COM 100 (3 credits)

Fundamentals of Communication

Course focuses on the fundamental processes of reading and writing that are essential to communication. Students develop critical reading skills that can be applied to all content areas and review the fundamental principles of rhetoric, grammar, punctuation, capitalization and spelling. Course carries transcript credit only; the qualified student, however, may petition for graduation credits following completion of the course. This course cannot substitute for Com 101, nor can it fulfill the core requirement in Communication. It should be used as an elective only after consultation with the academic advisor and English/Communication chairperson.

COM 101 (3 credits)

Composition and Research

Core writing requirement, reviews fundamental principles of rhetoric, grammar, punctuation and spelling. Requirements include a research paper using MLA documentation guidelines and several expository papers. Course is available only after placement by departmental faculty. Students must achieve “C” or better to fulfill core requirements.

COM 103 (3 credits)

Fundamentals of Speech

Basic course in the development of communication attitudes and skills with a view to enabling the student to feel comfortable and competent in public speaking ventures. Includes exercises in the oral interpretation of literature; the organization, delivery, and evaluation of various types of speeches; and participation in panels or symposiums.

COM 122 (3 credits)

Mass Media
 and Application

Introduction to interrelationships between contemporary American life and communication media. Includes a survey of basic theories, models, and practices of mass communication.

COM 131 (3 credits)

Writing for the Media

Introduction to writing styles and format requirements necessary to write for various American media. Emphasis on process of gathering and writing news for print and broadcast media.

COM 132 (1 credit)

Journalism Workshop

Workshop where students write for the College newspaper, the Alvernian, and are responsible for production assignments. Prerequisites or co-requisites: COM 131 or 330 or permission of the instructor. May be repeated.

COM 134 (1 credit)

Theatre Workshop

An overview of the various elements that make up the art of the theater. Students participate in the Alvernia College Theatre Ensemble (ACTE) and are responsible for production assignments. May be repeated for credit. Cross-listed with THR 134.

COM 142 (3 credits)

Creativity Workshop

The course explores the art of creativity in various fields of study. Through exercises, discussions, and research, students will learn the many tools and techniques for expressing creativity in their own filed of study. Cross-listed with THR 142.

COM 150 (3 credits)

Introduction to Theatre

A brief, but comprehensive introductory view of the theatre examining all elements that make it a lively art. Cross-listed with THR 150.

COM 155 (3 credits)

Introduction to Acting

Principles of basic acting technique-given circumstances, tasks, facets of embodying and experiencing the portrayal of a character. Some attention given to physical and vocal characterizations. Cross-listed with THR 155.

COM 156 (3 credits)

Theatrical Production and Design

This class is designed to give students an introduction to crafting scenery and to basic principles of scenery and lighting design. Cross-listed with THR 156.

COM 170 (3 credits)

ESL Learners

This course is designed to offer non-native English speakers opportunities for individualized conferencing and one-on-one instruction, both of which can lead them to a greater mastery of writing at the college level. Course runs concurrently with COM 270 ESL Teachers.

COM 212 (3 credits)

Grammar Studies

An introductory survey of basic theories, models, and practices of interpersonal communication. Students learn interpersonal communication principles, sharpen awareness of own and others’ personal communication habits, and ultimately improve interpersonal communication skills.

COM 213 (3 credits)

Interpersonal Communication

An introductory survey of basic theories, models, and practices of interpersonal communication. Students learn interpersonal communication principles, sharpen awareness of own and others’ personal communication habits, and ultimately improve interpersonal communication skills.

COM 220 (3 credits)

Event Planning

This course introduces students to special event planning processes and techniques. Emphasis is on creating organizing, identifying sponsors, marketing and implementing community and business events.

COM 234 (3 credits)

Intercultural Communication

This course is designed to provide a survey of intercultural communication theory and practice and to develop a better understanding of human interactions theory and practice and to develop a better understanding of human interactions in global contexts. The relationship between the culture, behavior, and communication of individual and groups, both internationally and nationally, will be studied. Students will analyze and research how intercultural communication factors affect the way business, services, and communication ae handled in various settings. Course fulfills diversity requirement.

