Communication & theatre

The communication and theatre department recognizes that we live in an age of unprecedented change in human communication. Such change brings much possibility and some risk for humanity and its constituent human communities.

The communication and theatre department takes as its task the education and training of Bluffton University students towards rigorous understanding, thoughtful production and ethical critique of human communication in this promising yet daunting context. Therefore, the communication and theatre department seeks to develop in students awareness of the ancient origins of rhetoric and theatre, knowledge of classical to contemporary theories of human communication, understanding of rhetorical criticism and critical approaches to communication processes, and insight into our current and changing communication context. Because of the practical nature of human communication, we are committed to providing our students with skills in crafting informative, persuasive, celebrative and sermonic texts for public presentation to a variety of audiences; proficiency in the critique and production of communication across media including print, radio, television, film and computer; and familiarity with the history, principles and basic techniques of theatre production. Finally, we intend to cultivate in our students an appreciation of the ethical complexities inherent in any communicative exchange, commitment to compassionate listening, clarity in critical thinking and attention to the inextricable connection between religious faith and human communication.

The communication and theatre department offers three majors: broadcasting and journalism, communication, and public relations; and two minors: communication and theatre. In addition, the communication and theatre department cooperates with the religion department in offering the communication in church organizations program. Students who are interested in leadership in Christian church, mission and other ministry institutions may combine this program with a major in communication or religion.
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Broadcasting and Journalism major

(50 hours)
Students interested in pursuing careers in print journalism, radio and television broadcasting or new media can declare a major in broadcasting and journalism. Foundational courses in public presentation, journalism and media and culture provide the groundwork for advanced courses in journalistic writing and broadcasting across various media. Majors are expected to contribute to the campus online newspaper, radio station, forensics and theatre productions, and have the opportunity to take additional electives within the department. Capstone experiences include Bluffton's distinctive communication ethics course and an internship in an area of broadcasting or journalism.

Required: (39 hours)
COM 105 Introduction to Journalism (3)
COM 185 Public Speaking and Persuasion (3)
COM 225 Writing for the Media (3)
COM 240 Media and Culture (3)
THE 257 Oral Interpretation (3)
COM 334 Radio Production (3)
COM 344 Rhetorical Theory (3)
COM 345 Video Production (3)
COM 346 Rhetorical Criticism (3)
COM 365 Feature Writing (3)
COM 412 New Media (3)
COM 417 Communication Ethics (3)
COM 425 Internship in Communication (3)

Activity credits: (2 hours)
COM 110 Theatre Activity (.5)
COM 111 Student Newspaper Activity (.5)
COM 112 Radio Activity (.5)
COM 115 Forensics Activity (.5)

Electives:
(A minimum of 9 hours from the following list)
COM 175 Sport Communication (3)
COM 195 Interpersonal Communication (3)
COM 212 Argumentation and Advocacy (3)
COM 275 Organizational Communication (3)
COM 277 Public Relations (3)
COM 338 Gender, Race and Communication (3)
COM 340 Religious Communication (3)
COM 370 Visual Culture and Communication (3)
COM 390 Independent Study in Communication (1-3)
COM 422 Special Topics in Communication (3)
ENG 207 Professional and Technical Writing (3)
THE 201 Play Production (3)
THE 258 Acting (3)

Communication major  

(50 hours)
The communication and theatre department offers a major in communication that provides a broad foundation for students interested in graduate study or professional vocations. The major offers instruction in rhetoric, broadcasting and journalism, interpersonal and organizational communication, media and cultural studies, and theatre. More advanced courses help students to become critical thinkers within the discipline through focused study of theory, criticism and ethics. Beyond the core, students may choose from a variety of electives based on their interests and aspirations. Students may pursue study in a concentration in organizational communication or theatre.

Electives: (A minimum of 12 hours from the following list)
COM 105 Introduction to Journalism (3)
COM 175 Sport Communication (3)
COM 277 Public Relations (3)
COM 312 Studies in Cinema (3)
COM 334 Radio Production (3)
COM 336 Advanced Public Relations Writing (3)
COM 340 Religious Communication (3)
COM 342 Leadership Communication in Nonprofit Organizations (3)
COM 345 Video Production (3)
COM 365 Feature Writing (3)
COM 370 Visual Culture and Communication (3)
COM 390 Independent Study in Communication (1-3)
COM 412 New Media (3)
COM 422 Special Topics in Communication (3)
COM 425 Internship in Communication (1-4)
CRJ 340 Conflict Transformation and Mediation (3)
THE 224 Drama in Education (3)
THE 250 Special Topics in Theatre (3)
THE 258 Acting or THE 201 Play Production (3)
THE 302 Play Direction (3)
THE 326 History of Theatre (3)

