Department of Communication Arts

The focus of study in the Department of Communication Arts is humanity in its broadest dimensions, specifically those highly developed human capabilities of communication, media literacy, and performing arts.

The Communication major and minor develop effective and ethical experts in communication who exercise innovative and exemplary leadership and followership to build relationships and communities.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Communicate competently to diverse audiences in a variety of settings.
  2. Engage effectively in research, problem-solving, and media-literacy endeavors.
  3. Perform a variety of communication acts in interpersonal, small, and large groups.

Master of Education in Library and Information Technology

The Master of Education in Library and Information Technology is designed to meet both state and national standards for library media education and will enable the student to be certified in the state of North Dakota at the highest credential level.

For more information on the Master of Education program, please see the Graduate Program section of this catalog.

Jenness, Jennifer A. Grothe (2007) Associate Professor; B.A. Concordia College, M.A. Minnesota State University-Mankato, M.S.L.S University of North Texas

Russell, Julee (1995) Professor; B.S. Bemidji State University, M.A., Ph.D. University of North Dakota

Russi, Jenni Lou (2009) Associate Professor; B.A. Judson University, M.F.A. Kent State University

Western, Kai (2016) Assistant Professor; B.A. Concordia College, M.A. Missouri State University, Ph.D. North Dakota State University

Ziniel, Jonna (2008) Assistant Professor; B.A., M.A. North Dakota State University, Ph.D. Southern Illinois University Carbondale

COMM 110. Fundamentals of Public Speaking. 3 Credits.

A basic speech course designed to introduce the student to the principles of oral communication, including the content, organization, and delivery of public address. This course is an introduction to interpersonal and group communication concepts. Emphasis is placed on extemporaneous speaking, effective listening, and critical evaluation.
Typically Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer.

COMM 112. Understanding Media and Social Change. 3 Credits.

An exploration of the purpose, function, and impact of media on society.
Typically Offered: Spring, Summer.

COMM 114. Human Communication. 3 Credits.

Overview of communication theory with emphasis on information transmission and social influence functions of communication behavior in personal and mediated contexts.
Typically Offered: Fall.

COMM 175. Student Media Critique. 1 Credit.

This seminar explores audience-engagement of media through critical analysis of student and professional media. Students will meet weekly and analyze Viking Student Media products along with academic and professional guest critics.
Typically Offered: Fall, Spring.
Grading: S/U only.
Repeatable: Up to 8 Credits.

COMM 200. Introduction to Media Writing. 3 Credits.

An introduction to the principles of writing articles and stories for newspapers, radio, television, and the Internet. Topics include news gathering, interviewing, basic story structures and types, style and ethics.
Typically Offered: Fall.
Prerequisite: ENGL 120 or ENGL 125.

COMM 211. Oral Interpretation. 3 Credits.

A course focused on the study of the development of effective vocal techniques through the analysis and performative reading of all types of literature.
Typically Offered: Fall.

COMM 212. Interpersonal Communication. 3 Credits.

An examination of styles, patterns, and challenges in human communication in both verbal and nonverbal contexts.
Typically Offered: Spring, Summer.

COMM 216. Intercultural Communication. 3 Credits.

An exploration of cross-cultural and intercultural communication, focusing on definitions, concepts, and theories in global environments. Special emphasis is placed on intercultural norms and etiquette, gender issues, and ELL/bilingual considerations, particularly within the framework of corporate communications.
Typically Offered: Fall, Summer.

COMM 294. Independent Study. 1-3 Credits.

Directed reading, study, and/or activities in selected topics.
Typically Offered: On sufficient demand.
Repeatable: Up to 12 Credits.

COMM 299. Special Topics. 1-4 Credits.

Courses not offered in the regular catalog that provide an opportunity to extend student learning.
Typically Offered: On sufficient demand.
Repeatable: Up to 12 Credits.

COMM 304. Corporate Communication. 3 Credits.