COM 240 (3 credits)

Public Relations and Advertising

Study of principles and applications of modern public relations and advertising. Emphasis placed on development of promotional campaigns. Topics include media relations, publications, media placement, copy writing, creative development and crisis management.

COM 244 (3 credits)

Computer-Assisted Design

A course in computer-assisted design such as AutoCad and other design programs with a particular emphasis on their use in theatre.

COM 250 (3 credits)

Interpretation of Film

Critical approach to analyzing film and its significance in contemporary society.

COM 251 (3 credits) 

Broadcasting and Electronic Media 

Overview of contemporary broadcasting and electronic media with an emphasis on television. Students study the history of broadcasting, development of technology, as well as the business and administrative aspects surrounding broadcast media. Students apply their textbook learning in an actual broadcast facility. At the facility, students produce video assignments such as PSAs (public service announcements) for non-profit organizations. Most of the sessions are held at a local broadcast facility.

COM 255 (3 credits)

Intermediate Acting

Intermediate instruction in techniques for character development including improvisation. Also an introduction to acting styles and acting in verse plays. Cross-listed with THR 255.

COM 257 (3 credits)

Communications in the Cloud

The course explores the concept of "the cloud," the use of computing resources that are delivered as a service over a network (especially the Internet). In particular, this course addresses how the cloud is the backbone of social media and how the cloud facilitates business communication and collaboration. Technologies studied range from smartphones to tablets to virtualization to cloud services such as storage and telepresence. Social and ethical impact of cloud technology trends are discussed and debated.

COM 261 (3 credits)

Poetry Writing

Workshop in which principle forms of poetry are studied, with emphasis on developing student’s own ability to write poems.

COM 263 (3 credits)

Fiction Writing

Study of fiction styles/techniques aimed at developing student’s ability to write fiction.

COM 310 (1 credit) 

Tutoring Assistant

This course provides a theoretical and pedagogical framework for writing instruction. Students will conduct research as it relates to writing in their own disciplines and learn best practices for communicating in small groups or one-on-one settings. All students enrolled in this course are eligible to apply to work in the Writing & Learning Center or work as a Writing Mentor. participation in the course does not guarantee employment. Course is required for all English/secondary education majors and recommended that these students enroll in the fall semester; permission from instructor(s) required for all other students. Course may be repeated for credit.

COM 330 (3 credits)

News and Feature Writing

Thorough study of news writing techniques; emphasis on development of feature stories, investigative pieces, and multi-source news articles for newspapers and news magazines. Prerequisite: COM 131 or permission of instructor.

COM 332 (3 credits)

Multimedia Design and Editing

Designed to introduce students to the processes involved in planning, designing, creating and copy-editing multimedia projects. Topics include design and layout principles for a variety of print and electronic publications, image and text manipulations, and editing for consistency and clarity. Cross-listed with CIS 332.

COM 340 (3 credits)

Advertising Workshop

Students plan and produce advertising programs for the college and/or non-profit organizations; workshop-styled atmosphere.

COM 342 (3 credits)

Social Media Marketing

Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Linkedin and Pinterest - in order to stay competitive in today's world, companies and organizations need to implement social media into their integrated communications plan. This course will primarily focus on social media, but will also explore other facets of digital marketing. Topics to be covered include social media platforms, content development, multi-channel integration, organic and paid search, mobile opportunities, web analytics and measurement, legal and security issues, crises, best practices and trending issues. If offered as a service-learning class, students will receive hands-on practical experience by developing a social media marketing campaign for a local n on-profit organization.

COM 344 (3 credits) 

Writing for the Workplace

Advanced writing course oriented toward communication beyond the academic world. Assignments include correspondence, memos, resumes, proposals, oral presentations, and one or more major reports. Introduce students to current communication software, to familiarize with requirements of writing in their specific disciplines, and to help develop a clear, concise writing style.

