Speech Communication


School of Speech Communication
*SCOM 120. Interpersonal Communication. 3 credits.
The study of the basic processes of interpersonal communication. Emphasis on the elements of oral language, nonverbal messages, relationship development and the importance of context. Consideration of the behavioral characteristics of speakers and listeners in dyads and small groups.
*SCOM 121. Basic Human Communication. 3 credits.
Study of the basic process of oral human communication. Emphasis on oral skills in message composition, analysis of subject matter, listening, definition of communication purposes and participation skills in a variety of oral communication contexts. The class will focus on dyadic, small group, and public communication events.
*SCOM 122. Public Speaking. 3 credits.
Study of creative and practical skills of public speaking. Emphasis on practice and analysis based on measurable objectives and speech purposes. Consideration given to how to design and deliver effective speeches of various types for various occasions and purposes.
SCOM 231. Introduction to Alternative Dispute Resolution. 3 credits.
Study of conflict resolution processes including mediation, arbitration and negotiation. Consideration of litigation and hybrid dispute processes such as summary jury trial, rent-a-judge and panel evaluation. Prerequisite: SCOM 240 and any 100-level speech communication course.
SCOM 240. The Process of Human Communication. 3 credits.
Study of speech communication as a behavioral process employing verbal and nonverbal modes of interaction. Emphasis on learning theory, motivation, language, meaning and social interaction as applied to the theory of speech communication. Consideration of role of communication in all human endeavors.
SCOM 242. Presentational Speaking. 3 credits.
Study of methods for preparing and presenting public speeches. Consideration of impromptu and extemporaneous speaking, sales speeches, business presentations and other special occasion speeches. Emphasis on performance and evaluation. Prerequisite: Any 100-level speech communication course or permission of instructor.
SCOM 243. Oral Interpretation. 3 credits.
Study and application of theories concerning the oral presentation of various forms of literature including prose, poetry, drama and nonfiction materials. Emphasis on performance. Prerequisite: Any 100-level speech communication course or permission of instructor.
SCOM 245. Signs, Symbols and Social Interaction. 3 credits.
The study of language and nonverbal communication as used in human interaction. Consideration given to the function of symbolic systems in self-concept development, the structuring of reality and social discourse. Attention is directed toward the use of signs and symbols by different ethnic groups, genders, age groups and geographic groups.
SCOM 247. Small Group Communication. 3 credits.
Study of communication processes involved in solving problems when working with others in a small group context. Emphasis on concepts of roles, norms, leadership and decision making. Consideration of small group factors which influence problem-solving effectiveness. Prerequisite: Any 100-level speech communication course or permission of instructor.
*SCOM 248. Intercultural Communication. 3 credits.
The study of human communication in a variety of cultural settings and contexts. Emphasis on developing understanding and analytical skills regarding communication between people from different racial, ethnic and cultural backgrounds in both domestic and international settings. Consideration of relevance and application to social, business and political environments.
SCOM 260. Introduction to Public Relations. 3 credits.
Study of basic principles and practices of public relations. Consideration given to public relations problems and pragmatic solutions utilizing oral, written and electronic communication media and skills.
SCOM 261. Public Relations Techniques I: Written. 3 credits.
Study of writing fundamentals for public relations. Emphasis on practice of effective writing for a variety of media (press releases, public service announcements, brochures, newsletters). Must be able to use word processing software. Prerequisite: SCOM 260 and SMAD 210 (can be taken concurrently) or permission of instructor.
SCOM 270. Introduction to Health Communication. 3 credits.
An introduction to the study of the theory and practice of communication in health- and medical-related fields. Emphasis on communication interaction between professional health providers and patients/clients. Consideration of strategies that promote effective communication between health/medical professionals and patients/clients. Prerequisite: Any 100-level speech communication course. (Formerly SCOM 347.)
SCOM 280. Introduction to Communication Research. 3 credits.
An introduction to the principles, methods and analysis techniques used in the field of communication. Emphasis on a broad-based understanding of the breadth of research in the field. Includes both qualitative and quantitative research methods, methods of literature review and research articles critiques.
SCOM 313. Topics in Speech Communication. 1-3 credits. Repeatable to 6 credits.
Study of current topics and issues in human communication. Emphasis on contemporary theories, research and principles. Prerequisite: Nine hours of speech communication courses including SCOM 240 and one at 100 level.
