COMM 111 — Survey of Mass Communications (3)

Students explore the role of mass communications in history and today’s society. Various theories and past and current practices of the mass media including objectivity, violence, censorship, ethics, and governmental and legal problems associated with each will be investigated.

COMM 115 — Computer Applications for Mass Communications (3)

This course provides an overview of microcomputer applications including a brief introduction to computer concepts, Microsoft Windows, and Microsoft Office software.  Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Expressions will be integrated, along with Adobe creative software. An introduction to library and Internet research, as well as MLA formatting, will also be provided.

COMM 131 — Introduction to Writing for Mass Communications (3)

Students will be introduced to elementary principles, methodology, and terminology used by the print and electronic media, public relations, and advertising.

COMM 212 — Introduction to Digital Photography (3)

The fundamentals of digital photography are explored with an emphasis on the technical aspects: use of the camera; determination of proper exposure; lenses and filters; the aesthetic values of taking pictures.

COMM 223 — Broadcast Newswriting (3)

This course focuses on how to gather information, write, and perform broadcast news copy, produce a newscast, and the art of interviewing for the broadcasting, as well as the terminology used in the electronic media. Prerequisite: COMM 131.

COMM 225 — Sports Media (3)

Students will explore the sports media profession, executing sports public relations tactics while creating narratives on various mass communication platforms.  Students will also explore the sports and athletics industries, analyzing the relationships among the media, athletics, and educational institutions. Prerequisite: COMM 131.

COMM 226 — Principles and Practices of News Writing (3)

Students gain theoretical and practical experience in idea selection, research methods, factual organization, writing, and marketing of non-fiction articles. They will be expected to submit articles for publication. Prerequisites: COMM 111, COMM 131.

COMM 233 — Introduction to Visual Communications (3)

This introductory course acquaints students with the basics of graphic design, including design principles, color theory, and industry-standard layout and design software to create effective visual and intellectual communication media. Students will enhance their visual literacy and understanding of visual perception, as applied to print design, web design, and multimedia. Prerequisite: COMM 115.

COMM 237 — Mass Communications Law (3)

This course is a study of the legal regulations governing the various media in the United States. A review of the early history establishing freedom of expression is covered with emphasis on the current laws and cases. Emphasis on law of libel, clash of fair trial with free speech and press, invasion of privacy, open records and meetings, obscenity, copyright, advertising, and broadcast regulations. Prerequisite: COMM 111.

COMM 243 — Fundamentals of Image Manipulation (3)

This is an intermediate level image manipulation course. Emphasis is on Adobe Photoshop software and creating visual designs with aesthetic appeal for use in print, electronic, and online media. This course covers basic to intermediate skills of image manipulation, including color correcting, image editing, and formatting. An ethics component focuses on the legal, ethical, and moral implications of digitally altering photos in advertising and photojournalism. Prerequisite: COMM 233.

COMM 244 — Introduction to Video Game Design (3)

Students will explore the fundamentals of video game design including one of the primary schemas – rules – to create meaningful play.  Students will investigate formal and informal rules in video game design and will be introduced to video game design software, creating interactions and placing objects and characters to build video games. Prerequisite: COMM 233.

COMM 245 — Video Game Design and Development (3)

Students will explore the two schemas of video game design, play and culture, and will investigate visual aesthetics of video game design and wire framing to create scene flows.  Students will also sequence events, define playable and non-playable characters, and design outcomes for player choices to enhance player strategies for meaningful video game outcomes. Prerequisite: COMM 233.

COMM 251 — Radio and Audio Production (3)

This class explores basic production concepts of audio as a medium of communication with a strong emphasis on the creation and production of a variety of audio production program types. The student will have the opportunity to gain “hands-on” equipment experience in the College’s audio production facilities. Prerequisite: COMM 131.

COMM 253 — TV Studio Production (3)

This course allows a student to become familiar with television studio production techniques. In lectures and lab sessions, students will learn basic operations of a television studio including directing, running cameras, floor management, lighting, scene preparation, performance, audio, and operation of diagnostic equipment.  Working in a team environment, students will be both in front of and behind the cameras with emphasis on pre-production planning, script writing, production, and minimal post production. Prerequisite: COMM 131.

COMM 290 — Media and Communication Campaigns (3)

The course covers various forms of writing, including news releases, public service announcements, and profile and feature stories. Students will also learn media relations—how to successfully build relationships with working professionals in print, television, and radio fields.  Special event planning and fundraising activities will also be covered. Prerequisite: COMM 131.

COMM 296 — Mass Communications Practicum (3)

This course is designed to help students prepare for internships, as well as careers in the mass communications fields. The course focuses on enhancing students’ professional background and developing the necessary job search skills and strategies. Students will explore their major, careers, and internships in mass communications. They will analyze the necessary skills and develop resumes, cover letters, and e-portfolios appropriate to their career path. Prerequisites: COMM 111, COMM 115.