Theatre concentration (12 hours)
(must take 1 hour of COM 110 Theatre Activity)
ENG 367 Shakespeare (3)
THE 258 Acting
or THE 201 Play Production (3)
THE 302 Play Direction (3)

Choose one course from the following:
THE 224 Drama in Education (3)
THE 250 Special Topics in Theatre (3)
THE 326 History of Theatre (3)

Public relations major

(53 hours)
Our distinctive public relations major emphasizes advocacy on behalf of nonprofit and church-related organizations, while also equipping students to serve in business, governmental or other organizational settings. At Bluffton, you ll take classes that will train you to communicate in a variety of media forms and prepare you to write and speak eloquently and effectively. In addition to specialized courses in public relations, you ll take classes in argumentation and advocacy, media studies, graphic design and ethics. A public relations internship offers an opportunity to apply your competencies in a real-world setting. Public relations professionals are relationship mediators as well as expert communicators. We ll help you to think of yourself as an internal advocate for the needs and desires of publics and by doing so, help organizations collaborate with constituencies and social movements that advocate for the good of local, national and global communities.

Required: (45 hours)

ART 245 Introduction to Graphic Design (3)
COM 105 Introduction to Journalism (3)
COM 185 Public Speaking and Persuasion (3)
COM 212 Argumentation and Advocacy (3)
COM 225 Writing for the Media (3)
COM 240 Media and Culture (3)
COM 277 Public Relations (3)
COM 336 Advanced Public Relations Writing (3)
COM 344 Rhetorical Theory (3)
COM 346 Rhetorical Criticism (3)
COM 417 Communication Ethics (3)
COM 425 Internship in Communication (3)
ECN 141 Principles of Macroeconomics (3)
MKT 356 Principles of Marketing (3)
THE 257 Oral Interpretation (3)

Minors

Communication minor 

(19 hours)
The communication minor enables a student to explore an interest in communication while majoring in another academic discipline. The minor is made up of the following courses:

Required:
COM 195 Interpersonal Communication (3)
COM 212 Argumentation and Advocacy (3)
COM 225 Writing for the Media (3)
COM 240 Media and Culture (3)
COM 275 Organizational Communication (3)

Activity Credits: (1 hour)
COM 110 Theatre Activity (.5)
COM 111 Student Newspaper Activity (.5)
COM 112 Radio Activity (.5)
COM 115 Forensics Activity (.5)

Electives: (3 hours)
Any COM course

Theatre minor  

(19 hours)
The theatre minor enables a student to explore an interest in dramatic arts while majoring in another academic discipline. The minor is made up of the following courses:

Required:
COM 110 Theatre Activity (1)
ENG 367 Shakespeare (3)
THE 257 Oral Interpretation (3)
THE 201 Play Production (3)
THE 302 Play Direction (3)

Electives: (6 hours selected from the following)
THE 250 Special Topics in Theatre (3)
THE 224 Drama in Education (3)
THE 258 Acting (3)
THE 326 History of Theatre (3)
THE 390 Independent Study (3)

Courses

COM 105 Introduction to Journalism (3)
Cultivates basic skills and knowledge necessary for a career in print or broadcast journalism. The course covers the history of journalism in the United States, the changing shape of news organizations, basic developments in media law and the essential forms of writing and reporting. Students will learn such basic skills as interviewing, covering meetings and public events, writing news leads and using the inverted pyramid form.

Activity credit (.5 each)
A maximum of two (2) hours of graduation credit for non-majors and up to four (4) hours for majors; a maximum of two hours may be taken in any given area. Student must be enrolled in the activity during the semester for which the credit is received.

Activity credits count as elective credit toward graduation requirements for majors. Supervising faculty determine the requirements needed to receive the activity credit based on individual student need and prior participation of the student. Credit/no credit.

COM 110 Theatre Activity (.5)
Participation in technical and/or performance roles in Bluffton University productions.

COM 111 Student Newspaper (BlufftonConnection.com/The Witmarsum) Activity (.5)
Participation on the student newspaper staff in both technical and reporting capacities.

  COM 112 Radio Activity (.5)
Participation in the production, directing and performance of a radio show on WBWH.

COM 115 Forensics Activity (.5)
Preparation for and participation in the C. Henry Smith Peace Oratory Contest and other forensics events as might be scheduled.

COM 175 Sport Communication (3)
Examines the relationships between sports and media within our cultural context. Through theoretical perspectives involving social criticism, social presence theory, standpoint theory, uses and gratifications theory and rhetorical analysis, participants consider media roles in sport narratives and associated cultural values.

