Communication and Media Arts

Katy Wiss, Chair
        wissk@wcsu.edu
        Berkshire Hall 213a, Midtown campus
        (203) 837-8260
        (203) 837-8912 (fax)

TBD, Department Secretary
          Berkshire Hall 120b, Midtown campus
          (203) 837-9166
          (203) 837-8912 (fax)

Faculty

K. Wiss, Chair J.C. Barone J. Brower
J. Eckstein T. Keys K. Lever-Mazzuto
W. Petkanas K. Saunders D. L. Stephenson
     

Overview

The Department of Communication employs a variety of resources designed to help students improve their ability to participate in and evaluate the communication process. The department’s curriculum provides a balance of theory and practice that can be applied to personal relationships, business, media and other communication environments.

Students who major in communication or media arts prepare for graduate studies or careers directly related to: small group interaction in settings such as social service agencies and corporations; media use, creation, performance, analysis and criticism; and related fields that require public speaking and application or analysis of interpersonal and public speaking skills.

Mission

The Department of Communication and Media Arts at Western Connecticut State University is committed to teaching the theory, ethics, and skills necessary to expand and deepen students’ participation in a globalized world.

Shared by all of the program areas is an emphasis on the enhancement of capacities for observation, critical appraisal, and expression. Students will be positioned to pursue careers in public service, media campaigns, advocating for the underserved, organizational relations, broadcasting, filmmaking, scriptwriting, and law, among others.

Objectives

To accomplish this mission, the Department of Communication and Media Arts:

  • Offers high-quality undergraduate courses and programs in communication and media theory including digital media production, media studies, public communication and relational communication.
  • Emphasizes development of the four modes of communication (speaking, listening, writing, and reading) as well as media production techniques throughout the undergraduate curriculum to enhance students’ ability to understand and create appropriate, creative and effective interaction and media.
  • Provides a personalized learning environment for students through faculty-mentored undergraduate research projects, video productions, and internships.
  • Prepares students for graduate education in media arts, communication and related fields.
  • Assists students in identifying appropriate classes, learning opportunities and careers through attentive advising.
  • Fosters the growth and development of faculty and their students through supporting research, attendance at professional meetings, and presentation and publication of scholarly work.
  • Collaborates with media-industry professionals in the tri-state area to support professional growth of faculty as well as internship opportunities for students.

Student Standing

Communication & Media Arts majors must earn a C (in some cases a B-) or better in classes that count in the major. Students must repeat a required course in the major until they earn the necessary minimum grade. Students may repeat major electives if they don’t earn the minimum grade, or when possible and desirable, select another major elective in its place. The major elective earning a C- or less may then be used as a free elective. Students do not earn additional credit for retaking a class. Courses retaken may not be eligible for financial aid or count towards Satisfactory Academic Progress for financial aid, athletics, etc.

Students must be in “Good Academic Standing” to change their major to Communication or Media Arts. This means, they must have at least a 2.0 GPA, a 2.5 in classes that will count towards their major.

Communication & Media Arts majors must remain in good academic standing in the major or be placed on “Probation in the Major.”

Good Academic Standing in Communication & Media Arts includes each of the following:

  •  An overall GPA of 2.0
  • A GPA in the major of 2.5 (in classes that count towards the major requirements)
  • Completing COM 290 Communication Theory and COM 219 Ethical Responsibility in Human Communication with a C or better before earning 60 credits; or within 15 credits of changing their major to or transferring into Communication or Media Arts if they have already earned 60 credits.
  • Completing COM 390 Research Methods in Communication with a C or better before earning 90 credits or within 15 credits of changing their major to Communication or Media Arts if they have already earned or transferred in 90 credits.

Probation in the major means students are at risk of being disqualified from eligibility to earn a degree in Communication or Media Arts. After being placed on probation in the major, students have one semester to address the area that placed them on probation. If students are not able to meet the requirement within one semester, they are subject to suspension from the major. Students who are suspended from the major will be required to change their major. If they do not actively change their major, they will be changed to Undeclared status.