COMM 311 —Theories and Perspective in Mass Communications (3)

This course provides students with intellectual tools for understanding media that they consume in everyday life, that they might create in their professional lives, and that impact the world all around us.  Students will examine the most influential mass communications theories such as agenda setting, cultivation theory, spiral of silence, and critical-cultural studies in order to better understand how we can think about what media are, how we interact with them, and what effects they have on society. Prerequisites: COMM 131, and junior status.

COMM 320 — Global Perspectives in Journalism (3)

Students will explore journalism in the context of the global community, examining and practicing journalism for international events and topics such as natural disasters, global health issues, foreign policy, and war.  Students will also examine the ethical, practical, and cultural challenges faced by such journalists, including the impact of new technology and social media.  Prerequisite: COMM 131.

COMM 324 — Electronic News Gathering (ENG) and Field Reporting (3)

This course combines both the electronic skills and writing skills necessary for the components of broadcast journalism. Students will apply classroom knowledge so as to cover news events “in the field.” In doing so, students will develop ethical storytelling skills and sharpen critical thinking skills required for strong news decision making. Prerequisite: COMM 253 or COMM 354.

COMM 325 — Sports Communications (3)

Students will explore the field of sports communications, examining various models of mass communications including broadcast, print, electronic, and social media, as well as advertising, brand communications, public relations, and media relations.  Students will also critically assess the mass communications efforts of sports organizations, investigating ethics in sports communications. Prerequisite: COMM 131.

COMM 334 — Multi-Platform Storytelling (3)

Students experience an in-depth study of how to effectively deliver the news through multiple channels. They will learn how to seamlessly plan and integrate various formats to translate information through print, broadcast, and online outlets to reach varying audiences under tight deadlines. Prerequisite: COMM 131.

COMM 335 — Politics and the Media (3)

This course explores the political importance of mass media, the functions of mass media in a democratic society, and the decisions that are made regarding media from the news desk to the corporation. Students explore citizen reaction to the media, examine past campaigns, learn to report on political functions, and study how elections have changed in the age of the Internet. Students will participate in campaign events, news gathering, and reporting and analyze political news coverage.

COMM 336 — Social Media (3)

This course encompasses the theory and practical relevance of social media such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, and texting.  Students examine multiple perspectives about social media’s effects on culture, society, and personal identity formation using a variety of theoretical and practical applications.

COMM 337 — Writing for Public Relations (3)

Students will explore the public relations profession, executing public relations tactics while creating narratives on various mass communication platforms.  Students will also investigate crisis communications and analyze the ethical and legal considerations of the public relations practitioner. Prerequisite: COMM 131.

COMM 344 — Computer Illustration (3)

This course incorporates Adobe Illustrator software, an industry standard, vector-based drawing application used to create images, designs, logos and single-page layouts for print and online applications. The focus will be on basic concepts of illustration, how to create images with depth, perception, and texture and how to unify them with text into a visually appealing layout. Layout and design will be explored for effective communication. Prerequisite: COMM 233.

COMM 345 — Professional Design for Print and Digital Media (3)

This course focuses on the design and layout of print and digital documents with emphasis on effective messaging. Students will examine professional layouts and use industry standard software, such as InDesign, to apply principles of design, typography, visual organization, and color theory to create compelling layouts for print, presentations, web, and mobile applications. Prerequisite: COMM 233.

COMM 346 — Digital Animation (3)

Visual storytelling through motion graphics, visual effects, and interactivity are the basis for this hands-on production oriented class. Students will create motion graphics and visual effects for video, Web, or mobile devices. Students will develop animation concepts and skills through animating, altering, and composting media in 3D space. Professional animation, with personal expression, is emphasized. Prerequisite: COMM 243.

COMM 354 — Video Field Production (3)

Students will learn basic field production skills and digital editing techniques.  Working in teams, students will operate portable cameras at various locations to produce a series of short videos which may include a music video, a dramatic scene, a news story, and so forth.  Students will refine their skills in directing, lighting, audio, camera performance, camera work, working in teams, and script writing by moving to other locations while also moving further into postproduction via digital editing.  Prerequisite: COMM 131.

COMM 355 — Documentary Video Production (3)

This course combines studio and field production as students learn to craft thoughtful documentaries based on professional video and filmmaking aesthetic traditions. Students will refine their skills in writing, editing, camera work, audio, teamwork, directing, and performance. Students will also learn research skills such as interviewing while learning to craft compelling stories that accurately and fairly reflect historical and/or contemporary situations worthy of preservation and public presentation. Final projects should be of a caliber suitable for submission to juried competitions. Prerequisites: COMM 253, COMM 354.

