2008-2009 Master of Professional Communication Courses

MPC

600

Communication Ethics and the Democratic Process

(3)

Provides theoretical and historical background for understanding present-day social and political contexts of journalism, advertising, and public relations. Debate ensues about whether current U.S. mass communication practices enhance or debase the democratic process.

 

MPC

601

Visual Communication

(3)

Explores basic theories of visual perception as contexts for the study of visual messages. Students identify principles that underlie their understanding and analysis of visual media, as well as develop written analyses of how visual messages communicate. The class encompasses specific aspects of visual communication such as photographs, information graphics, the use of color, etc.

 

MPC

602

Rhetorical Theory and Practice

(3)

Introduces students to the history of rhetoric and addresses practical application relevant to professional communication. Readings trace the evolution of rhetorical theory and outline strategies for producing effective rhetorical communication. Students develop skills in persuasion, argumentation, and critical thinking.

 

MPC

603

Advanced Rhetorical Theory and Practice

(3)

Continues to explore histories, theories, and practices of rhetoric. Readings will focus on a more in-depth exploration of major rhetorical movements and theories introduced in MPC 602. Students will use their enlarged understanding of history and theory to apply rhetorical principles to professional and personal communication, particularly in writing. Prerequisite: MPC 602.

 

MPC

605

Communication Theory

(3)

Surveys various communication theories and the practice of theory-building. Learners engage selected theories representative of traditional, contemporary, and innovative communication theory while developing fluency in communicating the relationships between theories and worldviews.

 

MPC 609 Basic Editing Principles (3)
Provides an intensive review of the foundations of the English language, with particular focus on eliminating grammatical errors, punctuating correctly, choosing the right word, and constructing effective sentences. Students will learn the rhetorical effects of the choices that they make.
 
MPC 610 Professional and Technical Writing (3)
Focuses on the principles of writing professionally and the application of those principles to specific writing projects. Students learn to plan and organize effectively, to write clearly, and to develop polished final products through revision. Prerequisite or co-requisite: MPC 609.
 
MPC 614 Writing Technical Publications for High-Tech Industry (3)
Introduces students to the various writing forms required by the computer industry and other high-tech industries. Students review basic rhetorical concepts to enable them to organize and write user manuals, promotional materials, and/or in-house communications pertinent to the industry and deliverable in either print or electronic media. Prerequisite: MPC 610.
 
MPC 615 Advanced Professional and Technical Writing (3)
Focuses on developing advanced skills in project planning, analysis, and design, in addition to honing students’ abilities to write persuasive, responsible, and accurate professional and technical documents. Draws on knowledge gained in MPC 610, but moves onto exploring theories of writing for the purpose of applying more advanced methods of research, audience analysis, and document construction. Genres of writing may include business plans, formal reports, training materials, communication audits, policies and procedures, and documentation. Prerequisite: MPC 610.
 
MPC 616 Writing for Popular Publications (3)
Introduces students to the concepts particular to writing for lay readers. Students analyze pieces written for publications ranging from magazines to newsletters in preparation for writing various types of documents for popular audiences. Prerequisite: MPC 610.
 
MPC 617 Writing for Peer-Reviewed Journals (3)
Focuses on the organizational models and journal requirements unique to peer-reviewed publications. Students work in areas of subject matter expertise or collaborate with other professionals in the preparation of manuscripts suitable for publication in professional journals. Prerequisite: MPC 610.
 
MPC 618 Advanced Professional Editing (3)
Focuses on substantive editing and applies editing principles to a number of editing projects, including an article intended for a peer-reviewed journal. With reinforcement of the microediting principles introduced in MPC 609, students will become competent editors who have a thorough knowledge of grammar, punctuation, and the organization and design of reports. Prerequisites: MPC 609 and MPC 610.
 
MPC 619 Grant Research and Writing (3)
Emphasizes the management and research processes involved in writing a successful grant proposal. Students use both Internet research and traditional research methods to identify appropriate funding agencies and gather data for writing grant proposals. Potential projects include reviewing and evaluating grants, writing a grant proposal, and presenting grant proposals. Prerequisite: MPC 610.
 
MPC 620 Organizational Communication (3)
Covers various theories of organizational communication. Students analyze organizational structures and systems while focusing on their individual roles in and responsibility for organizational communication.
 