A course deigned to acquire mastery in the facilitation skills required of corporate trainers. The class will focus on presentation technology, visuals, questioning techniques, participant-centered presentations, and facilitator presence. Students will develop several training tools such as surveys, assessment instruments, and visual aids. Students will also develop a training manual, group facilitation, and PowerPoint presentation.
Typically Offered: Fall, odd years.

COMM 311. Communication and Interviewing. 3 Credits.

An examination of the theory and practice of interviews and interviewers. The class centers on conducting and participating in a variety of interview types. Strategies distinctive in interviews are considered. Class discussions and investigate communication theory in interpersonal, organizational, and mass communications contexts.
Typically Offered: Fall.

COMM 312. Gender Communication. 3 Credits.

An exploration of the philosophical and theoretical issues surrounding gender construction, communication, and culture. Focus is on ways communication in families, schools, media, business, and other institutions create and sustain gender roles. Recommended: COMM 212.
Typically Offered: Spring, even years, Summer, odd years.

COMM 314. Public Relations. 3 Credits.

An introduction to the functions, scope, and ethics of public relations. Particular emphasis will be given to the ways of gaining public support for an activity, cause, movement, or institution and public velotions copywriting. Recommended: COMM 200.
Typically Offered: Spring.
Prerequisite: ENGL 120 or ENGL 125.

COMM 315. Digital Communication. 3 Credits.

An introduction to the developmental and presentation of informative and persuasive messages in an electronic environment. An emphasis is place on the effective use of language and visual graphics to maintain a digital audience. Recommended: COMM 200 and CIS 170.
Typically Offered: Fall, odd years.
Prerequisite: ENGL 125.

COMM 330. Understanding Statistics. 3 Credits.

This course is an introduction to descriptive, inferential, and correlated statistics. Emphasis is placed on determining when to use each type of test and how to read and discuss statistical analyses. Cross-referenced with POLS 330, PSYC 330, and SOC 330.
Typically Offered: Fall.
Prerequisite: MATH 103 or MATH 104.
Same As: COMM/POLS/PSYC/SOC 330.

COMM 340. Research Methods. 3 Credits.

An exploration of social research processes and analyses. Fundamentals and specific application of the most common data gathering and measurement techniques are addressed. Cross-referenced with POLS 340, PSYC 340, and SOC 340.
Typically Offered: Fall, Spring.
Prerequisites: ENGL 110, ENGL 120 or ENGL 125, and COMM 330/POLS 330/PSYC 330/SOC 330.
Same As: COMM/POLS/PSYC/SOC 340.

COMM 344. Reporting and Feature Writing. 3 Credits.

A study of news gathering, judgment, and writing. Topics include beat reporting, profiles, columns, and blogging.
Typically Offered: Spring, odd years.
Prerequisite: COMM 200.

COMM 350. Issues in Communication. 3 Credits.

An advanced course of selected issues, theories, and philosophies in the field of communication.
Typically Offered: Fall.

COMM 360. Group Dynamics. 3 Credits.

An examination of human interaction within groups. Small group processes are practiced. Theories of interpersonal relations, team building, leadership, and conflict management are discussed. Students will observe group dynamics by interacting within small groups and by developing group presentations. Cross-referenced with PSYC 360 and SOC 360.
Typically Offered: Fall.
Prerequisite: PSYC 111.
Same As: COMM 360/PSYC 360/SOC 360.

COMM 394. Independent Study. 1-3 Credits.

Directed reading, study, and/or activities in selected topics.
Typically Offered: On sufficient demand.
Repeatable: Up to 12 Credits.

COMM 399. Special Topics. 1-4 Credits.

Courses not offered in the regular catalog that provide an opportunity to extend student learning.
Typically Offered: On sufficient demand.
Repeatable: Up to 12 Credits.

COMM 411. Communication Theory. 3 Credits.

A survey of communication theory and research topics as they pertain to everyday social interactions. Student explore the relationship between theory, guiding, research, and knowledge.
Typically Offered: Spring, even years.

COMM 414. Social Media Management. 3 Credits.