The status “Probation in the Major” and “Suspension in the Major” will not appear on the student’s transcript. Students will be notified of the change of status by the department. Students on probation in the major must meet with their advisor to discuss a plan for successful completion of the degree. Students are ultimately responsible for maintaining their GPA and successfully completing their academic work. The advisor may discuss changes in life, study habits, or attitude to improve performance. Advisors may also recommend a decreased course load or utilizing campus resources to address personal, emotional, academic or life situations which are make it difficult to perform well in school. Once the requirements for Good Academic Standing in Communication & Media Arts are met, students may reapply to change their major to Communication or Media Arts.

Lambda Pi Eta

The department sponsors a chapter of Lambda Pi Eta (LPH), the National Communication Honors Society. As an organization, LPH recognizes, fosters and rewards outstanding scholastic achievement in the field of communication. To qualify, students must be full-time communication majors and have earned 60 credits with at least 12 in communication. They must also have a minimum 3.25 GPA in communication courses and a 3.0 overall GPA. Students must demonstrate commitment to the field. Students may contact the department chair for more information.

Alpha Epsilon Rho

The department sponsors a chapter of Alpha Epsilon Rho (AERho), the Honors Society  of the  National Broadcasting Society. AERho enhances the development of students and entry level professionals involved in electronic media. To qualify, students must have earned 45 credits with 9 in communication courses. They must also have a minimum 3.25 GPA in communication courses and a 3.25 overall GPA. Students may contact the department chair for more information.

Course Restrictions
For a complete list of prerequisites, corequisites and other restrictions for all courses, please consult the Course Description section of this catalog.

Degree Programs in Communication

Bachelor of Arts

Communication

Options:
   Communication Studies
   Relational Communication

Media Arts

Options:
   Media Production
   Media Studies

Bachelor of Science

Elementary Education

Minor Programs

Communication
Broadcast Journalism

BACHELOR OF ARTS IN COMMUNICATION (B.A.)

Requirements:

Students must complete all general education requirements, the courses and credits listed below by option and additional free electives to total a minimum of 122 semester hours, including foreign language and exercise science.

Option I: Communication Studies

COM 110 Sight, Sound & Motion or
COM 190 Introduction to Mass Communication
COM 205 Communication Environments
COM 219 Communication Ethics
COM 290 Communication Theory
COM 390 Research Methods in Communication
COM 495 Senior Thesis

Five courses in any of the following areas; no more than one at the 100-level: 1. Media Production, 2. Media Studies, 3. Rhetoric, Language & Public Address, 4. Relational Communication.

Option II: Relational Communication

COM 205 Communication Environments and/or COM 210 Nonverbal Communication and/or COM 212 Effective Listening (for a total of 6 credits)
COM 200 Language and Communication
COM 219 Communication Ethics
COM 290 Communication Theory
COM 390 Research Methods in Communication
COM 420 Readings in Interpersonal Communication
COM 495 Senior Thesis
Five courses (15 SH) in major electives from approved list

BACHELOR OF ARTS IN MEDIA ARTS (B.A.)

Students must complete all general education requirements, the courses and credits listed below by option, and additional free electives to total a minimum of 122 semester hours, including foreign language and physical education.

Requirements:

COM 110 Sight, Sound & Motion
COM 146 Basic Video Production
COM 219 Communication Ethics
COM 230 History of Mass Media
COM 271 Exploring the Film
COM 290 Communication Theory
COM 390 Research Methods in Communication
COM 495 Senior Thesis
15 credits of Major Electives (Production or Media Studies)

BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN ELEMENTARY EDUCATION AND COMMUNICATION (B.S.)

Education students fulfill the requirements for Option I: Communication Studies and the requirements for certification in elementary education. They are not required to take a foreign language or meet the waiver requirements.

Learning Outcomes

Goal 1: History/Theory:

The ability to competently and effectively articulate the historical development of communication theorizing provides a framework for the critical evaluation and practice of communication processes.

