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Media Communication Studies

The Media Communication Studies major focuses on the technical and practical skills related to this evolving field. This major prepares students for a variety of careers in media and allied fields in which knowledge of and skills in mediated communications are an integral part of the professional activity. This major offers students the opportunity to pursue a range of theoretical and practical courses. Career options include, but are not limited to: web-based communication (journalism, broadcasting), graphic and web design, and digital communication. This major simultaneously provides students with the fundamentals of the Communication discipline. Ultimately, a Media and Communications graduate understands the fundamentals of multi-platform communication creation, production, and distribution.

Learning Outcomes

  • Understand and apply historical and theoretical frameworks of communication
  • Create ethical and responsible media
  • Know and operate various media technologies
  • Be visually literate
  • Gain practical experience in an industry media outlet

Major Requirements

  • ART1000 History of Art
  • COM1212 Introduction to Video Production
  • COM1281 Introduction to Mass Communication
  • COM1410 Digital Photography I
  • COM2630 Writing for Media
  • VDA 2613 Graphic Design I
  • COM 3261 Interactive Media
  • COM 3830 Digital Media
  • VDA 3613 Graphic Design 2
  • COM 4899 Internship
  • COM 3680 Communication Research

Choose one from 

  • COM 1400 Introduction to Broadcasting
  • COM 2401 Radio Programming and Production

Plus two electives in either in COM or VDA at the 2000-level or higher

Course Descriptions

This course traces world cultural development through the arts of architecture, sculpture and painting. The emphasis is on the social, economic, political, and geographic influences on the stylistic characteristics, subject matter and art forms of various world sites from the earliest prehistoric through the Modernist eras. The cultures of Africa, Australia, Oceania, the Near East, Greece, Rome, India, China, Japan, Europe (England, Ireland, Germany, Austria, Netherlands, France, Spain, Italy) and the Americas will be considered. Field Trip and fee required.

Students will study theories of mass communication and the role that mass communicators play in modern society. The rise of print and electronic media will be discussed in detail. Special attention will be given to the rights, responsibilities and practices of mass media and merging trends.

Fundamental visual art principles constitute the basis of effective visual communication. The course explores these fundamentals while applying the creative approaches unique to digital photography. Students will use the college’s digital darkroom (Adobe Photoshop) to refine and enhance the images they create for weekly assignments. In addition, students will develop a framework to analyze and evaluate photographs, whether created by themselves or others.

An introduction to the basic principles and techniques of writing for the media. Formats include informational, persuasive and entertainment content for a variety of audiences across multi-media – traditional media like radio, TV and print as well as web sites, bulletin boards and even e-mail and text messages. Students will write copy for news (print and broadcast), the web, advertising, public relations, television and the screen as well as personal and professional correspondence.

In this introductory class, students with learn graphic design production skills. A focus will be on developing proficiency with the industry standard software tools of InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop. Students will learn the fundamentals of designing communication materials, including: how to effectively convey a message whether with typography, images or symbols. Logo design and branding will be covered. Students will create communications pieces that benefit the AIC community.

Digital multimedia projects in mass communication will be developed from among advertising, journalism, public relations, radio and television genres. The purpose of this course is for students to produce multimedia projects. In the process, students will use their individual writing, reporting, photographic and audio/video skills to develop a concept, produce separate elements and finally assemble the project. This project, whether burned to a DVD or posted on the web, will include text, graphics, photos, audio and video. Laboratory fee charged.

This course provides an introduction to the convergence of video, audio and computers and wireless and other transmission methods. The course covers the technical and creative aspects of digital video photography, editing and sound, emphasizing the potential of multiple platform presentation including television, cable, video on demand, the web and fixed and emerging media. Compression, non-linear editing, burning to media such as DVD or CD and developing seamless interfaces are also taught. Laboratory fee charged.

This class builds on and adds to the concepts introduced in Graphic Design 1. Dreamweaver software will be introduced so students can create projects for the Internet. Students will create mock projects for fictional clients to gain understanding how communications materials affect consumers. Students will also create communications pieces that benefit the community surrounding AIC.


PREREQUISITES: VDA2613

One of the strengths of the communication program is the close relationship the program enjoys with the local, regional, and national media. Communication students are required to take at least three credits of professional learning experience in the media and are encouraged to take as many as 12 credits. Students document their professional learning through a compilation of published stories, radio air checks, and television demo tapes; this, combined with their resume and a practice interview, are the basis of the student capstone learning experience in communication. Students have completed internships at 91.9, WAIC, WWLP TV-22, WGGB TV-40, WAQY Rock 102, WHDH and WBZ in Boston, and NY1 in New York City. Summer internships can be arranged so that students continue their professional growth during recess, and the program already has a proud record of graduates being placed in media jobs.

This course explains the basic concepts of media research. Included are measurement and methodologies for measuring the effectiveness and impact of mass mediated messages (from radio, newspaper and TV to web site hits). Recognition tests, recall and association tests, opinions and attitude ratings, projectile methods, laboratory testing, and content analysis are each explained and studied. Research applications focus mainly, but not entirely, on consumers of mass media. Quantitative as well as qualitative methods are discussed in detail.

The Communication Department programs and operates 91.9 WAIC FM as a learning laboratory for our students. This course provides an overview of the broadcasting business and provides training in various aspects of broadcasting, including scheduling, traffic, advertising and ratings, basic engineering, announcing and practice in news and informational radio.

This course provides students with the production techniques and programming applications necessary to work at a music radio station. In addition to learning different music programming formats, students will gain hands-on experience on the air at 91.9 WAIC. Student training includes writing and producing station liners, stagers and positioning statements using state of the art digital audio editing systems, producing live broadcasts and phone drops, as well as discussion of taste and sensibility issues, FCC requirements, interpreting ratings data and developing an on-air personality.

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