Courses 2013-2014

COM 119  Introduction to Film  3 credits
Students are introduced to the Aesthetics of narrative and documentary motion pictures through the study of the basic elements of cinema. Topics may include story structure, cinematography, editing, sound, and lighting.

COM 121  Introduction to Theatre   3 credits
This course will include a general survey of Western theatre from Classical Greece to contemporary America. Students will learn the diverse practice of the art of theatre by studying theatre history, dramatic literature, and the practical components of acting, directing, design, and production.

COM 151   Introduction to Mass Media   3 credits
An examination of the media-related industries in America (broadcasting, journalism, advertising, public relations and online communications), how they work, and the issues related to those industries that affect contemporary public discourse.

COM 197   Special Topics  1-6 credits

COM 202   Academic Writing and Inquiry  3 credits
Students expand on the process and techniques begun in Academic Writing.  Primary focus is on analytical written communication and on advocacy oral communication.  Also included throughout the course is the reading of relevant academic professional writing, which promotes student awareness of the role of written and oral communication in academic and professional life.  Prerequisite:  ENG 102  with a minimum grade of “C-.” 

COM 205  Communication Arts I   3 credits
This course is a study of the theory and associated terminology of visual communication including the application of concepts to film, theatre, and convergent media. Topics include aesthetics, design elements, mimesis, performance, semiotics and introduction to the primary techniques of the various communication arts. Prerequisite: ENG 102 with a minimum grade of "C-".

COM 216   Dramatic Literture and Script Analysis 3 credits
This course will introduce students to the diverse genre of dramatic literature in Western and Eastern theatre. We will study the origins of tragedy, comedy, melodrama, the rise of Realism and Anti-Realism, as well as the sub-genres within those general categories. We will also study Eastern traditions of text such as Kabuki, Noh, and Bunraku. Students will learn how to read a play on a deeper level for content, themes, historical and socio-political influences, as well as the emerging and changing aesthetics of each genre. Prerequisite: ENG 102.

COM 231   Technical Production I  3  credits
A study of how things are done behind the scenes in theatre and film and why they are done that way, including the basic customs and traditions of production work and the philosophy, aesthetics, and process of production. Intensive hands-on development of skills in the construction of sets, costumes, lights, sound, and props; the operation of rolling units, lights, flies, and sound; and production assistant duties.

COM 235   Fundamentals of Acting  3 credits
An introduction to the principles, processes, and techniques of acting. The study is designed to balance theory and performance; to explore in detail the psychological, perceptual, and conceptual linkages to the strategies, techniques, and skills of the actor; and to develop a significant sense of self-discipline on the part of the actor. Topics include warm-up and awareness skills, basic body and voice integration techniques, the theories of Stanislavski, character analysis, and performance process.

COM 241   Media Writing  3 credits
An analysis and practice of the major forms of media writing, including print, broadcast and web-based publication, with an introduction to the ways that production varies the writing of each. Prerequisite: ENG 102 with a minimum grade of “C-.”

COM 261   Introduction to Audio Communication   3 credits 
This course introduces the basic concepts, functions and technology of audio production as they relate to the elements of narrative and storytelling. Prerequisite: COM 119, COM 121, or COM 151; or instructor permission.

For experienced students working with faculty supervision in the College radio station or television facilities. Students improve their specialty skills while working with the practical applications of the media.

COM 264   Introduction to Production and Theory  3 credits
An introduction to the theory and practice of media production including critical and aesthetic theories. Topics may include scriptwriting, producing, directing, cinematography, sound recording, editing, and standards of operation for production facilities and equipment. Prerequisites: COM 205, COM 261, and sophomore standing, or instructor permission.

COM 274  Public Relations Communication   3 credits
A study of the use of communication to establish credibility, trust, and confidence between and among communities, employees, public agencies, civic organizations and business institutions.

COM 284  Sophomore Portfolio   1 credit
A course in which students familiarize themselves with the requirements for the Communication Arts program and related capstone project, formulate specific goals, and prepare strategies through which those goals can be achieved. Students will develop an awareness of field-specific expectations required of them in professional or graduate-level work, and develop a plan for creating a portfolio that reflects that awareness. A part of the course consists of formally applying for admission to the Communication Arts program. Prerequisite or corequisite: COM 205 or instructor permission.

