Department of Communication & Journalism

Dr. Marilyn Hunt, Chairperson
huntmd@missouriwestern.edu
(816) 271-4443
www.missouriwestern.edu/CJ

The Department of Communication and Journalism prepares students for careers in communication, public relations and convergent journalism. The department offers comprehensive programs that focus on the expression, comprehension and exchange of ideas through oral or written discourse or 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 a strong background for careers in fields such as law, politics, journalism, public relations, communication, and teaching.

Applied Learning

Missouri Western's Department of Communication and Journalism strongly believes in applied learning. The BA and BS degrees in Speech Communication require at least two credit hours of applied learning. The BS 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 workplace environment. Students participate in internships as well as applied learning labs such as The Griffon Yearbook, The Griffon News and Griffon Update.

Admission Requirements

Students desiring a BA or BS degree in Speech Communication or a BS in Public Relations should complete a pre-major form so they can be assigned a Communication advisor.  To be eligible for admission to the program, applicants must have received a grade of C or higher in COM 104 Oral Communication, the English Composition requirement ENG 104 College Writing and Rhetoric, and in one of the following courses:

COM 210Presentational Communication3
COM 215Introduction to Public Relations3
COM 222Communication Theory3

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.

COM 195  Applied Debate and Forensics     Credits: 2

Typically Offered: Fall, Spring.

Course Description: This course introduces the theory of argumentation. Principles of analysis, evidence, reasoning, preparing and evaluation arguments, briefing, refutation, and case construction are prepared and practiced. Students will participate in debate tournaments. May be repeated for a total of 18 credit hours.

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.

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. LAS Ethics. Prerequisite(s): COM 104.

COM 215  Introduction to Public Relations     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Spring.

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. LAS Writing; LAS Ethics. Prerequisite(s): COM 104.

COM 218  Oral Interpretation     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Departmental Discretion.

Course Description: Oral reading and analysis of prose, poetry, and drama. Same as THR 218. 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): COM 104.

COM 227  Interviewing Principles and Practices     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Spring (odd-numbered years).

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): COM 104.

COM 283  Introduction to Research Methods in Video     Credits: 1-2

Typically Offered: Departmental Discretion.

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

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 104.

COM 305  Interpersonal Communications     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. LAS Writing. Prerequisite(s): COM 104.

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: Fall.

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. LAS Computer Literacy. Prerequisite(s): COM 104 and MAT 110 or any higher level mathematics course of 3 or more credit hours (excluding MAT 127 or MAT 132).

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. LAS International/Intercultural. 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. LAS Writing; LAS International/Intercultural. 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). LAS Writing; LAS International/Intercultural. Prerequisite(s): COM 104.

COM 350  Selected Topics in Speech Communication     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Fall, Spring.

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: 2

Typically Offered: Fall, Spring.

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 Speech 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 361  Communication Internship I     Credits: 1

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. Graded pass/fail. (At least 30 hours of work for one credit hour.) Application must be made at least one semester prior to registration. Prerequisite(s): Junior standing, declared departmental major, minimum overall GPA of 2.5, and approval of the internship director.

COM 382  Public Relations Writing and Design     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Fall.

Course Description: This workshop course emphasizes audience analysis, writing, editing, and producing public relations deliverables. With the aid of the Adobe Design Suite, students will engage in production of attractive and effective advertisements, brochures, newsletters, and magazine spreads. Students will complete practical hands-on projects that reflect theoretical foundations of public relations presented in COM 415. LAS Writing; LAS Computer Literacy. Co-requisites: COM 415 and COM 477. Prerequisite(s): COM 215, JOU 202, and JOU 308, or departmental approval.

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): Three credit hours numbered 300 or higher from COM, ENG, or JOU.

COM 411  Crisis Public Relations & Risk Communication     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Spring (even-numbered years).

Course Description: Using a case study approach, this course examines the strategic communication practices throughout the stages of a cirsis event including risk prediction. Emphasis placed on cirsis management planning, preparing key messages, managing media, social media repsonses, image restoration, and ethical responses. LAS Ethics. Prerequisite(s): COM 104.

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 415  Public Relations Campaigns     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Fall.

Course Description: Development of the processes and strategies of public relations campaigns including research, organization, programming and evaluation. A service learning component requires student pairing with a local nonprofit organization in completion of an actual public relations campaign. LAS Ethics. Prerequisite(s): A grade of C or higher in COM 215.

COM 444  Public Relations Practices     Credits: 1-3

Typically Offered: Spring.

Course Description: Application of public relations principles and techniques to corporations and non-profit agencies. Emphasis given to applied public relations campaign applications and case studies. Students gain hands-on training while implementing all or specific components of a public relations campaign for on and off-campus groups and organizations. Graded Pass/Fail. Prerequisite(s): A grade of C or higher in COM 382, COM 415, and COM 477.

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  Communication/Video Internship II     Credits: 1-3

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. (Thirty hours of work for one credit hour.) Graded pass/fail. Application must be made at least one semester prior to registration. May be repeated for a total of 6 credit hours. Prerequisite(s): Senior standing, declared departmental major, minimum overall GPA of 2.5, 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. LAS Ethics. Prerequisite(s): EDU 202 and EDU 203.

COM 477  Client Management & Practices     Credits: 1

Typically Offered: Fall.

