Communication Arts

COMM Courses

COMM 100. Recitals. 0.5 Hours.

This course is required for all Broadcasting and Professional Communication majors and offers a variety of professional development opportunities.

COMM 110. Fundamentals of Public Speaking. 3 Hours.

The theory and practice of public speaking with emphasis on topic selection, content, organization of material, language, methods of securing attention and maintaining interest, delivery and critical evaluation of informative and persuasive messages. May not be used as part of communication arts major, minor, of concentration.

COMM 120. Introduction to Broadcasting. 3 Hours.

This course introduces students to the history of television and radio broadcasting. Students will explore how the broadcasting industry is undergirded and shaped by a variety of factors, including economics, operations, and emerging media technologies. The course also examines current laws and regulations of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and other governing organizations.

COMM 191. Freshman Seminar. 1 Hour.

Introduction to departmental requirements and opportunities. Pre-requisite: Communication major or minor.

COMM 210. Advanced Public Speaking. 3 Hours.

An advanced course in the art of oral discourse. Emphasis is placed on professional presentations, adapting to diverse audiences, logic, persuasion, and rhetorical analysis. Prerequisite: COMM 110 or consent of instructor.

COMM 211. Communication & Popular Culture. 3 Hours.

Includes analysis of audience, occasion, subject, and speaker. Subject matter will include such media as movies, songs, television, humor, fashion, public demonstration, advertisements, architecture, etc. Includes text readings, group discussion, analytical essays, and a critical paper and presentation.

COMM 212. Interpersonal Communication. 3 Hours.

Introduces fundamental concepts of communication between individuals. Exploring aspects of self expression, relationship communication-how people present themselves, and how others perceive them in return.

COMM 218. Public Relations Principles. 3 Hours.

This course provides an introduction to the theory and practice of public relations. Students learn about the history and growth of PR, as well as the role of PR as a management function. Topics of study include research and planning, campaign implementation, new and social media, professional ethics, and more. Course projects and assignments allow students to build experience in professional speaking and writing as it applies to the field of public relations.

COMM 219. Mass Media and Society. 3 Hours.

Basic communication theory and its application to mass communication with emphasis on social, cultural, and political implication of the media.

COMM 220. Broadcast Advertising & Applications. 3 Hours.

This course introduces students to chief principles and theories of advertising, with emphasis on published examples of print and electronic advertisements. Students learn documented factors that increase the power of advertising through mass media, and they apply this knowledge to a variety of assignments to ultimately understand, critique, and create advertisements for both products and services. Restricted to sophomore, junior, and senior status.

COMM 221. PR & Media Writing. 3 Hours.

Introduction to basic writing skills in the field of public relations & the media. This is a writing intensive course that teaches students how to prepare professional public relations messages for print and electronic media. Specifically, students will learn to compose news releases, fact sheets, media advisories, internal communications information, and more.

COMM 224. Social Media, Writing, and Design. 3 Hours.

Learn techniques used to capture readers' attention in online and print media while combining images and text to tell the story.

COMM 225. Audio Production I. 3 Hours.

Laboratory and lecture course with emphasis on the principles and techniques of radio production and programming.

COMM 244. Reporting and Feature Writing. 3 Hours.

Introduction to news gathering, judgment, writing, history, conventions, and style of the news story, the newspaper feature story, and the magazine article.

COMM 281. Reporting & Editing. 1 Hour.

Laboratory course in which class members work on the campus paper and attend staff meetings. Repeatable up to eight credits.

COMM 283. TV Activities. 1 Hour.

An opportunity for students to work on various projects that they will produce for on and off campus. Repeatable up to eight credits.

COMM 284. Radio Activities. 1 Hour.

An opportunity for students to work on various audio projects that they will produce for on and off campus groups. Repeatable up to eight credits.

COMM 285. Broadcasting and Professional Communication Activities. 2 Hours.

This course provides hands-on training for technological tools of broadcasting and professional communication, including TV and radio production, public relations, social media, and communication.

COMM 286. Promotions Activities. 1 Hour.

The course provides students with an understanding of how to strategically plan promotions. Students are able to engage in real life events activities such as planning, marketing, advertising, production, writing, and more. Students are taught time management alongside promotions. This course specifically directs students to have hands on experience within the Broadcasting Department. More directly, writing newsletters, promotions of channel 19, alumni relations, web site writing & creation, and advertising.

COMM 291. Sophomore Seminar. 1 Hour.

Study of communication (people, events, activities) as determined by student/professor consultation. Pre-requisite: Communication major or minor.

