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    Harding University
  Dec 02, 2021
2013-2014 Undergraduate Catalog 
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2013-2014 Undergraduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Department of Communication

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Chair: Jack R. Shock, Ed.D.

Distinguished Professor:

           Michael L. James, Ph.D.


Patrick Garner, Ph.D.
    Director of Communication Studies Program
Dutch Hoggatt, Ph.D.
Jack R. Shock, Ed.D.

Associate Professors:

M. Laurie Norton Diles, Ph.D.

Assistant Professors:

Kelly Elander, M.A.
James E. Miller, Ph.D.
    Director of Mass Communication Program
Sharon Pitt, M.Ed.
Steve Shaner, M.S.


Ginger Blackstone, M.A.
Katherine Ramirez, B.A.
Bob Ritchie, M.Ed.

Assisting from other departments:

Dottie Frye, M.A.
Steven M. Frye, Ed.D.
C. Robin Miller, M.F.A.

The mission of the Department of Communication is to provide, within a Christian context, a foundation of human communication principles. Each area of study enhances student growth in critical thinking, scientific inquiry, ethical and moral judgment, and Christian service. The department prepares students for placement and careers in communication and furnishes a strong preparation for graduate study.

Communication and information exchange occupy significant positions in world affairs. There is increased need for skilled communicators in all segments of society - media, government, politics, business, and the church. Thus students must complete a basic course in oral communication.

The Department of Communication offers majors in two program areas: mass communication and communication studies.

Mass Communication
Six majors are available for students in mass communication: advertising; broadcast journalism; electronic media production; Web design and interactive media; journalism; and public relations. Students in mass communication are encouraged to maximize practical training along with academic instruction. Work on the campus television channel, TV 16; the University’s commercial FM radio station, KVHU 95.3; the campus noncommercial AM radio station, AM 1660; the student newspaper, The Bison; and the yearbook, The Petit Jean; the multimedia website, the Link; and the Harding Student Advertising Agency is available.

In their junior or senior year students must complete an internship in their major, working 240 hours in a professional setting corresponding to their majors and future plans. Students must pass ENG 111  before enrolling in any COMM course numbered COMM 230  and above. In addition, students must take MATH 200  to satisfy the Liberal Arts requirement for mathematics.

Students who desire to get a double major in two areas of mass communication should be aware of the University academic policy requiring them to complete requirements for both majors plus 15 hours beyond the major with the most required hours (see Course Policies ).

Students should be aware that a minor does not appear on the transcript of a student whose major does not require a minor. The student would have to call attention to a minor equivalency in a cover letter. Students are not permitted to get a minor in a mass communication area if his or her major is also in a mass communication subject or to get more than one minor in a mass communication field of study because the core curriculum is so similar for all areas. The student may be better served by taking the specific courses desired as electives.

The Web design and interactive media program was designed to meet the needs of an exciting, growing industry that might be described as online, interactive, Web-oriented communication. The Bachelor of Science degree in Web design and interactive media is an interdisciplinary degree designed to provide graduates with the necessary skills to meet job-market demands by developing key skills from areas such as graphic design, communication, programming, business and marketing. Coursework is designed to develop the competencies needed to succeed in the Web design and interactive media field with emphasis on the following:

  • general skills associated with using modern digital technology;
  • creating Web sites that are attractive and user-friendly;
  • knowledge and practice of marketing/advertising principles for the Web;
  • experience with the most common industry software and media tools;
  • understanding of computer programming to create interactive Web sites;
  • real-life project work in class;
  • credit for WDIM-related internships; and
  • integration of spiritual faith into one’s career.

Communication Studies
The communication studies major provides students with an overview of the cognitive and performance content of the field of human communication. This entails a thorough knowledge of the major levels and formats of communication. This will include, but is not limited to, the following topics of critical concern: the nature of the human voice, the nature of speech pathology, the nature of human linguistic communication, a knowledge of group processes, a developed skill in public address, a knowledge of the effects of nonverbal behavior on the communication process and an introduction to the effects of mass communication on society.

In addition, students who are preparing to teach speech communication on the secondary level will also be familiar with needed elements of theatre and will proceed through the certification process in the Cannon-Clary College of Education .

Assessment criteria also state that all majors in oral communication will demonstrate research, written as well as oral communication competence in their senior seminar and through their performance on the Praxis II exam.

Department of Communication



Bachelor of Arts

Bachelor of Science


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