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    James Madison University
   
 
  Feb 18, 2018
 
 
    
2017-18 Undergraduate Catalog

Communication Studies Minor


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Dr. Eric M. Fife, Director
Dr. Toni S. Whitfield, Assistant Director
Phone: (540) 568-6228
Email: fifeem@jmu.edu
Location: Harrison Hall, Room 1276
Website: http://www.jmu.edu/commstudies

Professors
M. Alemán, P. Bsumek, E. Fife, C. Hickerson, S. Mazzarella, L. Nelson, S. Opt, R. Soenksen, T. Whitfield

Associate Professors
C. Alemán, T. Ball, A. Bodkin, L. Britt, H. Carmack, S. Richards, D. Schill, C. Woo

Assistant Professors
M. Brigham, M. Broderick, M. Davis, L. Harvell-Bowman, K. Hobson, Y. Kim, L. Kristiansen, S. Meganck, J. PeeksMease, J. Rosier

Lecturers/Instructors
E. Armstrong, A. Brickner, J. Briscoe, A. Dupal, A. Ewing Goodman, J. Gochenour, G. Hazard, J. Krauklis, P. Mabrey, L. Mayfield, A. Noland, A. Reid, C. Saindon, S. Taylor Mayhak 

Mission

The School of Communication Studies promotes an academic environment in which students, faculty and staff develop innovative communication practices and facilitate constructive dialogue in the classroom and community to inspire responsible citizenship in a diverse world. We are committed to the teaching of communication theory and criticism, the development of communication and advocacy skills, the research of communication processes and practices, and the application of generated knowledge about human communication toward the betterment of self and community.

Accordingly, members of the School of Communication Studies strive to create a learning environment whereby:

  • Individuals are academically well-rounded, diverse in experience and reflective in their methods, research, and skill sets for approaching communication;
  • Scholarship is communication focused, but inter-disciplinary in approach, and produces meaningful dialogue within our academic disciplines and communities;
  • Professional service, outreach to communities, and advocacy for human betterment is valued by and from each individual.

Goals

As the school offers courses and programs in communication studies, the school seeks to fulfill the following goals:

  • To prepare all JMU students who take a communication studies course to use oral communication skills effectively.
  • To prepare students with a major or minor in communication studies for graduate and professional study as well as for careers in communication and communication-related professions.
  • To provide co-curricular opportunities which enhance and reinforce communication competencies for all JMU students.

Career Opportunities and Marketable Skills

Students of communication studies develop skill competencies required for effective interaction and leadership in communities, workplaces and groups. Some of these skills include:

  • Speaking
  • Interacting in small groups
  • Using nonverbal communication skills such as use of space, voice, gaze and facial expressions
  • Constructing persuasive messages and campaigns
  • Using computers for word processing, statistical analysis, desktop publishing, graphic design, web page construction and browsing the Internet
  • Analyzing communication at all levels including interpersonal, small group and organizational
  • Persuading successfully
  • Using language effectively
  • Writing effectively
  • Mediating and resolving conflicts
  • Listening and problem solving

Such careers are part of the following fields:

  • Consulting
  • Entertainment
  • Hospitality Industry
  • Management
  • Personnel
  • Politics
  • Sales
  • Teaching

Study in communication studies also serves as valuable pre-professional preparation for graduate and professional studies in the following fields:

  • Communication
  • Counseling
  • Law
  • Management
  • Ministry

Students who study communication studies acquire skills that enable them to interact with others effectively. These skills include:

  • Speaking in front of groups
  • Interacting effectively in small groups
  • Using nonverbal communication skills such as use of space, voice, eyes and facial expressions
  • Constructing persuasive messages and campaigns
  • Using computers for word processing, statistical analysis, desktop publishing, graphic design, web page construction and browsing the Internet
  • Analyzing communication problems at the organizational level
  • Persuading successfully
  • Using language effectively
  • Writing effectively
  • Mediating and resolving conflicts

Co-curricular Activities and Organizations

To enhance courses and programs in communication studies, the school offers a variety of co-curricular activities and organizations open to all JMU students. Co-curricular activities involve practical communication experiences for which credit is available, either through the various practicums or one of the school's applied courses. Co-curricular organizations are student clubs and honorary societies associated with the school's individual programs of study.

Activities

  • Annual Communication Studies Conference: Annual program highlighting undergraduate scholarship in which students deliver professional presentations to the JMU community on a variety of topics that reflect the diverse research methodologies and areas of study in the School of Communication Studies.
  • Debate Team: Affords students interested in debating intercollegiate tournament competition and local audience experiences.
  • Individual Events Team: Intercollegiate tournament competition and local audience experiences for students interested in public speaking and the oral interpretation of literature can be acquired through individual events team participation.