SCOM 318. Practicum in Speech Communication. 1 credit.
Approved cocurricular activities and/or projects of a practical nature. Repeatable during the junior and senior years to a maximum of one practicum per semester. No more than four hours practicum credit can be applied to major. Prerequisite: Permission of the school director.
SCOM 331. Communication and Conflict. 3 credits.
An examination of communication in conflict situations. Emphasis on communication competencies required for successful management and resolution of conflict. Consideration of theories of conflict and application to different conflict levels including interpersonal communication, small group communication and organizational communication. Prerequisite: SCOM 231 recommended.
SCOM 332. Mediation. 3 credits.
Study of analysis and resolution of human conflict. Emphasis on role of mediation in dispute resolution focusing on relationships, language, listening and problem-solving techniques. Consideration of the interpersonal and group approaches to study of conflict management. Prerequisite: SCOM 231 recommended.
SCOM 341. Persuasion. 3 credits.
The study of oral communication as a determinant of attitudinal and behavioral change. Emphasis on the various kinds of artistic and nonartistic proofs as they apply to human motivation. Consideration of the application of behavioral research findings to persuasion. Prerequisite: SCOM 240 and SCOM 280 or permission of instructor.
SCOM 342. Argument and Advocacy. 3 credits.
The study of the techniques and principles of argument and advocacy. Emphasis on developing, presenting and defending a position on controversial questions. Consideration given to contemporary theories of public argument.
SCOM 345. Nonverbal Communication. 3 credits.
Study of nonverbal means through which people relate to one another. Consideration of the communicative effects of environment, facial expression, voice, posture, gestures, touch, distance and physical appearance. Prerequisite: SCOM 245 recommended and any 200-level speech communication course or permission of instructor.
*SCOM 346. Free Speech in America. 3 credits.
The study of the evolution of freedom of speech in America from Colonial times to the present day. Emphasis on the major periods of development and on the role of courts in defining freedom of speech. Special consideration of contemporary freedom of speech controversies.
SCOM 350. Organizational Communication. 3 credits.
Study of theories and principles of communication within organizations. Emphasis on analysis of formal and informal communication systems, networks and interactions with organizational hierarchies. Consideration of both profit and not-for-profit contexts.
SCOM 352. Communication and Social Movements. 3 credits.
A study of the use of communication in social movements. Emphasis on the types of communication used in social movements and on ways to produce and respond to such messages. This course examines a variety of different social movements within the political process including nonprofit organizations. Prerequisite: SCOM 240.
SCOM 358. Business and Professional Speech Communication. 3 credits.
Study of techniques of effective communication in business/professional context. Emphasis on communication skills and results. Consideration of communication problems unique to the business/professional environment.
SCOM 361. Public Relations Techniques II: Visual. 3 credits.
Study of visual communication techniques for public relations. Survey of design principles and elements used for developing visually effective messages with an emphasis on publication design and production, photography and computer-mediated presentations. Students should provide a camera and be familiar with desktop publishing and presentational software. Prerequisite: SCOM 261 or permission of the instructor.
SCOM 383. Communication Research Methodologies. 3 credits.
The study of research methods in various areas of communication. Emphasis on ability to research literature and criticize research design. Prerequisite: SCOM 280 and nine hours of speech communication courses or permission of instructor. (Formerly SCOM 343.)
SCOM 386. Communication Survey Research. 3 credits.
Consideration of survey problems and methods unique to communication. Emphasis on using survey research methodology in communication audits, public relations problems and public opinion polling. Prerequisite: SCOM 280 or permission of instructor. (Formerly SCOM 366).
SCOM 390. Directed Projects. 2-3 credits, repeatable to 6 credits.
Supervised projects related to any aspect of human communication. Emphasis on original individual or group programs beyond the department's usual curricular or cocurricular offerings. Formal report(s) required for awarding of credit. Prerequisite: Permission of school director.
SCOM 431. Legal Communication. 3 credits.
Study of the role of communication in the legal process. Emphasis on communication questions/problems which litigants, lawyers, judges and jurors face. Consideration of legal argument, negotiation, trial advocacy, decision making and communication technologies.
SCOM 432. Senior Seminar in Conflict and Mediation Studies. 3 credits.