COM 185 Public Speaking and Persuasion (3)
Strengthens students' ethical and social effectiveness in public speaking settings through theoretical and practical knowledge of oral communication and public reasoning practices. The course is designed to provide students with the opportunity to become better public speakers, attentive audience members and engaged citizens by increasing their awareness of the ethical, technical and performative dimensions of oral communication, by strengthening their understanding of the logical and persuasive validity of public arguments and by exercising this knowledge during informative, deliberative, transformative and ceremonial public speaking occasions.

COM 195 Interpersonal Communication (3)
Explores the principles and practices of effective communication in interpersonal relationships. The course will examine such topics as communication apprehension, self-disclosure, listening, conflict and nonverbal communication as well as provide opportunities to develop specific interpersonal communication skills. This course may be taken as part of the Peace and Conflict Studies minor.

COM 212 Argumentation and Advocacy (3)
Provides theoretical and practical training in argumentation with particular attention to political and organizational contexts that demand advocacy, including deliberative and forensic occasions. The role of practical argument in addressing social conflict peacefully and fairly will be considered throughout the course. Prerequisite: COM 185.

COM 225 Writing for the Media (3)
Focuses on news gathering and writing for print, broadcast and new media. In addition to learning journalistic research and writing techniques, students become acquainted with practical aspects of publishing including an introduction to desktop publishing. Philosophical and ethical issues are addressed in the course. Lab experiences include field trips, guest lectures and writing for BlufftonConnection.com.

COM 240 Media and Culture (3)
The course offers an investigation of the history, technologies and cultural implications of all forms of commercial media in American society. This course is designed to develop in students an appreciation for the cultural significance of the media, an understanding of key theoretical issues in media studies and awareness of key approaches of reading media texts.

COM 275 Organizational Communication (3)
Assists students in developing those communication skills needed to succeed in the contemporary organizational environment. In addition to examining the dynamics and ethics of professional communication in business and nonprofit organizations, students will learn how to work on cross-functional teams, lead public meetings, conduct personal interviews and prepare a variety of public presentations such as letters, reports and speeches. Throughout the course, attention will be given to such contemporary organizational issues as institutional power, cultural diversity and professional identity. This course may be taken as part of the Peace and Conflict Studies minor.

COM 277 Public Relations (3)
Introduces strategic issues and effective practices of communication between organizations and their constituencies. Includes the study of public opinion research, media relations, public communications campaigns, consumer identity and representational ethics. Students gain practical experience in writing news releases, conducting surveys and designing integrated campaigns. Prerequisite: COM 185.

COM 312 Studies in Cinema (3)
Surveys the history, elements, common themes and the art of watching films. The course examines the role cinema plays in our culture and how our culture shapes cinema, explores ethical and spiritual considerations in relation to a variety of film genres and offers different methods of film analysis for study.

COM 334 Radio Production (3)
Provides students with the opportunity to gain the knowledge, skills and techniques needed to produce professional and effective radio programming. Specifically, students learn how to establish a station s identity, organize a broadcasting and production studio, edit program material, produce entertainment and news programming both in-studio and on-location, think through the economics of both commercial and non-commercial radio, and broadcast sporting events. Throughout the course students are not only given the chance to develop skills in each of these areas but also to inquire into the issues related to these specific areas as well as to the whole enterprise of radio broadcasting today.

COM 336 Advanced Public Relations Writing (3)
Provides advanced writing instruction for students intending to become public relations professionals with particular attention to writing for the World Wide Web and other mixed and new media venues. Prerequisite: COM 277.

COM 338 Gender, Race & Communication (3)
Explores the ways by which gender and race shape understandings of ourselves and others in a variety of communication settings, including mass media, interpersonal relationships, organizational structures and educational practices. This course seeks to develop in students an appreciation for differences in communication across gender and race lines toward the transformation of social relations and the reconciling of antagonisms.

COM 340 Religious Communication (3)
Introduces students to the theory and practice of religious communication in its sermonic, liturgical, deliberative and promotional forms. The course surveys homiletic theory and explores the role of religious language in congregational worship, decision-making and public relations. Attention is given to such current communication issues as the impact of electronic media on religious messages, the use of gendered language in religious texts and the tension between intimacy and inclusiveness in public worship contexts. Students in the class prepare sermons, write letters of admonition, plan congregational worship services and business meetings, and design church promotional materials.

COM 342 Leadership Communication in Nonprofit Organizations (3)
This course attends to theoretical and practical aspects of effective leadership communication within the context of charitable nonprofit organizations. By taking this course, students will gain an understanding of: 1) the historical and philosophical foundations of nonprofit organizations; 2) the nature and culture of the not-for-profit sector and techniques for rhetorically intervening in nonprofit cultures; 3) the contextual variables within that sector that suggest a need for a posture of servant leadership and advocacy; and 4) the specific communicative competencies required for successful involvement in nonprofit organizations. This course is also listed as REL 360.

