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Contact Information

Steven D. Koski, PhD
Chairperson
Professor of Communication

Phone: (973) 290-4327
Email: skoski@cse.edu
Office: Santa Maria Hall - Room 3J

Communication

Program Overview

Communication skills are essential to sharing information. The communication program is dedicated to fostering understanding among individuals and groups, within communities and across societies. The program is sensitive to protecting robust individual freedom in the Digital Age as well as to promoting responsible communication. It recognizes that individuals play an essential role as information consumers and organizations play an essential role as producers.

Major

The Bachelor of Arts in communication prepares students by providing them with significant life skills as well as with a broad range of career choices. The communication major helps students develop oral, written, and visual communication abilities along with the knowledge of computer technology required throughout business and government. An important goal of the program is to graduate students who have well-developed critical thinking ability essential for pursuing 21st century careers, but especially a career as a communication professional.

The communication major features specializations in mass communication and public relations, but students interested in a more general communication preparation may decide not to declare a specialization by combing communication course to meet their personal career objectives.

Minor

The communication program also offers a flexible 20-credit minor in communication.

A student may apply to become a communication major by obtaining an application from the program chair.

Outcomes

Students completing the major in communication are equipped with the experience and education to succeed in a broad variety of professional careers because of the major's emphasis on a liberal arts education that features strong oral, written and visual communication skills, along with a working knowledge of communication technologies. These careers include any profession that values highly-developed communication expertise. A communication degree is essential for professions in public relations, advertising, and print or electronic mass media.

The communication major stresses competencies in:

  • Oral communication as represented by students' ability to articulate the purpose and rationale for their senior project, explain its methodology and articulate their outcomes.
  • Written communication as represented by students' ability to plan, write and revise a substantive thesis-length project paper supported by evidence from library documents and other secondary sources.
  • Visual communication as represented by students' ability to design and construct a presentation poster in which they appropriately apply accepted principles of composition, semiotics, cognitive elements, image aesthetics and visual cues to convey information about their project and its outcomes.
  • Communication technology as represented by students' ability to use digital media as a tool to support the oral, written and visual communication outcomes of the capstone experience.

Mass Communication Specialization

Majors in the mass communication specialization achieve all of the outcomes listed for the communication major, plus demonstrate the ability to:

  • Apply the techniques and strategies of journalistic writing and editing where appropriate – standard grammar, punctuation and spelling and Associated Press style – to all forms of written content for mass audiences.
  • Evaluate the suitability of information content for a mass audience on the basis of its news value and for its compliance with accepted ethical and legal media practices.
  • Create original, factual, text-based content, and compelling visual stories using still and motion-imaging technology, and professional quality information "packages" for distribution to mass audiences.

Public Relations Specialization

Majors in the public relations specialization achieve all of the outcomes for the communication major, plus demonstrate the ability to:

  • Locate, synthesize, and evaluate information from relevant print, electronic, and human sources.
  • Understand and utilize oral, written and visual public relations tools needed to communicate successfully with an organization's internal and external publics.
  • Utilize critical thinking skills to conduct research using traditional and computerized methods as a means of evaluating and solving public relations problems.

Internship

Communication majors participate in a required off-campus professional internship. Popular internship experiences have included work with print and visual media, non-profit organizations, public relations agencies, with one of New Jersey's many radio stations, and frequently on television productions in New York City. Communication minors are required to take advantage of opportunities on campus to work with the campus newspaper, television studio, web publications or other communication-related activities.

Graduates

Students completing a degree in communication are equipped with the experience and education to succeed in a broad variety of professional careers because of the major’s emphasis on a liberal arts education featuring strong oral, written and visual communication skills along with a working knowledge of communication technologies. 

These careers include:

  • Human resources
  • Public relations
  • Marketing
  • Education
  • Mass media
  • And many other professions that place a high value on well-developed communication expertise.

Communication majors are also prepared for further graduate study.  Many communication graduates pursue a master's degree in a non-communication discipline at the College while others have gone on to graduate study in communication at such prestigious institutions as Seton Hall, Columbia and Rutgers universities.

Requirements

B.A. in Communication

Foundations

  • COMM 219 Mass Media (4) (F)
  • COMM 250 Writing for Converging Media (4) (S)
  • COMM 270 Visual Storytelling (4) (F)
  • COMM 355 Editing for Converging Media (4) (F)
  • COMM 411 Senior Capstone Experience (4) (F)
  • COMM 405 Media Law (even S) or COMM 410 Communication History (4) (odd S)
  • COMM 495 Professional Internship (1) (Y) - [Student teachers are exempt.]

Total: 25 credits

In addition to foundation courses, communication majors must complete an additional 12 credits of communication courses to complete the 37-credit major. Students may choose courses from one of the specializations in the major: mass communication or public relations. Or, with the approval of the communication faculty, students may mix and match courses from the two specializations with other approved communication courses.

Specialization in Mass Communication

  • COMM 209 Video Field Production (4) (F) (Prerequisite: COMM270 Visual Storytelling)
  • COMM 261 Television Production (4) (S) (Prerequisite: COMM270 Visual Storytelling)
  • COMM 367 Publishing on the Web (4) (S)

Total: 12 credits

Students may substitute one course from another specialization with communication faculty approval.

Specialization in Public Relations

  • COMM 225 Marketing Communication (4) (F)
  • COMM 351 Principles of Persuasion (4) (S)
  • COMM 362 Public Relations Writing (4) (F)

Total: 12 credits

Students may substitute one course from another specialization with communication faculty approval.

Other communication courses offered:

  • COMM 223 Public Speaking and Presentation (4) (Y)
  • COMM 243 Cross-Cultural Communication (4) (S)
  • COMM 280 Interpersonal Communication (4) (F)
  • COMM 390 Communication Practicum (1) (Y)
  • COMM 425 Special Topics in Communication (1-4) (Y)
  • COMM 430 Guided Projects, Research, or Study (1-4) (Y) (Adviser approval required)

Capstone Experience

College of Saint Elizabeth undergraduates are required to complete a capstone experience in their major near the end of their course of study. In communication, the capstone experience consists of a communication project and project paper followed by a public poster presentation, conducted through the major's required course COMM 411 Senior Capstone Experience.

Internship and Practicum

Communication majors and minors are both required to have professional experience before earning their bachelor's degree in communication. Students must earn 1 credit and do so by completing 120 hours of work with a supervising provider as a communication professional. The work may be split between multiple providers with the approval of the communication program.

For communication majors, an internship satisfies this requirement. The internship must be off-campus at a provider approved by the communication program.

For communication minors a "practicum" satisfies this requirement. The practicum may be with an on-campus provider approved by the communication program. Communication minors are permitted to complete their practicum off-campus.

Minor in Communication

  • COMM 223 Public Speaking and Presentation Skills (4)
  • COMM 250 Writing for Converging Media (4)
  • COMM 390 Communication Practicum (1)

And

  • Any 200-level or higher communication courses (4)
  • Any 300-level or higher communication course (4)

The two elective courses must be from the same communication concentration.

Total: 17 credits

Course Listing

Course Level: 1

COMM-121
American Classroom
Credit Hours: 1

This seminar is designed to help new international students become familiar and comfortable with American culture, both in and out of the classroom. Through reading, discussion, and role play, students will learn behaviors that will enable them to function smoothly and successfully in their college courses and in the larger world outside the classroom.

Course Level: 2

COMM-209
Video Field Production
Credit Hours: 4

Examines the techniques of camcorder video production outside of a studio setting. In small groups, using digital video camcorders, students will design, shoot and edit original projects. The documentary will be a major focus of the course. Required for Mass Communication specialization. Pre-requisite: Comm 270 Visual Storytelling or permission of the program

COMM-219
Mass Media*
Credit Hours: 4

The study of the structure and performance of the mass media in interaction with other institutions. Included in the course is a focus on mass media as communication systems. Required of all communication majors.

COMM-223
Public Speaking & Presentation
Credit Hours: 4

Evaluation and recognition of speech problems, patterns, adjustment, and strengthening of speaking skills. Students learn and practice the listening and speaking skills necessary for success in their college courses. They work and participate in class discussions and deliver oral presentations. PowerPoint presentation software is introduced and students learn how to deliver effective oral presentations using such visual aids. They also learn the effective use of voice and diction

COMM-225
Marketing Communication
Credit Hours: 4

A study of the strategies employed in and the application of the marketing process to achieve its goals of informing, influencing, and persuading through advertising, personal selling, direct marketing, sales promotion, and public relations. Both traditional and emerging methods will be discussed. Required for Public Relations specialization

COMM-243
Cross Cultural Communication*
Credit Hours: 4

Explores how culture shapes language, thought and behavior in the home, school and workplace. Application to interpersonal communication between cross-cultural groups will be explored

COMM-250
Writing for Converging Media
Credit Hours: 4

Introduces students to how technological and organizational convergence has changed the way information is communicated to mass audiences across multiple media platforms. Students will learn how to write factual stories for print, audio, video, and online media channels. Required for all communication majors

COMM-261
Television Production
Credit Hours: 4

The fundamentals of television production in lecture and practice. In lecture, basic terminology and concepts will be stressed. In lab, basic studio equipment operations and teamwork in developing productions will be the primary focus. Required for Mass Communication specialization. Pre-requisite: Comm 270 Visual Storytelling or permission of program

COMM-270
Visual Storytelling
Credit Hours: 4

Plan, shoot, and produce factual narratives using digital still photo and video equipment. While the emphasis will be on integrating text and visual storytelling techniques, students will also learn to use basic photo and video editing software to package stories. Required for all communication majors.

