Opportunities for Com Majors
Off Campus Programs
There are many exciting and challenging Off Campus Program Opportunities that work well with a Communication Studies major. There are also many programs that work well for your second major, your minor, or for general education. Here is a list of programs that are specific to the major:
American University of Paris - Global Communications
These courses provide students with substantive knowledge based on current research, with practical skills and analytical ability to understand (and play an active role in) the complex dynamics of communication at global, local, and individual levels. Students stay in various housing options in Paris near the University. Most courses are taught in English, but students may take French language courses. Check with your advisor to see which courses you would like to take and how they will fit into the major (or minor) requirements.
American University Washington Semester, Washington, D.C.
Students have the opportunity to serve in internships in thirteen different tracks including national politics, foreign policy, economic policy and justice, journalism, and a number of other fields. Participants come from over 200 affiliated colleges and universities in the U.S. and from 28 international institutions. A limited number of Westmont students will be nominated for consideration for the program each semester.
American Studies Program
This program serves as an experiential learning laboratory for students committed to connecting their faith to public affairs. Each student completes an internship and takes a course in Leadership and Vocation. "Sharing similarities while respecting differences may just be the one test you never knew you’d be taking. ...you will engage in what it means to be in community and to be a leader. Continue this conversation as you interact in a dozen on-site visits with expert scholars and policy makers. INTERNSHIPS, professional mentorship and service opportunities offer the chance to further define your vocation. You have a heart for cultivating change that will better our world. There is no better place to start than at ASP in Washington, D.C. Being a catalyst of change starts the moment you meet your roommates. It is planted in your words as you tutor an at-risk child and becomes rooted in the active role you play in your internship. Guided by mentorship, community engagement and fellowship with others, this is change that will bear the best fruit."
The Hague, Netherlands (University Studies Abroad Consortium) - Communication Management
The program offers the opportunity to enroll in courses in the area of Communication Management through The Hague University's European Studies Programme. You will find that THe Hague is a crossroads of cultures with well over one hundred nationalities represented, making your study abroad experience truly diverse. Courses are taught in English. Students are required to take an Introduction to Dutch Culture and Society, which includes organized fields trips within the Netherlands. Check with your advisor to see which courses you would like to take and how they will fit into the major (or minor) requirements.
Los Angeles Film Studies Center
Located in the Los Angeles area near major studios, this semester-long program combines seminar courses with 20-24 hour per week internships in various segments of the film industry, providing the opportunity to explore the industry within a Christian context and from a liberal arts perspective. Two required seminars focus on the role of film in culture and the relationship of faith to work in this industry. A variety of elective courses in film studies are available.
NYU Buenos Aires, Argentina - Global Media, Journalism, and Cinema
New York UniversityBuenos Aires offers students the exceptional opportunity to learn about the people, history, culture, politics, and economy of Argentina while living in one of South America's most vibrant cities. Courses are taught in Spanish and English by some of Argentina's most talented scholars, journalists, and renowned writers and musicians. All students at NYU Buenos Aires take a Spanish language course at their appropriate level upon arrival or, if advanced, an elective in the language.
Westmont in San Francisco
Many communication studies majors spend a semester in San Francisco. The program combines living and working in a unique urban setting, offering an opportunity for the study of cultural, ethnic, political, and business-oriented aspects of modern society. While enjoying the relative security and intimacy of a self-determined community, students reside in the heart of the city. The core of the program is a pre-professional internship that involves a minimum of 24 hours each week. Communication alumni have done field and office work at television station KTVU, public relations work for non-profit and for-profit organizations, chaplain duties at San Francisco General Hospital, and design and journalism work with San Francisco Magazine and Star 101.3 Radio. Four of the eight internship units may be counted toward major electives, and many students take advantage of advanced writing and film studies courses that also count as major electives.
Mayterm courses also offer students the opportunity to get off campus, travel with a small group, and learn intensively and experientially. For the past several years, Professor Deborah Dunn has offered a Mayterm abroad course in even numbered years (2002, 2004, 2008, 2010, 2012, and 2014). The typical course of study involves a study of conflict and reconciliation (in Northern Ireland, mostly, though trips have also included South Africa, Germany, and Israel/Palestine).
There are many opportunities to be recognized for good work at Westmont - some based on your standing as you begin your first year, and some based on awards given at commencement. In the Communication Studies Department, we offer awards and opportunities for more challenging work for honors students.
Senior of the Year
Each year we recognize one student for academic achievement both in communication studies and in their general and other studies at Westmont. Typically, the senior of the year has achieved a near-perfect GPA in communication courses, but contributions to the department and fellow students are considered as well.
Lambda Pi Eta
Lambda Pi Eta is the official communication studies honor society of the National Communication Association (NCA). As a member of the Association of College Honor Societies, Lambda Pi Eta has over 400 active chapters at four-year colleges and universities worldwide.
Westmont students are invited to join when they've completed at least 60 units overall, at least 12 com units, have achieved a minimum GPA of 3.25, and are ranked in the top 1/3 of their class.
In-course honors are sometimes offered by the professor. If offered, you will do a bit of extra reading, meet more frequently with the professor and other students, and do some additional work in the class. When you complete in-course honors, it is noted on your transcript. You might ask, if the course is challenging already, why make it harder? Perhaps another way to view in-course honors might be, "I am already deeply interested in this subject -- I wonder how much more I can learn?"
Some students are motivated by doing high level research, writing, and working somewhat independently. If you desire to go above and beyond what you'd be expected to do in the classroom, or you have a particular research interest, talk to one of your professors about completing an honors thesis.
An internship is a supervised work experience related to a student's major or career goal for which the student earns academic credit. The work experience is part-time, paid or unpaid, and off-campus. What distinguishes an internship from a short-term job or volunteer work? Intentional learning takes place in the form of a self-directed learning plan. The plan is put together in consultation with a faculty advisor and the supervising employer. Westmont interns participate in a concurrent seminar on campus in order to read about and discuss issues of calling as well as to process both verbally and in writing the work experience in a community of peers. Internships are made available to juniors and seniors in the fall and spring semesters.
You may earn internship units through other, related departments, or you may enroll in the departmental internship course. You may also earn internship units at other colleges and transfer them in, or on a variety of off campus programs.
Your professors are usually engaged in research that is of particular interest to them -- sometimes they need assistance, and sometimes they're willing to share their journey with you. Ask them if they need help or would like to help you do research in similar areas.
Also, students are often excited by what they're learning in class or have theories they'd like to explore. In this case, you may approach a professor to direct a research project for you. You may sign up for a one-semester project, or an honors thesis, or small "bites" of research along the way. When you earn academic units for research, you also may earn major elective units. Doing research is highly recommended for students considering a future in graduate school.