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CATALOG • 2009-2010

Communication – Major/Minor

For information, contact Dr. James Brancato.

A major in Communication enables a graduating student to find entry-level positions in any field where the activity, implementation, processing or study of communication is a primary focus. Students majoring in Cedar Crest College’s communication program pursue careers in many fields, including journalism, public relations, development, marketing, personnel, advertising, video production and broadcasting. Many students also go on to graduate study in a variety of disciplines. The program opens up opportunities in research, teaching, corporate communication, government, public information, international relations, human services and media and book publishing.
Additionally, the communication program plays a crucial role in student life and campus culture through the sponsorship of the student newspaper, “The Crestiad,” the campus radio station (WCCC) and the video studio. It plays a central role on campus in the study of the liberal arts and social sciences and contributes to the arts and performing arts through the development of aesthetic appreciation and practical skills using media technologies.
Through the communication program, students have the opportunity to focus on either a pre-graduate or
professional approach. Both orientations are grounded in a scholarly, theoretical understanding of the role of media in society. Students work personally with their communication advisor to shape their course of study around their areas of interest. The communication program also emphasizes the need to create a portfolio that represents a student’s best work during their time at Cedar Crest, and can be used to her advantage when applying for communication jobs upon graduation.
Both the design of the program and the design of the individual courses reflect an interdisciplinary perspective, grounded in the liberal arts curriculum. At the end of her course of study, the student is expected to be able to talk and write about communication, its forms, media, content and activities. She is also expected to develop the capacity for critical thinking and insight needed both for professional excellence and as an educated citizen in a world dominated by media information and persuasion.

Grade Requirements

A grade of C- or better is needed for courses that fulfill major and minor requirements. Courses transferred from
other colleges may count towards the major only with the approval of the department.

Capstone Requirement

The program provides students with the opportunity to choose between writing a senior research thesis and conducting a senior professional project in order to fulfill their capstone requirement. This latter option may be done in conjunction with an internship.
Students conducting a senior project are required to submit for pre-approval a proposal outlining their project, the project’s connection to a field of literature in communication, a schedule for the submission of progress reports, their internship responsibilities (if applicable), and a final analysis of their project. Students may work with an outside co-advisor in a related field for their senior capstone requirement. For instance, a student in public relations may want to work with a co-advisor in marketing, etc.


Students are not required to complete an internship for the major. However, it is highly recommended that students who do not plan on immediately continuing on to graduate school complete at least one, if not more, internships. Internships may fulfill up to 6 credits towards completion of the major (the completion of two internships of three credits each is specifically recommended).

“The Crestiad” and Cedar Crest Campus Radio Club

Students have opportunities through these campus organizations to report, write, edit, announce and develop advertising and promotion campaigns, oversee finances, etc.; these skills are crucial to many careers in communication. Credit earned for participation in “The Crestiad” can be applied to the major. The department encourages students at all levels, including freshmen, to participate in these organizations.

Requirements for the Communication Major (39 credits)

A major in Communication requires 39 credits of coursework. All students are required to complete courses in four categories: Core (12 credits), Exploration (12 credits), Applications (6 credits), Advanced Study (3 credits), Communication Electives (6 credits)

Core Curriculum (12 credits)
The goal of the core curriculum is to introduce all students in Communication to the history of the major research and theory in their field of study and to provide students with a general understanding of how research in communication is conducted.
CST 110 Introduction to Communication 3 credits
CST 170 Intro to Mass Media 3 credits
CST 210 Research in Communication 3 credits
CST 352 Senior Capstone Seminar 3 credits

Exploration (4 courses required, 12 credits)
This category of courses provides students with the opportunity to explore the range of Communication as an
academic discipline.
CST 130 Introduction to Film 3 credits
CST 180 Introduction to Journalism 3 credits
CST 201 History of Cinema 3 credits
CST 222 Race and Gender in the Media 3 credits
CST 230 Public Relations 3 credits
CST 234 Media Law and Ethics 3 credits
CST 238 Organizational Communication 3 credits
CST 240 Topics in Film 3 credits
CST 245 Topics in Popular Culture 3 credits
CST 260 ST: Advertising 3 credits
CST 280 Interpersonal Communication 3 credits
*From time to time, the Program offers 200 level special topics in areas such as “Advertising and Society” and “Public Relations and Society.”  These courses typically count toward the Exploration category in the major.  Please consult your advisor for more information.


(2 courses required; 6 credits. Only 3 credits may be satisfied through an internship)
The courses in this category provide students with practical experience in various applications connected with Communication.
CST 216 “The Crestiad”: Staff 1-3 credits
CST 224 Video Production I 3 credits
CST 225 Digital Photography 3 credits
CST 270 Debate and Argumentation 3 credits
CST 290 Internship

Advanced Study (1 course required, 3 credits)

The courses in this category provide students with the opportunity for further instruction and/or advanced study
in the various areas associated with Communication as a discipline.
CST 300 Readings in Communication and Culture 3 credits
CST 310 News Media in America 3 credits
CST 324 Video Production II 3 credits
CST 330 New Communication Technologies 3 credits
*From time to time, the Program offers advanced coursework in areas such as “Advanced Photography” and “Advanced Journalism”.  These courses can be either 200 or 300 level courses, and typically count toward the Advanced Study category in the major.  Please consult your advisor for more information.

Students should consider courses in other disciplines to supplement specific areas of interest.

For students interested in Journalism:
Students are strongly encouraged to take courses and/or select an additional major or minor  in related fields such as history, political science, English, writing, or Hispanic and Latino studies.  Students should make these selections after consultation with their major advisor.  The following courses are particularly recommended for journalism students:
HIS 121/122 Survey of United States History 3 credits
PSC 210 American Public Policy 3 credits
PSC 251 American Political Thought 3 credits
SOC 218 Social Problems in American Communities 3 credits

For students interested in Public Relations:
Students are strongly recommended also to take courses in related fields, including marketing, international business, and economics. Students should make this selection after consultation with their major advisor.

Requirements for the Communication Minor (18 credits)

The Communication minor consists of 6 courses (18 credits). The following courses are required:
CST 110 Introduction to Communication 3 credits
CST 170 Introduction to Mass Communication 3 credits
Students will select four additional CST courses.  An internship may not count towards the minor.
Students are required to meet with a Communication faculty member in order to structure the course of study for the minor to the student’s interests and best advantage.