SLMC Course Descriptions

100-level Courses

SLMC 101. Principles of Speech (3 Credit Hours)

This course is designed to develop skills that will strengthen effective communication within a variety of contexts including, but not limited to, academic and organizational settings, with business and professional associates, and with family and friends. It is a performance course that is based on the study of communication theory as applied to a numerous public speaking situations and social interactions. The overall goals of this course are to improve the student’s ability to speak before an audience, to listen to and analyze speeches, to interact more effectively interpersonally with others and to increase awareness of the role of communication in our complex society.  Although natural ability is an asset, every student's capabilities in speech communication can be markedly improved through (1) an understanding of the communication process, (2) continued training in communication principles, and (3) practice in interpersonal, intercultural, group and speaker-audience situations.  

SLMC 102. Fundamentals of Advertising & Story Telling (1 cr)

This course has two primary areas of focus: (1) Introduce students to the field of advertising, its history and provide a general overview of advertising in the context of integrated marketing communications (IMC) and emergent media. Agency roles, corporate structure, branding and industry trends will be discussed as well as, the advertising process from research, creative, production, media placement and evaluation. (2) Additionally, students will be introduced to development of strategic communication messages via traditional and emergent media platforms. They will identify underlying themes of various stories on multiple platforms and decide how narratives will be best told strategically. Students will distinguish among different types of stories via the use of experiential (real-world) exercises to identify common themes and identify characteristics of a good story.

 

SLMC 103. Fundamentals of Public Relations. (1 cr)

The purpose of this course is to provide students with a foundation and general understanding of public relations history, theory and functions. Additionally, students will be introduced to basic public relations writing formats informed by knowledge and understanding of news values as well as news reporting and writing, including how to use Associated Press (AP) style. They will also be introduced to concepts of public relations strategies and tactics and how to incorporate them into effective plans.

200-level courses

SLMC 202. Intro to Communication Theory (3 crs)

The course is an introductory approach to theories associated with the study and analysis of human communication dynamics. The perspective adopted in the course is that human communication is a complex, problematic, and conflict-ridden challenge that human beings must process and manage as a constant of daily and social life. Communication theory seeks to explore meaning in diverse and complex ways so as to provide a broad base of understanding about the complexity of meaning for social beings, and the challenge that humans have in seeking to construct it, understand it, manage it, critique it, and, when necessary, change it.  

SLMC 203. Principles of Persuasion (3 Crs)

It is without question that persuasive communication permeates throughout every aspect of our existence.  We are constantly inundated with messages designed to influence or change our attitudes, beliefs, values and/or behavior.  Moreover, persuasion occurs on every level of communication, from the intra-personal through the global and even occurs within the context of the communication process.   

SLMC 210. Intro to Strategic Communication. (3 crs)

This introductory course explores the basics of how strategic communications works and teaches students the strategic concepts and principles necessary to understand how effective advertising, public relations and marketing decisions are developed and executed. This course will provide students with an overview of the principles, history and contemporary practices of the advertising, public relations and marketing industries and explain the nexus among those disciplines. SLMC 210 explores the role of public communication, its pervasiveness in society and provides an introduction to the development of a strategic communications plans.  Prereq: Sophomore standing. 

 

SLMC 231. Mock Trial. (3 crs)

Mock Trial is designed to provide students with an introduction to communication in legal processes specifically for trial court settings.  Mock Trial will expose students to the fundamental structure of trial court litigation.  This course offers the basic principles of civil and criminal litigation and practice, including various aspects of law, such as the rules of procedure, statutes and case laws.  It is expected that each student will gain invaluable experience regarding the principles of persuasion while enhancing their ability to argue and object, utilizing the rules of evidence and civil procedure often exemplified in trial court litigation.  Prereq: SLMC 203. 

 

SLMC 241. Communication Policy. (3 crs)

This course is designed to introduce students to the structure, process and implementations of telecommunication policies. Students will be exposed to different communication issues and bring about awareness and understanding of the impact communications, particularly telecommunications, has on society. After reviewing a variety of issues that involve structure and operation of mass media system, students will examine various policies, laws, and regulations under which the media system operates. The course investigates both public and private communication policies and their interactions and the possible impact that a policy may have on the overall performance of the mass media in society.  

 

SLMC 250. Intro to Leadership and Management Communication. (3 crs)

The course is designed to introduce students to an array of communication principles and practices that will provide them with a more comprehensive perspective on leadership and management.  The goal of this course is to improve students’ competence in communication leadership and management.  The course content is varied, mixing theory and practice and enabling the student to acquire both theoretical knowledge and application skill. The course differentiates between leadership and management and discusses both leadership and followership.  It also examines the various contexts in which leadership occurs, such as on the interpersonal, group, cultural, and public contexts.   

 

SLMC 251. Interpersonal Communication. (3 crs)

Interpersonal communication represents the very foundation of human communication.   It is the goal of this course to explore and to develop an intellectual and operational understanding of communication in order to learn ways of communicating effectively in individual, dyadic and group situations.  Special attention will be directed to the application of theoretical perspectives to the classroom and small group settings.  

