Communication and Media Arts
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.
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.
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 and public 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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