COM 344 Rhetorical Theory (3)
Explores theories of rhetoric that have been shaped by biblical, classical, medieval, modern and postmodern contexts. Theories examined in the course include prophetic, Pauline, Sophistical, Platonic, Aristotelian, Augustinian, dramatastic, cultural linguistic, structuralist and post-structuralist perspectives. Throughout the course, particular attention is given to the relationship between discourse and social change.


COM 345 Video Production (3)
An introduction to video production through exercises and video productions. Emphasis is placed on understanding video production elements such as story telling, framing, camera angles, scripting, production, post production sound and lighting. Students will become familiar with the role that software and hardware play in the structuring of visual, auditory and motion elements to communicate through video. Prerequisites: COM 105 and COM 334.

COM 346 Rhetorical Criticism (3)
Practical application of a variety of rhetorical research methods to understand, analyze and critique communicative artifacts such as public speeches, press releases, editorials, sermons and other forms of mass mediated messages. Research methods include neo-Aristotelianism, dramatism, mythic criticism, genre criticism, cultural criticism, fantasy theme analysis, psychoanalytic criticism, ideological criticism, postcolonial criticism, feminist criticism and deconstruction.

COM 365 Feature Writing (3)
Provides training in conceiving, researching and writing features for newspapers and magazines. Students will learn how to research features in the age of the internet, gather information through personal interviews and construct articles that shape public understanding of significant contemporary issues, personalities and events. The class will also consider legal and ethical questions that accompany such journalistic leadership. Prerequisite: COM 105.

COM 370 Visual Culture and Communication (3)
Explores the breadth, characteristics and significance of our increasingly visual culture for human communication. Through the study of visual culture theory and criticism, this course enables students to ask questions about what it means for consciousness, sense of self, relationship to community, encounters with others, etc., to live amidst visual culture. Prerequisite: COM 240.

COM 390 Independent Study (1-3)
By arrangement.

COM 412 New Media (3)
The course centers on coalescing print journalism and broadcast journalism and repurposing content for the Internet. Key principles of broadcast and print journalism are explored. Other areas of inquiry include the challenges and opportunities that the Internet as new media presents for traditional print and broadcast journalism. Prerequisites: COM 105 and COM 334.

COM 417 Communication Ethics (3)
Explores the ethical issues and dilemmas facing communication professionals and scholars through Anabaptist, other Christian and non-Christian traditions of social ethics. Prerequisite: senior standing.

COM 422 Special Topics in Communication (3)
Provides an opportunity for sustained study of a particular theoretical, critical or professional topic within communication.

COM 425 Internship in Communication (1-4)
Provides an opportunity to apply communication skills either in a for-profit organization or a not-for-profit agency. In consultation with an advisor from the communication and theatre department, the student is assigned an organizational supervisor/evaluator at an appropriate business or agency to work at a level commensurate with the student's knowledge and experience. The student works with the organizational representatives to develop a plan that accommodates the needs of the organization and recognizes the level of the student. Communicative skills that may be utilized in this experience include: public speaking, interviewing, writing, editing, human resource management, journalism, broadcasting and leadership in meetings or developing audio/video tools for the organization.

Theatre Courses

THE 201 Play Production (3)
Aids the student in preparing a play for performance. The course deals with script selection and analysis, character analysis, set, lighting, costume and makeup design. The student will select a one-act play on which to apply the various principles necessary for production preparation. Laboratory experience required through technical work on the current campus theatre production.

THE 224 Drama in Education (3)
Students learn to incorporate drama skills and activities into programming and curriculum for children and youth. Process-oriented drama is used to explore subject matter, strengthen drama skills, strengthen conflict resolution skills and enhance critical thinking. After participating in professor-led dramas, students will design their own drama labs and lead them with the class as well as with a group of elementary school children.

THE 250 Special Topics in Theatre (3)
Study of a special topic in theatre production, theory, history or dramatic literature.

THE 257 Oral Interpretation (3)
Offers practice in the art of reading aloud. The course is designed to develop understanding of literature and the ability to share this insight with listeners. It also gives students an opportunity to plan an oral reading. 

THE 258 Acting (3)
Introduces the theory and technique of acting. Students participate in the use of the voice and body in short scenes from plays.

THE 302 Play Direction (3)
Guides the student through the creative process of preparing a one-act play for performance. Course includes casting, rehearsing and performance, followed by a written evaluation of that experience including audience response. Student directors create a prompt book and direct scripts of choice approved by instructor. One-act plays are performed for college audience during "Night of One-Acts."

THE 326 History of Theatre (3)
Surveys stagecraft and acting from the Greek theatre to the present. This includes a study of one or more plays from each major era.

THE 390 Independent Study (1-3)
By arrangement.

August 2012