The strategic communication major prepares students for careers in profit and nonprofit contexts. Courses develop critical thinking, written, oral, visual communication and presentation skills in the creation of research-driven integrated communication proposals. Account services, media planner, copywriter, media relations, event planning, social media strategist, fundraising/development and communication specialist are a few of the career opportunities for Strategic Communication majors. Students are encouraged to complete one or more internships to sharpen their professional skills and identify specific career interests.
The strategic communication major requires a minimum of 42 credit hours.
All prerequisites must be completed prior to enrollment in the following courses.
Core Courses (18 hrs.)
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 message, effective use of visual aids and critically evaluating public address. The course emphasizes informative and persuasive speaking. Designed for students who seek speaking and critical thinking skills.
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.
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.
Prerequisite: COMM 211, COMM 215. 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.
A capstone experience for students majoring in strategic communication, organizational and leadership communication, and multimedia production and journalism. Over the course of the semester, students will develop, execute and present projects that reflect the highest performance standards of their major area of study. Additionally, the course will prepare students for the transition from student to working professional (or graduate student) through the creation of career planning and development tools. Students will develop portfolios that serve as an integrated and documented album of knowledge and skills in communication and liberal arts studies.
Students will learn about linear, integrated, and nonlinear storytelling approaches using multiple multimedia formats, including short-form video/animation, photo stories, and Web posts. Students will develop individual projects, one for each medium, as well as an integrated project over the course of the semester. This digital foundations course will expose students to basic video/animation and photo editing, Web design, and storyboarding.
Major Requirements (21 hrs.)
Provides a writing foundation for multiple disciplines, including print journalism, broadcasting, web and public relations. Students will learn about compiling information effectively for audiences and presenting content through social media.
This course will highlight the changes taking place in the world of integrated marketing communications – the process of communicating to promote products, services, and ideas. No longer is it just print or broadcast images connecting with audiences; skilled marketers must understand the importance of social media and the power of the audience. COMM 231 will introduce you to the communication tools, techniques, and media that practitioners use to design strategies to connect with audiences.
Prerequisite: COMM 215, COMM 231. 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 businesses and/or nonprofit organizations.
Prerequisite: COMM 221. Explores audience engagement on the Internet, teaching students basic web-design and social media skills. Using media-usage theory as a guide, students will develop an overall online communication strategy and web presence that incorporates interactivity and new ways to tell stories. Serves as the capstone experience for the Web Communication and Design minor.
This course will introduce to research design, execution, and data analysis in promotional settings. Students will also work through a series of case studies to train them for today’s fast-moving environment. Today’s brand managers must understand how to dissect a variety of scenarios to connect authentically with their target audiences.
COMM 435 provides an introduction to foundational principles, theories, contemporary perspectives, and research in the fields of organizational crisis and change. Topics include planning, decision making, leadership, teamwork, and management issues in organizational crisis and change contexts.
Electives (3 hrs.)
This course familiarizes students with the foundations skills of graphic design from sketch through comprehensive design. It introduces vocabulary, research, typography, design process, and exploration of design elements and principles through visual design problem solving. Students will develop presentation skill and familiarity of professional tools and techniques. This course will introduce the student to industry standard software applications and critical analysis of design work through written and verbal presentations.. Studio fee required.
Activities associated with KDRU, the student radio station, as well as Internet and web-based projects.
This activities class gives students the chance to develop creative solutions in the event planning process. Hands-on projects will allow students to develop public relations skills as they use their imagination to solve the challenges of promoting organizations as well as planning and hosting events.
Practical activities associated with The Mirror (student newspaper).
Prerequisite: COMM 226 or prior experience approved by instructor. Students work with the instructor to identify relevant multimedia projects for Drury University, the Springfield community, and/or DUTV. Students will coordinate studio or field productions and take story content into post production to generate programming for broadcast. This applied learning environment allows students to oversee video production projects from start to finish.
A survey of federal, state and municipal laws governing freedom of speech and commerce in journalism, public relations and advertising, with an exploration of ethical guidelines for professional behavior.
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.
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.
Communication and Civic Engagement (CCE) offers comprehensive training in oral, written, visual, and digital communication for the twenty-first century. It unites these various modes under the flexible art of communication and uses communication both to strengthen communication skills and to sharpen awareness of the challenges and advantages presented by oral, written, visual, and digital modes.
Interns must have at least 60 credit hours, completed appropriate coursework and have a minimum GPA of 2.5 prior to registering for academic credit. Also, approval must be obtained from the student's faculty sponsor and required forms must be completed by the deadline. Note: *Architecture, Music Therapy and Education majors do not register internships through Career Planning & Development. These students need to speak with his/her advisor regarding credit requirements and options. S/U grading.
Prerequisite: DAY-None. CCPS-ENGL 150. Students intensively investigate modern English grammar and usage. The course acquaints students with models of understanding and teaching grammar and with opportunities for experimenting with a variety of styles.
Senior Portfolio Requirement
All communication majors, and those planning to declare a major, must keep a file of important assignments completed in communication courses and in the general education program. Items to be placed in the file include any written assignments graded or evaluated by the instructor, written projects, speeches, internship projects and audio/video materials. The contents of the file will be used to develop a senior portfolio, a course requirement in COMM 493 senior seminar. The senior portfolio is a reflective document that provides evidence of a student’s learning achievements and it may be used to facilitate career planning, job search activities and/or admittance to graduate study.
Students pursuing a major in Strategic Communication may not also major in Organizational and Leadership Communication, or Multi-Media Production and Journalism, or minor in Communication.