Course Descriptions

CO: Communication Studies Courses

Department of Communication Studies

CO 101 Basic Communication 3 Cr
Introduction to the field of communication through the study of life-enhancing communication skills including listening attentively, managing conflict, interviewing successfully, interpreting media, sustaining healthy relationships, working effectively in groups and communicating amid diversity. Students also receive training in multiple forms of public speaking. Assignments apply communication training to students’ personal, academic and professional lives. Each semester

CO 108 Digital Publishing 3 Cr
An introduction to digital publishing in the age of social media. Students learn basic design philosophy in addition to how to use traditional desktop publishing software such as Adobe InDesign for production of pamplets, newsletters, etc. Plus advanced units on digital design, Photoshop, designing for Web 2.0 and guides for effective PowerPoint presentations using digital tools. 

CO 111-112 Introduction to Forensics 1-3 Cr
Preparation for intercollegiate forensics competition in individual events and World Debate. Events include extemporaneous, impromptu, after-dinner speaking, persuasion, informative, prose, communication analysis, poetry, duo, dramatic, program oral interpretation and World Debate. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor. Each semester.

CO 130 Viral Video 3 Cr
Get Smart! Smartphones have given rise to “Citizen Video” so in this course student citizens can start producing their citizen videos for distribution on YouTube and elsewhere. Students will dive in to produce movies that will end up on YouTube and in Carroll’s spring Charlies competition. The Citizen Video course will then expand into Citizen Media, and the world of podcasting and video casting. An entry-level digital moviemaking and citizen media primer for student filmmakers. You can use your smart phone or your camera or video or iPad to shoot some video. (We even have a couple of video-cameras.) Then we will edit it into something interesting. Whether it goes viral is out of our hands, but it will be good enough for the Charlies! Cross listed with computer science course CS 130. No prerequisites. Fall semester.

CO 165 Fundamentals of Film & TV Production I:Writing for Film & TV 3 Cr
Introduces students to the writing techniques and design of TV, Film and video programs in both multi-camera and single-camera environments. Students learn about writing styles and techniques, story structure, narration, and dialogue through the writing of broadcast news, persuasive (advertisements), documentary and drama scripts for the audio-visual medium. Students will also have the opportunity to translate their scripts into visual pieces through a hands-on camera exercise. (Both CO 165 and CO 166 required before advancing to CO 265) CO 165 and CO 166 can be taken in any order. Fall semester, odd-numbered years.

CO 166 Fundamentals of Film & TV Production II: Aesthetics of Film & TV 3 Cr
Students learn about the creative process of producing film and television programs: camera work, lighting, art direction, set design, costume design, sound design, editing, and how they all contribute to the film and TV production process. Through a hands-on approach (camera work) and critical analysis, students will learn and understand how messages are successfully and unsuccessfully crafted, targeted, and delivered through the TV and film medium. (Both CO 165 and CO 166 required before advancing to CO 265) CO 165 and CO 166 can be taken in any order. Fall semester, even-numbered years. 

CO 206 Small Group Communication 3 Cr
The study of group communication processes. Students will learn group communication theory and then apply that theory through in-class group games and out-of-class group projects. Fall semester, odd-numbered years. Prerequisite: CO 101. 

CO 210 Language and Nonverbal Behavior 3 Cr
A study of the current theory and research on the relationships between language, non-verbal behavior, and communication in contemporary American society. We will investigate the practices and techniques involving verbal and nonverbal actions employed by interactants in everyday encounters. Prerequisite: Sophomore or higher standing required. Fall semester; odd-numbered years.

CO 211-212/311-312/411-412 Advanced Forensics 1-3 Cr
Preparation for intercollegiate forensics competition in individual events and World Debate in British Parliamentary format. The team competes in the Northwest, the Rocky Mountain region, Canada and in select international events abroad. Prerequisite: consent of instructor. Each semester.

CO 215-216 Introduction to Public Relations 6 Cr
A two-semester introduction to the theory and practice of public relations. The first semester focuses on theory and on writing. The second semester focuses on case studies and the design of a public relations campaign for a local organization. Sequence starts the fall semester of even-numbered years and continues in the spring.

