2009-2010 Undergraduate Catalog - Belmont University

Course Descriptions

Communication Studies Courses (COM)

COM 1000. Communication Studies Seminar (0). Required for all communication studies majors. This zero credit seminar is offered each fall semester. Students should enroll in the seminar during the freshman year, or upon transfer to the university. The seminar is designed as an orientation to the communication studies program and to provide an opportunity for assessment of student skills and interests. Grades are awarded on a Pass/Fail basis.

COM 1090. Listening (3). Provides and understanding of the importance of effective listening and the complexities of listening as a communication behavior, drawing on theory from a number of fields, and focuses on the development of the skills needed at various levels of interaction.

COM 1100. Fundamentals of Speech Communication (3). Enhances student skills in development, presentation and consumption of human communication with an emphasis on public speaking.

COM 1950-4950. Studies Abroad (3-18). Study in a foreign country. Individual course titles and locations are assigned for each course taken. See Studies Abroad program for details.

COM 199-499. Special Studies (1-3).

COM 2010. Forensics (1). Students may earn 1 credit hour per semester of participation with Belmont Speech and Debate Team. Students may enroll each semester, but may earn no more than a total of 3 credit hours. Participation includes regular attendance at practice sessions and participation in forensic tournaments and will be evaluated on a pass/fail basis.

COM 2020. Argumentation and Debate (3).  This course focuses on argumentation and critical thinking skills with emphasis on analysis, evidence, reasoning, constructing and refuting claims. Students will receive both theoretical background and practice in debate.

COM 2100. Voice and Diction (3). A study of the production of speech as it applies to American English as a spoken language. Designed to improve speech patterns through application of vocal mechanics and appropriate diction techniques.

COM 2140. Family Communication (3).Family relationships are often the most intense and personal of all human connections. This course invites students to explore the nature of communication in these complex webs of involuntary relationships. Through research, film, music and self-analysis, students will have the opportunity to study family communication in a variety of cultural and socio-economic contexts and make practical applications to their own experience.

COM 2200. Persuasion (3). Prerequisite: COM 1100. Provides advanced skills in the development of messages that aim to influence human behavior, attitudes and values.

COM 2230. Teamwork in Organizations (3). This course explores the use of teams in organizational settings. It provides students with the knowledge and practice of the methods and techniques of effective leadership and participation in committee work, informal groups and business conferences.

COM 2340. Business and Professional Communication (3). Prerequisite: COM 1100. This course is about building professional communication skills. The  goal of the course is to provide students with the tools to improve their communication competence in business and professional organizations. Students build skills in job interviewing, applying for jobs / graduate school, writing resumes and cover letters, creating a work skills portfolio, business etiquette and professional presentation skills.

COM 3000. Internship (1-3). Prerequisite: Permission of Intern Director. Practical training and experience in a communication organization that provides an environment for substantial growth in an area consistent with student vocational objectives. Normally taken during the senior year. A maximum of three hours will be applied toward the major or minor.

COM 3150. Intercultural Communication (3). The course involves studying the basic communication elements of cultural systems, the research and literature in the field, and the interpersonal interaction characteristics of specific cultures.
Gen. Ed. Designation: GS (G – Global Studies).

COM 3210. The Rhetoric of Social Movements (3). This course will analyze the persuasive strategies and tactics employed by agitators and the establishment they seek to change. It explores the nature and types of social movements and the rhetorical requirements, obstacles, and needs of leaders and followers within the movement. Activists from social movements, both past and present, will visit the class to answer questions about their participation in social protest.

COM 3240. Conflict Management (3). Conflict is inevitable and exist is every facet of our lives. This course examines the communication processes of interpersonal and organizational conflict. It explores theories relating to the nature of conflict and the processes of resolution. It looks at the current research trends and themes relating to conflict processes. Through an understanding of theories, students will be able to improve their understanding of the conflict and resolution skills.

COM 3340. Organizational Communication (3).This course focuses on providing students knowledge, sensitivity, skills and awareness of value issues to increase their ability to survive, thrive and institute change in complex organizations.

COM 3920. Theories of Public Communication (3). Provides an overview of historical and contemporary theories regarding the functioning of rhetorical discourse in public settings. Classical readings and oral projects focus on rhetoric as a persuasive tool by which orators sway audiences and emerge as leaders in the public realm. Contemporary readings and oral projects focus on rhetoric as a means of creating and sharing a social reality via a variety of channels: public speaking, electronic media, and acts of public display.

COM 3930. Theories of Interpersonal Communication (3). Provides an overview of prevalent theories of Interpersonal Communication. Through research projects and course readings, students gain rich insight into the way humans construct meaning with each other and manage their relationships in the areas of work, family, romance, friendship and everyday interaction.

COM 4000. Communication Studies Advanced Seminar (0). Required of all communication studies majors during their last year of study. This zero credit seminar is offered every fall semester. Grades are awarded on a Pass/Fail basis.

COM 4140. Strategic Communication in Organizational Crises (3).This course examines how organizations communicate to internal and external audiences in times of crisis. The class will examine methods of preparing for such crisis, how to identify internal and external stakeholders and how to reach these audiences. Case studies will be used to analyze how other organizations have successfully and unsuccessfully responded to crisis.

COM 4200. Communication Criticism (3). Provides an understanding of, and practice in, methods of criticism of public discourse. Students will develop their skills as critical receivers of communication, applying what they learn to samples of public communication that interest them most: speeches, songs, films, television and such acts of public display.

COM 4280. Great American Oratory (3). This course examines the role rhetoric has played in the formation of the American experience by scrutinizing the communication strategies and tactics of significant American orators.

COM 4920. Political Communication (3). Examines the role of communication in contemporary politics.

COM 4310. Contemporary Issues in the Organization (3). Prerequisite: COM 3140. Topic is variable. Study of contemporary theories of organizational communication, including systems, cultural, critical / feminist and postmodern theories. Examination of key theories of organizational communication in light of current organizational trends and social problems.

COM 4340. Communication Training & Consulting (3). This course introduces students to communication training and consulting for the organization. Students learn survey and data analysis methods, strategies for managing organizational communication problems (e.g. speech writing, meeting management, international relations, organizational change, etc.) training techniques, and intervention assessment methods.

COM 4940. Directed Studies (3). Student development of a project or study of special interest. Consent of the instructor is required.