An exploration of managing social media and analytical tools. This course explores the tools and strategical use of social media in promoting the goals and mission of both for-profit and non-profit organizations, covering advertising, marketing, public relations, and promotional strategies within the media scope of social media. Cross-referenced with MRKT 414.
Typically Offered: Spring.
Prerequisite: COMM 314 or COMM 315 or MRKT 305.
Same As: COMM 414/MRKT 414.

COMM 415. Sports Information. 3 Credits.

A specialized course that focuses on preparing sports copy, public relations, and social media campaigns for athletic institutions.Students will acquire the ability to promote and analyze messages to a variety of audiences. Recommended: COMM 200.
Typically Offered: Spring, odd years.

COMM 425. Popular Culture and Rhetoric. 3 Credits.

A course that explores popular culture and rhetoric. This course covers popular culture and rhetoric as dominant persuasive influences in modern society. The course examines concepts, theories and critical methods that assist communicators to understand the power and force of language. Emphasis is placed on becoming insightful critics and consumers of everyday messages to which the public is exposed, especially through mass media.
Typically Offered: Fall.
Prerequisite: COMM 110 or COMM 114.

COMM 483. Organizational Communication. 3 Credits.

A course focused on the study of human communication, including interaction, presentation, and management within organizations. Students will learn skills related to researching communication within organizations including survey development, network mapping, observation. Special emphasis will be given to examining the roles of culture and gender within an organization.
Typically Offered: Spring, even years.

COMM 487. Field Experience. 3-6 Credits.

An opportunity for the student to gain practical knowledge in an area of study. The student is required to complete 40 hours of work per credit and may be repeated up to a maximum of 12 credit hours. Application and approval through Program Department Chair.
Typically Offered: Fall, Spring.
Prerequisite: Cum GPA of 2.00 or higher.
Grading: S/U only.
Repeatable: Up to 12 Credits.

COMM 491. Senior Capstone. 1 Credit.

This course will assist the student developing a professional portfolio as well as assist in job search and placement. The course will address both technical application and content.
Typically Offered: Fall, Spring.
Prerequisite: COMM 497.
Grading: S/U only.

COMM 494. Undergraduate Research. 3-12 Credits.

The course is designed to integrate subject matter from major coursework and other disciplines into a project that leads to the creation of an original body of knowledge.
Typically Offered: On sufficient demand.
Repeatable: Up to 12 Credits.

COMM 497. Internship. 3-12 Credits.

An opportunity for students to apply classroom learning to an on-the-job work experience. Internship must be related to the student's major or minor course of study and may be in any geographic location. Credit is granted in the range of three to twelve hours per semester and may be repeated up to a maximum of 12 credit hours. Application and approval through Career Services.
Typically Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer.
Prerequisites: Junior Standing or Senior Standing and cum GPA of 2.50 or higher.
Grading: S/U only.
Repeatable: Up to 12 Credits.

COMM 611. Communication Theory. 3 Credits.

A survey of communication theory and research topics as that pertain to everyday social interactions. Students explore the relationship between theory, guiding, research, and knowledge.
Typically Offered: Spring, even years.

COMM 630. Instructional Communication and Technology. 3 Credits.

A study of current concepts, theories, and practice in instruction, communication, and technology. This course explores historical and rhetorical perspectives, traits, instructional message variables, incivility, assessment, course design, and evolving instructional technologies.
Typically Offered: Fall, even years.

COMM 645. Media Uses and Effects. 3 Credits.

A study of the theoretical and practical research of major issues found in the media. Topics include media effect, violence, persuasion, public opinion, marketing, and media literacy.
Typically Offered: Spring, odd years.

COMM 650. Advanced Interpersonal Communication. 3 Credits.

A survey of communication theory and research topics as they pertain to everyday social interactions. Students explore an examination of styles, patterns and challenges in human communication in both verbal and nonverbal contexts. This class looks at many types of relationships and modes of communication, particularity in relation to education.
Typically Offered: Summer, even years.