COM 350 (3 credits)

Directing for the Stage

Study of the principles and techniques used in leading the production of theatre and the development of the director. Students mount a one-act play. Prerequisites: COM 134, 150, 155, or permission of instructor. Cross-listed with THR 350.

COM 351 (3 credits)


Study of the writing of dramatic texts for a variety of media--live and electronic. Students are expected to produce a first draft of an original script by the end of the course.

COM 352 (3 credits)

Video Production

Study of the process of producing a creative work in the video medium. Students are introduced to basic concepts of video production and post-production editing. Most of the classes are held at a local broadcast facility.

COM 353 (3 credits)

Film Studies

An upper-level examination of film as a form of film narrative, a work of art, and as representative of popular culture. Topics vary from semester to semester; they may include specific study of genres, directors, time periods, techniques, adaptation. The course may be repeated under different topics.

COM 355 (3 credits)

Theatre History

A comprehensive study of the history of theatre from its origins through the Renaissance. Cross-listed with ENG 355 and THR 355.

COM 356 (3 credits)

Theatre History II

A comprehensive study of the history of theatre from the neo-Classical era through today. Cross-listed with ENG 356 and THR 356.

COM 360 (3 credits)

Writers Workshop

Seminar for writers who wish to broaden and develop their creative writing skills. Offered as either a poetry writing, fiction writing or creative non-fiction workshop. Prerequisite: COM 261 or 263 or permission of instructor. May be repeated for credit.

COM 362 (3 credits) 

New Media

This course provides understanding and application of current interactive multimedia, exploring the use and integration of visual, textual, and aural components of digital environments. The challenges of writing for nonlinear and interactive texts are explored through online exercises, electronic presentations and publications, and web design. Prerequisite: CIS 114 or permission of instructor. Cross-listed with CIS 362.

COM 404 (3 credits)

Arts Operations

Explores business and finance issues associated with working in the arts as a profession. Includes working with arts organizations as well as arts entrepreneurship. Cross-listed with THR 404.

COM 420 (3 credits)

Law and Ethics of Mass Communication

Study of legal and ethical framework within which mass communication media operate. Examines legal philosophy bearing on the mass media, the development of freedom of expression, and privileges and restraints affecting the media. Topics include the study of libel, invasion of privacy, copyright, contempt and government regulation.

COM 422 (3 credits)

Social Impact of Mass Media

Investigates the principal research findings concerning the role of mass media in shaping the attitudes, values, and behaviors of our culture. Includes survey of advanced theories, models and practices of mass communication.

COM 432 (3 credits) 

Newspaper Production

Restricted to student editorial staff of the College newspaper, this course requires intensive application (80-100 hours) of skills as copy editors, business managers, or page design and layout editors. Course may be repeated for credit. Prerequisites: COM 131 and permission of the Alvernian advisor.

COM 434 (3 credits)

Senior Production Workshop

Students assume leadership positions in the production of a theatrical event. Experiences may include acting, directing and/or design. Students establish an appropriate project with the director of the theatre program prior to enrolling in the course. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. Cross-listed with THR 434.

COM 452 (3 credits)

"The Campus Show"-Television Production

Students are responsible for putting together half-hour television shows that focus on Alvernia University. Students assist in all aspects of television production both in front and behind the camera including anchoring, reporting, producing, lighting, sound, camera and technical directing. Please note classes are held at a local broadcast facility. Course may be repeated once for credit. Prerequisites: COM 251 or COM 352 or permission of instructor.

COM 480 (3 credits)

Research Seminar

Qualified students may choose a creative writing project, a mass media or audio-visual production project, or an intensive study of a phase of communication that culminates in a significant research paper. For senior English or communication majors.

COM 481 (credits vary)


By special arrangement, a student may be granted up to 12 credits for an extended assignment involving in-depth work in some phase of communication. Such assignments might include an apprenticeship in a TV or radio station, a position as reporter at a local newspaper, internship in the communication division of a corporation or non-profit agency, etc. Prerequisite: 2.5 GPA or permission of department chair.