To provide a first-class education in the art, craft, and analysis of communications media to undergraduates preparing to work in the communications industries.
The Department achieves this mission by offering courses that allow students to fuse the theory and the practice of communications. The faculty encourages and facilitates critical-analytical thinking, advanced written and oral communication, the mastery of media technologies, and both individual and group projects, all of which prepares students to work creatively in the communications industries and to be discerning citizens and consumers.
To realize its mission, the Communication Studies Department pursues the following goals in student learning:
- Awareness of the economic and political power and potential influence of the communications industries.
- An understanding of the historical development of communication, from human speech to the Internet.
- The ability to analyze and evaluate media messages and meanings.
- A solid grasp of—and the ability to apply—key social scientific theoretical approaches to the study of communications media.
- Advanced competency in written and oral communication, and mastery of current media technologies, platforms, and programs.
- An appreciation of ethical guidelines in the communications industries, and knowledge of the fundamentals of media law.
- An internship facilitating the application of the student's classroom knowledge to communications industry work, and a more promising, smoother transition from undergraduate academic life to a career
The COMS Department strives to improve faculty teaching and training by:
- Supporting faculty who adopt and learn new technologies.
- Encouraging faculty to teach new classes and to keep pace with changes in the communications media field.
- Sending faculty members to conferences, festivals and workshops.
- Hiring faculty members who work in the communications industries.
- Rewarding research, scholarship and creative projects.
- Maintaining a program of student teaching and research assistants.
The COMS Department serves the University, the community, and the profession of communications by:
- Publishing The Star, the campus student-run newspaper.
- Broadcasting KSUN, the campus student-run radio station.
- Airing SSU-TV, the campus student-run TV station.
- Educating and supporting students who work as interns in Media Services, the campus Office of Public Information, and who add significantly to Project Censored.
- Coordinating an internship program that provides a bridge between the Department, the University and the communications industries.
- Supporting faculty members who make films, broadcast TV documentaries, write screenplays, publish books, write for newspapers, magazines, and websites, and serve as consultants with community groups about communications issues, among many other creative and public service endeavors.