Communication and Leadership Studies
36 Credit Program of Study
The Communication and Leadership Studies Program requires students to attain 36 credits of study.
- 21 credits in Theory & Practice Courses
- 6 credits in Research & Thesis/Project
- 6 credits in Communication Electives
- 3 credits in Leadership Electives
Theory & Practice Courses (21 credits required)
- COML 508 - Theorizing Communication (3 credits)
- COML 518 - Writing in the Discipline (no credit, co-requisite with COML 508, fee-based lab)
- COML 509 - Social Dynamics of Communication Technology (3 credits)
- ORGL 500 - Organizational Leadership (3 credits)
- COML 503 - Communication Ethics (3 credits)
- COML 504 - Organizational Communication (3 credits)
- COML 506 - International & Intercultural Communication (3 credits)
- COML 517* - Communication Practica (3 credits)
Research & Thesis Project Courses (6 credits required)
- COML 501** - Applied Research (3 credits)
- COML 680*** - Communication Seminar - Thesis/Project (3 credits)
Communication Electives (6 credits required)
- COML 510 - Communication Teaching & Pedagogy (3 credits)
- COML 511 - Seminar in Comm. Consulting and Training (3 credits)
- COML 512 - Seminar in Strategic and Corporate Comm. (3 credits)
- COML 513 - Seminar in Advanced Topics in Communication (3 credits)
- COML 513 - Communication, Technology & Social Change in Cagli, Italy (3 credits)
- COML 513 - Renaissance Rhetoric & Contemporary Leadership in Florence, Italy (3 credits)
- COML 513 - Peacebuilding through Dialogue (3 credits)
- COML 514 - Seminar in Advanced Criticism (3 credits)
- COML 515 - Seminar in Interpersonal & Small Group Comm. (3 credits)
- COML 516 - Seminar in Media Literacy (3 credits)
- COML 520 - Internship (1-6 credits)
- COML 521 - Travel Writing (3 credits)
- COML 660/661 - Directed Readings (3 credits)
Leadership Electives (3 credits required)
Any ORGL course can be used to meet this LEADERSHIP elective. Talk with your advisor regarding which one would help in your degree goals.
*COML 517 is designated a residential course for Online students.
** COML 501 is a required prerequisite for COML 680
** COML 680 is a capstone semester-long course and should be taken the final semester.
COML/ORGL 500 - Organizational Leadership (3 credits)
An introduction to organizational leadership begins with an examination of the questions: How do leaders explain the causes of dysfunctional thinking and/or behavior in themselves, other leaders, or in organizations? How do they understand the differences among a variety of styles of leadership and models of organizations? How do they apply the theories of leadership and the principles of organizational behavior to actual situations? How do they formulate a broad, integrative perspective from which to view leadership and organizational behavior? Drawing from the social science, this integrated course focuses on research and models of leadership relevant to defining and achieving collective goals in a variety of organizational settings.
COML/ORGL 501 - Communication and Organizational Research (3 credits)
Required Prerequisite for COML 680
Gall, Gall, & Borg note that research is a systematic and persistent approach to answering questions (2006). This course meets that charge head on as we attempt to explore the philosophies of research and how to answer questions that we are passionate about. Through engagement with primary research and exposure to current methodologies and the inquiry process, this course requires the development of a full research proposal (e.g. literature review, rationale for the proposed questions, formal research questions and/or hypotheses, and proposed method description.)
COML/ORGL 503 - Communication and Organizational Ethics (3 credits)
Worldviews inform personal, social, political, and professional lives. They influence our perception and practice of leadership, how we respond to adversity, how we relate to others and what we understand to be our purpose. Through a modified case study approach students are challenged to explore human life from two radically opposing worldviews, examining ethical dilemmas of leadership within the context of moral choices and implications of decision-making. Defining personal worldviews in online postings will help students identify and clarify personal motivations, behaviors, and reactions to ethical problems in the organizational setting.
COML/ORGL 504 - Organizational Communication and Leadership (3 credits)
I’m convinced that when historians 100 years from now or 200 years from now try to describe our times, they will say we are living through the third great communication revolution in the history of western civilization.
All organizations -- from Microsoft, to churches, to social clubs, and universities -- rely on communication, and being able to communicate strategically is crucial to meaningful participation. This course will explore contemporary concepts about the meanings and functions of communication in organizations. Organizational communication encompasses not only communication within businesses, but also within large private or nonprofit associations, larger community groups, and governments both large and small. We will cover such selected topics in organizational communication research, such as culture, socialization, systems theory, communication and technology, and globalization.
COML/ORGL 506 - International and Intercultural Communication (3 credits)
The identity I am thinking of is something that hovers between a [hu]man and the rest of the world: a midpoint between his view of himself and theirs of him—for each, of course, affects the other continually. A reciprocal fluxion, sir. There is nothing absolute about this identity of mine.
