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Communication and Rhetorical Studies

Courses in Communication and Rhetorical Studies

CO 101 Speech Fundamentals (4)
An introduction to the various types of speech. Required except for those students whose background and competence in speech qualifies them for departmental approval for substituting an advanced course.

CO 204 Communication Theory (4)
This course allows students to understand both the humanistic and social scientific theories in communication. Areas of inquiry include the ethical implications of individual theories, the development of knowledge and appreciation of theory building in the communication discipline, the ability to discern roles that communication theories play in our daily lives, and the examination and testing of communication theories using different methodological approaches. This course is a foundational requirement for all students majoring or minoring in Communication and Rhetorical Studies. Prerequisite: CO 101 or consent of instructor.

CO 210 Business Communication (4)
This course is designed to enhance one’s understanding of the skills, principles and contexts of communication in business and organizational settings. Oral presentations and written assignments are utilized to evaluate competencies in verbal and nonverbal communication efforts. A framework of strategic communication is introduced for the planning and implementation of various interpersonal and presentational principles and skills along with an examination of important theories of organizational communication.

CO 214 Advertising and Public Relations (4)
This course is designed to provide the student with an understanding of the advertising industry’s “identity,” an identity which has mirrored - as well as participated in the creation of - a uniquely American identity. Significant historical, cultural, gender, aesthetic, ethical, legal, and rhetorical perspectives are examined. Public relations will be examined in theory and practice as it intersects with advertising theories and practices in their roles within a mass media framework.

CO 220 The Rhetorical Tradition (4)
A survey of major trends in the development of rhetorical theory from Homer to the present. Special attention is given to comparing and contrasting different theories of rhetoric, the implications of these theories primarily for oral communication and its consequences, and the ways these theories are adapted to a variety of philosophical, social and political contexts. This course is a foundational requirement for all students majoring or minoring in Communication and Rhetorical Studies. Prerequisite: CO 101 or consent of instructor.

CO 224 Rhetorical Criticism (4)
A quasi-chronological examination of the variety of methods used by rhetorical critics in analyzing the suasory dimensions of public civic texts. The issues and circumstances that have generated these methods will be considered as well. Students develop a familiarity with the tools, purposes and problems faced by rhetorical critics and an ability to produce rudimentary rhetorical criticism.

CO 225 Interpersonal Communication (4)
This course explores the motivations, characteristics, and consequences of interpersonal communication. Over the semester, students will learn the various theories, models, and vocabulary of the interpersonal communication field. Attention is paid to topics such as self-concept, perception, and disclosure as well as uncertainty, affection, maintenance, and conflict across a variety of relational contexts. Students reflect on and improve their own interpersonal skills while learning to apply various interpersonal communication theories toward the end of developing more positive relationships in their personal and professional lives.

CO 226 Intercultural Communication (4)
This course explores the synergy between communication and culture. Specifically, students investigate various value orientations and verbal and nonverbal behaviors that occur in several cultural contexts, such as within the religious, business and health contexts. A variety of intercultural communication issues are explored including cultural identity, disability, sexual orientation, ethnocentrism and stereotypes. Emphasis within all assignments is placed on the importance of developing intercultural communication competence in all contexts.

CO 240 Introduction to Mass Communication (4)
An introduction to the theory and practice of mass communication, with historical and critical examination of print media (books, magazines, and newspapers), electronic media (television, radio, and recordings), film, and the internet. Related topics covered include media research, mass media effects, mass media and society, mass media and government, mass media ethics, and mass media law.

CO 252 Competitive Debate and Speech (.5)
Participation and competition in intercollegiate policy debate. This course may be repeated; however, no more than 4 semester hours of CO 252 may be applied to the major or minor. Permission of instructor required.

CO 260 Communication Research & Methods (4)
This course introduces students to the conceptual and methodological paradigms utilized in pursuing communication research. Operating primarily from a social science perspective, students will learn how to generate important research questions and hypotheses pertaining to human communication, how to design and carry out research projects, and how to do competent research within the communication discipline. Students are introduced to a variety of research paradigms as well as quantitative and qualitative approaches to communication research and the appropriate methodological approaches within each purview.

CO 311 Argumentation & Debate (4)
An introduction to both the mechanics of academic debate and principles of argumentation that can be applied to other methods of decision-making in which people weigh reasons pro and con. Students apply these insights to the analysis of arguments in the public sphere and participation in oral debate.