CO 225 Professional Communication 3 Cr
An advanced course in public speaking with practical career-training emphasis, this course is aimed at preparing students to make polished public presentations. The course will include units on listening, job interviewing, and public speaking for professionals. Prerequisite: CO 101 or consent of instructor. Spring; even-numbered years.


CO 226 Community Assistant Seminar 2 Cr
A course designed for paraprofessionals working in residence halls. By means of readings, professional speakers, and discussions, students will become more effective in performing duties and accepting responsibilities of a resident assistant. Class begins one week before fall semester; does not satisfy CORE communication course.

CO 227/228 Ambassador Seminar 1 Credit
A course designed for Student Ambassadors (Carroll's student tour guides). Topics covered will include communication and presentation skills, history and facts about Carroll College, Student Services/ resources on campus, and a general overview of the admission process. By means of readings, professional speakers, and discussions, students will become more effective in performing duties and understanding the responsibilities of Student Ambassadors. There will be some written homework assignments as well as out of class work (shadowing tours, helping with admission special events, etc). Required of all new Student Ambassadors. Grading will be Pass/Fail only. Spring Semester only. Prerequisite: CO101 (may be taken concurrently). Instructor's consent required.

CO 236-237 Prospector Student Newspaper 1-3 Cr
All students are welcome to join the staff of The Prospector, the student newspaper. Students will be assigned tasks in accordance with their talents and the papers’ needs: writing stories, taking photos, designing pages or selling ads. Variable credits: 1 credit equals one contribution per issue; 2 credits, 2 contributions, 3 credits three contributions. Every semester.

CO 250 Social Media and Communication 3 Cr
Social Media and Communication examines the profound shift that the Internet, social networking, digital publishing and mobile media technologies (Facebook, Twitter, et al.) have on the communication and business landscape. Through both theoretical and practical study, students will examine evolving technologies and their application to personal life, business development and business marketing/sales. The course will end
with experiential learning labs utilizing social media, social networking and real-time publishing. Fall semester.

CO 265 Basic Single Camera Production 4 Cr
This course focuses on camera production. Course will incorporate time in the field shooting videos and time in the editing suite using non-linear editing equipment in addition to classroom discussion and demonstration. Student will assume the role of writer/director and organize a production team and schedule. Lab required.  rerequisite: CO 165 and CO 166. Spring semester.

CO 279 Writing About Movies 3 Cr
Course is designed to teach a student to recognize and appreciate a good film. Students will watch classic films, read film reviews, and learn how to write and publish film reviews. Prerequisite: CO 101. Fall semesters even-numbered years. Fulfills Writing Intensive requirement.

CO 280 Gender Communication 3 Cr
Examination of interactive relationships between gender and communication in contemporary American society. Course will explore ways that communication creates and perpetuates gender roles and how socially created gender roles are enacted in public and private settings. Students will connect research to everyday lives. Prerequisite: Sophomore status absolutely required. Spring, odd-numbered years. Fulfills National Diversity requirement.

CO/ENWR 306 Writing for the Print Media 3 Cr
Students learn basic elements of journalistic writing for the print media, including news reporting, feature writing, and column writing. Course includes study of libel law, observation of community media, and production of one issue of the school newspaper. Prerequisite: EN 102 or consent of instructor. Spring semester. Fulfills Writing Intensive requirement.

CO 308 Communication Ethics 3 Cr
Course seeks to deepen insights into ethical issues arising on all frontiers of communication, ranging from small groups to news media. Students will read case studies of ethical crises and learn to apply philosophical and religious ethical principles to those crises. Prerequisite: Junior standing or consent of instructor. Spring semester, odd-numbered years.

CO 310 Mass Media 3 Cr
The study of the history and theory of contemporary mass media including radio, television, and print media. Course examines the cultural forces that shape and define mass media as well as the way mass media shapes our culture. Prerequisite: CO 101. Fall semester, even-numbered years.

CO 320 Organizational Communication 3 Cr
This course presents both historical and current perspectives on the origins and usefulness of organizational theory relating to communication, emphasizing the relationship between organizational life and communication principles. The course provides an opportunity for experiential learning, combined with theory, for under-standing and improving communication skills in a variety of organizational settings. Upon completion of the course, students will be able to explain how communication functions within organizations and how communication practices can be used to understand and enhance both employee relationships and organizational effectiveness.
Prerequisite: Junior standing or consent of instructor. Spring semester.


