Department of Mass Communication
The Department of Mass Communication offers students entry into the fascinating and fast-paced world of mass media. Students are taught various professional skills while also encouraged to explore the world around them, to investigate, think, write and create.
Gathering information, creating ideas and then communicating them effectively to audiences are some of the tasks that mass communication students learn. Students can specialize in one of these areas:
Students are encouraged to take their creative passions and use them for the professional world, to connect their faith to their vocation, and to use the powerful “media microphone” to influence the world around them in a positive way.
The mission of the Department of Mass Communication is to enable students to think critically and to communicate clearly, effectively, and ethically. We prepare Christian professionals for work in the media field, including public relations, journalism, broadcasting, graphic design, and digital media. We accomplish our mission by helping students master writing, technology, and the ethical and legal aspects of the media industry.
Christian Emphasis Distinguishes Us
The mass communication classes at RC emphasize developing ethical, Christian professionals who can influence culture and the media in positive ways. One of RC’s core strengths is its focus on a Christian perspective. Class discussions focus on ethical decision making, respecting privacy, and how to use critical thinking skills and a Christian philosophy to make decisions.
The benefits of having a Christian perspective are twofold. Students who graduate with cutting edge media skills will be able to:
• become involved in and influence secular forms of media
• be able to use those skills for Christian organizations.
Students and faculty in the mass communication program are committed to the craft of communication and to being ethical, Christian professionals who can influence culture and the media in positive ways.
Preparing You For The Next Step
To be prepared for the media industry, students must obtain hands-on, practical experience. All mass communication majors earn experience while in college through internships, in workshop-type classes and by working for The Shield, RC’s student media.
Mass communication majors are required to complete a 150-hour internship with a professional organization before graduation. RC mass communication majors have interned in a variety of local media outlets, such as Channel 4 WDIV-TV, the “Oakland Press,” Fresh 100.3, FM98 WJLB, 97.1 The Ticket, Troy Cablevision, Habitat for Humanity, Campus Crusade for Christ, and many more.
With the coursework, internship and Shield work, students will graduate with a personal portfolio that will showcase their skills and experience.
What Are My Career Opportunities?
- Broadcasting students are prepared for careers in many areas of the broadcast and communication industries, including on-air talent, producers, writers, editors, camera operators, sound engineers, video technicians, etc.
- Digital Media students are prepared to work in many areas of the digital media arts field, including as videographers, video editors, webmasters, web designers, production assistants and multi-media/motion artists.
- Graphic Design students can enter many areas of the design field, including layout artists, prepress managers, web designers, flash designers, and multimedia designers.
- Journalism students are prepared for work as reporters, writers, and editors for both print and digital platforms.
- Public Relations graduates are equipped to work as public relations professionals for a variety of organizations, including corporations, nonprofits, and agencies.
Click on the alumni tab to see where graduates of RC’s mass communication program are employed.
Mass communication degrees can be earned through our traditional college program on the main campus in Rochester Hills, or through accelerated programs in Southfield, Clinton Township and Flint. Click on the majors/minors tab above and select graphic design, broadcasting, public relations or journalism to view delivery options.
BS WITH MASS COMMUNICATION MAJOR
This major provides students with in-depth explorations of theory and scholarship in media, as well as a choice of tracks in Broadcasting, Digital Media, Graphic Design, Journalism, or Public Relations.
MINORS AND CONCENTRATIONS:
Minors and Concentrations: Minors are offered in journalism, media, and public relations. Study in any of these areas is a valuable complement to other academic programs. A mass communication concentration is also offered in the interdisciplinary studies program.
- Journalism Minor – 3 hours of JRN 1101, JRN 1201 or JRN 1301; JRN 2513; JRN 2723; JRN 2833; JRN 3223; and 3 hours from either JRN 4313 or JRN 4333.
- Media Minor – Requires 18 hours of MED courses.
- Public Relations Minor – Requires JRN 2513, PRN 2613, PRN 3513, PRN 4323, and 6 additional hours of MED.
- Shield, RC’s four-color student magazine produced four times a year. Written, edited, designed and photographed by students. The magazine has been ranked First Class by the Associated Collegiate Press.
- www.rcshield.com, a student-produced website with fresh content, photos and stories about RC
- ShieldTV, student-produced video stories
Working in these areas offers students the opportunity to use their creative talents in producing content while at the same time gaining valuable media experience.
Mass Communication majors are required to work for Shield, and students from other majors are welcome to participate as well. Scholarships are available to students who work as editors and producers.
How to get involved:
Even with no experience in publication work, students who have an interest in writing, editing, design, broadcast or photography are encouraged to volunteer for Shield Media. Students are trained and advised by faculty so that they can obtain these valuable skills. In addition to serving as a campus voice for students, another benefit of working on The Shield is that students create work for their portfolios, which can be used when applying for internships and jobs. Students can enroll in JRN 1101 Print Journalism, JRN 1201 Digital Journalism, or JRN 1301 Video Journalism, which are hands-on workshop classes.
THE WORK OF OUR GRADUATES SPEAKS FOR ITSELF
Inside Sales Account Executive | Detroit Red Wings Radio Analyst | Oakland University Hockey
Marketing Communication Specialist
Cornerstone Community Financial | Auburn Hills, Mich.