An advanced seminar, capstone course for students concentrating or minoring in conflict and mediation studies. Special topics are developed to include research in conflict resolution, current trends in dispute resolution, evolving practices in conflict and mediation, as well as other relevant and timely issues.
SCOM 440. Advanced Interpersonal Communication. 3 credits.
A study of the major conceptual approaches and research methods used in the study of interpersonal communication. Emphasis on communication and relationship development, maintenance and disengagement. This course involves advanced analysis and critical evaluation of research in interpersonal communication. Prerequisite: SCOM 240 and 280 plus six additional hours of speech communication courses.
SCOM 449. Communication Training. 3 credits.
An examination of methods for planning, arranging and conducting communication training. Students become familiar with strategies and activities designed to help others improve their communication skills. Prerequisite: Junior standing and 12 hours in speech communication, or permission of instructor.
SCOM 449. Communication Training. 3 credits.
An examination of methods for planning, arranging and conducting communication training. Students become familiar with strategies and activities designed to help others improve their communication skills. Prerequisite: Junior standing and 12 hours in speech communication, or permission of instructor.
SCOM 450. Advanced Studies in Organizational Communication. 3 credits.
Integrated study of organizational communication theory and research. Analysis of communication systems within organizations and at their boundaries. Special attention to field studies. Prerequisite: SCOM 350 or permission of instructor.
SCOM 452. Political Communication. 3 credits.
Study of functions performed by communication in political and social campaigns. Emphasis on variety of communication forms and techniques used by advocates in campaigning and governing. Consideration of contemporary campaigns and the role of communication in their successes and failures. Prerequisite: SCOM 240 recommended or permission of instructor.
SCOM 453. Political Communication Methods. 3 credits.
An advanced study of communication techniques, procedures, and processes as they relate to political campaign communication. Emphasis upon the design, execution and production of various communication messages. Consideration of the impact and utilization of various technologies in political campaigns. Prerequisite: SCOM 240, SCOM 452 or permission of the instructor.
SCOM 460. Public Relations Management. 3 credits.
Intensive study and research of advanced communication management skills, theory and principles using case and field studies. Special attention to systematic and ethical management of communication and action affecting an organization's internal and external publics. Prerequisite: SCOM 361 and senior standing.
SCOM 461. Public Relations Campaigns. 3 credits.
Planning and executing public relations campaigns for specific organizations. Emphasis on the four-step process of research, planning, communication/action and evaluation. Prerequisite: SCOM 261 and SCOM 386 or permission of instructor.
SCOM 470. Advanced Health Communication. 3 credits.
The study of advanced theory and practice of communication in health-related fields. Consideration of topics relating to communication problems which affect communication interaction between health professionals and clients/patients. Prerequisite: SCOM 270 or permission of instructor.
SCOM/SMAD/POSC 472. Media and Politics. 3 credits.
A study of the media's role in political campaigns, concentrating on past/present election, the media's role in covering political parties and coverage of the governing process. Discussion of electronic and print will occur. Topics to be examined include campaign videos, CSPAN, political ads, editorial cartoons, TV debates, convention coverage and radio talk show commentary.
SCOM 481. Communication Criticism. 3 credits.
Study of methods of evaluating acts of persuasive communication. Emphasis on developing and applying appropriate standards to determine effectiveness of persuasion. Consideration of criticism of advertising, mass media, public speaking and other forms of persuasive communication. Prerequisite: SCOM 280 and any 100-level speech communication course or permission of instructor. (Formerly SCOM 441.)
SCOM 490. Special Studies in Speech Communication. 1-3 credits.
An independent study for students to pursue individual research under the guidance of faculty. Limited to senior speech communication majors in good standing with permission of school director.
SCOM 495. Internship in Speech Communication. 2-3 credits, repeatable to 6 credits.
Program of work prepared and monitored on an individual student basis. Practical on-the-job experience in public relations, interpersonal communication, organizational communication or alternative dispute resolution in approved organization. Specified criteria to be met by each applying student. Prerequisite: Permission of school director.
SCOM 499. Honors in Speech Communication. 6 credits.
Year course. Prerequisite: Permission of school director.

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Undergraduate Catalog Contents


1996-97 Undergraduate Catalog
Last reviewed: 30 November 1996
Information Publisher: Division of Academic Affairs
James Madison University