MPC 621 Leadership Communication (3)
Emphasizes the discursive dimensions of leadership. Learners engage theory and practice in ways that foster a complex, ethical understanding of how leadership communication matters in small group, community, and professional contexts.
 
MPC 622 Intercultural Communication (3)
Focuses on communication of identities in U.S. American contexts. Learners engage issues of diversity and inclusivity in theory and practice while critically reflecting on personal responsibility, civic discourse, and the cultivation of sophisticated communication skills.
 
MPC 623 International Communication (3)
Focuses on communication of identities in international contexts. Learners engage issues of globalization, development, and worldviews in theory and practice while critically reflecting on personal responsibility, human rights, and the development of advanced communication skills.
 
MPC 633 Writing for New Media (3)
Introduces students to theoretical and practical complexities and practicalities of working with new media. The class will discuss different formulations of what “new media” might mean, while reading a variety of important and mind-opening works about media and while putting new knowledge into practice through a group project.
 
MPC 635 Design Principles and Desktop Publishing (3)
Provides an overview of basic layout and design principles and hands-on training in professional desktop publishing software. Students apply their understanding of layout, design, and desktop publishing to the creation of a variety of publications. Typical projects might include the MPC newsletter, specialty advertising, corporate profiles, logo design, and packaging. Prerequisites: MPC 610; COMM 307 or consent of instructor.
 
MPC 636 Multimedia Systems (1)
Focuses on advanced multimedia technologies in communication, education, and training. Students analyze numerous delivery systems, such as CD-ROM, digital audio and video, a variety of web-based media, and DVD.
 
MPC 637 Web Design and Production (3)
Introduces students to the Internet, the World Wide Web, and their associated technologies. Students learn design and organizational principles that apply to electronic media and the Web. They also receive hands-on training in Website development techniques. All students will create their own Web sites or work on group projects.
 
MPC 638 Digital Image Editing (3)
Introduces students to digital imaging tools and techniques. Using appropriate software, students learn to create, modify, and combine digital images from a variety of sources, such as scanners, digital cameras, stock photo services, etc. Students also learn to integrate text and image material within the image editing software. Projects include design and production work for both print and electronic media.
 
MPC 639 Advanced Web Site Design (3)
Develops skills in planning, producing, testing, promoting, evaluating, and maintaining a Web site for a business or other organization. Students learn to interact with clients from the perspective of a Web development team. Student teams plan, design, and produce Web sites for clients and develop deliverable items relevant to each phase of the development process. Prerequisite: MPC 637.
 
MPC 640 Communication Measurement and Evaluation (3)
Covers a variety of methods by which the effectiveness of communication pieces can be measured. The class focuses on communication plans and strategies and on the use of survey instruments, usability tests, and focus groups in gathering information and evaluating communication effectiveness.
 
MPC 642 Project Planning and Management (3)
Explores the facets of managing a documentation project from research and planning to implementation. Students apply project management theories related to scheduling and budgeting, managing multiple development cycles and deliverables, facilitating collaborative work groups, and establishing meaningful evaluation metrics to comprehensive, strategic communication projects.
 
MPC 643 Public Relations Writing and Planning (3)
Helps students develop writing skills and produce public communication documents beyond the conventional press release. Students also study public communication models and theories and their application to an overall campaign in a professional setting.
 
MPC 644 Integrated Marketing Communications (3)
Analyzes audiences, types of messages, and delivery methods to determine how to most effectively distribute messages to target markets. The focus is on integration (or synthesis) of marketing communication with strategic marketing.
 
MPC 645 International Public Relations (3)
Introduces students to considerations faced when conducting public relations activities across political and cultural boundaries. The course examines trends in globalization, cultural and ethical issues, the dissemination of information in-country and internationally, international issues that can impact the organization, global branding, and the identification of information and PR resources.
 
MPC 646 Health Communication (3)
Focuses on media’s role in shaping health behaviors. Taking a traditional approach to the effects of mass media, students examine how media campaigns change health behaviors like smoking, drinking, drug use, safe sex behaviors, HIV prevention, breast cancer awareness, and more. The class focuses on the principles behind designing, implementing, and evaluating a health campaign.
 
