Department of Communication & Journalism

Dr. Robert G. Nulph, Chairperson
mailto:rnulph@missouriwestern.edu
(816) 271-4443
www.missouriwestern.edu/CJ

The Department of Communication and Journalism prepares students for careers in communication, public relations/strategic communication, and convergent journalism. The department offers comprehensive programs that focus on the expression, comprehension and exchange of ideas through oral and written discourse and through the various forms of digital and print media. Through an understanding of the communication process and participation in many applied learning opportunities, students become aware of and understand societies’ professional, social, and creative life. This broad experience in communication and journalistic theory and practice provides strong preparation for careers in fields such as journalism, public relations, law, politics, teaching and all communication oriented careers.

Applied Learning

Missouri Western's Department of Communication and Journalism strongly believes in applied learning. The BA and BS degrees in Communication require at least three credit hours of applied learning. The BS in Strategic Communication requires at least ten credit hours and BS degree in Convergent Journalism requires at least nine credit hours of applied learning. These learning experiences  occur outside of the classroom and allow students to apply their knowledge in a professional environment. Students participate in internships as well as applied learning labs such as the Griffon Yearbook, the Griffon News and Griffon Update.

Admission Requirements

Majors in the department which have admission requirements are listed below. Majors which are not listed on this page do not have specific requirements for admission. Information about the recommended coursework a student might take prior to declaring the major can be obtained from the department.

Communication

Students desiring a BA or BS degree in Communication or a BS in Strategic Communication must have received a grade of C or higher in COM 104 Oral Communication to enroll in COM 210 Presentational CommunicationCOM 215 Introduction to Strategic Communication or COM 222 Communication Theory. These courses are the entry courses to the Communication and Strategic Communication degrees.

Applicants must have earned an overall institutional grade point average of 2.0 or higher. Students cannot be admitted to the major until they have met the admission requirements. However, a student may enroll in any communication or journalism course for which the prerequisites have been met.

Communication Studies (COM)

COM 104  Oral Communication     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer.

Course Description: Principles of speech as applied in meaningful participation in society.

CORE 42: MOTR COMM 110; Fundamentals of Public Speaking

COM 195  Applied Debate and Forensics     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Departmental Discretion.

Course Description: This course introduces the theory of argumentation. Principles of analysis, evidence, reasoning, preparing and evaluating arguments, briefing, refutation, and case construction are prepared and practiced. Students will participate in debate tournaments. May be repeated for a total of 24 credit hours. Graded pass/fail.

COM 205  Introduction to Mass Media     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Fall.

Course Description: Exploration of the history and development of the mass media in the United States and mass communication theory. Also includes discussion of issues currently affecting the media, including newspapers, film, radio, and television as well as advertising and public relations. Prerequisite(s): A grade of C or higher in COM 104.

COM 210  Presentational Communication     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Fall.

Course Description: Theory and practice of constructing public presentations including: media use, organization, delivery, means of appeal, and analysis of audience and setting. Prerequisite(s): A grade of C or higher in COM 104.

COM 215  Introduction to Strategic Communication     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Fall.

Course Description: This introductory course examines the practice of public relations, how public relations operates in organizations, its impact on publics and its functions in society including theory and models, social media usage, current trends, and ethical professional standards. Prerequisite(s): COM 104.

COM 222  Communication Theory     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Fall.

Course Description: Introduction to the role theory plays in the study of human communication. Introduces different ways of thinking about communication through academic, cultural and historical perspectives. Prerequisite(s): A grade of C or higher in COM 104.

COM 227  Interviewing Principles and Practices     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Departmental Discretion.

Course Description: Examines the interviewing process in a wide range of contexts, including selection, appraisal, discipline, negotiation, research, and media interviews. Emphasis is placed on the practice of interviewing and applying communication concepts to selected interview settings. Prerequisite(s): A grade of C or higher in COM 104.

COM 304  Media and Society     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Spring.

Course Description: This course examines both classic and contemporary studies of mass communication effects. Emphasis is placed on cultural, social, political, and psychological effects of the media. Topics such as media education and literacy, news and campaigns, media portrayals, and theories of audience behavior will be examined. Prerequisite(s): COM 205.