-Cornell & Hartmann, 1998
Who we are, whether we are comfortable with this idea or not, is shaped in part by the social roles we occupy and how society sees us in those roles. As we will see from the very beginning of this class, our social roles, the class we are born into, our gender, all have implications for our lives. We will explore intercultural communication as a tool for bridging differences and learning about identities, practices, and cultures.
COML 508 - Theorizing Communication (3 credits)
In an introduction to the field of communication this course investigates major theories of communication, with emphasis on understanding theorizing as a process of constructing visions of reality. Critical analysis of the underlying assumptions of theoretical models of communication will help to frame your understanding of communication into a philosophical and ethical statement.
COML 509 - Social Dynamics of Communication Technologies (3 credits)
As McLuhan tells us: “We become what we behold. We shape our tools and then our tools shape us.” This course will explore, examine, and analyze the ways in which communication technology influences our shared fundamental assumptions about the nature of communication, the manner in which we interact with one another on a daily basis, as well as our socially shared values, beliefs, and attitudes.
COML 510 - Communication Teaching and Pedagogy (3 credits)
This course is part of the Emphasis in College Teaching of Communication.
This course was designed for people considering a career as a communication educator at the college level. The goals for this class have three interrelated dimensions; (a) cognitive learning, (b) affective orientation; and (c) behavioral development. Students will develop curriculum, learn teaching strategies, develop goals and assessment, college classroom observations, and build a teaching portfolio.
COML 511 - Seminar in Communication Consulting and Training (3 credits)
In a global economy it is increasingly important to have the training and consulting skills that will allow you to interact effectively with many different cultures. Understanding and creating new media programs is vital to you and your organization's success. This course will explore the unique application of communication skills and models to training and consulting. There will be practice in consulting in a variety of settings, developing resources, marketing, workshop development, training skill building and evaluation.
COML 512 - Seminar in Strategic and Corporate Communication (3 credits)
Gone are the days when organizations can afford to wait while their competition moves ahead. New ideas, trends, issues, projects and services in our workplaces are all opportunities to plan, strategize and communicate with our many stakeholders. Whether you lead an organization, work for an organization, are in charge of strategic planning or communication, it is critical to understand at a deep level how to develop, implement and evaluate effective integrated communication plans. This advanced primer on strategic and corporate communications will focus on strategic and corporate communication in profit and not-for-profit corporate settings.
This seminar explores cutting edge new technologies, theory, and issues. The specific theme of this course varies each time it is offered because communication is constantly evolving. THIS COURSE CAN BE REPEATED TWICE FOR CREDIT
COML 513 - Communication, Technology & Social Change (3 credits)
17-day Residency in Cagli, Italy Social media and other new forms of electronic communication are an integral part of who can and cannot participate in these turbulent times. One overall course goal is to become aware of the many ways activists are working to direct our attention and accomplish social change. Understanding how the world is influenced by individuals working together is vital in today’s society. Students are introduced to the major concepts related to social movements and the role that communication and technologies play in facilitating social change. Asking questions such as: How do social movements form? What communication strategies do they use to accomplish their goals? And, what are the barriers to their success?
COML 513 - Renaissance Rhetoric & Contemporary Leadership (3 credits)
14-day Residency in Florence, Italy Communication and leadership are closely intertwined, whether in our current period of post-modernity or during the European Renaissance. Fifteenth century Italy and Florence in particular, saw a flowering of the arts and scholarship unmatched in history. This can be seen in the rhetoric of art and architecture, religious preaching, political writing and oratory, and in the humanistic philosophy that emerges from it. This course examines this period through readings and discussions in order to formulate the critical questions necessary to bring these ideas to our contemporary world. Using the Italian Renaissance as the canvas we will study multiple examples of rhetoric, both written and visual.
COML 513 - Peacebuilding through Dialogue (3 credits)
11-day Residency in Derry, Northern Ireland The aim of this course is to introduce concepts from the field of communication that enable an understanding of how local peacebuilding can build bridges across conflicting groups in deeply divided societies. Communication and dialogue are closely intertwined and together act at the heart of establishing shared space and creating a common future. The course will reflect on the causes and history of The Troubles (1969-1998) as well as the tortuous peace process following the Belfast Agreement in 1998. Based on that agreement, Northern Ireland's devolved government finally became a reality in 2008. Local peacebuilding through dialogue is central to understanding how peace has been maintained.