Videographer/Editor | Kensington Church
JOVENCIO (RYAN) DANDIN
Cryptologic Linguist | U.S. Army | California
Junior Producer | Team Detroit
Copywriter | The Garage TM | Laguna Beach, Calif.
ERIN (MEEKER) FORBES
Clear Channel Radio (95.5, Fresh 100.3, FM98 WJLB) Detroit
Senior Communication Specialist | Rochester College
Reporter | The Clarkston (Mich.) News
Promotions Assistant | 104.3 MyFM/103.5 KOST Los Angeles
MICHELLE (WOODY) LEWIS
Campaign Manager | GDirect | Mesa, Ariz.
Graphic Artist | Save on Everything | Troy, Mich.
Minister of Technical Support | Rochester Church of Christ
WXYZ Channel 7 | Detroit
AMY (JANKOWSKI) MITCHELL
Ministry & Events Coordinator | Zion Christian Church Owner | 23Eleven Events | Royal Oak, Mich.
Staff Writer | The Oxford (Mich.) Leader
DAWN (MORNINGSTAR) NULTY
Producer | Speedy Spots | Chelsea, Mich.
Adjunct Professor of Mass Communication | Rochester College
Senior PR Associate | Lambert, Edwards & Associates Grand Rapids, Mich.
Production Artist | A La Mode | Oklahoma City
Content Writer | Tribis Engineering | Shelby Twp., Mich.
Missionary Journalist | Campus Crusade for Christ | Orlando, Fla.
Community Relations Coordinator | Crittenton Home Care | Auburn Hills, Mich.
JRN — JOURNALISM
JRN 1101 Shield Media Workshop
Credit for satisfactory work with Shield student media. Includes writing for print and online, page design, and photography. Students may serve on the publication staff every semester but credit is limited to three per course. Course fee.
JRN 2513 Media Writing
Writing for news, features, public relations, and marketed materials. PR: ENG 1123.
JRN 2723 Reporting & Interviewing
Training in the practical aspects of news gathering and basic newswriting techniques. Includes listening skills and how to implement these techniques for effective interviews. PR: JRN 2513.
JRN 2833 Digital Photography
An overview of photography technique and standards, including advanced strategies for digital camera operation and computer processing of photos for publication. Designed for students who need a working knowledge of photography for their chosen profession. Students must have access to their own digital cameras.
JRN 3223 Copy Editing and Content Management
Introduction to the fundamentals of editing news and information for online and print publications. Students learn journalistic grammar, AP Style, editorial decision-making, headline writing, photo management, and writing display copy. PR: JRN 2513.
JRN 3423 Video Storytelling
This course introduces students to the basics of visual image production via audio production, lighting, camera work, on-camera performance, scriptwriting, and video editing that focuses on visual storytelling. Students are expected to produce content for digital broadcast. PR: JRN 2513 (waived for non-majors)
JRN 3523 Publication Design
Principles and practices of typography, graphic journalism, infographics, and publication design. Students will learn to use Adobe InDesign during this class. Course fee.
JRN 4313 Feature Writing
Practice in writing newspaper and magazine nonfiction features, such as human interest stories, reviews and profiles. Includes sports writing.
JRN 4333 Editorial Writing
Preparing and writing opinion and commentary pieces. Emphasis on critical thinking and writing about current problems.
MED — MEDIA
MED 2013 Introduction to Mass Communication
Survey of the history, types, and uses of mass communication.
MED 3003 Media and Society
An in-depth exploration of the role and impact of media in society.
MED 3113 New Digital Strategies
Exploration and critical analysis of digital and social media and their use by businesses, media outlets, and organizations. Includes study of the evolving social contexts created by new media.
MED 4113 Media Law
Survey of historical and current legal decisions that shape the role of the media and its function in society. Includes legal philosophies affecting the media and its employees.
MED 4611 Special Topics in Media
Various media and communication topics chosen by students or instructor as an independent study. May be repeated, not to exceed a maximum of three hours total. PR: Instructor approval required before registering. Senior status only.
MED 4893 Media Internship
Supervised field experience in radio, television, graphic design, or public relations with application of theoretical knowledge. Includes outside reading and a written report. PR: Instructor approval required; junior or senior status recommended.
MED 4943 Media Ethics
The major issues and perspectives involved in making ethical choices and/or evaluations in mediated messages. Requires a formal presentation at the Academic Symposium. PR: MED 3003
MED 4953HYB2 Media Seminar and Portfolio
Directed study/Capstone course to guide students in polishing their portfolios and preparing for successful entry into the professional world. Includes resume development, mock job interviews and other career preparation, as well as guided research in PR, journalism, media ethics, or other mass communication topics. Requires a formal presentation at the academic symposium. PR: senior status; MED 4943 and for PR majors, PRN 4323.
PRN — PUBLIC RELATIONS
PRN 2613 Introduction to Public Relations
An overview of public relations theory, strategy, and practical techniques as used by corporations, non-profit groups and other organizations. Focuses on ways to communicate and promote products, services, images, and ideas to various publics.
PRN 3513 Public Relations Writing and Visual Design
Writing for internal and external public relations, including media kits, newsletters, websites, advertising, and direct mail. Includes basic principles of graphic design and instruction on page layout software. PR: JRN 2513.
PRN 4323 Public Relations Campaigns and Strategies
Designed for senior public relations majors to analyze, develop and implement a PR plan and portfolio for a real world client. PR: PRN 2613 and PRN 3513.