COM 305  Interpersonal Communication     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Fall.

Course Description: Analyzes communication interaction in relatively unstructured, person-to-person settings with application of interpersonal communication concepts to resolving problems emerging from human interactions. Prerequisite(s): COM 104.

COM 311  Crisis and Risk Communication     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Spring.

Course Description: Using a case study approach of recent organizational and individual crisis events, this course examines the strategic communication practices and theories throughout the stages of a crisis event including risk perception and management. Emphasis placed on strategic crisis management planning, preparing crisis message responses and apologies, audience analysis, social media responses, image restoration, and ethical responses. Prerequisite(s): COM 215 and COM 222.

COM 314  Persuasion     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Spring.

Course Description: Persuasion as a process of influencing attitude and behavior; emphasizes the theories of modern persuasion and their use in social, political and advertising campaigns. Prerequisite(s): COM 104.

COM 320  Research Methods In Communication     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Spring.

Course Description: The course covers a variety of qualitative and quantitative communication research methods. Students will be involved in critical analysis of previous research, and conceptualization and implementation of future research. Prerequisite(s): COM 104 and COM 222.

COM 324  Small Group Communication     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Spring.

Course Description: Group roles, leadership styles, group structure, thought processes, and consensus methods; application of concepts to communication interaction in task and social group settings. A Service Learning component of the course requires out of class community service volunteer hours for completion of the assignment. Prerequisite(s): COM 104.

COM 334  Argumentation and Debate     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Departmental Discretion.

Course Description: Philosophical and theoretical foundations of logic and argumentation to the persuasive process; experience in preparation and presentation through debate and discussion formats. Prerequisite(s): COM 104.

COM 338  Survey of Rhetorical Theory     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Fall.

Course Description: Survey of the formation and transformation of rhetorical theory from the Classical Age. Prerequisite(s): COM 104.

COM 340  Communication and Aging     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Departmental Discretion.

Course Description: Examines the intrapersonal, interpersonal and public levels of human communication in relationship to the aging process. Prerequisite(s): COM 104 or departmental approval.

COM 342  Intercultural Communication     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Fall.

Course Description: Studies communication between and among people from different cultures. Topics include cultural patterns, value orientations, verbal and nonverbal codes, cultural identity, culture shock, acculturation, perception, and stereotyping. Prerequisite(s): COM 104.

COM 345  Nonverbal Communication     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Spring.

Course Description: Nonverbal aspects of communication; factors which affect and modulate verbal messages; interpretation of nonverbal information; kinesics (body motion), proxemics (social/personal space), and paralanguage (vocal cues accompanying words). Prerequisite(s): COM 104.

COM 350  Selected Topics in Communication     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Departmental Discretion.

Course Description: Specialized course work in the field of speech communication and theatre/video. Course may be repeated for up to six credit hours maximum with different topics. Prerequisite(s): COM 104 or departmental approval.

COM 359  Workplace Analysis     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Departmental Discretion.

Course Description: The application of communication concepts and theories to the analysis of profit or nonprofit organizations. Requires prior approval of the internship director and the organization. This course is one of the options that satisfies the applied learning requirement for the BA or BS Communication. May not be repeated. Graded pass/fail. Prerequisite(s): Senior standing, declared departmental major, minimum overall GPA of 2.0, and approval of the internship director.

COM 382  Strategic Communication Writing     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Spring.

Course Description: This workshop course emphasizes audience analysis, writing, and editing. Students will engage in writing for press releases, brochures, newsletters, blogs, social media, and feature stories. Prerequisite(s): A grade of C or higher in COM 215 and JOU 227.

COM 385  Communicating Intimacy     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Departmental Discretion.

Course Description: This course examines the role of intimacy in close personal relationships. Emphasis is placed on intimacy as a communication construct and providing students with a practical application of various communication theories. Prerequisite(s): COM 104.

COM 410  Organizational Communication     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Spring.