COMM 655. Advanced Intercultural Communication. 3 Credits.

An advanced exploration of cross-cultural and intercultural communication, focusing on definitions, concepts and theories of culture as they relate to the self and the classroom. Special emphasis will be placed on norms, etiquette, gender, and sexuality especially as they relate within the framework of the educational setting.
Typically Offered: Fall, odd years.

COMM 660. Group Communication, Team Building, and Leadership. 3 Credits.

A course on the theories and praxis of creating and maintaining successful group, team, and leadership experiences in the classroom. Topics include group formation, climate, roles, goals, conflict resolution, and leadership nurturing.
Typically Offered: Summer, odd years.

LMIS 250. Introduction to Libraries and Information Science. 3 Credits.

An introduction to the types of libraries, their organization, services, standards, technology, and issues with an emphasis on the role of the school librarian.
Typically Offered: Fall.

LMIS 299. Special Topics. 1-4 Credits.

Courses not offered in the regular catalog that provide an opportunity to extend student learning.
Typically Offered: On sufficient demand.
Repeatable: Up to 12 Credits.

LMIS 360. Collection Development. 3 Credits.

An examination of the basic principles of selection and evaluation of library materials, study and practice in the use of selection aids, and the development of collection policies and procedures.
Typically Offered: Fall.

LMIS 365. The Organization of Information. 3 Credits.

An introduction to the principles and theories of library cataloging, and practical experience in the use of descriptive and subject cataloging, classification and the MARC format.
Typically Offered: Spring.

LMIS 370. Reference Sources and Services. 3 Credits.

An exploration of reference services and information literacy instruction with an emphasis on conducting reference interviews, online searching techniques, and using reference sources in multiple formats.
Typically Offered: Fall.

LMIS 394. Independent Study. 1-3 Credits.

Directed reading, study, and/or activities in selected topics.
Typically Offered: On sufficient demand.
Repeatable: Up to 12 Credits.

LMIS 399. Special Topics. 1-4 Credits.

Courses not offered in the regular catalog that provide an opportunity to extend student learning.
Typically Offered: On sufficient demand.
Repeatable: Up to 12 Credits.

LMIS 430. Administration of the School Library Media Center. 3 Credits.

A study of the objectives and functions of a school library media center and the principles of library management. Consideration is given to teacher-librarian relationships and to current library issues.
Typically Offered: Spring.

LMIS 445. Standards for Effective Libraries. 3 Credits.

An introduction to national and state curricular and library media standards, with a focus on teaching and learning strategies to integrate information literacy into the curriculum and fostering collaboration among librarians and classroom teachers.
Typically Offered: Fall.

LMIS 470. Current Issues in Librarianship. 3 Credits.

An exploration of current and/or controversial issues in librarianship, with an emphasis on emerging technologies and their use in the library or classroom.
Typically Offered: Spring.

LMIS 494. Undergraduate Research. 3-12 Credits.

The course is designed to integrate subject matter from major coursework and other disciplines into a project that leads to the creation of an original body of knowledge.
Typically Offered: On sufficient demand.
Repeatable: Up to 12 Credits.

LMIS 497. Internship. 3-12 Credits.

An opportunity for students to apply classroom learning to an on-the-job work experience. Internship must be related to the student's major or minor course of study and may be in any geographic location. Credit is granted in the range of three to twelve hours per semester and may be repeated up to a maximum of 12 credit hours. Application and approval through Career Services.
Typically Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer.
Prerequisites: Junior Standing or Senior Standing and cum GPA of 2.50 or higher.
Grading: S/U only.
Repeatable: Up to 12 Credits.

LMIS 499. Special Topics. 1-4 Credits.

Courses not offered in the regular catalog that provide an opportunity to extend student learning.
Typically Offered: On sufficient demand.
Repeatable: Up to 12 Credits.

LMIS 660. Applied Research in Current School Library Issues. 3 Credits.