COM 297   Special Topics  1-6 credits

COM 298   Practicum  1-4 credits
Entry-level supervised experiences in theatre, organizational communication and journalism/ mass media.  Prerequisite: instructor permission.

COM 305   Communication Arts II  3 credits
An exploration of the philosophical and theoretical foundations of human communication, concentrating specifically on textual analysis and interpretation. Using a wide range of media, students will investigate how the particular method of communication informs, alters, and shapes the messages being consumed, and how those messages both constitute and affect self-expressive acts. Prerequisites: COM 205 and admission of the Communication Arts Program; or instructor permission. 

COM 306   Scriptwriting  3 credits
An introduction to the fundamental tools and skills required to craft a script for performance on stage or in film/video.  Students are expected to produce playscripts and screenplays of varying lengths; they are also expected to read and respond to one another’s writing.  Some history of playwriting and study of prevailing models of scriptwriting are also included.  Prerequisites: COM 205 and COM 222, or ENG 205, with a minimum grade of “C.” 

COM 310  Introduction to Performance Studies  3 credits
An interdisciplinary course exploring the human desire to perform in both aesthetic and everyday settings. It explores the links between the arts and literature, anthropology, communication, sociology, and philosophy. Critical reading, written analysis, and performance of literary texts are essential elements of the course. 

COM 317   Studies in the History of Performance Traditions  3 credits
An introduction to performance studies research and artistic practice through readings, discussion and creative work. Prerequisites: junior standing and instructor permission.  Repeatable for a maximum of six credits among different topic areas. 

COM 323   Media/Arts Management  3 credits
An introduction to the basic principles and structure of management as it applies to Communication Arts. Particular focus is given to management of small and mid-size  non-profit media and arts organizations, and to the interrelationship between those two areas. Prerequisite: junior standing or permission of the instructor.

COM 324   Advanced Acting  3 credits
An advanced-level course that focuses on specific areas of actor training, including methods of voice and movement training; the requirements and techniques of different styles of acting including classical, Elizabethan, Restoration/18th Century, Commedia, and Advanced Contemporary acting styles; and advanced textual analysis required of actors by specific theatrical works.  Repeatable for a maximum of six credits among different topic areas.  Prerequisite: COM 235.

COM 327  Performers for Social Change  3 credits
An in-depth look at the role of performance, predominantly theatre, for social change and community activism.  Students learn about the historical movements combining performance and social change, study the theories behind the practice influenced by Paulo Freire and Augusto Boal, and have hands-on opportunities to train their own performance and writing skills in this manner.  Prerequisite: instructor permission.

COM 330   Technical Production II  3 credits
An intermediate-level study of lighting and sound production for theatre and film.  Instruction is provided in the proper rigging of light and sound equipment, use of control consoles and software, optics, basic electrical theory, the nature of light, and acoustics.  The design and aesthetic use of light and sound are also explored.   Prerequisite: COM 231 or instructor permission.

COM 343   Persuasive and Expressive Writing on Public Issues  3 credits
A writing course that draws upon the analysis and practice of both editorials and features as interpretive responses to issue-related topics in print and electronic media.  Prerequisite: COM 241 or instructor permission.

COM 346  Multimedia Communication  3 credits
An exploration of the theory and application of multimedia communication principles through projects that use common interactive multimedia, animation, non-linear editing, web authoring, and desktop-publishing programs. Prerequisites: COM 205, or instructor permission.

COM 351 Media Theory and Research 3 credits
An examination of media from a theoretical, organizational perspective. Topics covered include departmental functions and duties, programming, formats, regulations and finances. Also, in the context of media theory, empirical data is explored. Prerequisite: COM 214 and COM 274, or instructor permission.

COM 352 Advanced Cinema Studies  3 credits
An in-depth study of the aesthetics and theory of cinema through the examination and critical analysis of the technical and creative elements of selected iconic Hollywood and international motion pictures.  Prerequisite: Junior standing. 

COM 362 Advanced Audio Production  3 credits
An in-depth study of audio design and production for film, radio, television and live theatre. Prerequisite COM 261,

COM 371 Argument and Conflict Management  3 credits
An exploration of various conceptions and types of conflict and the role of argumentation in managing and/or resolving conflict. The study examines problem solving and decision making as common contexts in which argument occurs and conflict arises, and a continuum from formal to informal modes of conflict management/resolution is discussed and practiced by the students. Specific areas covered include formal debate, negotiation, arbitration, and the legal system.