COMM 297. Internship. 1-2 Hour.

Hands-on experience in the discipline. Restricted to Communication majors or minor or consent of instructor.

COMM 299. Special Topics. 1-8 Hour.

COMM 310. Social Media Strategy and Measurement. 3 Hours.

Students will learn how to strategically plan and implement social media communication for different organizations (for-profit, non-profit) with different audiences and goals, and these efforts will be guided by established research and industry trends. The class will complete a variety of projects that use different forms of communication (videography, photography, graphic design, writing) that span multiple platforms. Students will learn how to measure social media communication using quantitative and qualitative research methods, and they will explore how this data can be used to guide current and future efforts.

COMM 311. Oral Interpretation. 3 Hours.

The study of literature for performance with emphasis on written and verbal analysis. The technique of performance applied to oral reading of literature.

COMM 312. Travel Writing. 3 Hours.

Travel writing comes in many forms and styles. This course combines a survey of travel writing with instruction and practice in travel writing. Students will seek out their own travel experience during the semester the course is taken and return to the classroom to write about that experience.

COMM 315. Persuasion & Argumentation. 3 Hours.

An investigation of the structure, types, and tests of persuasive arguments with practical application through rhetorical analysis and speeches. Prerequisite: COMM 110 or consent of instructor.

COMM 316. Group Dynamics. 3 Hours.

Study of techniques of group discussion and small group theory with emphasis on participating in various types of discussion and conferences.

COMM 317. Rhetorical Theory. 3 Hours.

A study of the development of rhetorical standards and practices from ancient time to the present.

COMM 318. Organizational Communication. 3 Hours.

The course is a study of communication practices in organizations by examining organizational structure, leadership, teambuilding, and ethics. The course will include communication areas such as diversity, conflict, stress, and technology.

COMM 322. Media Sales and Analysis. 3 Hours.

This course explores media sales and analysis within a variety of mediums, including television, radio, newspapers, magazines, online and social media, interactive, and outdoor communication channels. Students will use theory and research to guide their course projects and assignments. Cumulatively, these efforts allow students to build both knowledge and skills that are critical to successful media sales and analysis.

COMM 323. Journalism History. 3 Hours.

Examination of the news gathering function of the mass media with special emphasis on press theory and the development of thought of freedom of expression.

COMM 324. Community Relations. 3 Hours.

This course examines current communication strategies used by public relations practitioners to establish and maintain relationships with different communities. Students apply their knowledge from course readings to complete a variety of applied assignments and at least one community-based project. Topics of study include resource management, social networking, traditional and new media, problem-solving, and more.

COMM 325. Campaigns and Strategies. 3 Hours.

This course explores the integral relationship between public relations, marketing, and advertising in today's market. The textbook, classroom lectures, guest speakers, and assignments help students build a solid foundation in the fundamentals needed to plan, implement, and evaluate public relations campaigns. Prerequisites: COMM 218 and junior or senior status.

COMM 326. Media Announcing. 3 Hours.

Theories, practices, and techniques of "on-air" presentation will be the focus of this course. Students will develop the skills necessary to perform a variety of media announcing tasks. Students will study the techniques and styles required to perform as media newscaster, interviewers, program hosts, commercial and public service announcers. Prerequisite: COMM 120 or consent of instructor.

COMM 328. Play by Play Communication. 3 Hours.

Focuses on the theory and practice of electronic media sports coverage, with an emphasis on the role, skills and practice of radio and TV sports announcers and electronic sports media journalism. The class includes play-by-play broadcasts and a class project.

COMM 329. Sports Television Production. 3 Hours.

Professional sports media at an advanced level. Special topics in areas such as sports media production, announcing, performance and sports feature. The course will emphasize other performance situations, such as producing and anchoring radio and television sportscasts. After completing this course, students will be able to develop, write, pre-produce, produce, perform as talent and post-produce programming for broadcast sports media.

COMM 344. Investigative Reporting. 3 Hours.

This course is an introduction to the subject matter, techniques, and ethics of investigative reporting. It will include such topics as secondary sources, primary documents, people sources, computer-assisted reporting, writing projects, accuracy, and ethics. Prerequisite: COMM 244.

COMM 354. Special Events Planning. 3 Hours.

The course will introduce students to special events processes and techniques. Students will become knowledgeable about model workplace skills, leadership development, promotions, media relations, and production associated with an event. Additional topics of study include site selection, program planning, and material development.

COMM 360. Video Production I. 3 Hours.

