Main Content Region

Goals and Objectives

Academic Mission

The core mission of the Department of Communication Studies is to foster communication and media literacies in the service of global citizenship, community participation and ethical leadership.

Program Learning Outcomes

Program Learning Outcomes are the threshold concepts derived in our backward design process. For each PLO, four levels of outcomes (or attainment) have been identified. These act as our program learning outcomes and levels of each outcome. The PLOs and levels (1 =lowest to 4 = highest) appear below.

PLO 1) As a symbolic, representational process, communication facilitates the construction of individual and social realities. So, students will...

  1. identify the symbolic, representational processes within a text;
  2. explain how the resulting text communicates information and ideas;
  3. assess/critique the implications of that text for individual and social realities;
  4. produce a text that portrays/shapes individual and social realities differently

PLO 2) Political, economic, socio-cultural, technological, and ethical processes and contexts all shape communication. So, students will...

  1. investigate an unfamiliar communication situation;
  2. compare communication processes in that situation to others;
  3. evaluate how context has shaped communication in each situation;
  4. reflect on the impact of that investigation on your own perspective

PLO 3) Communicators co-construct meanings, which are intersubjective and multiple. So, students will…

  1. examine a communication exchange,
  2. identify the meanings that each communicator has constructed,
  3. explain how the meanings are subjective and different from each other,
  4. analyze whether and how the communicators could make different choices to yield clearer or more fair communicative meanings

PLO 4) Communication tends to reinforce power asymmetries, but it can also challenge them. So, students will...

  1. identify communication stakeholders, relationships, and interests
  2. analyze the information, beliefs, norms, and values conveyed in communication;
  3. assess/critique how communication reinforces/challenges stakeholders’ interests
  4. produce a text that challenges power asymmetries

PLO 5) Effective communicators create well-crafted communication appropriate to the audience, purpose, context, and medium. So, students will…

  1. appraise information relevant to the goals, audiences, purposes and contexts of a communication situation
  2. select/use creative modalities and technologies to accomplish communicative goals
  3. produce communication content adapted to the diverse needs of individuals, groups and contexts
  4. reflect on/critique one’s own (or another’s) communicative messages in terms appropriateness for the audience, purpose, context, and medium

Department Assessment Plan

 The department has adopted a plan to assess the undergraduate and graduate program outcomes.