CO 325 Intercultural Communication 3 Cr
Study of the relationship between culture and communication in everyday life. Students will consider the nature and place of cultural practices in social life and will examine the influence of features of culture (world views, values, beliefs) on communication encounters. Students will examine topics related to diversity and social justice, such as ethnocentrism and stereotyping. Prerequisite: CO 101. Fall semester, even-numbered years. Fulfills National Diversity requirement or Global Diversity requirement, but not both.

CO 340 Interpersonal Communication Theory 3 Cr
The study of interpersonal communication from both a personal and theoretical standpoint. Topics include the initiation, maintenance and termination of platonic, romantic and family relationships as well as attraction, courtship, affection, conflict, and destructive behavior. Prerequisite: Sophomore or higher standing. Spring semester, even-numbered years.

CO 360 Health Communication 3 Cr
A theoretical and practical examination of the central role of communication in the provision of health care. Students will examine communication issues such as empathy, therapeutic listening, trust, self-disclosure, social support, and interactional  control/power and their use and impact on our emotional and physical well-being and in varying heath care relationships: individual (e.g., the patient role, the provider role), interpersonal (e.g., provider-client, provider-family), group (e.g., healthcare teams, self-help/support groups), organizational, and societal. Designed to serve all students, especially those seeking careers as healthcare professionals. Prerequisite: Junior or higher standing. Fall semester, even-numbered years.

CO 365 Saints TV: Television Production 3 Cr
An application of the structure and aesthetics of message design in film and television. Course is an extension and application of CO 165 and CO 265. It is designed to broaden student exposure to single and multi-camera production procedures and technology in the classroom and in the field. Students will incorporate script, picture, and sound to create television programs for Saints TV. Prerequisite: CO 165, CO 166, CO 265. Each semester.

CO 395 Research Methods Seminar 3 Cr
A discussion of selected communication issues associated with researching and reporting about human interaction. The student will investigate the scope, central concepts, and practices of communication research with particular focus upon  microanalysis, ethnography, surveys, and experiments. Prerequisite: Junior or higher standing. This seminar is for junior communication studies majors. Fall semester.

CO 414 Human Communication Theory 3 Cr
A critical study of classical and contemporary communication research. Students analyze contemporary communication case studies through application of models such as Aristotle’s Rhetoric, Burke’s pentad and Marxist/Feminist theory. Prerequisite: Junior or higher standing. Fall semester, odd-numbered years.

CO 420 Globalization, Gender and Communication 3 Cr
This course explores globalization and its socio-econo-cultural impact on gender. Students will identify the political, social, and cultural fault lines created by the concept of globalization. The course will examine issues such as power shifts and a reconfiguration of political power and civil society and changing gender roles within the context of national cultures and the global economy. In addition, the course will also examine the impact of wars, media, and international institutions on the loss of nation
state autonomy and borders as well as global and gendered inequality. Fall
semester, odd-numbered years.

CO 425 Communication Career Internship 1-3 Cr
An option available to the communication major who is preparing for a career in public relations and information, event organizing, communication consulting, broadcasting or social media. The student will intern in an appropriate business, state office, or federal agency in the Helena community for supervised, practical experience in the area of the intended career. This course may be taken more than once. Each semester.

CO 495 Senior Practicum: The Graceful Exit 1 Cr
A capstone course about life transitions—particularly the graceful exit from college and the humble entrance into a post-college career. Course includes units on selecting and applying to graduate schools, job interviewing, resume writing, web-based job searching and conference call interviews with successful communication and public relations alumni. Fall semester.

Alumni Spotlight

Laurel Cifala, ‘07
Edelman - Seattle

Laurel Cifala

After completing a marketing communications internship with Intermountain in Helena, Laurel joined the organization's development team where she wrote grant proposals and assisted in planning the annual Festival of Trees.

Eager to pursue a career in public relations, Laurel moved to Seattle a year later and joined Edelman, a global public relations agency. She currently manages communications, public affairs, social media and media relations for a broad base of clients including Washington State Tourism, Expedia Inc. and the Washington State Department of Commerce.

"Carroll's Communications Department prepared me with the coursework and practical experience necessary to survive and thrive in the PR industry. The professors genuinely care about students' successes and have continued to offer me support and advice, even in the years after graduation."