Course Description: This course examines client relationship management (CRM) as a key strategic, applied process with public relations clients. CRM is the process of building and sustaining clients for increased success and Return on Investment (ROI) of both the client and the PR practitioner. In addition, this course will assist client projects in COM 382 and COM 415 by teaching students how to address and resolve various client issues and management concerns. Prerequisite(s): COM 215, and credit or concurrent enrollment in COM 382 and COM 415.

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. Course is graded on a pass/fail basis.

COM 488  International Public Relations     Credits: 1

Typically Offered: Departmental Discretion.

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

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 Video Journalism     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Fall.

Course Description: Introduction to the principles of creating video journalism packages for the web and broadcast. Students learn the basics of interviewing and shooting and editing video.

JOU 210  Journalism Lab: 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 Lab: Yearbook / Magazine 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 Lab: Broadcast Production     Credits: 2

Typically Offered: Fall, Spring.

Course Description: Students will use a team-based, hands-on approach to produce broadcast and multimedia productions. These will include a combination of video, audio, text, graphics and photographs covering the people, events, and activities of the campus and community. May be repeated for a total of 8 credit hours.

JOU 224  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 Web sites to gain valuable hands-on experience. Introduces overview of content provider issues, including usability, intellectual property, security, access, database content language, writing and design. Same as ETC 224. Prerequisite(s): ENG 104.

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 302  Advanced Media Reporting     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Spring.

Course Description: Advanced instruction and applied experience in reporting and writing news stories, editorials and features for converged media. LAS Writing. Prerequisite(s): A grade of C or higher in JOU 202.

JOU 303  Media Law and Ethics     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Spring (odd-numbered years).

Course Description: Defines the legal boundaries within which professional communicators must operate and raises important ethical issues that relate to media careers. LAS Ethics, LAS International/Intercultural.

JOU 304  Advanced Audio and Video Journalism     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Spring.

Course Description: Students produce a wide range of video packages throughout the semester, covering several genres. Building on the skills gained in the introductory course, students will learn advanced editing and story-telling techniques to produce top-notch, published packages. Prerequisite(s): A grade of C or higher in JOU 202 and JOU 204.

JOU 308  Copy Editing     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Fall.

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 Lab: Newspaper Management     Credits: 2

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.

JOU 312  Journalism Lab: Yearbook Management     Credits: 2

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.

JOU 314  Selected Topics in Journalism     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Spring (even-numbered years).

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

JOU 316  Internship in Journalism     Credits: 2-6

Typically Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer.

Course Description: Practical application of journalism skills in a professional setting; correlates academic preparation with supervision in a work experience (thirty clock hours of work for each hour of credit). May be repeated for a total of 12 credit hours. Graded pass/fail. Prerequisite(s): Junior or senior standing and departmental approval.

JOU 327  Publication Design     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Fall.

Course Description: A computer workshop course involving graphic design and production of effective and attractive newspaper and magazine layouts and advertisements. The course will provide instruction in design software and computer peripherals such as electronic scanners and digital photography. LAS Computer Literacy.

JOU 328  Multimedia Authoring     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Spring (odd-numbered years).

Course Description: An advanced class which outlines the history, principles and theories of multimedia. This course examines how elements of text, sound, video, animations and graphics work together to produce electronic products for the Web, CD/DVD and other distribution formats. Students learn appropriate multimedia software to create individual or small group multimedia projects. Same as ETC 328.

JOU 401  Senior Portfolio     Credits: 1

Typically Offered: Fall, Spring.

Course Description: Workshop class for graduating seniors which includes resume and job search preparation in addition to compiling a passing graduation portfolio consisting of a resume, cover letter, and writings from majors courses. Required for the BA English/Journalism and Public Relations majors. Graded pass/fail. Prerequisite(s): Must be completed during the semester of graduation, except for summer graduates who must complete the course in the spring semester prior to graduation.

JOU 402  Senior Project in Convergent Media     Credits: 3

Typically Offered: Spring.

Course Description: A senior-level workshop course that emphasizes hands-on, real-world experience in producing multimedia projects suitable for convergent media settings. Prerequisite(s): JOU 224, JOU 302, and JOU 327.

JOU 488  International Journalism     Credits: 1

Typically Offered: Departmental Discretion.

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

Robert Bergland (1997) Professor, Journalism. B.A., Millikin University; M.A., Ph.D., Purdue University.

Christopher Bond (2009) Associate Professor, Communication. B.S., University of Southern Mississippi; M.S., Mississippi College; Ph.D., University of Memphis.

James Carviou (2013) Instructor, Journalism. B.A., M.A., University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Jason Edgar (2015) Instructor, Communication. B.A., Missouri Southern State University; M.A., University of Arkansas.

Shawna Harris (2009) Associate Professor, Communication. B.S., Southern Utah University; M.A., University of Nevada; Ph.D., University of Georgia.

Marilyn Hunt (1997) Associate Professor, Communication. B.A., M.A., California State University; Ph.D., University of Kentucky.

David McMahan (2001) Professor, Communication. A.S., Vincennes University; B.S., M.A., Indiana State University; Ph.D., University of Iowa.

Robert Nulph (2013) Associate Professor, Journalism. B.S.E., M.S., Clarion University of Pennsylvania; Ph.D., University of Kansas.

John Tapia (1976) Professor, Communication. B.A., California State University; M.A., University of Massachusetts; Ph.D., University of Arizona.

Robert Vartabedian (2008) Professor, Communication. B.A., California State University; M.A., Wichita State University; Ph.D., University of Oklahoma.

Mei Zhang (2000) Professor, Communication. B.A., Hangzhou University; B.A., Fudan University; M.A., Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh.