Department of Communication

Department Mission Statement

The faculty of the Department of Communication at the University of Nebraska at Kearney educates students to be ethical professional communicators in the rapidly-changing, diverse, global environment.

Students graduating from the Department of Communication should be able to:

  1. Demonstrate and apply professional written communication skills.
  2. Demonstrate and apply relevant professional oral and/or visual communication skills.
  3. Apply communication-related concepts to contemporary issues and everyday life.
  4. Demonstrate informational literacy including how to gather, evaluate and interpret information.

The faculty are uniquely qualified to provide instruction in the areas of advertising and public relations, journalism, multimedia, organizational and relational communication, and speech education.

Minimum Grade Point Average in the Major

Students selecting a major in the Department of Communication must earn a minimum 2.5 G.P.A. in the major.

Portfolio Requirements

Students selecting a major in Journalism or Advertising and Public Relations must compile evidence of achievement particular to their chosen career field. Students will present this portfolio and discuss its contents with a Faculty Portfolio Committee in the semester prior to their graduation.

Journalism and Mass Communication majors are required to take JMC 100 Global Media Literacy as their Democracy General Studies course. It is recommended that students consult with a departmental advisor about this issue.

Journalism and Mass Communication Major

Four options are available in this major:

  1. Journalism - Bachelor of Arts Degree
    or Journalism - Bachelor of Science Degree
  2. Advertising and Public Relations - Bachelor of Arts Degree
    or Advertising and Public Relations - Bachelor of Science Degree
  3. Multimedia - Bachelor of Arts Degree
    or Multimedia - Bachelor of Science Degree
  4. Sports Communication - Bachelor of Arts Degree
    or Sports Communication - Bachelor of Science Degree

Speech Major

One option is available in this major:

  1. Organizational and Relational Communication Comprehensive - Bachelor of Science Degree

Minors in Advertising and Public Relations, Journalism, Media Production, Multimedia and Professional Communication are available. The Elementary Education Major has a specially defined minor in Speech/Theatre.

W. Benjamin Myers, Chair

Professor: Ralph Hanson

Associate Professor: Nanette Hogg, Akbar Javidi, George Lawson, W. Benjamin Myers

Assistant Professor: Jacob Rosdail, Fletcher Ziwoya

Senior Lecturer: Ford Clark, Tereca Diffenderfer, L. Jake Jacobsen

Lecturer: Aaron Blackman, Ashley Weets

: Tasha Rennels

Journalism and Mass Communication (JMC)

JMC 100 – Global Media Literacy     3 credit hours

This course provides a comprehensive understanding of the role of global media as they interact with the world's social, cultural, political, technological and economic forces. Historical dimensions also are examined. Using major mass communication theoretical concepts as a basis, the effects of mass media on individuals and society are explored.

JMC 110 – Topics     1 credit hour

The course is intended to introduce students to the use of Apple Macintosh computers and popular software packages such as InDesign, Photoshop, PowerPoint and portfolio. The content of the course will be announced each time the course is offered.
Total Credits Allowed: 5.00

JMC 112 – Communication Software     3 credit hours

The course is intended to introduce students to the use of Apple Macintosh computers, peripherals, and popular communication software such as Adobe InDesign, Photoshop and Acrobat. Student will be introduced to Blackboard's content collection and ePortfolio components.

JMC 130 – Advertising Principles and Practice     3 credit hours

The study of how media strategy, planning and research are used in creating the advertising message. The course will include practical application of theory with emphasis on culturally diverse audiences.

JMC 215 – News Writing & Photography     3 credit hours

As the world of integrated news continues to expand, journalists must be prepared with skills to meet the demands of the industry. Students will learn to select, focus and write news and feature stories in the traditional sense and then supplement the written news with digital photojournalism and design skills creating news packages geared to a specific news audience. Work in this course prepares students to write for the student newspaper and prepare design pieces for their portfolios in preparation for communication internships and jobs in news communication.
Corequisite: JMC 112 or permission of the department.
Additional Course Fee Required

JMC 220 – Photojournalism     3 credit hours

Digital photography techniques. Introduction to using computer software and hardware to shoot and prepare photos for reproduction. Field assignments will be required. Students pay $25 lab fee.
Additional Course Fee Required

JMC 226 – Audio Production & Announcing     3 credit hours

An introduction to the techniques and theory of audio production as they are applied in the broadcast, cable and production industries. The course also includes instruction in how to effectively use one's voice in broadcasting.
Additional Course Fee Required

JMC 230 – Integrated Marketing Communications     3 credit hours

An introduction to advertising with emphasis on marketing and demographic analysis. Also includes how advertising affects the consumer and an examination of the structure of the advertising industry.

