Communication Arts

Careers

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Courses

For required courses and degree plans, visit the official University Catalog. Below is a general overview of courses at Western Colorado University related to this area of study.

 COM 119 - Introduction to Film (3 cred.)

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 cred.)

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 cred.)

An examination of media-related industries (broadcasting, journalism, advertising, public relations and online communications), and the issues related to those industries that affect contemporary public discourse.

 COM 205 - Communication Arts I (3 cred.)

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 241 - Media Writing (3 cred.)

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 ÒC-.Ó

 COM 264 - Introduction to Production and Theory (3 cred.)

An introduction to the theory and practice of media production including critical and aesthetic theories. Topics may include script writing, 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 cred.)

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 cred.)

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 of applying for admission to the Communication Arts program. Prerequisite or corequisite: COM 205 or instructor permission.

 COM 305 - Communication Arts II (3 cred.)

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 to the Communication Arts Program; or instructor permission.

 COM 405 - Communication Arts III (3 cred.)

A multi-disciplinary and multi-media course offering significant historical, theoretical, and practical content by which to explore and discuss 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 484 - Communication Arts Seminar (2 cred.)

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 305

Faculty & Staff

Faculty

Kelsey L. Bennett, Ph.D. headshot
Honors Program Director
Phone: 970.943.7021
Office Location: Taylor Hall Honors Center 110A
Ian  Curry, MFA headshot
Technical Director of Media and Lecturer in Communication Arts
Phone: 970.943.2147
Office Location: Taylor Hall 225C
Steven Cole Hughes, MFA headshot
Director of Theatre and Assistant Professor of Communication Arts
Phone: 970-943-3029
Office Location: Taylor Hall 212 D
Mike King, J.D. headshot
Instructor in Behavioral & Social Sciences Department
Phone: 970.943.2041
Office Location: Taylor Hall 208B
Jack Lucido, MFA headshot
Professor of Communication Arts, Director of Film Studies, Chair of CALL Department
Phone: 970.943.3052
Office Location: Taylor Hall 216
Maria del Carmen Moreira, M.A. headshot
Lecturer in Spanish
Phone: 970.943.2262
Office Location: Taylor Hall 225A
Eun-A Park, Ph.D. headshot
Associate Professor of Communication Arts
Phone: 970.943.2265
Office Location: Taylor Hall 222C
Terry Schliesman, Ph.D. headshot
Professor of Communication Arts
Phone: 970.943.2036
Office Location: Taylor Hall 212E
Jeffrey Taylor, Ph.D. headshot
MGES Grosland Director
Phone: 970.943.2285
Office Location: Quigley Hall 230
Toni Todd, MFA headshot
Lecturer in English & Communication Arts
Phone: 970.943.7050
Office Location: Taylor Hall 212C

Scholarships

Program-Based Scholarships

Beta Engineering/Jess Gern Scholarship

Eligibility

  • An outstanding student in the Communication Arts, Languages & Literature Department
  • Student must be a junior majoring in Communication or Theatre
  • Must have a 3.0 GPA or better

Description

This scholarship is provided by Bob Austin, President of Beta Engineering Company in Austin, Texas. Bob is an alumnus of Western Colorado University, who established this endowment fund to honor Dr. Jess Gern, then Chairman of the Arts and Humanities Department, and to show his appreciation to the College.

Award depends on funds available.

Selected by: The Communication Arts, Languages & Literature Department.

Application:

Contact the CALL Department for application and deadline information.

970.943.2025 | Taylor Hall 216

Institutional Scholarships

Common Scholarships

Western offers approximately 70 common scholarships for which a wide variety of students are eligible (e.g., locals, veterans, transfers). Apply for any number of these common scholarships using Western’s Common Scholarship Application, which is due April 1. For more information, visit western.edu/scholarships.

Early Action Credit

If a student is accepted to Western by Nov. 1 and qualifies for a merit scholarship, the student will receive an additional $500 for the first year. Use our Net Price Calculator to determine whether you qualify for a merit scholarship.

Mountaineer Alumni Recommendation Scholarship

Western Colorado University alumni can nominate prospective students for a $500 scholarship ($250 per semester) for first year only. Application deadline is typically June 1. For more information, visit western.edu/mars.

Neighboring States Program

Students with a permanent address from one of the seven contiguous neighboring states to Colorado who have demonstrated financial need are automatically considered for a special $1,000 per year grant, totaling $4,000 over four years.

The Western Neighboring States program can be added to WUE, CP or merit scholarships. So, if you are a permanent resident of one of those seven states—and show financial need—you are eligible.

For more information about the Neighboring States program, visit Western’s Tuition Discount Programs Page.

Presidential Promise

The Presidential Promise is guaranteed to students who have received a scholarship through the Denver Scholarship Foundation (DSF) and/or GearUp—and are eligible for a Pell Grant.

For students who meet these criteria, Western will cover the cost of tuition and fees through the combination of federal, state and institutional aid. For more information on the Presidential promise, visit western.edu/scholarships.

Tuition Discount Programs

Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) or Central Plains (CP) tuition represents a substantial savings relative to normal, out-of-state tuition. Students eligible for the WUE or CP program will be charged 150% of Western’s total in-state tuition. For 2018-19, total in-state tuition was $8,934. WUE/CP tuition was $13,401. The WUE/CP discount is valued at $4,695.

For more information about the WUE and CP geography-based programs, visit Western’s Tuition Discount Programs Page.

Western Merit Scholarship

Immediately upon acceptance at Western, every student is considered for a merit scholarship worth between $2,500-$4,500 per year for in-state students and $8,000-$10,000 for out-of-state students. The amount is based on the student's GPA and ACT/SAT scores. Visit our Net Price Calculator at western.edu/cost to determine whether you qualify for a merit scholarship. 

For more information about merit scholarships at Western, visit western.edu/scholarships.

Get Involved

A college education is more than just taking courses. Meet new people, apply your skills and stretch beyond your comfort zone. Make your education an experience.

  • KWSB Radio: On air since 1968, KWSB is student driven, student staffed and open to anyone who wants to have their own radio show. 
     
  • Mountaineer Media: A student-run media production group specializing in short films, screenings and storytelling abilities.
     
  • Western Theatre Company: A co-curricular program and student-run producing board that oversee and provide quality live performance to the campus and Gunnison community.
     
  • Taylor Media Center: Houses film production studios, audio production studios and more.
     
  • Top o' the World Newspaper: Monthly paper composed by students offering opportunities in newswriting, photography, editing, designing and advertising sales.

The Communication Arts major offers the hands-on training required for a career in one of the many professions that shape our nation’s culture. Communication Arts students learn to analyze written, oral, visual and electronic messages from historical, critical and social science perspectives. All the while, students craft, edit and disseminate stories for artistic and functional expression.

Learn More

Reach out for more information about the program.

Jack_Lucido
Professor of Communication Arts, Director of Film Studies, Chair of CALL Department
Phone: 
Office Location: 
Taylor Hall 216

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