Organizations

  • Delta Sigma Rho-Tau Kappa Alpha: A chapter of a national honorary organization for students competing in intercollegiate debate and individual events.
  • International Association of Business Communicators: A chapter of a national organization for students and professionals interested in business communication and public relations.
  • Lambda Pi Eta: A chapter of a national honorary organization for students interested in communication.
  • Destination Imagination: Students interested in effective conflict resolution and mediation skills can participate in the activities.
  • Public Relations Student Society Association: An award-winning student organization for students pursuing careers in public relations.
  • Health Communication Institute: Students interested in effective communication with health communication professionals can work with the institute in a practicum or directed project.
  • Institute for Constructive Advocacy and Dialogue: An cross disciplinary organization whose goal is to bridge the gap between the university and the broader community through outreach, community service, research and scholarship centered on productive communication processes and efforts.Students can work as trained dialogue facilitators.

Admission to the Major

Admission to JMU does not guarantee admission to the School of Communication Studies. All students interested in majoring in the program must apply for a limited number of spaces while first completing SCOM 240  and SCOM 241 . In order to register for these classes, students must change their major to "SCOM declared" to register for SCOM 240  and SCOM 241 .

The School of Communication Studies reviews applications for admission to the major each semester. Students must submit their applications (which can be accessed from the SCOM website and submitted by email) in the semester in which they are completing the SCOM 240  and SCOM 241  requirements. Applications are due by November 15 (fall semester) and April 15 (spring semester). Students who have applied by the above deadlines will be notified of the department's admission decision at the end of the semester in which they complete the SCOM 240  and SCOM 241  requirements.

Admission to the major is based on availability to the most qualified students as determined by performance in SCOM 240  and SCOM 241 . It is possible for a student to be accepted into the major but not into their first choice concentration.

Students who are not admitted may file one more additional application in the next regular semester. Students reapplying must apply in two consecutive semesters of enrollment at the university. If a student reapplies after retaking SCOM 240  and SCOM 241  (whether repeat or repeat/forgive), the school will look only at their highest grades earned when evaluating their second application.

Successful completion of a major in the School of Communication Studies requires, at the very least, a minimum of four semesters after a student is fully admitted to the school. Depending upon the student's particular circumstances and degree progress, more than four semesters may be required for completing the major. Once admitted to the School of Communication Studies, a student cannot retroactively apply more than nine hours of SCOM courses, including SCOM 240  and SCOM 241 , to his/her major (SCOM 121 /SCOM 122 /SCOM 123  does not count towards those nine hours).

Policy for Students Transferring from Another Institution

Students applying from other institutions are held to the same policies and guidelines as other applicants. However, once admitted to the School of Communication Studies, transfer students may petition for SCOM credit for courses taken at previous institutions. As with other applicants, they cannot retroactively apply more than nine hours of SCOM courses taken at JMU, including SCOM 240  and SCOM 241 , to their major or minor once admitted to the School of Communication Studies.

Minimum Grades

Any course taken to fulfill a degree requirement in communication studies must be completed with a minimum grade of "C-".A communication studies course completed with a grade of "D," may be credited toward graduation but may not be included as course work toward a communication studies major or minor. Additionally, courses completed with a grade less than "C-" will not count as fulfilling prerequisites for future courses, and enrolled students may be administratively removed from courses for which they have not completed a required prerequisite with a grade of "C-" or higher.

Limitations in Applied Courses

No more than six hours combined credit in SCOM 318. Practicum in Communication Studies , SCOM 390. Directed Projects  and SCOM 495. Internship in Communication Studies  may be counted toward a major in communication studies unless approved by the academic unit head.

Double Counting

Students with a communication studies major are allowed to count toward the major a maximum of six hours of credit earned to satisfy requirements in another major or minor.

Minor Requirements


Admission to the Minor


Admission to JMU does not guarantee admission to a minor in the School of Communication Studies. All students interested in minoring in the program must apply for a limited number of spaces while first completing SCOM 240  and SCOM 241 . In order to register for these classes, students must first submit their application for an SCOM minor. Applications can be accessed on the SCOM website and must be submitted by email. The School of Communication Studies reviews applications for admission to the minor each semester. Students who have applied will be notified of the department's admission decision at the end of the semester in which they complete the SCOM 240  and SCOM 241  requirements.

Admission to an SCOM minor is based on availability to the most qualified students as determined by performance in SCOM 240  and SCOM 241 .

Students who are not admitted may file one more additional application in the next regular semester. Students reapplying must apply in two consecutive semesters of enrollment at the university. If a student reapplies after retaking SCOM 240  and SCOM 241  (whether repeat or repeat/forgive), the school will look only at their highest grades earned when evaluating their second application.

Successful completion of any minor in the School of Communication Studies requires, at the very least, a minimum of two semesters after a student is fully admitted to the School. Depending upon the student's particular circumstances and degree progress, more than two semesters may be required for completing the minor. Once admitted to the School of Communication Studies, a student cannot retroactively apply more than nine hours of SCOM courses, including SCOM 240  and SCOM 241 , to his/her minor. Also, once admitted to an SCOM minor, a student cannot automatically transfer into the SCOM major without reapplying in a subsequent semester, and there is no guarantee of acceptance.

Communication Studies Minor


A minor in communication studies requires 18 hours of course work in communication studies beyond the General Education  requirement, including SCOM 240 SCOM 241  and a minimum of nine hours at the 300 level and three hours at the 400 level. Before a student begins a minor in communication studies, the school director and the student's adviser must approve his/her planned program of study.

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