research studies and interpreting their findings, and explore a variety of research methods commonly used in the field, including experimental, survey, content analysis, focus groups, case studies, and ethnography. Students develop a research question, conduct a literature review, and design an original research study. Prerequisite: Senior standing, COM 250, 260 top 7

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