JMC 250 – Video Production Foundations     2 credit hours

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to storytelling techniques using video and audio as the media. Students will be introduced to scriptwriting and storyboarding and will shoot and edit video to produce a short movie.

JMC 265 – Video Production     3 credit hours

This course deals with advanced video production concepts and practices. Students will record aesthetically pleasing video and edit polished video material. They will develop skills using professional-grade camera, sound, and lighting equipment and familiarity with video and photo editing software (Adobe Premiere and Photoshop). Students pay $20 lab fee.
Prerequisite: JMC 250
Additional Course Fee Required

JMC 280H – Sp Top in Brdcst-Honors     4 credit hours

JMC 300 – Website Design     3 credit hours

No previous knowledge or experience required. Start with the basics: how the web works, using html, page editors, images and Web design principles. This class is hands-on in a lab environment. A variety of software such as Adobe Photoshop, Dreamweaver and Fetch will be used as well as digital cameras and scanners. Additional lab hours will be available. Students will finish with a Web site, their own pages on UNK's server, and with an understanding of technical issues.
Prerequisite: JMC 112 or permission of instructor

JMC 301 – Web Site Design II     3 credit hours

This course, a continuation of JMC 300, explores current technologies available for web site development such as cascading style sheets, JavaScript, java applets, Ajax, XHTML and XML. Multimedia formats for audio and video files are covered. Information in relation to CGIs, forms, and content management systems are introduced. In addition, social implications, accessibility, and legal responsibilities are investigated.
Prerequisite: JMC 300 or permission of instructor

JMC 302 – Digital Storytelling     3 credit hours

This course is designed to give Communication students experiences with the concepts and practices of professional information gathering for converged media. The emphasis is on selecting topics, angles, and sources, and producing content for multiple media formats. Students will use text, photos, audio, video, and other media for online and print publication.
Prerequisite: JMC 112 and JMC 215 and JMC 300
Additional Course Fee Required

JMC 303 – History of Press in America     3 credit hours

Study of primary materials to see how the media acted or reacted, altered or was altered by events and issues of American social, economic and political history.

JMC 304 – Interactive Media Design     3 credit hours

This course provides a comprehensive foundation for a hands-on approach for design, development, and process implementation of interactive media. Students will explore the current technologies and current software relationships to create course projects. It is recommended that students take JMC 300, Web Site Design and JMC 301 Web Site Design II before taking JMC 304.

JMC 305 – Writing Feature and Magazine Articles     3 credit hours

An in-depth study of how to write and market feature articles for newspapers and magazines.
Prerequisite: JMC 215 or permission of instructor

JMC 307 – Advertising Copywriting     3 credit hours

Writing advertising copy to fit specific media and specific client requirements. Assignments designed to develop skills in writing for all advertising media.

JMC 309 – Public Relations     3 credit hours

Basic principles of corporate and institutional communications programs.

JMC 315 – Advanced Reporting & Editing     3 credit hours

Advanced reporting techniques developed with emphasis on public affairs reporting. Students will also be exposed to copy editing, headline and caption writing and learning the Associated Press style.
Prerequisite: JMC 215 or permission of instructor

JMC 316 – Broadcast Advertising & Programming     3 credit hours

The course is designed to familiarize students with different aspects of broadcast/cable advertising and programming. Topics will include reach, co-op advertising, audience flow, coverage areas, audience measurement methods, ratings, share, stunting and recycling. Other areas for discussion will include the relationships among programming, promotions, personalities and the personnel in the various departments within a broadcast/cable operation.

JMC 318 – Writing for the Media     3 credit hours

Students will prepare written material for the media through assignments of varying styles, formats and degrees of difficulty.

JMC 319 – Sports Writing for the Media     3 credit hours

This course is designed for students pursuing a career in sports communication, whose professional duties will require them to prepare or approve written material in a variety of forms and styles for a range of media.

