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Kansas Wesleyan University

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)

Everyday something shifts in the world of communications. New technology, social media, mobile devices and analytics are changing the way we communicate at a staggering speed. Being able to navigate the forces that shape news, advertising and other media makes you highly marketable.

At Kansas Wesleyan University, you will receive a liberal arts education that will develop your creative and analytical skills so you can adapt to this fast-paced world. Through your Communications major, you will study communications theory and learn to apply it through campus media opportunities and internships in the Salina community.

Your education will be augmented, too, by the mentoring you receive from KWU faculty, who will help you develop your intellectual and professional skills.

This program is offered:

  • On Campus

Why study Communications at KWU? Because the medium is your mind.

As a Communication Studies major, you will not only have the opportunity to get hands-on experience with the latest equipment and software, you will develop the creative and analytical skills necessary to adapt as technology and communication channels change, so that you can maintain your skills throughout your career.

  • Acquire professional skills working in KWU’s student-run radio station, KKWU.
  • Hone your news- and feature-writing ability and your editorial skills working for the print and online editions of KWU’s student newspaper, The Advance.
  • Get hands-on video equipment experience by getting involved in KWU’s Student Media YouTube channel.
  • Complete a required internship doing sports reporting for a Kansas TV station, writing for a marketing company, handling social media for a nonprofit organization or reporting for a radio station.
  • Become proficient using the Adobe Creative Suite in KWU’s Mac lab.

Mission Statement

The mission of Communication Studies and Theatre Arts is to prepare students ethically, personally, socially and academically for the ever-changing world of digital media, theatre and rhetorical arts.

Program Goals

Students who complete the Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies should be able to:

  • Design appropriate communication skills across various settings, purposes, and audiences
  • Build and maintain healthy and effective relationships with peers
  • Use technology to communicate effectively in various settings and contexts
  • Demonstrate professional and ethical behavior
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the conceptual, ethical, historical, legal, and theoretical perspectives that inform the communication field

Communications Studies Degree Requirements

The student must complete all of the following:

ARTS 115 Foundation of Graphic Applications – 4 credit hours
COMM 106 Visual Communication – 3 credit hours
COMM 130 Public Speaking: The Art of Oral Communication – 3 credit hours
COMM 145 Media Production I – 3 credit hours
COMM 200 Introduction to Media Writing –  3 credit hours
COMM 209 Advanced Media Writing – 3 credit hours
COMM 370 Media Production II – 3 credit hours
Three 200-level communications courses –  9 credit hours

One 200-level THEA or ARTS course may be substituted

Two 300-level communications courses – 6 credit hours

One 300-level THEA or ARTS course may be substituted

Choose one of the following courses for three credit hours:

COMM 460 Internship – 3 credit hours
COMM499 Senior Capstone Project – 3 credit hours

Take four credit hours from any of the following publications courses:

COMM 247 Publications – News 1-2
COMM 248 Publications – Yearbook 1-2
COMM 249 Publications – Digital Media 1-2

Choose one course from the following list:

ARTS Art Elective – 200-level or above – 3 credit hours
BUSA Business Elective – 300-level or above – 3 credit hours
COMM Communications Elective – 200-level or above – 3 credit hours
THEA Theatre Elective – 3 credit hours
PSYC 201 Social Psychology – 3 credit hours
SOCI 331 Methods of Research – 3 credit hours

Communications Studies Minor Requirements

The student must complete 18 credit hours of Communication Studies electives. Communications electives are to be chosen in consultation with the student’s advisor.

Communication Studies and Theatre Arts Course Descriptions

COMM 106 Principles of Visual Communication— 3 Credit Hours (Spring)

This course explores how visual images are used and manipulated to generate responses by various audiences. The written assignments, readings, and discussions will focus on the analysis and critique of visual communication, as well as how to create meaningful visual messages for mass audiences. Students will also study the role and the function of visual media in a variety of environments.

COMM 130 Public Speaking: The Art of Oral Communication — 3 Credit Hours (Fall & Spring)

This course establishes the core aspects of human communications and the processes involved. Organization, critical thinking and persuasive techniques will be used to construct meaning that is useful and accepted by an audience. Emphasis will be placed upon effective audience analysis and presentation, as it relates to students in the classroom as well as in a larger cultural context. Skill in development and guided practice in informative and persuasive speeches, along with examination and analysis of famous speeches using the principles taught.