Emphasis on the operation of video, audio, and editing equipment. Prerequisite: COMM 120.

COMM 361. Broadcast News Writing. 3 Hours.

Intensive survey and application of gathering, writing, and presenting.

COMM 362. Broadcast News Gathering. 3 Hours.

An introduction to the practical knowledge of basic electronic news gathering production techniques, as well as to learn to operate equipment associated with ENG. Students will learn the correct terminology and the basic formats of ENG. Prerequisite: COMM 360.

COMM 388. Communication for Educators. 3 Hours.

This course is designed for students pursuing an education or related degree. It will include the study of various communication opportunities faced by person in a profession educational setting.

COMM 389. Directing Forensics. 2 Hours.

Theory, philosophy, and practice in speech contest/festival design and of coaching individual forensic events and debate. Designed for the teacher who will be asked to coach speech on the secondary level. May be taken at the same time as student teaching.

COMM 390. Communication Arts Methods. 4 Hours.

Methods and materials for creative teaching of speaking, listening, and theatre and broadcast activities, in today's secondary school environment. Prerequisite: Admittance to Teacher Education.

COMM 394. Independent Study. 1-3 Hour.

Independent or directed study of special topics in the study of communication. Prerequisite: Communication major or minor.

COMM 395. Service Learning. 3 Hours.

Students will utilize reflection and research (both primary and secondary) to integrate (a) personal community or global service experience(s). Pre-requisite: Communication major or minor.

COMM 397. Communication Arts Practicum. 1-3 Hour.

Student Internship with application of specialized speech techniques in broadcasting, theatre, or other areas of communication arts.

COMM 408. Social and Pragmatic Communication Disorders. 3 Hours.

Social and pragmatic communication disorders are becoming more and more prevalent in the practice of speech-language pathology and audiology; especially as mental health issues are becoming more prevalent. This course will provide needed content in order for students and professionals to effectively assess and intervene for people with social and pragmatic communication disorders.

COMM 410. Advanced Problems. 3 Hours.

Courses beyond the present offerings on broadcasting, speech communication, and theatre arts. No more than three courses may be accrued.

COMM 412. Communication Law and Ethics. 3 Hours.

A study of the regulatory policies (federal, state, and municipal), history of free speech, the responsibility of the media, the responsibility of the individual as sender and receiver of messages, and ethical decision making in modern electronic and print media. The course will focus on current communications issues in social and workplace settings.

COMM 413. Gender Communication. 3 Hours.

Course designed to explore the theories surrounding differences and similarities in male and female communication. Focus on ways in which gender roles originated and are sustained in a variety of context including families, organizations, institutions, peer groups, the media, and interpersonal relationships. Prerequisites: COMM 110 and junior or senior status.

COMM 425. Crisis Communication. 3 Hours.

This course provides both a theoretical and applied approach to proactive crisis communication. Students learn how to engage in effective communication before, during, and after a crisis in a manner that benefits both the public and the organization at hand. Students also explore how management decisions impact crisis communication and how PR practitioners can support managerial decisions. Throughout the course students complete case studies, participate in mock crisis situations, and learn how to compose, utilize, and evaluate crisis management plans. Prerequisite(s): COMM 218.

COMM 454. Advanced Special Events Planning. 3 Hours.

The course will introduce students to advanced special events processes and techniques. Students will become knowledgeable about model workplace skills, leadership development, promotions, media relations, and production associated with an event. Additional topics of study include site selection, program planning, and material development.

COMM 460. Advanced TV and Social Media Production. 3 Hours.

Use of TV video, audio, and editing equipment in various news and commercial applications. Prerequisite: COMM 360.

COMM 475. Broadcast Production. 1-3 Hour.

The operations, techniques, and practices of broadcast production. Activities include originating, acquiring, organizing, and assembling news segments into a complete television program. Can be repeated for up to eight credits. Prerequisite: COMM 360.

COMM 492. Senior Portfolio. 1-3 Hour.

In this course, students will present their final portfolios prior to graduation. The portfolio will be compiled throughout the student's academic career and include professional quality elements for the student to market him-/herself to potential employers. Portfolios may include coursework and/or work from an internship. Prerequisite: COMM 099.

COMM 497. Broadcast Practicum. 4 Hours.

Internship in the mass communication field allowing the students to put into practice, in a professional setting, those techniques and theories learned in their coursework. Prerequisites: Completion of 40 credits in communications with a 2.75 GPA in major.

COMM 499. Special Topics. 1-8 Hour.

THEA Courses

THEA 95. Theatre Experience. 0 Hours.