JMC 320 – Media Management     3 credit hours

A study of practical business and leadership techniques in media organizations. The course will include basic theories and styles of management. The structure of typical media organizations will be discussed.
Prerequisite: JMC 130 or JMC 215 and junior standing

JMC 329 – Print Advertising Design     3 credit hours

In-depth study of design and production techniques necessary for all print advertising. Utilizes desktop publishing to produce black and white as well as spot color print ads. Students will be expected to demonstrate proficiency with Adobe Photoshop and InDesign on the first day of the course. Students pay $20 lab fee.
Prerequisite: JMC 112
Additional Course Fee Required

JMC 330 – Publication Design     3 credit hours

Basic design and production techniques necessary for all publications. Utilizes desktop publishing to produce fliers, brochures and newsletters. Students will be expected to demonstrate proficiency with Adobe Photoshop and InDesign on the first day of the course. Students pay $20 lab fee.
Prerequisite: JMC 112
Additional Course Fee Required

JMC 336 – Radio Workshop     2 credit hours

Students will write, perform in, and produce programming and announcements, as well as serve as staff for KLPR-FM, the student operated radio station.
Total Credits Allowed: 10.00

JMC 339 – Radio Workshop: Sports     2 credit hours

Students will write, perform in, and produce sports programming and announcements, as well as serve as sports broadcasting staff for KLPR-FM, the student operated radio station.
Total Credits Allowed: 6.00

JMC 340 – Media Planning & Selling     3 credit hours

Principles of professional planning and selling of media with emphasis on efficient media choices for advertisers and effective personal selling techniques on behalf of media organizations.
Prerequisite: JMC 230

JMC 343 – Video at Antelope     2 credit hours

Students will write, produce, perform and serve as production crew for a variety of video programming including news, sports, and entertainment. This programming will be hosted on the Antelope website. Whenever possible, video content will be paired with a story from the print edition of the Antelope.
Total Credits Allowed: 6.00
Prerequisite: JMC 250

JMC 350 – News at Antelope     2 credit hours

This course is designed to give Communication students practical experiences in professional information gathering. Students will select topics, develop angles, identify sources, and produce content for online, print, and broadcast media. May be repeated for a total of four hours.
Total Credits Allowed: 4.00
Prerequisite: JMC 302 or JMC 318 or permission of instructor

JMC 351 – Advertising at Antelope     2 credit hours

Students will develop advertising accounts, sell and design ads for the student newspaper, The Antelope. May be repeated for a total of four hours.
Total Credits Allowed: 4.00
Prerequisite: JMC 307 and JMC 329 or JMC 330 or permission of instructor

JMC 352 – Antelope Newspaper Production Photo Staff     2 credit hours

Students will take, process, and print pictures for the student newspaper, The Antelope. May be repeated for a total of four hours.
Total Credits Allowed: 10.00
Prerequisite: JMC 220 or permission of instructor

JMC 353 – Sports at Antelope     2 credit hours

This course is designed to give Sports Communication students practical experiences in professional information gathering. Students will select topics, develop angles, identify sources, and produce content for online, print, and broadcast media covering sports. May be repeated for a total of four hours.
Total Credits Allowed: 4.00
Prerequisite: JMC 302 or JMC 319

JMC 356 – Broadcast Announcing     3 credit hours

Instruction in performance for television and radio including news, personality, live performance and voice over. Students will perform in each class period with direct audience feedback.

JMC 388 – GS Capstone     3 credit hours

An interdisciplinary experience where students apply the knowledge, cognitive abilities, and communication skills they have gained from General Studies in designing and completing an original project or paper. Students employ methods and interpretive means of two or more disciplines to integrate knowledge and synthesize their results. Satisfies the General Studies capstone course requirement. Students may take their Capstone course in any discipline.
Prerequisite: Junior or senior level standing or within 6 hours of completing general studies requirements.

JMC 406 – Commentary and Blogging     3 credit hours

This course introduces students to opinion writing for a range of media, including blogs, newspapers, magazines, and audio/video. Students will read, listen to, and analyze editorials, columns and spoken commentary, as well as write them for various media.
Prerequisite: Junior standing

JMC 409 – Public Relations Strategy     3 credit hours

Case study analysis of public relations problems and procedures. Practice in creating materials which help organizations reach their publics.
Prerequisite: JMC 309

JMC 414 – Communications Law     3 credit hours

Privileges of and constraints on mass media. Libel, contempt, access, privacy, and copyright are considered. National and state regulations are examined.
Prerequisite: Junior standing

JMC 416 – Interpretive Reporting     3 credit hours

Writing interpretive articles. Research and practice in understanding and evaluating contemporary problems and relating them to the social sciences.
Prerequisite: JMC 315

JMC 420 – Advertising Campaigns     3 credit hours

Integrates, amplifies and applies previous advertising and marketing coursework. Focus is three-fold: 1) utilizing research to write sound advertising-based integrated marketing communication plans, complete with post tests for effectiveness; 2) creating the campaigns including proposed media plans and media buys; and 3) making client presentations. Special fee of $20 covers cost of Plans Book printed for each student.
Prerequisite: JMC 307
Additional Course Fee Required

