2014-2015 Undergraduate Catalog 
    May 28, 2024  
2014-2015 Undergraduate Catalog [Archived]


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Chairperson: Dr. Mary L. Kahl
Department Office: Gillum Hall, room 317
Web site: http://www.indstate.edu/communication


The Department of Communication at Indiana State University offers a program of study that prepares students to work in today’s constantly changing world.  Our need to create, use, and understand effective communication is more important than at any point in human history. Communication technologies shape human action and interaction globally, impacting the lives of individuals and communities. The Communication program at ISU involves students in research, theory, and experiential learning through a course of study that includes common core requirements in culture, practice, research, theory, history, writing, multimedia production, and law. Concentrations in Communication and Culture, Health Communication, Journalism, Media Studies, or Public Relations, are available, as are  selected electives.  The Department of Communication supports the liberal arts and sciences mission of the College of Arts and Sciences and Indiana State University by participating in the Foundational Studies Program, the Honors Program, and Interdisciplinary Programs in Women’s Studies and International Studies.




Degrees Offered

The Department of Communication offers a bachelor of arts or a bachelor of science degree. Candidates for either degree must complete the University requirement of a minimum of 120 credit hours, including Foundational Studies course work, as well as the requirements for the departmental major, which include completion of a minor offered outside the department. Candidates for a bachelor of arts degree must also complete two years, or the equivalent, of a foreign language. The Department also offers a minor in Communication.


Departmental Opportunities

Department faculty encourage student research and practice through a robust multimedia production program, independent projects, and a strong chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA). Honors students are inducted into the local chapter of Lambda Pi Eta, the national Communication honor society. The Department supports student professional development and community engagement through internships, practica, membership in student chapters of organizations, and opportunities for client-based services and competitions. Our students benefit from cooperative relationships with ISU student media operations, including WISU, a 24-hour per day student run radio operation, Sycamore Video, a student video production program, and the Indiana Statesman. Students are assigned a faculty academic advisor, and they are encouraged to maintain good contact with this advisor during the year and to work with them prior to registration each semester. Students who do so are more likely to meet their goals and achieve academic success.


Description of Concentrations


Communication and Culture examines communicative practices as modes of action, ways of accomplishing social ends, the craft of communicative practice and performance, and both ordinary and spectacular cultural events and acts. Courses in the concentration utilize multiple methods to develop an understanding of the cultural worlds we occupy. The concentration features ethnographic theory and method, involving students in participant observation, cross-cultural contexts, and self-reflexivity to produce deeper knowledge about the ways in which culture is produced and re-produced by human action.


Health Communication examines the production and dissemination of health information and how thatinformation impacts individuals, small groups and communities, organizations, and public policy. Health Communication exists within the fields of interpersonal, organizational and media communication, and utilizes strategic communication to deliver evidence-based health information to various healthcare audiences. Courses in the concentration teach how to motivate individuals to be attentive to and use health information and how to improve patient outcomes such as compliance, satisfaction, and quality of life. Among other topics, students will gain a better understanding of how health communication interventions are designed and how health issues are framed for specific audiences using various media. 


Journalism explores the various skills, laws, ethics, power, and responsibilities of the news media in modern society. Courses in the concentration focus on the technical skills and theoretical understandings needed to successfully hear, interpret, and share the stories of diverse people whose circumstances are vital to understanding the changing and complex world in which we live.

Media Studies
examines the social implications and responsibilities of the media and develops fundamental knowledge of media production theory and skills. Courses in the concentration challenge students to engage media messages critically rather than to accept them passively. Students learn to be both mindful consumers and responsible creators of mediated messages. Such messages are essential aspects of contemporary life. Knowledge of their complexity is necessary to those entering careers in media communication.


Public Relations explores how organizations build and maintain good reputations and communicate effectively with employees, the media, community groups, and others important to their success. Courses in this concentration emphasize the use of strategic communication to place messages in the media through media releases, editorial content, and promotion while broadening a student’s understanding of organizations, various media formats, and effective campaign construction.


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