Students will produce, direct, manage, design, build, perform, and market a family/youth production. The ultimate goal is to either invite area schools to the performances in the Aleshire Theatre or to tour the production to the area schools.

THEA 110. Introduction to Theatre Arts. 3 Hours.

Basic introduction to the theory and principles of theatrical presentation including dramatic literature, acting, stagecraft and dramatic analysis, with emphasis on practical application.

THEA 120. Intro to Drama Lit & Analysis. 3 Hours.

An introductory course in the literature of drama. Plays representative of important periods of theatre history are discussed and analyzed in their cultural context as well as for possible performance. Students work to understand the plays' potential meanings for modern audiences.

THEA 121. The One-Act Play. 2 Hours.

The course revolves around the study of the one-act play, how it differs from the full length play, as well as the reading of several one-acts and evaluating them as per their availability and appropriateness for competition.

THEA 161. Acting I. 3 Hours.

A basic introduction to script analysis, scene work, and characterization. Exploring the actor's tools through voice, movement, and stage combat may be implemented depending on instructor.

THEA 162. Audition Techniques. 1 Hour.

The selection, rehearsal, and performance of theatrical scenes and monologues as well as musical theatre material for the purpose of auditions.

THEA 164. Musical Theatre Professional Preparation. 2 Hours.

Designed to prepare students to be successful at professional Musical Theatre auditions and to provide them with practical skills and information related to show business (i.e: agents, managers, unions, negotiating, contracts, headshots, resumes, casting directors, etc.).

THEA 194. Independent Study. 1-3 Hour.

Independent or directed study of special topics in the study of theatre. Pre-requisite: Theatre Arts major or minor.

THEA 199. Special Topics. 1-3 Hour.

Varying areas of content, issues, or themes in the study of theatre.

THEA 201. Theatre Practicum. 1 Hour.

Participation in a significant capacity in any communication arts sponsored theatrical production above and beyond the requirements of a specific course. Repeatable up to eight credits.

THEA 202. KCACTF Participation. 1 Hour.

Credit offered to those students selected for the KCACTF Irene Ryan Regional Scholarships as well as those students choosing to actively participate in the various regional events, i.e. Design Expo, Stage Management, Theatre Management Challenge, and those students interested in presenting work elsewhere. The course will include selection, preparation, and presentation of the required artifacts or audition pieces.

THEA 203. Music Theatre Studio. 1 Hour.

Performance of major roles of Musical Theatre in studio projects. Emphasis on the student's integration of singing, acting, and movement into a unified performance.

THEA 221. Costuming. 2 Hours.

Introduction to the art of theatrical costuming from history through construction. Included will be an introduction to the design process.

THEA 222. Make-Up. 2 Hours.

Theory and practical laboratory work in stage make-up applications, including mask building.

THEA 250. Creative Drama. 3 Hours.

The study of creativity, and the relationship of drama and creative play culminating with activities centering around storytelling and children's theatre.

THEA 261. Performance Studies. 3 Hours.

An examination of "performativity." and explorations of performance beyond the confines of "theatre proper". Students will create works for the theatre which resist the limits of traditional narrative as well as experiment with the definition of performance.

THEA 270. Stagecraft. 3 Hours.

The course will begin with the stage managers approach to script analysis for a play in production and will conclude with the fundamental approach to the implementation of the scenic artist's designs for the stage through the study of set construction, painting techniques, and technical coordination.

THEA 275. Production and Design. 3 Hours.

The focus of the course will be design process, as applied to the creation of the theatrical environment, including analysis, research, communication, and implementation. Students will complete design projects in dramaturgy, stage management, costuming, scenery, sound or lighting.

THEA 296. Study Tour. 1-3 Hour.

MSU faculty-led study trips to appropriate locations. Will include additional requirements beyond travel itself. May be repeated for credit. Does not count toward the Theater Arts major or minor.

THEA 297. Internship. 1-2 Hour.

Hands-on experience in the discipline.

THEA 299. Special Topics. 3 Hours.

THEA 301. Movement I. 3 Hours.

Introduction to physical and movement elements of the actor's craft and stage performance, including neutral presence, alignment, walking, spatial awareness, self-awareness, and availability. Exercises will be given to strengthen and stretch the body. Techniques involving the application of yoga, pilates, ballet and Viewpoints will be applied to physical expression in character development and creation of object and animal essences. No previous fitness/movement training required, only a quest for play and healthier daily living.

THEA 302. Movement II. 3 Hours.