Outcomes:

1a. Students will identify and compare major theories across the history of communication research.

1b. Students will appraise conceptual approaches to communication processes.

1c. Students will write an in-depth paper based on the exploration of communication theories.

1d. Students will complete an in-class comprehensive oral and visual presentation.

Goal 2: Ethics:

Students are able to analyze the contribution of communication theory and skills in understanding social landscapes, and how they are formed by differences in cultural, racial, ethnic, sex, sexuality, and class identities.

Outcomes:

2a. Student will demonstrate an understanding of major perspectives on ethical responsibility in communication.

2b. Students will critique the limitations of ethical theory as applied to communication research.

2c. Students will defend and analyze independently developed ethical perspectives.

Goal 3: Critical Assessment:

Students are able to critically assess communication phenomena.

Outcomes:

3a. Students will interpret and contrast theoretical and practice-based approaches to the study of communication phenomena.

3b. Students will criticize communication phenomena in/through the production of text and media-based examinations of complex problems in the field.

3c. Students will judge the value and efficacy of approaches to the study and practice of communication.

Goal 4: Skills and Creative Production:

Students are able to effectively engage in the production and presentation of multi-media communication phenomena.

Outcomes:

4a. Students will identify how communication phenomena change within differing media environments.

4b. Students will contrast and compare the uses and limitations of communication media to effectively engage audiences.

4c. Students will identify and define key concepts.

4d. Students can identify and applying technical terms.

4e. Students are proficient in orally and presenting their work.

4f. Students are proficient in hands-on production and workflow.

4g. Students are knowledgeable in submitting work to festivals and competitions.

Goal 5: Social Responsibility:

Students are able to reflect on and appraise the importance of social connection and the values of diverse communities.

Outcomes:

5a. Students will apply an understanding of culture to contrast differential forms of participation in varied social institutions.

5b. Students will analyze the ways in which communication phenomena contribute to the creation and sustainment of communities.

5c. Students will evaluate and reflect on how difference constitutes diverse communities.

Goal 6: Civic Responsibility and Diversity:

Students are exposed to opportunities for community participation and interaction in a wide-range of contexts.

Outcomes:

6a. Students appreciate and engage with the local community.

6b. Students understand intercultural understanding.

6c. Students understand the interconnectivity of global communication, community, and culture.

6d. Students understand the importance of personal responsibility and good citizenship.

Goal 7: Applied Experience:

Students are able to employ relevant media production equipment and technology.

Outcomes:

7a. Students are exposed to real-world production environments through field trips and internships.

7b. Students are provided current and relevant production tools and environments.

7c. Students are able to identify problems, trouble-shoot, execute solutions, and evaluate

 

MINOR IN COMMUNICATION

Eighteen semester hours in communication which must include at least 12 semester hours above the 100 level. Emphasis may be on communication, radio, television and film.

MINOR IN BROADCAST JOURNALISM

WRT 270W News Writing
WRT 333W The Editorial Environment
COM 243 Broadcast Writing
THR 252 Acting for the Camera
COM 270 Fundamentals of Radio Broadcasting
One 300- or 400-level writing course from among the following:
WRT 340W Public Relations Writing
WRT 335W Fact-Based Opinion Writing
WRT 338W Writing About Specialized Subjects
WRT 442W Publication Design and Development
WRT 490W Internship/Practicum

Sample Four-Year Sequence Communication Major Options

Notes:

  • See Catalog section on Foreign Language Requirements to determine how language classes count.
  • Free electives in the junior and senior year are often used for professional internships.