A survey of current themes and issues in school library and information technology research with emphasis on identifying areas for collaborative school classroom or library research designed to support improved student learning and address state and national curriculum standards. An overview of the processes and procedures involved in designing, completing, and documenting a successful action research project. Writing a draft action research literature review using the institutionally required style and formats, submitting the required M.Ed. action research topic proposal, and preparing and submitting Institutional Review Board (IRB) forms for this research proposal.
Typically Offered: Fall.
Prerequisite: EDUC 610.

LMIS 664. Literature and Literacy for Children and Young Adults. 3 Credits.

An examination of literacy issues as they relate to literature for children and young adults. Classic and contemporary works of literature for children and young adults will be studied with regard to reading issues, child/adolescent development, censorship, literary value, and lifelong reading/learning. Cross-referenced with EDUC 664 and ENGL 664.
Typically Offered: Fall.
Same As: EDUC 664/ENGL 664/LMIS 664.

LMIS 670. Integrating Information Literacy and Research Standards. 3 Credits.

An exploration and analyzes of research models, their application and use in meeting information literacy standards. Topics include current issues and trends in learning theory, learner behavior, and instructional design as related to information literacy. An emphasis is placed on the responsibility of the school library media specialist to collaborate with classroom teachers to integrate information literacy into all curricular areas.
Typically Offered: Fall.

LMIS 676. Contemporary Cataloging for the School Library. 2 Credits.

Principles of organizing and cataloging materials for the school library with emphasis on accessing resources for processing materials in a variety of print and digital formats, utilizing current standards and systems for creating bibliographic records, and developing and maintaining records in on-line circulation and catalog systems.
Typically Offered: Summer.

LMIS 677. Collection Development for the 21st Century School Library. 2 Credits.

This course covers the selection and acquisition of school library resources with emphasis on techniques to assure a balanced collection reflecting a diversity of format and content. Topics include profiling the resource needs of learners to address state and national standards, analyzing the library collection, developing selection criteria for materials in a variety of formats, and managing the acquisitions process.
Typically Offered: Summer.

LMIS 680. Using Information Resources. 3 Credits.

This course focuses on core reference skills and reference collections essential to a successful school library program. Special emphasis placed on how the school library media specialist can assist students in becoming information literate and the need for collaboration with classroom teachers when promoting the use of information resources in the school library media center.
Typically Offered: Spring.

LMIS 687. Administering and Evaluating Program Resources. 3 Credits.

This course explores leadership theory and the role of the school library media specialist as program administrator, preparing the learner to administer an effective school library program supporting the mission of the school and based on AASL standards. Professional principles and responsibilities including facilities management, budget consideration, personnel planning, and data-driven program assessment and evaluation will be emphasized.
Typically Offered: Summer.

LMIS 688. Collaboration, Management, and Leadership. 3 Credits.

An exploration of leadership theory and the role of the school library media specialist as program administrator, preparing the learner to administer an effective school library program supporting the mission of the school and based on AASL standards. The course covers the professional principles and responsibilities including facilities management, budget consideration, personnel planning, and data-driven program assessment and evaluation.
Typically Offered: Spring.

LMIS 689. Research Application. 1 Credit.

Preparation for completing individual action research topic on the graduate level. The course directs the student in completion of M.Ed. research requirement. Cross-referenced with EDUC 689, ENGL 689, and TECH 689.
Typically Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer.
Same As: EDUC/ENGL/LMIS/TECH 689.

LMIS 698. Capstone. 2 Credits.

A summative graduate experience that reflects on learning and makes connections to changes in teaching and methodology. The students will demonstrate the core knowledge and in this standards-based digital portfolio. Previously developed publishable action research effort is showcased. Cross-referenced with EDUC 698, ENGL 698, and TECH 698.
Typically Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer.
Same As: EDUC/ENGL/LMIS/TECH 698.

THEA 110. Introduction to Theatre Arts. 3 Credits.

An introduction to the principles and history of the theatre arts, including play analysis, acting, design, and directing.
Typically Offered: Fall.

THEA 161. Acting One. 3 Credits.