JMC 425 – Topics in Mass Media     1-3 credit hours

The course examines various aspects of mass communication. The content of the course will be announced each time the course is offered. Possible topics include: public policy and the media; women, minorities and the media, and advanced web site design.
Total Credits Allowed: 9.00

JMC 427 – Advanced Video Production     3 credit hours

Features single camera projects with close faculty supervision.
Prerequisite: JMC 265 and JMC 343

JMC 440 – Mass Media Research     3 credit hours

The course is designed to accommodate the needs of students interested in understanding and conducting mass communications research. The course will introduce students to examples of mass communication research, as well as methods and typical research designs.
Prerequisite: Junior standing

JMC 460 – Mass Media and Society     3 credit hours

An examination of the theories, issues, and controversies surrounding the mass media. Particular emphasis will be given to press ethics, freedom and media effects.
Prerequisite: Junior standing

JMC 475 – Internship in Mass Media     1-6 credit hours

Supervised field experience with a cooperative agency in a media-related field. There will be an evaluation and review required with the sponsoring faculty member. Each student will be required to write an evaluation paper. The student must meet special requirements to participate in the program. Complete information is available in the Communication Department office.
Total Credits Allowed: 18.00

JMC 497 – Senior Portfolio     1 credit hour

The course is intended to provide the Department of Communication student with a comprehensive foundation in electronic portfolio creation to meet the graduation requirement.
Prerequisite: Junior or senior standing

JMC 498 – Multimedia Directed Study     1 credit hour

Students will work in teams in this course and will produce original multimedia productions in consultation with and directed by members of the Art and Art History, Computer Science and Information Technology, and Communication Departments. This is a capstone course for Multimedia majors and minors and should be taken during the student's senior year.
Prerequisite: Senior standing

JMC 499 – Independent Study in Mass Media     1-3 credit hours

Special assignments in the field of mass communication. May be taken for a total of 6 hours.
Department Consent Required
Total Credits Allowed: 18.00

Speech (SPCH)

SPCH 100 – Fundamentals of Speech Communication     3 credit hours

Study and practice of principles of public speaking.

SPCH 154 – Cross-Cultural Communication     3 credit hours

This course is designed to provide students with effective cross-cultural communication skills.

SPCH 188 – GS Portal     3 credit hours

Students analyze critical issues confronting individuals and society in a global context as they pertain to the discipline in which the Portal course is taught. The Portal is intended to help students succeed in their university education by being mentored in process of thinking critically about important ideas and articulating their own conclusions. Students may take the Portal in any discipline, irrespective of their major or minor. Satisfies the General Studies Portal course requirement. Students may take their Portal course in any discipline. Students who transfer 24 or more hours of General Studies credit to UNK are exempt from taking a portal course.
Total Credits Allowed: 6.00
Prerequisite: First year freshman standing or sophomore standing only.

SPCH 201 – Classical Traditions in the Communicative Arts     3 credit hours

A study of the contributions of the classical civilizations of Greece and Rome to the arts of communication: rhetoric and oratory, theatre and interpretation, and a study of classical influences on modern communication.

SPCH 202 – Communication Concepts in Society     3 credit hours

A survey of the basic concepts of communication through application to different contexts and through examination of literature and methods in communication research.

SPCH 205 – Voice and Articulation     3 credit hours

Designed to improve voice articulation and projection.

SPCH 222 – Oral Interpretation of Literature     3 credit hours

Performing from great literature, developing close appreciation of the aesthetic elements of prose, poetry, and drama from the performing artist's viewpoint.

SPCH 230 – Nonverbal Communication     3 credit hours

Study of principles and effects of nonverbal communication.

SPCH 231 – Introduction to Forensics and Debate     3 credit hours

Study of debate and individual events procedures focused on skills of investigation and presentation.

SPCH 237 – Intercollegiate Debate and Forensics     1-4 credit hours

For students interested in intercollegiate debate and individual events tournaments.
Total Credits Allowed: 4.00

SPCH 252 – Communication Inquiry     3 credit hours

Improve researching skills by applying knowledge of experimental design to analyze, evaluate, and interpret research writing within the Communication field.
Prerequisite: SPCH 202 or instructor approval

SPCH 270 – Advanced Public Speaking     3 credit hours

This course will provide advanced work in speaker's delivery regarding: voice, body language, gestures, and facial expression. Two aspects of language will be considered: technical and influential. Speechwriting as a skill and a profession will be introduced. Speeches in the impromptu, extemporaneous and manuscript style will be presented by the students.
Prerequisite: SPCH 100

SPCH 280H – Special Topics-Honors     3 credit hours

SPCH 300 – Interpersonal and Relational Communication     3 credit hours

Study of interpersonal and relational communication including the role of verbal and nonverbal communication in relationship development and maintenance, conflict management and interpersonal influence.