COMM 140F Forensics & Debate Activities — 1–2 Credit Hours (Fall & Spring)

Forensics and Debate is the development of speech events, debate events and interpretation of prose, poetry and drama into presentations for intercollegiate competition.

COMM 145 Media Production I — 3 Credit Hours (Fall)

This course is designed as an introduction to multimedia production. The theories and methods are applicable to print, online, broadcast, cable and corporate media. Special emphasis will be placed on the hardware and software used to produce text, photos, graphics, audio and video media.

COMM 200 Introduction to Media Writing — 3 Credit Hours (Odd Year Fall)

An introduction to the basics of writing for the media in print, radio and television/film. This hands-on course also emphasizes the real-world applicability of the different types of writing to media jobs, communication careers and ethical considerations. Prerequisite: ENGL 121 (or equivalent) or the consent of the instructor.

COMM 208 Mass Media — 3 Credit Hours (Even Year Fall)

Communication theory and practice is covered. History of the mass media is included as well as an analysis of the present situation with the media, with particular emphasis on ethical and legal problems. Prerequisite: ENGL 121 or the consent of the instructor.

COMM 209 Advanced Media Writing — 3 Credit Hours (Even Year Spring)

This course builds upon skills learned in COMM200 (or equivalent). Students will develop interview techniques and in-depth research to craft stories of all media, and continue with advanced writing skills in print, radio, television/film and digital media. Prerequisite: COMM 200 (or equivalent) or the consent of the instructor.

COMM 230 The Film — 3 Credit Hours (Odd Year Fall)

This course is an introduction to film as a humane art: its history, techniques, aesthetics, relation to other arts and criticism. The class will discuss selected films and certain writings on film. Prerequisite: ENGL 121 or equivalent.

COMM 232 Media Performance — 3 Credit Hours (Fall)

Students are taught how to write and read scripts for short audio and video productions. An emphasis is placed on styles, skills and techniques currently practiced in web video news coverage. Practice in articulation, diction and pronunciation as well as poise and appearance is featured.

COMM 235 Classical Rhetoric and Criticism — 3 Credit Hours (Odd Year Fall)

In this course, the student will be introduced to rhetorical theory, from the classical rhetoric of Aristotle and Cicero to 20th century theorist, Toulman and Perelman. Persuasion theory will be presented as a tool to be used in argument constructs and audience analysis.

COMM 238 Human Communication — 3 Credit Hours (Spring)

An introduction to the range of human communication. The course includes consideration of such topics as language, listening, non-verbal communication, interpersonal communication, small group communication, organizational communication, public communication, mass media and intercultural communication. Required for majors and helpful for students in all disciplines.

COMM 240 Public Relations I — 3 Credit Hours (Fall)

This course acquaints students with the theory, role, social responsibilities and potential of public relations in society. It provides the methods, principles and practice in communication skills needed for effective public relations programs for industry, business or education. Prerequisite:  ENGL 121 or the consent of the instructor.

COMM 247 Publications: News — 1–2 Credit Hours (Fall & Spring)

Guidance and evaluation of special projects in the production of news. Permission of the instructor is required to receive more than one credit hour per semester.

COMM 248 Publications: Yearbook — 1–2 Credit Hours (Fall & Spring)

Guidance and evaluation of special projects in the production of yearbooks. Permission of the instructor is required to receive more than one credit hour per semester.

COMM 249 Publications: Digital Media — 1–2 Credit Hours (Fall & Spring)

Guidance and evaluation of special projects in the production of electronic media, including television productions and Internet broadcasts. Permission of the instructor is required to receive more than one credit hour per semester.

COMM 250* Knowing Self through Family Stories: A Study in Intrapersonal and Interpersonal Communication — 3 Credit Hours (Fall & Spring)

This course teaches and uses the study of intrapersonal and interpersonal communication skills to research and present family stories: yours and others. Using Fisher’s argument that we are a “story people,” we will find and use family stories to analyze and justify personal values and ethics, and in doing so, develop a physical, social and mental plan of personal well-being. Students will create a presentation of the combined themes and narratives that are discovered from their stories.

COMM 286 Special Topics in Communication — Variable Credit (On Demand)

Designed to accommodate the student in a particular area of communications, special topics allow the professor to create a course which is suited to the particular interests of the student’s needs. Possible topics may include television directing, set design creations, advanced journalism or public relations, an exploration of Internet broadcasting for radio and web streaming for television, and pop culture topics. This course may be repeated for credit under different subtitles.

