The Communication Studies major at Oregon Tech is very different from many communication studies programs. We are different because Oregon Tech is different! We care about the students being able to apply the knowledge and skills they develop, we care about the relationships they will form with their professors (not graduate teaching assistants!) and other students, and we care about both their short-term and long-term success. What this means is that the Communication Studies degree at Oregon Tech is extremely flexible, transfer friendly, and designed for individuals.
Students enter our program and take a series of courses designed to expose them to the basic contexts of communication. Communication is a broad and inclusive skill set that can be used in many contexts, yet has no specific application.
We strive to do two things within our major:
- prepare all majors to be excellent at using technology to communicate, building relationships, writing and speaking for specific audiences, and dealing with conflict.
- prepare our majors for a specific career through a focused set of courses, both within and outside of the department.
At the end of their 2nd year in the major, students declare a professional goal and, with the aid of their advisors, propose a group of courses that will prepare them for their goal. The Communication Studies Advisory Committee (CSAC) then approves the student's plan, which means that, functionally, the Communication Studies major is designed for each individual student's needs and goals. All Communication Studies graduates can say to a perspective employer that they are uniquely and specifically prepared for their profession, and further, because of the required externship, that they have successful experience in the profession.
The Communication Studies degree prepares students in the four areas most in demand by all employers;
Introduction to Communication Technology: Students are introduced to the use of communication technology. This course is an introduction to multimedia composing, including images, video, audio, interactive media, social media, and the theories that help students to understand how these genres and modes operate.
Communication Technology in Use: Students learn about advanced use of communication technology. The use of communication technology to achieve specific communication goals is emphasized. The major course project involves using multiple communication technologies to reach specific audiences.
Interpersonal Communication: Students learn about interpersonal communication theory and practice, including how to communicate in a variety of relationships. Students apply course concepts to analyze and practice dyadic communication to develop more effective and satisfying work and personal relationships.
Small Group and Team Communication: Students learn about how to communicate effectively in small groups, including observing and analyzing their own communication style in relation to others, understanding their own and others’ impact in groups, and learning about the dynamic properties of group behaviors. Students learn to work as part of a team.
Argumentation: Students examine argumentation as part of human interaction and inquiry. They learn to argue to gain adherence as a way of reasoning. Students receive advanced practice in public speaking, debate, ethics, and critical thinking.
Journalism: Students produce the weekly student newspaper, The Edge, and learn about journalistic writing, design, layout, and production. Students also write proposals, memos, business correspondence, and recommendation reports.
Negotiation and Conflict Resolution: Students learn about theories and strategies for conflict resolution and negotiation across contexts. Specifically, the topics of destructive conflict cycles, ways to confront/manage conflict, the social/psychological aspects of conflict, conflict analysis, the causes of conflict, and ways to promote constructive conflict are addressed.
Gender and Communication: Students learn about the basic theories and concepts involved in culturally-derived gendered communication patterns and behaviors. Students will build understanding and skills to analyze those patterns and behaviors in order to develop and practice effective communication strategies with various others.