College of Continuing Professional Studies

CCPS Communication Course Descriptions

Level 100 Courses:
COMM 111: Communication with the Deaf (Signing)
COMM 112: American Sign Language II

Level 200 Courses :
COMM 202: Oral Interpretation I
COMM 208 Introduction to Argumentation and Debate 
COMM 211: Presentational Speaking
COMM 215: Foundations of Communication Theory
COMM 220: Business Communication and Writing
COMM 221: Multimedia Writing
COMM 229: Business and Professional Presentations
COMM 231: Principles of Advertising and Public Relations
COMM 236: Rock and Roll: A Survey
COMM 237: Music and Politics
COMM 238: Socialhistory of Comic Books
COMM 285: Communication and Ethics

Level 300 Courses:
COMM 332: Intercultural Communication
COMM 340: Advertising and Public Relations Research and Strategy
COMM 342: Interpersonal Communication Theory
COMM 351: Principles of Persuasion and Influence
COMM 353: Mass Media and Society
COMM 387: Organizational Communication.

Level 400 Courses:
COMM 421: Strategic Media
COMM 422: Argumentation and Advocacy
COMM 433: Strategic Writing for Advertising and Public Relations
COMM 441 Advertising/PR Campaigns
COMM 442: Rhetorical Criticism
COMM 489: Professional Seminar

COMM 290, 390, 490: Selected Topics
COMM 291, 292, 391, 392, 491, 492: Research.
COMM 397, 398, 497, 498: Internship


COMM 111: Communication with the Deaf (Signing). 3 hours.

Course will deal with basic instruction of fingerspelling and American Sign Language (Ameslan) to allow students to communicate expressively and receptively with the deaf.

COMM 112: American Sign Language II. 3 hours.

A continuation of COMM 111 for the purpose of learning and maintaining the skills needed for expressive and receptive communication through the use of sign language. 

COMM 202: Oral Interpretation I. 3 hours.

Oral interpretation is the emotive performance of the printed page. Through in-class projects, this class explores the tenets of recitation and dramatic delivery as well as the assessment of literary aesthetics and performative form. The evaluation of interpretive personae and historical merit also are explored.

COMM 208: Introduction to Argumentation and Debate 3 hours.

This course helps students develop the foundational knowledge and skills needed to become effective critical thinkers and communicators. Students will examine different types of argument structures and logical fallacies, learn how to evaluate and use evidence in constructing persuasive cases, and develop skill in refuting claims orally and in writing. Readings, discussions, and case studies will explore the interconnectedness between argumentation strategies and communication context. This course prepares students for participation in competitive debate experiences and other public advocacy roles.

COMM 211: Presentational Speaking. 3 hours.

Principles and practice of effective oral communication. This course focuses on researching, composing, and delivering formal and informal presentations. Topics include ethics and public speaking, listening, research, analyzing and adapting to audiences, message construction, outlining, delivery of messages, effective use of visual aids, and critically evaluating public address. The course emphasizes informative and persuasive speaking.  Designed for students who seek to improve speaking and critical thinking skills.

COMM 215: Foundations of Communication. 3 hours.

Introduction to the fundamental questions, methods and theories that define the communication discipline and communication professions. Students also will survey approaches to the study of interpersonal relationships, organizational dynamics, public discourse, mass media and cultural criticism as well as the history and development of the communication field. This introduction will help students make informed decisions about the focus and trajectory of their study and career. 

COMM 220: Business Communication and Writing. 3 hours.

Topics considered in this course include basic principles of effective oral and written communication, a brief survey of standard English grammar and usage, and the forms and styles of business correspondence. 

COMM 221: Multimedia Writing. 3 hours.

Provides a writing foundation for multiple media disciplines, including print journalism, broadcasting, web and public relations. Students will learn about compiling information effectively for audiences and presenting content through social media.

COMM 229: Business and Professional Presentations. 3 hours.

Designed to familiarize students with communication skills in a variety of organizational, business and professional settings. Practice in planning and doing oral presentations effectively.

COMM 231: Principles of Advertising and Public Relations. 3 hours.

Introduction to the fundamental principles of message development in integrated marketing communication campaigns. Students will learn to analyze brand messages as well as articulate the role of media buying, creative strategy, promotional techniques and community relations in campaign design. This is a foundational course for students completing the advertising and public relations major.

COMM 236 Rock and Roll: A Survey. 3 hours.

An overview of rock and roll by placing it within the context of social history from the 1950s to the present time.

COMM 237: Music and Politics. 3 hours.

Seminar-style course. Provides an overview of the intersection of popular music and politics with a focus from the mid-1970s to contemporary times.

COMM 238: Social History of Comic Books. 3 hours.

Seminar-style course based on weekly reading and written assignments. Provides an overview of the intersection of comic books with American popular culture and history. A research component (consisting of researching for books, magazine/journal articles and newspaper articles) also is integrated into the course, thereby providing an added dimension. An annotated bibliography also is required and prior approval of bibliography topic is necessary.

COMM 285: Communication and Ethics. 3 hours.

Introduction to ethics in communication studies. Students examine conceptual perspectives for understanding and evaluating communication ethics in interpersonal relationships, small groups, organizations and intercultural contexts. This course is designed to stimulate the moral imagination, reveal ethical issues inherent in communication and provide resources for making and defending choices on ethical grounds.

COMM 332: Intercultural Communication. 3 hours.

A survey of critical and qualitative inquiry into intercultural communication.  This course provides an introduction to the tenets of intercultural research as well as in-depth analysis of intercultural communication competency and cultural criticism.  Topics include introductory readings in ethnography, social anthropology and communication studies, and numerous case studies across various cultures.  Theories include nonverbal communication analysis and facework across cultures.  Diversity issues and identity politics are explored.

COMM 340: Advertising and Public Relations Research and Strategy. 3 hours.

Prerequisites: COMM 215, COMM 231 or permission of instructor.
Focuses on strategic thinking and research skills in the development of advertising and public relations messages and campaigns. Students will learn how to gather and interpret primary research that supports an understanding of audience attitudes, behaviors, knowledge and media consumption habits. Students will draw on research and theory to develop integrated communication proposals that solve the needs of business and/or nonprofit organizations.

COMM 342: Interpersonal Communication Theory. 3 hours.

Prerequisite: COMM 215.
Interpersonal communication is the process of interacting with someone on a one-to-one basis. This class will provide a survey of theories and research that define the field of interpersonal communication within specific relationships and contexts. Topics include social support, rituals, relational maintenance and termination, compliance gaining, sex and gender differences, relational intrusion, face management and conflict.

COMM 351: Principles of Persuasion and Influence. 3 hours.

Prerequisites: COMM 211, COMM 215 or permission of instructor.
A study of the persuasive process in contemporary culture. Students study basic theories of persuasion and public speaking in an effort to become responsible consumers and creators of public persuasion. Practical applications are made by presenting persuasive speeches and critical projects.

COMM 353: Mass Media and Society. 3 hours.

The history and current status of mass media in America, including newspapers, magazines, books, motion pictures, the recording industry, radio and television. Students will also explore theories and research examining the effect media have upon society. 

COMM 387: Organizational Communication. 3 hours.

Prerequisite: COMM 215.
Analysis of how organizations are produced and affected by communication. This course provides an in-depth examination and application of theories, contemporary perspectives and research in fields of organizational communication. Topics include organizational structures, culture, socialization, decision making, diversity, stress, burnout, technology processes and leadership.

COMM 421: Strategic Media. 3 hours.

Prerequisites: COMM 215, COMM 221, COMM 231.
Strategic media choices make it possible to connect messages and audiences. In this course students will learn how to create effective media plans by developing their knowledge of media research tools, media buying, audience segmentation and audience measurement. The roles of traditional and new media will be examined, with particular attention given to the opportunities and metrics associated with social media.

COMM 422: Argumentation and Advocacy. 3 hours.

Prerequisite: COMM 211.  
The First Amendment coupled with our marketplace of ideas mentality requires that competent communicators get and practice critical-thinking skills.  Argumentation and Advocacy explores these skills in tandem with the public discourse vehicle.  Students are required to examine and deploy various approaches in making and evaluating arguments in a public setting.  Theories explored include transmission models of communication, Stephen Toulmin’s model of argumentation and critical theory as it is applied to communication studies and the professions.

COMM 433: Strategic Writing for Advertising and Public Relations. 3 hours.

Prerequisites: COMM 215, COMM 221, COMM 231.
A writing-intensive course where students learn to produce highly targeted messages for key publics including media representatives, customers, donors and other organization stakeholders. Student will develop skills in information gathering, editing, critical thinking and audience analysis through the production of advertising copy, news releases, direct mail packages, public service announcements and other strategic communication tools.

COMM 441: Advertising/PR Campaigns. 3 hours.

Prerequisites: COMM 340, COMM 433.
“Campaigns” is the culminating professional experience for the advertising and public relations major. Using a case study created by a real-world client, the course gives students the opportunity to integrate previously acquired knowledge and skills in the area of integrated marketing communications. Student teams model an agency setting to develop a comprehensive campaign to be presented both orally and in plans book form.

COMM 442: Rhetorical Criticism. 3 hours.

Recommended prerequisites: COMM 215, COMM 351.
Rhetorical Criticism is a writing-intensive course that teaches students how to critically analyze and evaluate public discourse. Attention is given to the logical, aesthetic, political and controversial components of public discourse designed to influence belief, affect social change and craft cultural identities. Topics include the scope and function of rhetoric in contemporary culture, various approaches to rhetorical criticism, and contexts for criticism including politics, religion and social movements.

COMM 489: Professional Seminar. 3 hours.

This is a professional capstone course that requires students to demonstrate the knowledge and skills they have acquired as advertising/public relations majors. Students will produce a professional portfolio, resume, cover letter, and other critical career building tools. Course topics include personal branding, professional networking, job interviewing, and contract negotiations.

COMM 290, 390, 490 Selected Topics. 1-3 hours.

COMM 291, 292, 391, 392, 491, 492.Research.

COMM 397, 398, 497, 498 Internship

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