Course Description: Theories and problems of human communication within a variety of organizational settings; the relationship of communication to motivation, organizational structure, nonverbal behavior, surroundings, leadership style, and information accuracy. Prerequisite(s): COM 222 and three credit hours numbered 300 or higher in COM.

COM 412  Health Communication     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Fall.

Course Description: Introduces students to the practice and theoretical foundations of communication in healthcare and the promotion of public and individual health within the healthcare and health risk contexts by examining provider-patient interaction, public health campaigns, media messages, health promotion and the cultural influences on health. Prerequisite(s): COM 104 and 3 credit hours numbered 300 or higher in COM, NUR, PSY, or PED.

COM 414  Health Campaigns     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Spring (odd-numbered years).

Course Description: This course provides students the understanding and practice of both the theoretical and applied components of a health promotion campaign including message design, planning, implementation and evaluation. Students will gain applied experience in creating an actual health promotion campaign for a local or regional health organization. This course would be of interest for student majors in Strategic Communication, Population Health, Communication, Nursing and other health or communication related programs. Prerequisite(s): COM 412.

COM 415  Strategic Communication Campaigns     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Fall.

Course Description: Development of the processes and strategies of strategic communication campaigns including research, organization, programming and evaluation. A service learning component requires student pairing with a local client for completion of actual strategic communication campaign plan. Prerequisite(s): COM 222 and a grade of C or higher in COM 215, JOU 227, COM 320 and COM 382.

COM 416  Special Topics in Strat Com.     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Departmental Discretion.

Course Description: This is an applied strategic communication course that focuses on various topics, theoretical principles, and applied practices within the larger field of Strategic Communication. Due to the vast changes and new trends within the field of strategic communication, this class aims to include those topics both relevant to the field and student needs. Prerequisite(s): COM 215.

COM 444  Strategic Communication Practices     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Spring.

Course Description: Application of strategic communication principles and techniques to corporations and nonprofit agencies. Emphasis given to applied strategic communication campaign applications and case studies. Students gain hands-on training while implementing all or specific components of a strategic communication campaign for on and off-campus groups and organizations. Prerequisite(s): A grade of C or higher in COM 382 and COM 415.

COM 450  Independent Research/Project     Credits: 1-5

Typically Offered: Fall, Spring.

Course Description: Investigation of a research problem, project, or topic on an individual conference basis. Prerequisite(s): Completion of major-minor declaration in communication studies, minimum 2.5 GPA in major field of study, and departmental approval.

COM 460  Internship     Credits: 1-6

Typically Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer.

Course Description: The student will develop objectives related to the discipline and carry out those responsibilities through an internship as approved by the director. Applies theory and skills to actual work situations. Professionally supervised work experiences related to the student's area of interest. (Forty hours of work for one credit hour.) Graded pass/fail. May be repeated for a total of 12 credit hours. Prerequisite(s): Declared departmental major, minimum overall GPA of 2.5, one COM or JOU course 200 or above, and approval of the internship director.

COM 465  Methods of Teaching Speech and Drama     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Departmental Discretion.

Course Description: Philosophies, issues, and problems in contemporary speech education; content, structure, ethical issues, presentation and evaluation of curriculum and teaching in speech and theatre. Prerequisite(s): EDU 202 and EDU 203.

COM 481  Senior Portfolio     Credits: 1

Typically Offered: Fall, Spring.

Course Description: This is a workshop course for graduating seniors which includes resume and job search preparation in addition to compiling a passing graduation portfolio consisting of a resume, cover letter, reflective self-analysis, and a collection of writings and projects from major courses. COM 481 must be completed during the semester of graduation, except for summer graduates who must complete the course in the spring semester prior to graduation. Graded pass/fail.

COM 488  International Public Relations     Credits: 1

Typically Offered: Departmental Discretion.

Course Description: International study abroad experiences and applications for public relations majors.

COM 530  Social Media Branding     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Fall.

Course Description: This course provides experience with current and emerging social media tools and digital technologies. Students will gain knowledge about various opportunities for strategically implementing digital, social and mobile media into strategic communication practices and research. They will engage in managing their own online reputation as well as a business/organization's identity through a mastery of social media applications.

