Mar 19, 2019  
Undergraduate Catalog 2013-14 
Undergraduate Catalog 2013-14 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Communication, School of

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Leigh Ford, Director
Main Office: 305 Sprau
Telephone:  (269) 387-3130
Undergraduate Advising Office: (269) 387-3197
Clifford Resource Center: (269) 387-3134
Fax: (269) 387-3990

Heather Addison, Director Graduate Program
Julie Apker
Sandra Borden
Sue Ellen Christian 
Autumn Edwards
Chad Edwards
Richard Gershon
James Gilchrist
Annette Hamel
Keith Hearit
Richard Junger
Adam Kahn
Joseph Kayany
Marilyn S. Kritzman, Coordinator of Undergraduate Advising & Internships
Steven Lipkin
Jennifer Machiorlatti, Director of Undergraduate Programs
Leah Omilion-Hodges
Mark Orbe
Kathleen Propp
Jocelyn Steinke 
Stacey Wieland 
Kathleen Wong

Mission Statement

The School of Communication is committed to the research and advanced study of the art and science of communication in a way that integrates theory and practice. In our scholarship and teaching we seek to promote a culture that values diverse perspectives and emphasizes the ethical implications of communication.

Communication Programs

Communication is the principal mode for establishing and maintaining human relationships. It consists of those processes by which society is made possible, by which people develop and exchange ideas, solve problems, and work cooperatively in attaining common objectives. Effective communication is an educational imperative for all human beings.

The study of communication is important to virtually every profession that involves working with people, making it an excellent major, minor or cognate for communication-related jobs in education, business, government agencies, health care professions, social services, industry, and other public and private organizations. Communication is central to positions in public relations, corporate communication, information management, employee communication, training and development, and radio, television, and film. Production training facilities and professional curricular programs in television and film provide both the background knowledge and training for positions in mass media production, performance and management.

The School of Communication is dedicated to meeting the personal and professional communication objectives of our students. Seven major areas of concentration are available: Communication Studies; Film, Video, and Media Studies; Interpersonal Communication; Journalism; Organizational Communication; Public Relations; and Telecommunications and Information Management. These major areas of concentration reflect the primary divisions in the discipline, with required courses to ensure adequate preparation in specific fields. The concentration areas and accompanying upper-level requirements provide appropriate guidance to assure that programs of study are academically sound.

Two minors - Minor in Communication and Minor in Journalism - are also offered. However, students may complete only one program (major or minor) in the School of Communication.

Communication majors and minors may choose to participate in the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance certificate program. This program is designed to prepare students for leadership in nonprofit organizations. Students qualify for the certificate by taking courses in their major and minor which meet the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance competency requirements, by taking the required Nonprofit Leadership Alliance courses, and by meeting the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance extra-curricular requirements. For details, please see the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance description in the College of Arts and Sciences Interdisciplinary Programs section of this catalog. Details are also available from the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance director.

The School also encourages a close relationship between academic classes and extracurricular and co-curricular experiences. Students may become involved in a variety of activities, including community service projects, WIDR-FM radio station, video taping of special events, film-making, and internships in a variety of organizations. Academic credit may be earned for significant participation in many of these communication activities.

Students planning to major or minor in any of the communication areas should discuss their program needs and interests with School advisor at the earliest possible date. To find our more about advising and/or to make an advising appointment, visit our website, click on “Advising” and then follow the desired links. A Handbook for Majors and Minors in Communication, which describes suggested programs of study in communication, is available on our website:

Transfer Students 

  • the courses are approved as direct equivalents to current WMU courses in the major or minor or;
  • the courses are allowed as electives in the major or minor.

Any course not used toward a School of Commuication major or minor may be used as electives to meet the minimum required 122 credits needed for graduation from WMU.

Special Rules/Restrictions

  • Students must have a grade of “C” or better in any prerequisite before they can enroll in the subsequent course for all prerequisites in the School of Communication.
  • Students must get a grade of “C” or better for any class to count toward a School of Communication major or minor (a grade of “B” or better for graduate courses.)
  • The School of Communication has a TWO-repeat policy. Students may only take a course twice in their attempt to obtain a grade of “C” or better.

Undergraduates with junior or senior status and with listed prerequisites completed may enroll in 5000-level courses with prior approval of advisor and/or instructor.

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