Communication and Media Arts

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

Beth Koschel, Department Secretary
koschele@wcsu.edu
Berkshire Hall 214, Midtown campus
(203) 837-9166
(203) 837-8032 (fax)

Faculty

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

Overview

The Department of Communication employs a variety of resources designed to help students master the 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 business and personal relationships, media and other communication environments.

Students who major in communication or media arts prepare for graduate studies or careers directly related to: managing interaction in settings such as social service agencies, small businesses and corporations; media use, creation, performance, analysis and criticism; and related fields that require public speaking, persuasion 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. Students learn to engage in challenging dialogues across a variety of communicative landscapes.

Each of our degrees and options shares an emphasis on the enhancement of capacities for observation, critical appraisal, and expression. Graduates of the program are positioned to pursue careers in public service, media campaigns, advocating for the underserved, organizational relations, broadcasting, and filmmaking, among many 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, digital interactive media arts, 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:

  •  Maintaining an GPA of 2.0
  • Maintaining a GPA in the major of 2.5 (in classes that count towards the major requirements)
  • Completing COM 290 Communication Theory and COM 219 Communication Ethics with a C or better before earning 60 credits; or within 15 credits of 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 & Media Arts

Bachelor of Arts

Communication
Options:
Communication Studies
Relational Communication

Media Arts
Options:
Media Production
Media Studies

Digital & Interactive Media Arts
Options:
Production
Programming

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 120 semester hours, including the requirements for a foreign language.

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 162 Interpersonal 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 in Relational Communication

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 120 semester hours, including foreign language and physical education.

Requirements for Media Production and Media Studies Option:

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 from approved list of electives in Media Production or Media Studies

Learning Outcomes:

  1. Describe the Communication & Media Arts discipline and its central questions
    1. Explain the origins of the Communication & Media Arts discipline
    2. Summarize the broad nature of the Communication & Media Arts discipline
    3. Categorize the various career pathways for students of Communication & Media Arts
    4. Articulate the importance of Communication & Media Arts expertise in career development and civic engagement
    5. Examine contemporary debates within the field
    6. Distinguish the Communication & Media Arts discipline from related areas of study
    7. Identify with specialization(s) in the Communication & Media Arts discipline
  2. Employ Communication & Media Arts theories, perspectives, principles, and concepts
    1. Explain Communication & Media Arts theories, perspectives, principles, and concepts
    2. Synthesize Communication & Media Arts theories, perspectives, principles, and concepts
    3. Apply Communication & Media Arts theories, perspectives, principles, and concepts
    4. Critique Communication & Media Arts theories, perspectives, principles, and concepts
  3. Engage in Communication & Media Arts inquiry and creative activity
    1. Interpret Communication & Media Arts scholarship and creative activity
    2. Evaluate Communication & Media Arts scholarship and creative activity
    3. Apply Communication & Media Arts scholarship and creative activity
    4. Formulate questions appropriate for Communication scholars & Media Arts scholarship and creative activity
    5. Engage in Communication & Media Arts scholarship and creative activity using the traditions of the discipline
    6. Differentiate between various approaches to the study of Communication & Media Arts
    7. Contribute to scholarly and creative conversations appropriate to the purpose of inquiry
  4. Create messages appropriate to the audience, purpose, and context
    1. Locate and use information relevant to the goals, audiences, purposes and contexts
    2. Select creative and appropriate modalities and technologies to accomplish communicative goals
    3. Adapt messages to the diverse needs of individuals, groups and contexts
    4. Present messages in multiple Communication & Media Arts modalities and contexts
    5. Adjust messages while in the process of communicating
    6. Critically reflect on one’s own messages
  5. Critically analyze messages
    1. Identify meanings embedded in messages
    2. Articulate characteristics of mediated and non-mediated messages
    3. Recognize the influence of messages
    4. Engage in active listening or participate as an active audience member
    5. Enact mindful responding to messages
  6. Demonstrate the ability to accomplish communicative goals (self-efficacy)
    1. Identify contexts, situations and barriers that impede Communication & Media Arts self-efficacy
    2. Perform verbal and nonverbal Communication & Media Arts behaviors that illustrate self-efficacy
    3. Articulate personal beliefs about abilities to accomplish Communication & Media Arts goals
    4. Evaluate personal Communication & Media Arts strengths and weaknesses
  7. Apply ethical Communication & Media Arts principles and practices
    1. Identify ethical perspectives
    2. Explain the relevance of various ethical perspectives
    3. Articulate the ethical dimensions of a Communication & Media Arts situation
    4. Choose to communicate with ethical intention
    5. Propose solutions for (un)ethical communication
    6. Evaluate the ethical elements of a communicative or mediated situation
  8. Utilize Communication & Media Arts to embrace difference
    1. Articulate the connection between Communication & Media Arts and culture
    2. Recognize individual and cultural similarities and differences
    3. Appreciate individual and cultural similarities and differences
    4. Respect diverse perspectives and the ways they influence Communication & Media Arts
    5. Articulate one’s own cultural standpoint and how it affects Communication & Media Arts and world view
    6. Demonstrate the ability to be culturally self-aware
    7. Adapt one’s communication  in diverse cultural contexts
  9. Influence public discourse
    1. Explain the importance of Communication & Media Arts in civic life
    2. Identify the challenges facing communities and the role of Communication & Media Arts in resolving those challenges
    3. Frame local, national and/or global issues from a Communication & Media Arts perspective
    4. Evaluate local, national and/or global issues from a Communication & Media Arts perspective
    5. Utilize Communication & Media Arts to respond to issues at the local, national, and/or global level
    6. Advocate a course of action to address local, national and/or global issues from a Communication & Media Arts perspective
    7. Empower individuals to promote human rights, human dignity and human freedom

BACHELOR OF ARTS IN DIGITAL AND INTERACTIVE MEDIA ARTS (B.A.)