Participants will develop body awareness, improve posture, enhance muscle strength, increase range of motion, and further the art of muscle relaxation. Implementation and continuation of yoga/pilates matwork and ballet will increase strength, coordination, and flexibility for the stage performer. Final project will involve movement application with classical Shakespearean text. No previous fitness/movement training required, only a quest for play and healthier daily living.

THEA 303. Musical Theatre Dance. 3 Hours.

This course is designed to introduce the student to the basic principles and techniques characteristic of tap, jazz, and musical theatre dance styles. Warm-up, exercises, combinations in a variety of jazz and tap styles will provide opportunities for the student to develop an efficient use of weight, alignment, flexibility, articulation of footwork, coordination, endurance, strength, and musicality. A fun-filled class that culminates in song and dance routines for the stage.

THEA 305. Musical Theatre History. 3 Hours.

History of Musical Theatre, primarily focusing on American Musical Theatre, from its defining influences and roots to the present. Topics to be covered include significant productions, composers, lyricists, librettists, choreographers, directors, designers, and actors.

THEA 350. Theatre History, Criticism & Literature I. 3 Hours.

A survey of the development of the theatre and drama, including dramatic analysis, performance theory and style, theater architecture, and individual contributions, from its beginning to 1642. Prerequisite: Student must complete THEA 120 or have instructor consent before enrolling in this class.

THEA 351. Theatre History Criticism, & Literature II. 3 Hours.

A continuation of THEA 350 and the development of the theatre and drama, including dramatic analysis, performance theory and style, theatre architecture, and individual contributions, from 1642 to the present. Prerequisite: Student must complete THEA 120 or have instructor consent before enrolling in this class.

THEA 361. Acting II. 3 Hours.

In-depth study of modern trends in acting technique with special emphasis placed upon the creation of character through various acting styles, and continued emphasis on voice and movement.

THEA 385. Directing. 3 Hours.

Fundamentals of composition, picturization, blocking, stage business, and rehearsal as applied to the directing of plays.

THEA 386. Playwriting. 3 Hours.

A study of the basic principles of writing for the stage. Emphasis will be on developing short forms of productions, specifically the ten-minute play.

THEA 387. Playwrights Lab. 1 Hour.

Development of original student-written plays. Focus will be on revision of 10-minute scripts for production. Prerequisite: Student must complete THEA 386 or have the consent of the instructor before enrolling in this class.

THEA 394. Independent Study. 1-3 Hour.

Independent or directed study of special topics in the study of theatre. Pre-requisite: Theatre Arts major or minor.

THEA 395. Service Learning. 3 Hours.

Students will utilize reflection and research (both primary and secondary) to integrate (a) personal community or global service experience(s). Pre-requisite: Theatre Art major or minor.

THEA 399. Special Topics. 1-3 Hour.

Varying areas of content, issues, or themes in the study of theatre.

THEA 401. Tour Show. 3 Hours.

This course is designed for the both the Theater and non-Theater major/minor to acquaint the student with the basic principles of acting, stage work, and touring. These principles include, but are not limited to: script reading and analysis; a technical production process that would accommodate a limited budget and specifics to be performed in various spaces and conditions; the research and preparation of materials that would allow a non- traditional audience member and teacher to view the production and be able to incorporate performance materials back into a regular classroom activity.

THEA 414. Theatre Management. 3 Hours.

This course will emphasize the business of theatre: Production Procedures from beginning to the end; grant writing, box office procedures, publicity policies, and audience development. Prerequisite: BADM 301.

THEA 450. Contemporary Drama. 3 Hours.

A study of dramatic literature from 1952 to the present. Plays from England, Europe, and the Americas will be represented. Course may be repeated as the content changes.

THEA 480. Advanced Theatre Performance. 3 Hours.

The focus of the course may include: script analysis, dramaturgy, devising theatre, and vocal technique for the stage (including diction, pronunciation, and dialect as needed). Students will do a variety of projects leading to production concepts as discussed by the ensemble. The final project will be a finished theatrical performance directed and acted by class members. Prerequisites: THEA 161, 301, 361, and 385.

THEA 492. Capstone Experience. 3 Hours.

Provides for individual research culminating in a thesis project under direct supervision of an instructor. Student must be at junior or senior status before enrolling.

THEA 496. Study Tour. 1-3 Hour.

MSU faculty-led study trips to appropriate locations. Will include additional requirements beyond travel itself. May be repeated for credit. Does not count towards the Theatre Arts major or minor.

THEA 499. Special Topics. 3 Hours.