Featured Faculty: Carol Dykers

At the heart of Salem's Communication Program are the ideals of curiosity and exploration. The program fosters a deep-rooted belief that, in a changing society where technology becomes antiquated in just a few years, knowledge, determination, and the ability to think critically are essential ingredients in achieving personal and professional success.

Communications Program 4-Year Plan

Your Program

One of the many aspects that distinguish Salem’s Communication Program is that it focuses on critical thinking, writing, and visual literacy, rather than stressing technical skills with software or hardware that will soon be outdated. You will gain a broad-based knowledge, while honing your specialized skills through writing and video assignments, research projects, internships, independent study and work on any of our student-run media outlets.

Your Experience

As a communication student, you want to be responsive, reflective and responsible leaders and communicators in today’s global society. You are willing to accept challenges and learn from both sides of the brain. You also embrace Salem's intimate and engaging classroom environment, and strive to become the visionary thinkers, writers and communicators of tomorrow in any number of professional settings.

Your Faculty

Professors in the program are scholars who are intrigued by anything and everything involving human communication. They bring several years of professional experience and a passion for individualized instruction. They all hold a Ph.D., and are just as comfortable helping you and fellow students work through problems in a midnight study session as they are at the head of an afternoon class.

The Results

When you graduate with a communication degree, you are equipped with more than technical knowledge and skills. You will have a professional perspective that is both deep and broad-based—with the ability to think, interpret and communicate clearly and critically. You will join other Salem graduates in such fields as print media, electronic media, public relations, organizational communications, advertising, marketing, television production, broadcast journalism, psychology, documentary filmmaking… we even have graduates who are now successful novelists.

Communication Major (B.A.)

The major in communication requires 10 courses: four core courses, two analysis courses, one intervention course, one practice course and two elective courses from the approved course list in this section. Students must complete at least five of the eight required courses and at least one of the two elective courses at Salem College.

The communication coursework emphasizes conceptual knowledge, practical application, critical thinking skills and teamwork to provide a foundation that enables students to achieve their full potential as practitioners and scholars in their community and chosen professions. Majors analyze and interpret symbolizing activity and practice social intervention to prepare for communication careers, post-baccalaureate learning and lives as participants in a global community. Majors demonstrate accomplishment of the communication program’s learning outcomes through a senior project, senior portfolio and senior presentation. 

The program offers hands-on learning opportunities – such as internships, professional and scholarly presentations, community involvement and campus media – that increase knowledge and build skills for future employment, graduate school and global life. Internships permit students to link their knowledge of communication and liberal arts with practical experiences in institutional and organizational settings. Students are strongly encouraged to pursue at least two formal departmental internships (COMM 250) during their junior and senior years to explore career possibilities, develop a resumé and make professional contacts for mentoring relationships. Students are also encouraged to use elective courses to build minors in areas that complement the communication major, such as marketing and not-for-profit management. 

Overall, the communication program challenges students to strengthen their knowledge of the complexity of the human communication process while practicing mutual respect and collaboration. The program contributes to Salem’s liberal arts mission by developing students’ potential to become reflective and responsible change agents and enhancing their appreciation of communication as the force underlying social change and continuity.

Communication Minor

The minor consists of five courses in communication.

The communication program is an undergraduate course of study that develops students’ understanding of and reflectivity about the process and practice of oral, written and visual communication. The program is built on the assumption that via their ability to symbolize, people coordinate social and cultural activity, influence social and cultural change and define their nature as human beings.

105. Multimedia Writing One course

Introduction to media composition, style and research. Course work includes media lab requirement and reporting for campus media such as the student newspaper, campus Internet publications and departmental publications. Media portfolio required.

120. Oral Communication One course

Introduction to analyzing audiences, researching, preparing and presenting speeches and critiquing public presentations. Six to eight speeches and speech portfolio required. Fall and Spring.

170. Intercultural Communication One course

Introduction to the intercultural communication process, with emphasis on appreciating the diverse ways that different cultures communicate and critically analyzing intercultural interactions. Group final project and individual portfolio required. Fall and Spring.

180. Visual Communication One course

Introduction to principles and theories for evaluating and developing visual images and presentations. Visual and written projects required.

200. Independent Study in Communication One-quarter to one course

Independent study, under guidance of a faculty advisor, is available to students with a 2.5 cumulative average and permission of communication department chair. Independent study may be readings, research, conference, project and/or field experience. No more than one course per term. Prerequisites: COMM 223, 224, or 225, or permission of instructor.

205. Advanced Media Writing and Editing One course

Discussion and practice in multimedia reporting and editing, including producing Web content. Includes copy-editing of student-written articles. Group final project and editing portfolio required. Prerequisite: COMM 105 or permission of instructor. Spring, odd years.

206. Strategic Communication Writing One course

Discussion and practice in strategic writing for organizations. Includes developing media materials such as news releases, newsletters, brochures and PSAs for campus or community organizations. Group final project and writing portfolio required. Prerequisites: COMM 105 recommended. Spring, even years.