As a field, Digital and Interactive Media Arts (DIMA) is a way of conceptualizing emerging practices of personal, commercial, and artistic expression in a variety of high tech channels. In this new terrain, traditional foundations in design and aesthetics form the ground of expression, but they are joined with the more recent fields of computer programming and video production computer animation, game design and interactive web design.

Careers that rely on competence in designing Digital and Interactive Media Arts are as varied as the fields they draw upon. Where some students may require a proficiency in the use and application of DIMA technologies and principles in the creation of artistic artifacts (fine arts, television, film, games), others may be involved in the creation of new technologies and their use as communication tools (advertising, public relations, and all web-based organizational communication).

This program seeks to ground students in the basics of aesthetics, programming, sound, and video production and design. By taking a project-based learning approach, students will come to understand and apply the full creative development process from idea to presentation.  Students will touch all aspects of the creative processes in digital and interactive media arts, and then specialize in one of two options:  Media Production and Programming.

Goals

  1. To provide an interdisciplinary program in which students will acquire knowledge in fundamentals and specific area(s) of focus.
  2. To provide exemplary faculty who are actively engaged in their discipline.
  3. To provide learning environment in which students apply appropriate learning and skills to create new digital interactive media content.
  4. To provide students access to exemplary, digital interactive media software, equipment, and facilities.
  5. To support experiential learning through internships and cooperative education.

Our primary goals in this degree are to create an environment in which students:

  1. Conceptualize, plan and execute creative ideas using appropriate DIMA technology.
  2. Learn to communicate effectively about their ideas by discussing and defending their work and critiquing others in relation to concepts, ideas, techniques, processes, and experiences.
  3. Learn the value of interdisciplinary thinking and collaboration.

Learning Outcomes:

At the completion of this program students will be able to:

  1. Discuss and apply the concepts related to the visual, spatial, sound, motion, interactive, and temporal elements/features of digital technology and principles for their use in the creation and application of digital media-based work
  2. Discuss and apply narrative and other information/language structures for organizing content in time-based or interactive media
  3. Organize and represent content structures in ways that are responsive to technological, social, and cultural systems.
  4. Discuss the characteristics and capabilities of various technologies (hardware and software); their appropriateness for particular expressive, functional, and strategic applications; their positions within larger contexts and systems, and their influences on individuals and society
  5. Discuss and apply processes for the development and coordination of digitally-based art and design strategies (for example, storyboarding, concept mapping, and the use of scenarios and personas).
  6. Analyze and synthesize relevant aspects of human interaction in various contexts (physical, cognitive, cultural, social, political, and economic) and with respect to technologically-mediated communication, objects, and environments.
  7. Analyze useful, usable, effective, and desirable information with respect to user/audience-centered digitally-based communication, objects, and environments.
  8. Discuss and apply history, theory, and criticism with respect to such areas as film, video, technology, and digital art and design.
  9. Engage in teams-based work and to organize collaborations among people from different disciplines.
  10. Use the above competencies in the creation and development of professional quality interactive digital media productions.
  11. Develop knowledge of legal and ethical issues across disciplines.
  12. Present work in a portfolio in a professional way.

BACHELOR OF ARTS IN DIGITAL INTERACTIVE MEDIA (DIMA) B.A.

DIMA Core Requirements:
ART 108 Design I
ART 111 Drawing I
COM 110 Sight, Sound & Motion
COM 146 Basic Video Production
CS 140 Intro to Programming OR CS 143 Visual Basic
CS 170 Language OR CS 172 Intermediate Java
DIMA 100 Introduction to DIMA
DIMA 200 Design for DIMA
DIMA 300 DIMA Technologies
DIMA 400 Senior Project & Presentation

Production Option:
COM 336 Postproduction
WRT 234W Technical Writing
MKT 200 Principles of Marketing
MKT 411 E-Commerce & Internet

Programming Option:
CS 220 Obj. Oriented Prog. OR CS 250 Adv. Topics in Progrm Java
CS/MAT 165 Intro to Discrete Math
CS 245 Web Applications Dev.
CS 205 Data Modeling & Design OR MIS 301 Database Apps in Business
CS 340 Computer Animation

MINOR IN COMMUNICATION

Eighteen semester hours in communication which must include at least 12 semester hours above the 100 level. Only courses with a C grade or better will count.  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
COM 252 Media Performance Techniques
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 490 Internship/Practicum

Sample Four-Year Degree Sequences can be found at www.wcsu.edu.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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