COM 548  Digital Prod for Pros     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Summer.

Course Description: This course is designed to build the student's level of knowledge and practical skills in the area of digital production. The students will learn and apply skills in the use of digital media and audio production equipment in a number of "real life" production situations including the production of professional quality photos, a PSA or promotional video and digital media marketing tools or mini doc. Upon completion of the course the student will be able to produce, direct, and provide technical support for any single camera production as well as produce professional-quality photography.

COM 601  Professional and Organizational Communications     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Fall, Spring.

Course Description: Theories, applications, research and problems in human communication within a variety of organizational environments; the relationship of communication to motivation, leadership, organizational culture, organizational structure, and other advanced topics. Prerequisite(s): Graduate standing.

Journalism (JOU) 

JOU 104  Introduction to Digital Photography     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Fall.

Course Description: This course introduces the student to composing, shooting and editing photographs. Students will learn basic manipulation of images using Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom, including preparation of images for both print and online uses. Students should have a digital camera with the ability to control the exposure, shutter speed and ISO.

JOU 202  Reporting for the Media     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Fall.

Course Description: Introduction to writing for print, broadcast and web media. Students will gain hands-on training in writing leads and short-and medium-length articles and learn how these articles are packaged with other media elements in newspapers and convergent media websites. Prerequisite(s): ENG 104 and ENG 108.

JOU 204  Introduction to Broadcast Journalism and Production     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Spring.

Course Description: Introduction to the principles of writing, producing and creating broadcast journalism packages for the web and broadcast. Students learn the basics of broadcast production as well as interviewing techniques and shooting and editing digital media. Prerequisite(s): JOU 104 or concurrent enrollment.

JOU 210  Journalism Practicum: Newspaper Production     Credits: 2

Typically Offered: Fall, Spring.

Course Description: Supervised experience in reporting news, features, commentary, and sports; selling and designing advertising; and shooting, processing, and printing photographs. Students work on the campus newspaper, The Griffon News. May be repeated for a total of 8 credit hours.

JOU 212  Journalism Practicum: Yearbook Production     Credits: 2

Typically Offered: Fall, Spring.

Course Description: Supervised experience in field reporting and techniques used in producing the campus yearbook. May be repeated for a total of 8 credit hours.

JOU 214  Journalism Practicum: Broadcast Production     Credits: 2

Typically Offered: Fall, Spring.

Course Description: Students will use a team-based, hands-on approach to produce the "Griffon Update" and "Griffon Update Sports" broadcast shows as well as multimedia productions. The students will gain experience in planning, shooting and editing feature packages using a combination of video, audio, text, graphics and photographs covering the people, events, and activities of the campus and community. They will also gain studio production experience while producing the shows. May be repeated for a total of 8 credit hours. Prerequisite(s): JOU 104 or concurrent enrollment.

JOU 227  Publication Design     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Fall.

Course Description: This course focuses on newspaper page design (front and feature pages), advertising, and public relations design, with an emphasis on print but instruction in designing for online publications as well. Prerequisite(s): JOU 104 or concurrent enrollment.

JOU 283  Introduction to Research Methods in Journalism     Credits: 1-2

Typically Offered: Departmental Discretion.

Course Description: Introduction to basic research in journalism. Individual and team projects involving methods for solving journalism-related research problems. Prerequisite(s): Departmental approval.

JOU 304  Advanced Broadcast Journalism and Production     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Fall.

Course Description: This course focuses on advanced techniques in creating digital media to be used in broadcast and web forums. The students gain hands on experience producing broadcast news packages, radio news packages and podcasts, PSA/Promotional videos, long-form feature packages and mini-documentaries. Extensive use of advanced editing and compositing software as well as lighting, cameras and audio gear enable the students to produce professional-quality digital media for a variety of journalistic and production outlets. Prerequisite(s): A grade of C or higher in JOU 202 and JOU 204.

JOU 308  Copy Editing     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Spring.

Course Description: Instruction and experience in editing and rewriting copy and headline writing in accordance with accepted journalistic practice. Included will be instruction in grammar and usage. Prerequisite(s): A grade of C or higher in JOU 202 and ENG 108 or ENG 112.