A course designed to acquaint the students with basic stage movement and vocal performance techniques. Acquaints students with basic acting techniques, including skills for movement and voice.
Typically Offered: Fall.

THEA 194. Independent Study. 1-3 Credits.

Directed reading, study, and/or activities in selected topics.
Typically Offered: On sufficient demand.
Repeatable: Up to 12 Credits.

THEA 201. Theatre Practicum. 1-3 Credits.

An opportunity for students to gain practical experience through participation in theatre productions. Option A includes technical theatre practice. Option B includes performance in a dramatic production before an audience. The number of credit hours is granted at the discretion of the instructor.
Typically Offered: Fall, Spring.
Repeatable: Up to 12 Credits.

THEA 229. Fundamentals of Creative Dramatics. 3 Credits.

An introduction to dramatic materials and techniques that may be used in the classroom to stimulate students' imagination and enhance the teaching of nearly all academic disciplines.
Typically Offered: On sufficient demand.

THEA 270. Stagecraft. 3 Credits.

A lecture and practical application covering basic design and construction. Students address and challenges in preparing and presenting live theatre productions in various venues.
Typically Offered: Fall, even years.

THEA 299. Special Topics. 1-4 Credits.

Courses not offered in the regular catalog that provide an opportunity to extend student learning.
Typically Offered: On sufficient demand.
Repeatable: Up to 12 Credits.

THEA 350. Costume and Makeup Design. 3 Credits.

An opportunity for students to become familiar with various historical costume styles, the methods and materials for constructing them. Students participate in hands-on activities that include techniques of costume design with theatrical makeup materials design and methods of application.
Typically Offered: Fall, odd years.

THEA 361. Acting II - Advanced Acting. 3 Credits.

A review of acting styles and periods beyond modern realism, including classic, romantic, and other genres. Curriculum includes a film acting component.
Typically Offered: Spring, even years.
Prerequisite: THEA 161.

THEA 365. Directing the Play. 3 Credits.

An introduction to the basic principles for preparing, rehearsing, and presenting a dramatic production.
Typically Offered: Spring, odd years.

THEA 399. Special Topics. 1-4 Credits.

Courses not offered in the regular catalog that provide an opportunity to extend student learning.
Typically Offered: On sufficient demand.
Repeatable: Up to 12 Credits.

THEA 401. Theatre Workshop. 1-3 Credits.

An advanced workshop in which students complete significant assignments in theatre production, including acting, directing, stage management, and design. The number of credit hours is granted at the discretion of the instructor. Previous experience or course work in theatre production is required.
Typically Offered: Fall, Spring.
Prerequisite: Junior Standing or Senior Standing.
Repeatable: Up to 9 Credits.

THEA 404. Musical Theatre. 3 Credits.

An exploration of the history of Musical Theatre through performance techniques. Students study acting, singing, and dancing styles specific to the American Musical Theatre, throughout the history of the genre. Movement and voice issues, as applied to performance, are addressed.
Typically Offered: Spring, odd years.
Prerequisite: THEA 361.

THEA 494. Undergraduate Research. 3-12 Credits.

The course is designed to integrate subject matter from major coursework and other disciplines into a project that leads to the creation of an original body of knowledge.
Typically Offered: On sufficient demand.
Repeatable: Up to 12 Credits.

THEA 497. Internship. 3-12 Credits.

An opportunity for students to apply classroom learning to an on-the-job work experience. Internship must be related to the student's major or minor course of study and may be in any geographic location. Credit is granted in the range of three to twelve hours per semester and may be repeated up to a maximum of 12 credit hours. Application and approval through Career Services.
Typically Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer.
Prerequisites: Junior Standing or Senior Standing and cum GPA of 2.50 or higher.
Grading: S/U only.
Repeatable: Up to 12 Credits.

THEA 499. Special Topics. 1-4 Credits.

Courses not offered in the regular catalog that provide an opportunity to extend student learning.
Typically Offered: On sufficient demand.
Repeatable: Up to 12 Credits.