COM 6: Messages, Meaning, and Culture (4)
Required lower division core course for all majors and minors.
Counts for GE requirement, "Common Inquiries: Understanding Society."
We recommend students take this course by the end of their second year at Westmont, as it is a core course, a prerequisite for other courses, and lower division. We recommend that transfer students take this their first semester on campus (or as soon as they know they want to declare communication studies as a major). This is a theory course that demonstrates the centrality of communication in our perceptions of reality. The course offers paradigms by which to decode and critique our message-dense society, and reviews issues of language and meaning.
COM 15: Public Speaking (4)
Required lower division core course for all majors.
Counts for GE requirement "Common Skills: Speaking Intensive."
We recommend students take this course by the end of their second year at Westmont. Transfer students often complete this course prior to enrolling at Westmont as it is a required course for most California universities.
A performance class that presents principles of public speaking with classroom evaluation of speeches.
Primary emphasis will be on student performance and understanding of basic speech theory.
COM 98 Introduction to Communication Research (4)
Required lower division core course for all majors. We recommend students complete this course by the end of their second year at Westmont, or by the end of their first year as a transfer student. The pre-requisite for this course is *any* communication studies course (we recommend Com 006 Messages, Meaning, and Culture).
Introduction to social scientific and humanistic approaches to the study of communication, including both qualitative and quantitative methods.
COM 101 Theories of Rhetoric and Communication I (4)
Required upper division core course for all majors and minors, and fulfills the GE requirement, "Common Skills: Writing." Prerequisite is COM 6. Examines the philosophy and importance of rhetoric as the art of discourse. Draws from classical and biblical sources. Covers the first two canons of classical rhetoric.
COM 102 Theories of Rhetoric and Communication II (4)
COM 101. Completes the study of rhetoric with the last three canons
and then reviews more contemporary theories of communication, especially non-verbal studies.
COM 103 Communication Criticism (4)
This course fulfills the GE requirement, "Common Skills: Writing Intensive."
Prerequisites: COM 006 and COM 098. A writing class which uses a rhetorical lens to criticize discourse, applying the theories of Aristotle, Burke, and Bormann, among others.
COM 110 Interpersonal Communication (4)
Prerequisite:Com 098 or other approved research methods course.
Examines theory and practice of one-on-one communication within casual, professional, familial, and intimate relationships.
Attention given to social roles, relational development, communicator responsibility, verbal and nonverbal messages, gender, and interpersonal conflict management.
COM 115 Advanced Public Speaking (4)
Prerequisite: COM 15. An intensive study of the theory, preparation, delivery, and criticism of public
speaking. The course includes public speaking opportunities both inside and outside the classroom.
COM 125 Mass Communication (4)
This course fulfills the GE requirement, "Competent & Compassionate Action: Research."
Prerequisite: COM 098 or other approved research methodology course (including research courses in other disciplines). Examination of the social and cultural impact of mass media (print, radio, television, film, new technologies), especially upon politics, public discourse, education, and religion.
COM 127 Group Communication and Leadership (4)
Theory and practice
of communication in a variety of small-group contexts. Attention given
to roles, conformity, decision-making, leadership, and group climate. Special emphasis given to group and leadership dynamics in the church, as well as diverse community and support groups.
COM 129 Persuasion and Propaganda (4)
This course fulfills the GE requirement, "Competent & Compassionate Action: Productions and Presentations."
Prerequisite: COM 098 or approved research methods course (including research courses in other disciplines).
The study of motivation and influence by various perspectives (rhetorical, philosophical, psychological) and by contexts (interpersonal, group, campaigns, and macrosocietal).
Includes examination of historical and contemporary propaganda.
COM 130 Argumentation and Advocacy (4)
Examines the philosophy,
structure, theory and practice of argumentation as a counterpoint to the
easy credulity of the modern age. Includes experience in advocacy and debate.
COM 133 Conflict and Reconciliation (4)
How might human communication enable peacemaking both internationally and interpersonally?
Emphasis on dialogic perspectives, role of power, face needs, cultural differences, communication of forgiveness, and symbolic constructions of enemies.
COM 134 Conflict and Reconciliation Case Studies (4)
This course examines in-depth cases and contexts in communication, conflict, and reconciliation, and is offered as part of a travel abroad program. Previous off campus programs have included Northern Ireland, South Africa, and the Middle East. Mayterm 2014 will include Northern Ireland and East/West Berlin.
COM 135 Studies in Public Discourse (4)
Prerequisites: COM 098 or POL 040 or approved research methods course.
History through a communication lens examines the controversies, social movements, and persuasive strategies that have contributed to the American experience. The rhetoric of rebellion, abolition, revival, and civil rights will be studied.
COM 138 International Rhetoric (4)
This course fulfills the GE requirement, "Common Inquiries: Thinking Globally."
Examines the philosophy, ethics, and meaning of “wisdom” as articulated in the rhetorical traditions of Africa, Asia, and South America. The class will offer comparative explorations of these intellectual traditions with modern and postmodern understandings of knowledge, the self, and the meaning of life.
COM 140 Studies in Communication Ethics (4)
The ethical issues and legal constraints related to communication situations will be studied.
Sometimes the course will emphasize case studies from the news, advertising, and entertainment industries. Other times the course will focus
more broadly on communication dilemmas, with a focus on issues relat-
ed to freedom of speech.
COM 145 Organizational Communication (4)
Prerequisites: COM 098 or any approved research methods course (including research courses in other disciplines).
The study of profit and non-profit organizations, including the study of power, leadership, teamwork, gender, and the nature of work in a fast-paced, technological, global work environment. Many theoretical and historical perspectives are explored, including scientific management, systems and networks, interpretive and cultural approaches, and critical and postmodern questions of corporate colonization.
COM 148 Postmodern Narratives (4)
Seminar exploration in communication theory and postmodern thought, paying special attention to cultural narratives. Film and other texts are used to further explore and illustrate the theories and perspectives. Students are invited and expected to shape the discussions as well as participate in them. Typically Meets Once a Week, for 3 ½ Hours.
COM 190 Practicum (2-4)
Prerequisite: COM 006 and COM 098. Practical field experience, in the form of an internship with an organization in the local community, is paired with coursework and an applied research project. Coursework emphasizes relating learning in the discipline of communication with learning in the organization, as well as historical and contemporary approaches to vocation and calling.
COM 195 Special Topics (4)
A variety of special topics will be offered periodically, including, Politics and the Media, and Technology and Rhetoric.
COM 196 Senior Seminar (2)
Prerequisite: Senior standing. This course asks students to look back at their studies in communication at Westmont and to look forward living out ideals and skills after graduation. Students will consider issues related to “telling the truth,” book-driven conversation, biblical principles for communication, and the rhetoric of vocation.
COM 196R Senior Seminar-Research (4)
This course fulfills the GE requirement, "Competent & Compassionate Action: Research." Course content dovetails with COM 196, but includes the completion of a major research project.
COM 198 Independent Research (2-4)
Prerequisites: Junior or Senior standing; instructor consent.
Guided research on appropriate issues in communication studies culminating in a major paper.
If you would like to do independent research, you should initiate this conversation by coming up with a proposal that you then share with the professor you'd like to direct your research.
This class is not a tutorial -- you must be self-motivated, reliable, genuinely interested in your topic, and able to work independently. When you are motivated and excited about your topic, and when you are doing research you love, you will enjoy the experience.
When you work with your professors you may find yourself an author of a publication or a presenter at a conference!