JOU 310  Journalism Practicum: Newspaper Management     Credits: 1

Typically Offered: Fall, Spring.

Course Description: Supervised experience in managerial positions on the campus newspaper; application of the principles of professional journalism. May be repeated for a total of 8 credit hours. Prerequisite(s): JOU 202, JOU 308 or permission of instructor.

JOU 312  Journalism Practicum: Yearbook Management     Credits: 1

Typically Offered: Fall, Spring.

Course Description: Supervised experience in managerial positions on the campus yearbook; applications of principles of professional journalism. May be repeated for a total of 8 credit hours. Prerequisite(s): JOU 104 or concurrent enrollment.

JOU 314  Selected Topics in Journalism     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Departmental Discretion.

Course Description: Advanced course in journalism; topics vary from semester to semester. May be repeated for credit.

JOU 322  In-Depth/Investigative Reporting     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Fall.

Course Description: Advanced instruction and applied experience in reporting and writing with a focus on in-depth and investigative reporting, including political/government journalism. The class will involve off-campus reporting. Prerequisite(s): A grade of C or higher in JOU 202.

JOU 324  Web Content and Design     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Fall.

Course Description: Students will learn the elements of effective writing for screen-based textual content in internet and intranet environments, using HTML and appropriate software to create both personal and professional Websites to gain valuable hands-on experience. Introduces overview of content provider issues, including usability, intellectual property, security, access, database content language, writing and design. Prerequisite(s): JOU 227.

JOU 328  Multimedia Storytelling     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Spring.

Course Description: This course incorporates intermediate production skills to create multimedia projects. Multimedia stories incorporate text, images, audio, video and data visualizations. Students will apply standards of journalistic reporting, writing and multimedia production to their work throughout the semester. Students will learn skills that are relevant to communications professions. Prerequisite(s): JOU 204, or JOU 214, JOU 324.

JOU 362  Sports Reporting     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Spring.

Course Description: This course focuses on covering sports at all levels- high school, college and professional. The student will participate in classroom discussions/lectures, a variety of writing assignments and the coverage of out-of-class sporting events. Prerequisite(s): JOU 202, JOU 204 or JOU 214.

JOU 364  Opinion Writing     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Spring.

Course Description: The emphasis of this course is on all forms of journalistic opinion writing, from columns (regular, humor, sports, political) to editorials, blogs and longer form opinion pieces. Prerequisite(s): JOU 202.

JOU 366  Magazine/Feature Writing     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Spring.

Course Description: Students will hone their interviewing, writing and storytelling skills in writing profiles, various types of newspaper features and longer print and shorter online magazine pieces. All stories will be submitted to journalistic outlets, both on- and off-campus. Prerequisite(s): JOU 202 and either JOU 204 or JOU 214.

JOU 402  Senior Project     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Spring.

Course Description: This is the senior-level capstone course for the Strategic Communication and Convergent Journalism programs. It emphasizes applied, real-world experiences in producing digital media projects suitable for the Strategic Communication and Journalism professional. The students will develop a professional portfolio website and complete a number of digital media projects in preparation for entering the job market. To be taken during last spring semester prior to graduation. Prerequisite(s): JOU 204 or JOU 214, JOU 202 or COM 382, JOU 322 or COM 415, and JOU 324.

JOU 403  Media Law and Ethics     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Spring.

Course Description: Defines the legal boundaries within which professional communicators must operate and raises important ethical issues that relate to media careers. Prerequisite(s): JOU 202 and COM 205.

JOU 432  Social Media Branding     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Fall.

Course Description: This course provides experience with current and emerging social media tools and digital technologies. Students will gain knowledge about various opportunities for strategically implementing digital, social and mobile media into strategic communication practices and research. They will engage in managing their own online reputation as well as a business/organization's identity through a mastery of social media applications. Prerequisite(s): JOU 202, JOU 204 or JOU 214.

JOU 488  International Journalism     Credits: 1

Typically Offered: Departmental Discretion.

Course Description: International study abroad experiences and applications for convergent journalism majors.