MPC 652 Effective Presentations (3)
Presents a theoretical and practical approach to delivering effective presentations. Students learn and practice effective presentation skills using a variety of visual aids, including multimedia.
 
MPC 656 Communication Law (3)
Introduces students to the American legal system and how local, state, and federal laws and regulations impact the communication industries. The course covers the Constitutional underpinnings of freedom of speech, as well as the specific law in areas including copyright, access, and libel.
 
MPC 660 Publication Design (1)
Explores the idea of what makes an effective, appealing publication from a layout, design, and organizational perspective. Basic publication design principles are discussed, and students apply those principles to a small hands-on project.
 
MPC 661 Introduction to 2D Computer Illustration (1)
Focuses on appropriate uses for 2D illustration software and basic characteristics of 2D vs 3D illustrations, as well as bitmapped vs vector images. Students learn fundamental techniques for producing and modifying 2D illustrations using Adobe Illustrator software.
 
MPC 662 Introduction to Web Multimedia Production (1)
Presents basic-level techniques for Adobe Flash, examining examples of Flash usage and developing an understanding of what Flash can be used for in a Web or multimedia environment.
 
MPC 664 Field Project Proposal Writing (1)
Helps students rhetorically analyze their audiences and provides an overview of the format, style, and content of various types of proposals. With attention to appropriate models, students write their field project proposal for MPC 690. This class should be taken one or two semesters before students plan to enroll in MPC 690.
 
MPC 665 Public Relations Writing for Broadcast (1)
Briefly introduces broadcast writing in public relations, with a focus on the public service announcement or PSA. Students learn the concept of the PSA and gain experience in writing PSAs for radio.
 
MPC 666 Business Aspects of Freelance Writing and Editing (1)
Focuses on the personal attributes, skills, and qualifications needed by those who undertake freelance careers in writing and editing. Those who are serious about a freelance career create a marketing plan and design their marketing materials; other students explore the steps needed to establish successful careers within more conventional communication settings.
 
MPC 667 Professional Portfolios (1)
Focuses on assembly of a professional-quality portfolio that is appropriate for each student’s career goals. The portfolio may be either a traditional hard-copy version on an electronic version.
 
MPC 668 Directed Studies (1–4)
Allows students to undertake independent research and readings on special topics not fully covered in the MPC program. Prerequisites: consent of instructor and school dean.
 
MPC 670 Managing Issues and Crises in the Organization (1)
Focuses on raising awareness of how the management of public information impacts the origination and outcome of issues and crises. Students become acquainted with the nature of issues and crises, are introduced to some of the tools that can be used in managing information intended to advocate for or defend positions, and become more discerning observers/participants in the news.
 
MPC 674 Electronic Information Retrieval (1)
Covers strategies for electronic research. Students learn how to write a research question, design a search, and execute it on the Web, Deep Web, and a variety of electronic databases.
 
MPC 675 Writing Public Science (1)
Examines strategies for effectively communicating scientific information to lay audiences. Specifically, students analyze various works from scientists and science journalists in order to determine how to best communicate complex scientific information to public readers. The goal is to isolate specific strategies science writers can use to effectively help lay readers make key decisions about the science issues that affect their lives.
 
MPC 680 Special Topics in Professional Writing (1–3)
 
MPC 681 Special Topics in Communication and Culture (1–3)
 
MPC 682 Special Topics in Multimedia and Management (1–3)
 
MPC 683 Special Topics in Strategic Communication (1–3)
 
MPC 690 Field Project (3)
Serves as the culmination of the MPC program. The field project can be an internship in a local business or agency, an actual field study of some communication function in the work place, or a major project including significant amounts of professional-quality writing, editing, and/or design. Students must plan the project with a communication faculty member and an outside professional. Prerequisites: 29 hours of coursework and approval of field project proposal by MPC program faculty.
 
MPC 699 Continuing Registration (0)
Allows students to continue work on their field projects for two additional semesters. Students may enroll in MPC 699 for the two semesters following the semester in which they registered for MPC 690. If they have not completed the project by the end of the second semester of registration in MPC 699, they will receive a grade of NC for MPC 690. A fee of $250 is assessed each semester that students are registered in MPC 699.