The Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies with Concentration in Digital Communication will require students to take a total of 9 credit hours (three selectives) from courses offered by the School of Communication, only one of which may be chosen from courses listed at the 300 level. A 300 level course would require the approval of the program advisor, and additional work will be assigned by the course instructor and approved by the School of Communications to raise the course to a graduate level.
Graduate Level courses
COMM 400 Introduction to Digital Media (3 hours). This course will introduce students to the theory, history, and production of digital media. Students will learn theoretical and technical skills to understand the design and usability of websites from several perspectives: how they look (aesthetics), how they work (navigability and usability), and how they are made (tools and software). Through this course, students will be able to better understand, design, create, and assess current and future developments in emergent digital media. Students will describe and analyze the ways the press, popular culture, business, and scholars tell stories about and through new media; understand, summarize, and critique some of the major theoretical approaches; create artifacts that demonstrate their role as an effective, responsible, and ethical prosumer (producer/consumer) of new media.
COMM 405 Narrative Communication Techniques (3 hours). What goes into writing a good story? There is a large body of literature in humanities that explores narrative communication techniques and reader and audience responses to stories. This course will give students a basic understanding of narrative theory and its evolution to present day. It will also emphasize the idea that telling a good story begins with having something to say and a purpose for telling it to someone. Students will learn that thoughtful choices about different narrative forms are necessary when producing content for various new and digital media. Students will read, write and practice narrative techniques on electronic modes of communication once they have learned time-tested ideas about maintaining the integrity of narrative structure based on content, form of delivery and intended audiences.
COMM 420 Digital Production: Telling Stories (3 hours). Traditional word-based platforms, moving images and digital media all share many storytelling elements, yet each requires specific skills to effectively construct a story and reach an audience. This lab-based course will introduce students to production techniques for digital storytelling. Students will acquire knowledge of videography, sound recording, video and audio editing, web design, and interactivity. Students will learn how to find compelling stories, set scenes and develop ways to present non-fictional characters. Students will use narrative techniques to craft informative and influential non-fictional stories designed for their professional purposes in advertising, journalism or documentary production. In doing so, students will learn to use digital tools to produce work that can be cast to audiences through multiple formats.
COMM 425 Audiences and Distribution (3 hours). This course will explore online audience behavior and measurement. Students will use analytics to understand user activities and to drive improvements in distribution performance. In the course of their development, students will come to understand intellectual property protection, self-publication, bandwidth issues, usability, file formats, social sharing, security, syndication, and mobile delivery. Current trends in economic models for online content will be addressed. The overall objective of this course is for students to understand digital audience behavior and the legal, marketing, and economic environment for finding ideal audiences and distributing digital content.
COMM 430 Digital Design (3 hours). A new course that focuses on web design, mobile design, advanced photo editing.
Undergraduate Level (Extra work will be assigned)
COMM 307 Communication and Social Change (3 hours). This course explores the communication strategies used to promote and/or resist significant socio-political change. Students will demonstrate an understanding of how communication is used in particular societal struggles to effect socio-cultural change at an individual, community, institutional or global level.
COMM 311 Health Communication (3hours). This course focuses on the growing field of health communication. Building on students’ knowledge of public relations, advertising, communication, and marketing, this class aims to help students develop an area of specialization that offers career opportunities in many settings. Through guest speakers and field trips, the class is designed to provide an overview of what health communicators do and where they work.
COMM 312 Special Events Planning (3 hours). In this course, students will gain hands-on experience in event planning. Students will also learn to anticipate and execute the needs of an organization or community planning special events.
COMM 313 Corporate and Organizational Communication (3 hours). In this course, Students will learn the theory and practice of responsive and strategic organizational communication in developing corporate identity and image.
COMM 318 Writing for Public Relations (3 hours). This course focuses on PR strategies, and writing for the public across a variety of media platforms. Students develop competency writing and editing news releases, pitch letters, fact sheets, public service announcements, newsletters, and Web content to develop an individualized portfolio.
COMM 322 Guerilla Media (3 hours). This course covers the history and theory of alternative forms of journalism, film, art and digital media production, and explores how the term guerilla has been appropriated for various methods of distribution, promotion and audience participation.
COMM 323 Remixing Culture (3 hours). This course explores remix culture, meaning the exchange of cultural artifacts, and the recreation/reproduction of culture directly or indirectly influenced by another medium. Students will create projects that involve mashing up media using various web-based and mobile media creative tools, web-based editing, live online broadcasting, and various means of online presentation.
COMM 327 New Media Campaign (3 hours). In this course, students will create integrated digital campaigns for real-world clients, combining techniques from the fields of marketing, advertising, and public relations.
COMM 340 Politics and the Press (3 hours). This course is a study of the dynamics between politics and the press, including its impact on campaigns, elections, and public policy.
COMM 360 Digital Media Ethics (3 hours). This course is designed to familiarize students with a new set of ethical dilemmas that have sprung up in the last decade with the rise of “new media.” Using classical ethical theories, students will formulate appropriate and responsible solutions to ethical dilemmas emerging in a new/digital media context.
COMM 373 Digital Storytelling Abroad (3 hours). This course is restricted to Santiago Study Abroad participants. Participants will learn and execute multimedia storytelling in an international setting. This course will help students enhance their video, writing, interviewing, photography, and editing skills in the colorful and cosmopolitan city of Santiago, Chile. Students will use a mix of media that may include text, still images, audio, and video.