212. Introduction to Creative Writing One course

The course is organized for the fledgling creative writer and is designed to develop creative writing skills in poetry, fiction and creative non-fiction. Students will read contemporary poetry, fiction and creative nonfiction in order to deepen and broaden their understanding of the creative process and the craft of writing. This course must be taken at Salem College. Fall and Spring. (Cross-listed as CRWR 212.)

220. Special Topics in Communication One course

Investigation of a topic of importance in the field of communication. Topic will vary in accordance with developments in the field and needs/interests of students. Possible topics might include film criticism, mass media and society, documentary film and intercultural communication. Research paper or creative project and oral presentation generally required.

223. Gender and Communication One course

Critical exploration of the creation and performance of gender through communication in contexts such as interpersonal, family, organizational, social and media. Requires a critical essay and portfolio. Prerequisites: COMM 170; or NFPM 100; or MKTG 230; or permission of instructor. Spring.

224. Old Media / New Media Criticism One course

Introduction to media effects, theory and research on violence, attitude cultivation in news and entertainment, and stereotype promotion, including gender, race and class. Focus on analyzing “old” media privileging elite “gatekeepers” to regulate citizens’ role in civic life versus new media technology providing citizens multiple options to create content, relationships and movements. Requires portfolio and group project using social media to enact and measure professional outcomes.

225. Persuasion, Culture and Sustainability One course

Introduction to persuasive communication theory and practice, including how persuasion influences thoughts, behaviors, decisions, and relationships in cultural contexts such as race, gender, and class. A special focus on cultural, environmental, and sustainability issues. Requires a research project and portfolio.

250. Internship in Communication One course

On-site communication experience in profit and not-for-profit settings approved by internship coordinator. Weekly logs, paper, portfolio required. Students may count up to three internships in different positions/organizations as COMM major electives. Prerequisites: Four communication courses: COMM 170; COMM 120; COMM 105 or 206; and COMM 223, 224 or 225; Minimum 2.5 G.P.A. and permission of the internship coordinator.

262. Photojournalism One course

Critical analysis and practice of photo storytelling, with emphasis on composition, lighting and the law and ethics of photojournalism. Student must have access to a digital camera. Requires group project, digital portfolio and presentation. Prerequisites: COMM 180 or permission of instructor.

290. Honors Independent Study in Communication One course

An advanced independent study under the guidance of a faculty advisor. Open to junior and seniors with a 3.5 G.P.A. in communication, subject to department chair approval. Honors work may be taken for a maximum of two courses. Requires research or creative project. Prerequisite: COMM 321, 322 or 323, or permission of instructor.

321. Community Communication One course

Introduction to collaborating with a local community or not-for-profit on current social and cultural projects through effectively integrating communication theories and research. Class research project, individual portfolio and oral presentation required. Prerequisites: COMM 223, 224, or 225; or MKTG 230; or NFPM 100; or permission of instructor. Fall.

322. Campaign Communication One course

Introduction to integrating theory and research to develop a strategic communication campaign for a not-for-profit, political, or advocacy organization. Class research project, individual portfolio and oral presentation required. Prerequisites: COMM 223, 224, or 225; or MKTG 230; or NFPM 100; or permission of instructor. Fall.

323. Communication Research Methods One course

Introduction to communication research methodology. Research project, individual portfolio and oral presentation required. Prerequisites: COMM 223, 224 or 225; or MKTG 230; or NFPM 100; or permission of instructor. Fall.

390. Senior Seminar in Communication One course

Advanced study and discussion of contemporary problems and issues in communication. Senior portfolio, senior thesis or creative project and public presentation required. Prerequisite: Senior standing and COMM 323, or permission of instructor. Spring.

News Reporter, WFDD-NPR Radio

CBS News Intern, CBS News

HIV/AIDS Video Production, Friends Together, Inc.

Advertising, Indigo Publications

Intern, Cabin Creek Films and Killer Films

Journalism Intern, The Charlotte Observer

News Production Intern, ABC News Productions

Marketing, American Lung Association

Celebrity Publicity, Workhouse Publicity

Sports Marketing, WFU Sports Marketing

‘A Dating Story' Intern, Banyan Productions

TNT Latin America, Turner Broadcasting System, Inc

Magazine/Advertisement, Gotham Magazine

Public Relations Intern, Winston-Salem NC Convention and Visitor's Bureau

Newspaper Reporter, The News of Orange County

Advertising, CBS News

Journalism, The Village Voice

Publishing Intern, John F. Blair, Publisher

Public Relations, Brandon Advertising

Inclement Weather

Due to inclement weather, all classes have been canceled and all offices will be closed on Monday, February 15, 2016.

Scholarship Weekend events scheduled for Monday, February 15, will take place in the Single Sisters House.

Tue Feb 16 00:00:00 EST 2016