Strategic Communication

  • Bachelor of Arts in Communication Arts
    • Emphasis

    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.

    Scholarships

    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.

    Faculty & Staff

    Faculty

    Eun-A Park, Ph.D. headshot
    Associate Professor of Communication Arts
    Phone: 970.943.2265
    Office Location: Taylor Hall 222C
    Toni Todd headshot
    Lecturer in English & Communication Arts
    Phone: 970.943.7050
    Office Location: Taylor Hall 212C

    Courses

    FOR REQUIRED COURSES AND DEGREE PLANS, VISIT THE OFFICIAL UNIVERSITY CATALOG. This is a sample of courses offered by Western Colorado University. To ensure the courses you need are offered during the current semester, please visit the university course search.

     BUAD 270 - Principles of Marketing (3 credits)

    An introduction to the fundamental concepts of marketing, including consumer demand and behavior, segmentation, advertising, marketing research, product development, distribution, pricing, the internet as a marketing agent, and global marketing issues. The student is exposed to the most basic tools, factors, and marketing principles administered by management in establishing policy, planning, and complex problem solving. Prerequisites: ENG 102 with a minimum grade of "C-" and completion of at least 24 credits; or instructor permission.

     BUAD 333 - Organizational Behavior (3 credits)

    Provides students an understanding of human behavior in organizations today. Students will become familiar with the basic dimensions of organizational behavior covering topics such as leadership, motivation, management of people, and group dynamics. The course stresses an experimental approach as well as the personal nature of the material and how this relates to the complexities of behavior in and of organizations. Prerequisite: BUAD 309 or COM 202; or instructor permission.

     BUAD 335 - Marketing Communications (3 credits)

    Advertising, sales promotions, media utilization, public relations, and personal selling are highlighted in this course. Legal regulations and ethical considerations in mass media advertising and promotions are also covered. Finally, the student is exposed to the principles of planning and budgeting for such media events. Prerequisites:MATH 140, MATH 141, or MATH 151 with a minimum grade of ÒC-Ó; ACC 201 with a minimum grade of ÒCÓ; BUAD 270; or instructor permission.

     BUAD 345 - Consumer Behavior (3 credits)

    Utilizing theories from the behavioral sciences, this course provides an in-depth examination of the individual customer learning and decision-making processes, segmentation, as well as culture, subculture, and social class relationships with marketing. Students develop an understanding of consumer's shopping behavior, utilization of different marketing channels, perception of products, and reactions to advertising and other selling methods. Prerequisites: completion of Base Curriculum; BUAD 270; or instructor permission.

     COM 151 - Introduction to Mass Media (3 credits)

    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 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 ÒC-.Ó

     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 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 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 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 nonprofit media and arts organizations, and to the interrelationship between those two areas. Prerequisite: junior standing or permission of the instructor.

     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 241 and COM 274, or instructor permission.

     COM 371 - Small Group and Conflict Management (3 credits)

    An exploration of various concepts and types of conflict and the role of argumentation in managing and/or resolving conflict. The study examines the theory and practice of communication within small groups, as well as 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. Examples of specific areas covered include formal debate, negotiation, and arbitration. Prerequisite: COM 202.

     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. Prerequisite: junior standing.

     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 274.

     PSY 258 - Introduction to Personality (3 credits)

    An examination of the fundamental theories of personality including the psychoanalytic, trait, behavioral, social-learning, humanist and existential perspectives.

     SOC 380 - Social Inequalities (3 credits)

    An examination of major theories and concepts associated with social inequality as well as the causes and consequence of social inequality. The historical and contemporary aspects of social inequality in the United States are explored. Forms of resistance to social inequality are also considered. Prerequisite: SOC 101 with a minimum grade of ÒCÓ.

     SOC 399 - Internship (1 to 6 credits)

    Sociology internships provide Sociology majors of junior and senior status with opportunities to work on sites off campus in the areas of law enforcement and social services. The experience must meet standards set by the College and by the sociology faculty. Up to three hours of internship credit may be counted toward the major. Graded Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory only.

  • Bachelor of Arts in Communication Arts
    • Emphasis

    Strategic Communication students analyze complex organizations and their use of applied communication in connecting with their audiences. Students build critical thinking skills, hone their writing and develop strong presentation skills on their way to becoming charismatic and decisive leaders in the professional world. Beyond the classroom, students have access to Western’s state-of-the-art media production facilities and make connections with off-campus organizations searching for innovative students.

    What Will You Learn? What Skills Will You Acquire?

    In Western's Strategic Communication program, you'll study the theories and techniques of communication between organizations and their constituencies. You'll build critical thinking skills, writing and presentation techniques, while broadening your perspectives and adapting your decision-making skills to the professional environment.

    Beyond the Classroom

    We offer students regular interaction with local, off-campus organizations searching for the next best idea in public relations campaigns, fundraising and events management.

    After Graduation

    Our graduates have continued on to work in public relations and advertising firms, governmental agencies, arts organizations, recreation centers and positions in corporate and non-profit organizations.