SPCH 301 – Introduction to Organizational Communication     3 credit hours

Students in this course will be introduced to the constitutive role that communication plays within organizational settings through studying the various theoretical approaches of the organizational communication discipline.

SPCH 332 – Logic Argumentation and Reasoning     3 credit hours

An examination of theories of practical logic with emphasis on rational decision making.

SPCH 340 – Professional Communication     3 credit hours

The course is designed to have a student consider his/her future career and the communication skills necessary in order to be successful in that career. The following skills will be presented: professional presentation skills, exploration of professional development topics that will aid interviewers to be effective, research into potential career opportunities, creation of an online resume, preparing for and conducting of a virtual job interview. The student will develop an online video profile that supplements their job application and resume.
Prerequisite: General Studies oral communication requirement and either junior standing or instructor approval

SPCH 360 – Persuasion and Propaganda     3 credit hours

The study and practice of persuasion.

SPCH 370 – Small Group Communication     3 credit hours

Study of small group communication theory and participation in various types of group discussion and activities.

SPCH 380 – Rhetorical Criticism     3 credit hours

Study of how to understand the consequences of persuasive communication, how to evaluate its quality, and how to be an effective agent of change.

SPCH 400 – The Teaching of Speech     3 credit hours

A methods course dealing with practical aspects of structuring and planning a speech-theatre program in the secondary schools.

SPCH 401 – Seminar: Special Topics     1-3 credit hours

Course work on a specific topic of communication designed by the teacher.
Total Credits Allowed: 15.00

SPCH 445 – Diffusion of Innovations     3 credit hours

Diffusion of Innovations examines the adoption of innovations by individuals in a social system from the perspective of a communication based model. Examples of innovations include fashion trends, campaign slogans, communication technologies, hygiene practices, birth control, farming practices, hybrid powered automobiles, types of government rule (democracy) and genetically engineered foods. The diffusion phenomenon is examined emphasizing social and individual points of view. Class sessions are mostly based on lecture, with some discussion. Assessment tools include exams, case studies, and a final semester project. The final project will be presented to the class.

SPCH 450 – Language, Thought & Action     3 credit hours

Students will study how people use language to exchange meaning, influence one another, and accomplish goals as a fundamental aspect of social interaction in any context. The focus of the course is on different theoretical perspectives used to understand language and different methods of examining social interaction.
Prerequisite: SPCH 252 or instructor approval

SPCH 451 – Leadership Communication     3 credit hours

A study of the characteristics, styles, roles, and strategies of leaders with emphasis on parliamentary process.

SPCH 452 – Advanced Organizational Communication     3 credit hours

Students in this course will investigate a variety of significant organizational communication issues that contribute to the development and maintenance of the organizational workplace. Students will apply theories through case studies and projects.
Prerequisite: SPCH 301

SPCH 453 – Interviewing     3 credit hours

Theories and techniques of interviewing, including information gathering, employment, appraisal and persuasive interviewing.

SPCH 454 – Intercultural Communication     3 credit hours

Study of communication across cultures.

SPCH 455 – Communication Training and Consulting     3 credit hours

A study of how to plan, conduct and evaluate communication training and development programs within the organization.

SPCH 456 – Rhetorical Theory     3 credit hours

Historical study of theories of persuasive communication from early Greek and Roman times.

SPCH 457 – Contemporary Rhetorical Theory     3 credit hours

Modern rhetorical theories.

SPCH 459 – Organizational & Relational Communication Senior Practicum     3 credit hours

The capstone in communication is intended to serve as a culminating experience for communication majors. Students will engage in a significant service project that will lead to assignments that allow them to integrate their experiences across different courses, apply the written and oral communication skills they have learned, and engage in professional development.
Prerequisite: Senior status as an Organizational and Relational Communication major.

SPCH 460 – Independent Study and Research     1-4 credit hours

Investigation of selected problems or topics on an individual basis. Obtain form from the Department office.
Total Credits Allowed: 6.00

SPCH 475 – Internship     1-6 credit hours

In-depth study for advanced students through practical experience in the business and professional world in the area of speech communication.
Department Consent Required
Total Credits Allowed: 6.00

SPCH 499 – Communication Theory     3 credit hours

An overview of theory and major theorists in the field of communication.