COMM-280
Interpersonal Commuication
Credit Hours: 4

In-depth examination of the various patterns and dynamics of interpersonal and small-group interaction. The course focuses on the practical application of theory within real-world situations using case studies. Additional class experiential activities include role-playing, observation, participation, analysis, and presentation

Course Level: 3

COMM-351
Principles of Persuasion
Credit Hours: 4

Study of communication as it is used to influence opinions, attitudes and behavior. Theories, strategies, and techniques of persuasion are examined. The focus is on leadership style, advertising techniques, ethics, and approaches to the theory/practice of persuasion so that we become more critical consumers of persuasion. Required for Public Relations specialization. Pre-requisite: Junior standing

COMM-355
Editing for Converging Media
Credit Hours: 4

Follow-up course to COMM 250 Writing for Converging Media. Students will learn how to package text and visual elements of factual stories for print, audio, video, and online media channels. Required for all communication majors. Pre-requisite: Comm 250

COMM-362
Public Relations Writing
Credit Hours: 4

A workshop approach to public relations writing in various settings. The course examines where public relations practices began and suggests where the field may be headed. Course content examines the dissemination of public information, public opinion analysis, and research techniques to establish psychographics. Applications in business, government, education, nonprofit organizations and politics will be discussed. Students will be able to apply the writing skills learned to business, professional and social communication. Required for Public Relations specialization. Pre-requisite: Comm 250.

COMM-367
Publishing on the Web
Credit Hours: 4

Developing content for Web publications. Examination of the convergence of print and broadcast media and the emerging forms of information delivery by computer. Students gain practical experience in electronic information gathering and in the production of the delivery of digital information content. Required for Mass Communication specialization. Pre-requisite: Junior standing

COMM-390
Communication Practicum
Credit Hours: 4

Practical experience in producing content for a mass audience through campus media or other organization. Media practicum opportunities are available through the campus newspaper, media services, and online publications as well as numerous other campus organizations. Required for communication minors. Permission of the communication program is required

COMM-395
Professional Apprenticeship
Credit Hours: 4

Practicing communication in an approved career-related field. Professional apprenticeship is a structured approach supervised by the program's apprenticeship coordinator and an on-site supervisor at the organization. One hour of credit requires 30 hours of on-site work in the apprenticeship environment. Communication majors are required to have four credits of apprenticeship unless they are double majoring in communication and education. Credits may be split between two providers. Required for all communication majors. Students seeking apprenticeships must follow the procedures established by the program and the College.

Course Level: 4

COMM-405
Media Law
Credit Hours: 4

Communication Law explores the laws that regulate communication in the United States within the context of our constitutional guarantee of free speech and free press. Copyright, regulation, public access to government information and censorship are covered. Required for all communication majors unless Comm 4-is taken. Pre-requisite: Junior status.

COMM-410
Communication History
Credit Hours: 4

Examines the development of communication technology and its impact on our society and culture. Study includes the earliest known forms of written communication, and includes books, newspapers, magazines, cinema, radio, television, and the World Wide Web. Required for all communication majors unless Comm 405 is taken. Pre-requisite: Junior standing

COMM-411
Senior Capstone Experience
Credit Hours: 4

This is the capstone course for communication majors. Students devise, conduct and complete a challenging mass media project. Students also have the opportunity to apply their communication skills to practical situations in potential business and professional environments. Also, career development strategies in communication are discussed. Required for all communication majors. Pre-requisite: Senior standing

COMM-425
Special Topics in Communication
Credit Hours: 4

Exploration of an area of contemporary interest in communication. Offered as needed. The topic for any given semester will be determined by the faculty. May be counted as a communication elective in either area of specialization. Pre-requisite: at least one 200- and at least one 300-level communication course

COMM-430
Guided Projects,Research, or Study
Credit Hours: 4

This course permits the student to pursue an area of communication study that is otherwise not offered. The student will study under the direction of a program faculty member. Work may be undertaken in conjunction with other programs. Guided Projects, Research, or Study cannot be substituted for a course in the communication program without prior approval of the program. Pre-requisite: at least one 200- and at least one 300-level communication course and permission of the program

COMM-491
Independent Study:
Credit Hours: 4

Who We Are

Founded in 1899 by the Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth, the College of Saint Elizabeth has a strong tradition of concern for the poor, for developing leadership in a spirit of service and social responsibility, and a commitment to the promotion of women as full partners in society.

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