COMM 356 — Film Narrative (3)

Students will explore different ways that stories are told in film.  Beginning with the traditional three-act, Hollywood style, we move on to examine variations on that style as well as revolutionary approaches to filmmaking.  Among the approaches that we examine include expressionist, postmodern, and poststructural filmmaking as we view the work of such directors as Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick, and David Lynch.

COMM 358 — Digital Video Editing (3)

Students will explore the process of non-linear video editing.  Students will also investigate techniques for sound and lighting enhancement as well as best practices in graphics for video.  Prerequisite: COMM 253.

COMM 360 — Storytelling and Reporting (3)

Students will explore the craft of on-camera talent through audio and video storytelling for television and the web, including television studio and field news reporting, sports play-by-play and color commentary, talk show hosting, and more. Social responsibility and ethics for on-camera talent is emphasized. Prerequisites: COMM 253.

COMM 365 — Media Management (3)

Administrative principles and procedures as they apply to the radio and television industry will be explored in this course.  Practical problems of management: staffing, sales, ratings, government regulation, license renewal, and engineering requirements will be considered. Prerequisite: COMM 111.

COMM 369 — Web Design and Visual Communications (3)

This web design course focuses on visual communication and information architecture. Students are introduced to design methodologies that enable them to develop effective web sites. Students will explore theories and apply to the web design process, using industry standard software. Topics include site structure development, page organization and design, content design, usability and accessibility, and the use of audio and video in web page design.  Prerequisite: COMM 233.

COMM 388 — Character Animation (3)

Students will develop video game characters for interactive animation, including 3D animation.  Students will create projects based on their interests, focusing on creativity and interactive animation.  Students will also enhance skills in designing interactive animated graphics to convey concepts that may be used in video game design and other career fields, including broadcast, social media, marketing, advertising, education, and web development.  Prerequisite: COMM 233.

COMM 389 — Virtual Environments (3)

Students will create 3D environments including buildings and settings that can be utilized as backgrounds in video game programs.  Student knowledge of visual aesthetics, storytelling, social interaction and technology is enhanced through the conceptualizing and creation of 3D environments.  Prerequisite: COMM 233.

COMM 394 — Media Planning and Buying (3)

The highly specialized task of media planning and buying is examined from a realistic experience as students learn the basics of planning and purchasing media for a specific business within a targeted broadcast market. Working as an advertising agency, students prepare a multimedia marketing presentation and plan for a specific retail business (chosen by the students) within the Northeastern PA marketplace. Prerequisite: COMM 111.

COMM 396 — Branding Technique and Creative Design (3)

This course focuses on creating strong brand identities for companies. Students will analyze successful and failing brands. They will apply theories of consumer behavior and the attraction economy to develop brand strategies and create attractive, unique brand identities, using industry-standard software such as the Adobe Creative Suite. Students will explore various communication techniques such as basic public relations campaigns, viral advertising, social networking, and forums to create innovative forms of branding. Topics also include logo design, packaging, and color. Prerequisites: COMM 131, COMM 233.

COMM 490 — ePortfolio for Mass Communications (1)

Students in this course will expand the ePortfolio developed in COMM 296 to include examples of upper-level work completed in the Mass Communications core and track classes.  Students will be evaluated holistically to ensure that competencies within the Mass Communications core and track classes have been achieved.  This class is to be taken in the spring semester of the senior year. Prerequisite: Senior status.

COMM 493 — Research Methods in Mass Communications (3)

For this senior-level assessment course in Mass Communications, students work in a team environment with a concentration on the various themes that comprise a general study of mass media’s impact on the quality of human society. Majorswill be required to show superior performance in 1) researching a topic beyond its current level of understanding; 2) presenting said topic within the seminar format; 3) applying communication theory and published research, and 4) writing a final paper including a literature review, methodology, findings, conclusions, implications, and references. Prerequisite: COMM 311.

COMM 497 — Independent Study for Mass Communications (3)

Students develop an advanced, independent research project under the supervision of a full-time faculty member.  Senior status is required; open to juniors with permission of the department chair.  Students wishing to enroll must submit a brief written proposal with a description of the final project and a timeline to the supervising faculty member and the Department Chair for approval. 

COMM 499 — Mass Communications Internship (3)

This requirement of third- and fourth-year majors ensures that they gain practical experience in their area of interest while working with professionals either on- or off-campus. Daily field work with a site supervisor, as well as weekly journals and other written assignments, and conferences with a faculty coordinator to monitor the achievement of learning objectives are required. Students must have a G.P.A. of 2.5 to secure an internship off-campus. Students may take a maximum of six internship credits toward their Mass Communication requirements.  Prerequisite: COMM 296.