COM 372   Issues Management  3 credits
An exploration of the communication practices and strategies used by organizations to react to current events, publicity, and society. Emphasis is placed upon persuasion, media relations, and information campaigns.

COM 378  Peer Leadership  2 credits
A course providing students theoretical foundations, practical knowledge and skills development for leadership with specific on-campus programming. Prerequisite: instructor permission.

COM 389  Media Production: Narrative  3 credits
An introduction to the theory and practice of the field-based production of narrative films. Topics emphasized may include fictional story, cinematography, lighting, sound, editing, and production management.  Prerequisite: COM 264 with a minimum grade of “C.”

COM 390  Media Production: Documentary  3 credits
An introduction to the theory and practice of producing nonfiction works, including conventional documentary forms and autobiographical or experimental works.  Topics may include actual story, cinematography, lighting, sound, editing, and production management.  Prerequisite: COM 264 with a minimum grade of “C.”

COM 392   Independent Study in Communication and Theatre   1-6 credits
A detailed study in a specific area of communication and theatre, emphasizing individualized approaches toward development of creativity and scholarship. Prerequisites: junior or senior status and 10 credits in Communication Arts.

COM 397   Special Topics  1-6 credits

COM 398   Practicum  1-4 credits
Supervised applications and experiences in communication and theatre. Students assist, analyze, manage, and participate in various aspects of practical situations or job training. Prerequisites: instructor permission and completion of one of the following: COM 241 COM 261 or COM 298

COM 405 Communication Arts III   3 credits
A multi-disciplinary and multi-media course offering significant historical, theoretical, and practical content by which to explore and discuiss how meaning is conveyed in communication. Special emphasis is given to the nature of oral communication in oral societies and to the nature and function of myth, symbol, sign, and inferential reasoning. Prerequisites: COM 305 or instructor permission. 

COM  406 Advanced Screenwriting and Producing   3 credits
Students are immersed in advanced screenwriting projects and pitching for independent feature film, television drama and situation comedy. Producing content may include such topics as contract law, releases, copyright, fair use, ethics, location and talent management, production management, and other administrative subject matter pertaining to film and television production. Prerequisite: COM 306 with a minimum grade of “C”. 

COM 423   Presentational Aesthetics  3 credits
An examination of the theatrical performance convention from the perspective of the adaptor, director, and performer. This course offers invigorating challenges for the director, dramaturg, actor, and designer who will work collaboratively to explore presentational mode, theatrical convention, and conscious artifice in the performance of dramatic literature, poetry, nonfiction, and prose fiction. Prerequisites: COM 231, COM 235, COM 310 and  minimum junior standing; or instructor permission.

COM 431  Integrated Design for Media and Performance  3 credits
A study of designing visually for the stage and screen, with an emphasis on a unified look and a single intense effect. A strong emphasis on script analysis as a basis for design.  Additional information on visual research for theatre and film including location scouting and contextual research into the background of the story.  Hands-on development of skills in generating graphic communication of design ideas is included.  Prerequisite: COM 231 or instructor permission.

COM 474   Campaign Planning in Advertising and Public Information 3 credits
An analysis of the many facets of information campaign planning. It explores concepts like persuasion and audience behavior, researching attitudes and effectiveness, campaign objectives and strategies, media choices, and relevant social and ethical issues. In addition, students are expected to build their own information campaigns. Prerequisite: COM 374.

COM 484 Communication Arts Seminar   2 credits
A capstone course in which students complete their individual Communication Arts portfolios, based upon their cumulative work through the COM program and guided by their specific career or graduate school goals. The seminar provides an opportunity for students to work individually, in small groups, and with the instructor to evaluate the overall effectiveness of their finished portfolios, and revise accordingly, utilizing the critical techniques, cultural awareness, and technical skills students have developed throughout the COM program. Prerequisite: COM 30 

COM 490   Advanced Media Production 3 credits
Students are immersed in advanced project work.  Topics may include cinematography, lighting, grip, electrical, special effects, visual effects, sound effects recording, sound design, and animation.  Prerequisite: COM 389 or COM 390 with a minimum grade of “C.”

COM 497   Special Topics 1-6 credits

COM 499   Internship in Communication and Theatre 1-12 credits
Prerequisite: instructor permission.