COMM 290 Independent Study — Variable Credit (On Demand)

Independent study consists of research, reading or other scholarly investigation or creative work in the area of television, radio, journalism or public relations. See Independent Study under Alternative Means to Academic Credit, for a more detailed description or contact the department faculty.

COMM 321 Global Media — 3 Credit Hours (Odd Year Spring)

Students will examine public policy issues and media governance around the globe. The course will also delve into the history of the various institutions and other groups involved in media governance internationally, and will explore the various principles and practices that comprise that governance. Special attention will be paid to the regulations of broadcasting, telecommunications, the Internet and trade as well as the current debates within multilateral bodies, such as UNESCO, the WTO and the International Telecommunication Union. Students will study the impact of technology on education and develop methods for addressing technological imbalances in low-income areas.

COMM 330 Media Law and Management — 3 Credit Hours (Even Year Spring)

This course surveys the laws and management techniques pertaining to, and the ethical conduct of, professionals engaged in communication occupations. Course content includes studying Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regulations; communication and free-speech opportunities and limitations afforded by the U.S. Constitution; current legal and ethical issues applicable to the mass media; and theories and policies that govern and influence media companies.

COMM 338 Advanced Communication Theory — 3 Credit Hours (Even Year Spring)

Advanced Communication Theory provides an overview of contemporary theories regarding the functioning of rhetorical theory and discourse in public settings. COMM338 is designed to introduce you to the advanced theories in communication and scholarly research. Through readings, discussion, research, writing and in-class activities, you will learn how communication theories are developed, analyzed, evaluated and applied. Prerequisite: COMM 238.

COMM 340 Public Relations II — 3 Credit Hours (Odd Year Spring)

This course is a follow-up to the basics taught in Public Relations I. An emphasis is placed on three significant areas to facilitate the knowledge of the future practitioner. An examination of case-study reports and the development of research skills are explored. Writing techniques, which include persuasion, creativity and clarity, are practiced and enhanced. Prerequisite: COMM 240 or the consent of the instructor.

COMM 345 Creative Advertising — 3 Credit Hours (Even Year Spring)

This course is designed to introduce the student to the design and implementation of creative advertising. The course explores copywriting and art direction as well as the use of computer applications for print, broadcasting and digital media. Students will engage in developing creative strategies, as they explore the development, execution and evaluation of creative advertising campaigns.

COMM 370 Media Production II — 3 Credit Hours (Spring)

An extension of the Media Production I course. Media Production II includes the introduction of field production, digital videotape editing and visual graphic elements. Individual, group and term projects are assigned. Some studio work is expected. Prerequisite: COMM 145 or the consent of the instructor.

COMM 386 The Wesleyan Journey — 1-6 Credit Hours (On Demand)

This course combines service-learning with travel, either domestic or abroad, to provide students an opportunity to strengthen values and abilities, in addition to learning specific academic content. The service projects will be linked to the academic content of the class, and the course may require a co-requisite or stand-alone as its own special topics course. Credit varies based on the length of the journey and may involve additional fees for travel. Prerequisite: INTD 110 is recommended but not required for this course.

COMM 460 Internship — 1-3 Credit Hours (On Demand)

This course offers intensive field experience in the area of television, radio, journalism, public relations and advertising within a community organization. The portion of time a student will spend in his/her internship on a weekly basis is equivalent to the number of credits enrolled. Placement is based on the student’s career orientation. Prerequisite: Department approval and satisfaction of any entry criteria, where applicable.

COMM 485 Special Topics in Communication —Variable Credit (On Demand)

Designed to accommodate the student in a particular area of communications, special topics allow the professor to create a course, which is suited to the particular interests of the student’s needs. Possible topics may include television directing, set design creations, advanced journalism or public relations, an exploration of internet broadcasting for radio and web streaming for television, and pop culture topics. This course may be repeated for credit under different subtitles.

COMM 490 Independent Study — Variable Credit (On Demand)

Independent study consists of research, reading and/or other scholarly investigation or creative work in the area of television, radio, journalism or public relations. See Independent Study under Alternative Means to Academic Credit for a more detailed description or contact the department faculty.

COMM 499 Senior Capstone Project (On Demand)

This course is designed as a capstone course for communications majors. Its goal is to provide students with an opportunity to integrate the knowledge and skills they have acquired as communications majors. By working on a capstone project that draws on all prior course work and that culminates in a senior capstone project, students utilize their critical-thinking skills, synthesize their previous coursework and extend and develop their own ideas. Prerequisite: Senior status.