COML 514 - Seminar in Advanced Criticism (3 credits)
The study of criticism begins with the understanding that as human beings, we use language and other symbols to shape the world in which we live. Rhetorical theory allows us to begin to understand how symbols function and rhetorical criticism is one of the processes through which we assess specific symbolic acts. Students will explore and apply several different methods including: how to describe primary rhetorical acts or texts (including speeches, films, news coverage, television programs, songs, and advertisements, among others) in rich, relevant detail, how to situate or make sense of rhetorical acts or texts within their historical, cultural moments, and how to use theory to develop a rhetorical perspective that will help render a judgment about a text or act.
COML 515 - Seminar in Interpersonal and Small Group Communication (3 credits)
This course will enhance your ability to assess an interpersonal or small-group communication event and its context (a “context” can be familial, business, church, school-related, and so on). Students will learn to choose among relevant theoretical perspectives in order to understand and improve, interpersonal and small-group communication within specific social contexts. The course is designed to encourage students to explore the communication dynamics that create group situations (and the ethical dimensions of these situations), and to explore specific communication actions that can lead to positive social change.
COML 516 - Seminar in Media Literacy (3 credits)
Despite our awareness that we live in an Age of Communication, we often are little aware of how we contribute, define, make, use and are used by various forms of communication media. Communication in our society takes place in many forms, including mass electronic media, telecommunications, transportation, publishing and even our educational system. This course examines the implications of several forms of communication for how we live and what we believe, including the impact of mass media on modern societies, conflicting social interests and the needs of different groups in society, the formation of public opinion, and the diffusion of innovations. Attention will be directed throughout the course to the processes of developing action plans for communication usage that incorporates principles of media literacy.
COML 517 - Communication Practicum: Speech, Writing, Multi-Media (3 credits)
3-day On-campus Residency
This course is grounded in the principle that the best learning is experiential, and occurs in the context of a community. This practicum is designed to merge theory and praxis and provide practical application of communication knowledge and action with a focus on public speaking, group processes writing, and multi-media products. Students will work to create a website/blog of a community profile that includes speaking, writing, and multi-media components.
COML 518 - Writing in the Discipline (no credit, co-requisite with COML 508, fee-based lab)
This course is designed to introduce students to the genre of academic writing in the Discipline of Communication. It is designed to both assess and improve a student's writing skills while serving as a resource for graduate students who are apprehensive about their writing skills or who need to brush up on writing competencies.
COML 520 - Communication Leadership Internship (1-6 credits)
The Graduate Internship is designed for students who enter the degree program without prior practical work in the communications industries, or are looking for updating their in situ knowledge of communication practices the opportunity to work in a communication industry either locally, nationally or internationally. Additional possibilities exist in educational or organizational contexts, beyond the student normal work experience.
COML 521 - Travel Writing (3 credits)
This course is designed to improve your ability to write a narrative from stories about travel. The genre ranges from the documentary to the evocative, from literary to journalistic, and from humorous to serious. This course will show you how to put your camera aside (temporarily) and engage your experiences more deeply in both strange and familiar places close to home. Text exercises will help you develop the basic storytelling and descriptive skills required by this genre. Selected current readings will serve as examples of good writing.
COML 680 - Thesis or Project (3 credits)
In this integrative capstone course students will complete a thesis or project on a communication topic. Under the guidance of a professor and a mentor, the student will complete an original research study or applied project to be presented in a public forum. Click here to view archived 680 works.
Emphasis in College Teaching of Communication
With a growing number of MA students interested in becoming college teachers, COML created an Emphasis in College Teaching of Communication. The emphasis helps students acquire communication skills for teaching, it helps them develop a portfolio and communication philosophy, and it helps them create strategies and develop resources for teaching lower-division college courses. The Emphasis also includes an internship at a college in the student's region. Students in this Emphasis focus their MA thesis or project in this area of inquiry.
The Emphasis consists of four courses or a total of 12 credits.
- COML 510 Communication Teaching & Pedagogy: Theory and Practice (3 credits) The Communication discipline was founded in part, because of a felt need to make people better communicators. This course will review the history and practice of teaching communication and be especially useful for people considering a career as a communication educator at the college level. The course will also focus on developing curricula, learning teaching strategies, developing goals and assessment, college classroom observations, and building a teaching portfolio.
- COML 517 Communication Practicum (3 credits) Each student in the Emphasis is required to create a portfolio for teaching multi-media in addition to the standard COML 517 coursework.
- COML 520 Internship (3 credits) Students will complete approximately 240 hour Internship under the supervision of a communication professor at a local college or university for one semester or quarter. The internship includes the development of a portfolio and evaluations from supervisors of the internship. Students are responsible for arranging the internship in their community.
- COML 680 Thesis or Project (3 credits) Students who proceed through the Emphasis will be required to develop their thesis or project around a topic in college teaching or training in communication.
Admission to the Teaching Emphasis will require a brief, completed application. Download Application here.
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