CO 314 Freedom of Expression (4)
This course examines the verbal and nonverbal communication tenets of the freedom of speech clause of the first amendment of the Constitution. The history of the first amendment will be traced, including careful analysis of Supreme Court decisions. Topics covered include political heresy, defamation, obscenity, commercial speech, and technology. Prerequisite: junior standing or consent of the instructor.

CO 315 Communication Ethics (4)
This course examines the ethical issues surrounding the role of verbal and nonverbal communication in distinguishing human participation in society. Students are asked to think critically about the range of issues germane to communication from a variety of normative perspectives. Prerequisite: junior standing or consent of the instructor.

CO 324 American Public Address (4)
A history and critical appraisal of the rhetors, movements and rhetoric from the First Great Awakening to the present. Analysis and discussion of specific rhetorical episodes are designed to nurture the student’s understanding of the exigencies and constraints that confront public advocates as well as to illustrate the relationship between rhetorical practice and American public culture.

CO 325 Public Relations in Practice (4)
Public Relations (PR) helps to establish and maintain mutual lines of communication, understanding, acceptance, cooperation, and mutually beneficial relationships between
organizations or public personalities and their various publics. Among the topics this course will cover are the social function of public relations, its diverse forms (e.g. media and community relations, the management function of public relations, and the role of the practitioner in crisis communication). The students will also develop their skills in public relations by creating publicity products, such as press releases, feature stories, brochures, posters/flyers, photo essays, and speeches.

CO 336 Rhetoric of Women’s Discourse (4)
This course examines women’s “voices” through a myriad of modalities and genres in order to understand the themes of women’s discourse for the achievement of empowerment and enfranchisement in a society whose “order” has been at odds with such goals. Areas of inquiry include the relationship between public and private communication as understood through the prism of gender, polemical issues such as reproduction and pornography, and the meaning of the literary and visual arts in pursuit of a feminist rhetoric.

CO 353 Small Group Communication (4)
This course explores how communicating in small groups and teams is a significant part of the human experience. In this course, students will examine how the behavior of groups, leaders, and followers is inherently communicative. Specifically, students will study small group communication theory, research, and practice from several different perspectives, focusing on how individual and group behavior “emerges” from group communication and interaction. In addition, students enrolled in this course will participate in small groups on a semester-long service-learning project connected to local community non-profit or charitable organizations.

CO 355 Organizational Communication
This class is broadly designed to explore communication processes and problems that occur within the organizational context. To accomplish this, students will be exposed to the managerial and communicative theories pertaining to organizations and relevant research covering a host of topics. Specifically, this course will examine organizational culture (and how to adapt one’s communication successfully to one’s culture), communication in the superior-subordinate relationship, impact of organizational structure on communication, and techniques for assessing and improving organizational and individual communication effectiveness.

CO 381 Health Communication (4)
People who face illness or who try to maintain or achieve good health experience a number of challenges, such as decisions about treatments, coping with large volumes of medical information, and responding to changes in their identities as a consequence of illness. Managing those challenges can be helped or hindered by communication with others (e.g. family, friends, and healthcare providers). Both theoretical and practical in nature, this course will help students understand the impact of communication in a health context. Among the topics that will be addressed are: health and identity, patient-practitioner communication, cultural perceptions of health, healthcare policies, health communication campaigns, and health images in the media. (See NU 381.)

CO 388 Special Topics in Communication Studies (4)
Topics vary by semester. Study of some selected period or genre of public discourse, some significant social movement or some major issue or individual within the field of rhetoric and communication theory.

CO 415 Senior Seminar in Communication (4)
This course will serve as the capstone course for all Senior-level students majoring in
Communication and Rhetorical Studies. In addition, a strong emphasis will be placed on
undergraduate research. Specifically, students will be asked to research relevant communication topics from either the social scientific or humanistic perspectives during the semester and formally present their scholarly findings. As part of the capstone experience in this course, students will also be asked to synthesize their previous coursework and critically reflect on their experiences in the Communication and Rhetorical Studies program. Prerequisite: senior standing or consent of the instructor.

CO 461, 462 Independent Study in Communication (1 - 4)
Advanced study in some aspect of the communications field. Prerequisite: consent of faculty supervisor.

CO 463, 464 Internship in Communication (1 - 4)
An internship in some aspect of the communication field. Prerequisite: consent of faculty supervisor.

CO 465, 466 Independent Research in Communication (1 - 4)