2023-24 University Catalog 
    Apr 24, 2024  
2023-24 University Catalog

Communication Department

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Franny Howes, Department Chair

Professors: K. Brown, M. Schnackenberg
Associate Professors: A. Fultz, F. Howes, A. Lancaster, K. Lundgren
Assistant Professors: V. Crooks, E. Grimshaw, R. Richards
Instructors: A. McCracken, M. Scheidegger

Degrees Offered

  • Bachelor of Science in Communication Studies
  • Bachelor of Science in Professional Writing

Minors Offered

  • Human Interaction
  • Professional Writing and Technical Communication

Certificate Offered

  • Dispute Resolution

Communication Studies

The Bachelor of Science in Communication Studies allows students flexibility in designing a program that fits their life and career goals. Students choose core courses and elective from areas such as technical, organizational, and interpersonal communication. In addition, students build a career foundation by completing a focused sequence of electives.

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon graduating, Communication Studies graduates should be able to:

  1. Demonstrate critical and innovative thinking.
  2. Display competence in oral, written, and visual communication.
  3. Apply communication theories.
  4. Understand opportunities in the field of communication.
  5. Use current technology related to the communication field.
  6. Respond effectively to cultural communication differences.
  7. Communicate ethically.
  8. Demonstrate positive group communication exchanges.

Career Opportunities

The Communications Studies program prepares students for careers in areas such as organizational communication, new communication technologies, education, human resources, law, speech language pathology, public relations, sales, and dispute resolution; it also prepares students for graduate-level study.

Professional Writing

The Professional Writing (PWR) professions serve content areas and technical fields. Housed in the Department of Communication, the PWR B.S. degree program includes core courses in theory and practice of writing and style, in addition to electives in digital text creation, interactive media, management, mathematics, communication, and health sciences. Students choose one of three emphases: Scientific and Technical Writing, Digital Media, or Writing in Organizations.

The PWR program begins with a foundation of writing and style, along with communication theories and application. Graduates will gain competence in the domains of visual and text creation, audience analysis, rhetorical theory, research methods, statistics, and group and team communication. The applied content includes large project creation and management, portfolio work, digital media production, and broad applications of communication skills. The program is designed to integrate written skills with technical knowledge, and courses in technical specialties are required. This program is interdisciplinary and expects students to create a curriculum that matches a specific career path.

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon graduating, Professional Writing graduates should be able to:

  1. Design and create documents appropriate for professional and consumer audiences using a variety of industry-standard tools
  2. Use accepted rhetorical, linguistic and design theories to craft user- and reader-centered documents
  3. Demonstrate professionally-appropriate practice in working with clients/stakeholders and teammates
  4. Demonstrate professionally-appropriate ethical reasoning, including awareness intellectual property in the creation and management of documents
  5. Analyze their position within the fields of publishing, technical communication, professional writing, and allied disciplines.
  6. Manage the production of complex, large-scale projects and their related documentation

Career Opportunities

Professional writers use their advanced written communication skills to synthesize information and span boundaries between technical experts, decision-makers, and the public. They work in a broad range of settings, including the public sector, high tech corporations, entertainment, education, design firms, and more.

General Education Courses

To ensure that Oregon Tech’s graduates are skilled communicators, the Communication Department provides writing, speech, and communication courses to satisfy general education requirements. Students in other majors should consult the general education and degree requirements in their major departments.

Student Preparation

All students who plan to study at Oregon Tech should enroll in writing and speech classes during their high school years to better benefit from the university’s communication courses. Students applying to the Communication Studies Program should have especially strong reading and writing skills. It is important to have a well-rounded college preparation background, including courses in math, sciences, and general education.



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