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Institute for Constructive Advocacy and Dialogue

ICAD can help students get involved in the community in a number of ways. We can direct you toward advocacy classes within the university and clubs and organizations.  We also plan to have training programs available soon as well.


If a student is interested in taking a class in advocacy studies or if they are pursuing an undergraduate degree in communication studies and want to have a concentration in advocacy studies, below is a list of all the classes offered.

Advocacy Studies Course Description:
This concentration prepares students to understand, critically evaluate and engage the communication theories, processes, media institutions and communication technologies that citizens, political leaders, government officials, public administrators, interest groups and community service organizations use to campaign, deliberate, adjudicate, govern and advocate for social change. Skilled advocates adopt, develop and implement diverse sets of communication strategies that help clients articulate interests and goals, determine social systems and audiences most likely to achieve goals, identify effective media and appropriate goal oriented messages, and develop plans for implementing change.

Courses Credit Hours : 12 credit hours
SCOM 342. Argument and Advocacy                                         
SCOM 352. Communication and Social Movements                      
SCOM 353. American Political Culture and Communication          
SCOM 381. Communication Criticism                                          

Choose two of the following: 6 credit hours
SCOM/WRTC 343. Contemporary Rhetorical Theory and Practice  
SCOM 346. Free Speech in America  
SCOM 347. Communication, Diversity and Popular Culture  
SCOM 354. Communication, Environment and Environmentalism  
SCOM/SMAD 357. Youth, Communication and Culture  
SCOM/SMAD/WRTC 420. Feminist Rhetorics  
SCOM 431. Legal Communication  
SCOM 453. Political Campaign Communication  
SCOM 470. Health Communication Campaigns  
SCOM/SMAD/POSC 472. Media and Politics  
SCOM 495. Internship in Advocacy Studies  

18 total credit hours

For more detailed descriptions of each specific class please visit the JMU course catalog.

New Course: Facilitaing Community Engagement

Coming spring 2012, the School of Communication will offer a course on Facilitiating Community Engagement which will offer students a chance to learn and practice techniques to facilitate community forums. For more information, contact Lori Britt.

“Change happens by listening and then starting a dialogue with the people who are doing something you don't believe is right.”
-Jane Goodall