Communication Studies Option

First Year

Fall Semester (15 SH) Spring Semester (15 SH)
COM 162 Communication Skills Major Elective (concentration area)
COM 110 Sight, Sound & Motion or COM 190 Intro. to Mass Communication COM 290 Communication Theory
General Education – Humanities General Education Social/Behavioral Science
General Education Social/Behavioral Sci General Education Math, Computer Science
WRT 101 or Free Elective MAT 100 or Free Elective

Sophomore Year

Fall Semester (15 SH) Spring Semester (17 SH)
COM 205 Communication Environments COM 219 Communication Ethics
COM 290 Communication Theory Major Elective (concentration area)
General Education Social/Behavioral Science General Education HPX Fitness for Life
General Education Math, Computer Science 2nd Semester Language or General Education-Humanities or Free Elective
1st Semester Language or General Education-Humanities or Free Elective Free Elective
  Free Elective

Junior Year

Fall Semester (16) Spring Semester (15)
COM 390 Communication Research Major Elective (other area)
Major Elective (concentration area) Major Elective (other area)
General Education-Humanities General Education Math, Computer Science or Natural Science
General Education Natural Sciences with Lab General Education-Humanities or Free Elective
Free Elective Free Elective

Senior Year

Fall Semester (15) Spring Semester (15)
COM 495 Senior Thesis General Education Social/Behavioral Science
Free Elective Free Elective
Free Elective Free Elective
Free Elective Free Elective
Free Elective Free Elective

Relational Communication Option

First Year

Fall Semester (15) Spring Semester (15)
COM 162 Communication Skills course COM Major Elective
MAT 100 or General Education Math, Computer Science COM Major Elective
General Education Social & Behavior Sciences General Education Humanities (W) or Free Elective
WRT 101 or General Education Humanities WI course General Education Social & Behavioral Sciences
Free Elective General Education Math/Computer Science or Free Elective

Sophomore Year

Fall Semester (15) Spring Semester (17)
COM 205 Communication Environments or COM 210 Nonverbal Communication COM 200 Language and Communication
COM 219 Communication Ethics COM 290 Communication Theory
General Education Social & Behavior Sciences General Education Social & Behavioral Sciences
1st Semester Language or General Education-Humanities or Free Elective General Education HPX Fitness for Life (2 SH)
Free Elective 2nd Semester Language or General Education-Humanities or Free Elective
  Free Elective

Junior Year

Fall Semester (16) Spring Semester (15)
COM 212 Effective Listening COM 420 Readings in Interpersonal Communication
COM 390 Research Methods in Communication COM Major Elective
General Education Humanities General Education Math, Computer Science or Natural Science or Free Elective
General Education Natural Sciences (with lab) General Education-Humanities or Free Elective
Free Elective Free Elective

Senior Year

Fall Semester (16) Spring Semester (15)
COM Major Elective Free Elective
Free Elective Free Elective
Free Elective Free Elective
Free Elective Free Elective
Free Elective COM 495 Senior Thesis

Sample Four-Year Sequence Media Arts Major

• Media Studies Option and Media Production Option First Year

Fall Semester (16) Spring Semester (15)
COM 110 Sight, Sound & Motion COM 146 Basic Video Production
General Education Communication Skills General Education Humanities W – Writing Intensive Course
WRT 101 or General Education Humanities WI Course General Education Social & Behavioral Sciences
MAT 100 or General Education Math/Computer/Science General Education Math/Computer/Science or Free Elective
General Education Social & Behavioral Sciences Free Elective

Sophomore Year

Fall Semester (15) Spring Semester (17)
COM 230 History of Mass Media COM 271 Exploring the Film
Major Elective COM 290 Communication Theory
1st  Semester Language or General Education Humanities COM 219 Communication Ethics
General Education Math/Computer/Science or Free Elective Major Elective
General Education Social & Behavioral Sciences or  Free Elective General Education HPX Fitness for Life

Junior Year

Fall Semester (16) Spring Semester (17)
Major Elective COM 390 Research Methods in Comm
General Education Humanities General Education Social & Behavioral Sciences
General Education Math/Computer/Science (Lab) Major Elective
Free Elctive Free Elective
Free Elective Free Elective

Senior Year

Fall Semester (15) Spring Semester (14)
COM 495 Senior Thesis Free Electives
Major Elective  
Free Elective  
Free Elective  
Free Elective  

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