The central focus of the Department of Communication and Journalism is on the symbolic construction of meaning through written, verbal, visual, and nonverbal communication in a variety of situations and contexts. The diverse concentrations represented within the department are united in the study of the complex processes by which symbols are used to create meaning in public and private discourse. Theory, practice and ethics are linked in order to help students become effective personal and professional communicators, to understand the important role that communication plays in a democracy, and to become thoughtful critics of communication strategies and tactics.

Goals for Major Requirements

Goals for CJN 101 Introduction to Communication:

  • Develop an understanding of the functions and roles of communication in society
  • Develop a basic understanding of the creation of meaning through communication
  • Recognize the importance of symbols
  • Identify basic communication processes that apply to all situations
  • Develop an awareness of the importance of ethics in communication and journalism
  • Develop an awareness of the importance of First Amendment rights to the establishment and maintenance of our democracy
  • Develop a basic awareness of the impact of media on society
  • Develop an understanding of the role of communication in the establishment of culture and self-concept

Goals for CJN 103 Presentation Skills:

  • Develop an understanding of situation and audience
  • Develop critical thinking and listening skills
  • Develop an ethical approach toward public communication
  • Develop expository and persuasive presentations that reflect research, structure, and audience adaptation
  • Develop extemporaneous presentation skills including appropriate use of voice, gestures, movement, and eye contact
  • Develop the ability to use media support for presentations
  • Develop the ability to create effective messages which reflect a sense of purpose, audience, and ethics in a presentation format

Goals for CJN 405 Communication Theory:

  • Develop an understanding of the field through the study of both humanistic and scientific theories of Communication
  • Develop an understanding of the history of human communication through the study of theories dating back to ancient Greece
  • Be able to apply theories to analyze communication in various situations and contexts

CJN Concentrations

In addition to the CJN core, students must complete one of the following concentrations: Advertising, Public Relations, Print Journalism, Broadcast Journalism, Film, Media, and Communication Studies.

Advertising

The advertising concentration prepares students for careers in advertising, marketing communication, and related fields, as well as for graduate study.

Goals for the Advertising concentration:

  • Students are able to identify and use key terms and concepts in advertising
  • Students develop an understanding of the process and practice of advertising
  • Students are able to investigate the impact of target markets and market segmentation on advertising
  • Students are able to analyze the social, economic and cultural impact of advertising
  • Students are able to develop a media plan for an advertising campaign
  • Students are able to create, develop, research, present and justify an advertising campaign
  • Students are able to develop advertising messages that are persuasive and ethical

Public Relations

Public Relations prepares students for professional careers in public relations, marketing communication, media relations, public affairs, and related fields, as well as for graduate study.

Goals for the Public Relations concentration:

  • Students develop an understanding of the history, theory, and ethical practice of public relations
  • Students examine the interaction between public relations and broader political, social, and cultural contexts
  • Students develop an understanding of public relations strategies and tactics
  • Students develop the specific skills of public relations, including research, writing, planning, organizing, speaking, and related activities

Print Journalism and Broadcast Journalism

Both the Print Journalism and Broadcast Journalism concentrations prepare students for careers in the field of Journalism, as well as for graduate study.

Goals for the Journalism concentrations:

  • Students develop the skills of journalism, including research, reporting, writing, editing, and visual communication
  • Students develop an understanding of the central role of journalism in a democracy
  • Students develop the ability to adapt the skills of journalism to a variety of media
  • Students develop an understanding of the history and cultural impact of journalism
  • Students develop an awareness of their social and ethical responsibilities as information gatekeepers
  • Students develop an understanding of media law

Media

The Media concentration prepares students for a variety of careers in media and for graduate study.

Goals for the Media concentration:

  • Students develop an understanding of the role of the media in the construction of meaning in society
  • Students develop an understanding of basic media effects theories
  • Students develop media literacy skills to analyze messages
  • Students develop an understanding of the business of media and of comparative media systems
  • Students develop an understanding of the interactive relationship between media and society
  • Students develop skills for careers in the media, including research, writing, production, and critical thinking

Film

The concentration in Film, with its focus on history, theory, and criticism, prepares students for a variety of careers within the industry, as well as for graduate school.

Goals for the Film concentration:

  • Students develop an understanding of the role of film in society
  • Students develop an understanding of the history and theory of film
  • Students develop an appreciation for film aesthetics through the application of critical principles derived from film and aesthetic theory
  • Students develop basic production skills

Communication Studies

Communication Studies provides a broad-based approach to the study of human communication in a variety of settings, including interpersonal, group, organizational and presentational communication. The concentration prepares students for graduate study in communication and for careers in human and organizational development, training, politics, and related fields.

Goals for the Communication Studies concentration:

  • Students develop an understanding of the principles of various forms of human communication, including intrapersonal, interpersonal, group, rhetorical, political and organizational communication
  • Students develop an understanding of the role of communication in the development of meaning, relationships, gender, diversity and cultures
  • Students develop specific skills, such as public speaking, research, persuasion, team leadership, writing, conversation, listening, critical thinking, and related skills.
  • Students develop an understanding of organizational development and the role of communication within the organization