 

SLMC 252. Intro to Health Communication. (3 crs)

This is an introductory course examining the intertwining of strategic communication with issues of health and medicine. Emphasis on the unique cultural, media, political-legal, interpersonal, and organizational factors influencing communication in healthcare settings.

 

300-level courses

SLMC 300. Debate Argumentation. (3 crs)

Argumentation introduces students to the basic principles of debate, emphasizing the development of research, critical thinking, and oral presentation skills. The course introduces a diverse array of debate styles.

SLMC 301. Intercultural/International Communication. (3crs)

Intercultural and International Communication disciplines share similarities with respect to media, culture and political diplomacy between sovereign nations.  This course will examine the role media plays when covering issues related to ethnicity and race from the international perspective.  It will also explore the cultural and developmental communication initiatives and the critical paradigms that should be employed when dealing with interpersonal, group and mass communication interactions between “developed” and “developing nations.”  The course will also examine how international relations (diplomacy) are impacted from a global communication standpoint.  The course will establish a credible theoretical framework that underpins intercultural and international communication dynamics in the 21st century. 

SLMC 302. Intro to Sports Communication. (3 crs)

This course focuses on various communications contexts and their intersection with the sporting environment. It recognizes the increasing importance of sports in contemporary society and the centrality of communication. The course shall survey various communication contexts as they apply to sports. It shall cover topics such as communications by sporting organizations, fans, the media, as well as gender issues, race, ethnicity, and nationality in sports.

 

SLMC 311. Basic PR Writing. (3 crs)

This course is designed to teach professional-quality techniques for writing to persuade in multiple public relations formats, including news releases, news advisories, features, backgrounders, pitch letters and other public relations writing formats in a multi-media environment.  Prereq.:  MJFC 100 and SLMC 210.  

 

SLMC 312. Advanced PR Writing. (3 crs)

This course is designed to build upon the skills and knowledge a student gained in Public Relations Writing I (Basic PR Writing). Students will develop professional-level writing skills with a special emphasis on writing controlled communications, such as speeches, newsletters, pitch letters, public service announcements, brochures and social media tactics, as a part of a strategic communications plan.  Prereq.:  SLMC 311.

 

SLMC 313. Public Affairs Planning & Management. (3 crs)

This course is designed to introduce students to the tools and techniques of public affairs campaign planning and management in a team environment. The course focuses on the branch of public relations that seeks to effect policy change through legislative, regulatory and executive action. It also builds on students’ previous studies of communications theory, reinforces their understanding of the ethical underpinnings of sound public relations practice and engages them in campaign planning while working in teams.  Prereq.: SLMC 311. 

 

SLMC 321. Advertising Sales (3 crs)

This course discusses the elements of advertising sales and marketing in the business environment. Content consists of advertising and sales promotion, selection of media, and use of advertising and sales promotion as a marketing tool, and ROI (testing media effectiveness). Upon completion, students will demonstrate an understanding of sales/marketing concepts by making actual sales calls to prospective buyers utilizing one of Howard University's media properties. Prereqs: SLMC 210.  

 

SLMC 322. Advertising Copywriting & Design. (3 crs)

This course combines theory and practice to cultivate effective creative strategy and conceptual thinking within advertising utilizing diverse and interdependent media. Students will apply critical thinking to create campaign solutions employing the use of traditional, social, digital and emerging media. Additionally, this course will develop principles of copy writing and design while incorporating the use of professional tools, technology and creative software.  Prereq.:  SLMC 210.

SLMC 323. Advertising Research and Marketing. (3 crs)

This three-credit-hour course introduces students to basic concepts and methods of the research process used in developing, executing, and evaluating integrated communication campaigns. Course content includes a survey of current research methods used in advertising, public relations and mass media studies.  Prereq.: SLMC 210  and Junior Status.

SLMC 324. Media Planning and Buying. (3 crs)

The Media Planning and Buying course will provide you with knowledge of mass media (TV, Cable, Radio, Internet and Print) and various media options that are incorporated into media advertising strategy. Class discussions will focus on the strengths and weaknesses of various media forms, why certain media are selected and evaluated and the decisions that arise from the media planning and buying process. Class discussions, assignments and activities are designed to present, reinforce and practice skills needed to execute a successful media plan. Prereq.: SLMC 210 and Junior Status.

SLMC 325. SLMC Co-curricular. (1 cr)

This is designed to provide students with practical experience in in their field by having students participate in several on-campus communication units. Such communication units include, but are not limited to, The HillTop, Mock Trial, Debate, The District Chronicles, 101 Magazine, WHBC, HMG, and The Howard Sports Network, among others.

SLMC 326. SLMC Co-curricular. (1 cr)

This is designed to provide students with practical experience in in their field by having students participate in several on-campus communication units. Such communication units include, but are not limited to, The HillTop, Mock Trial, Debate, The District Chronicles, 101 Magazine, WHBC, HMG, and The Howard Sports Network, among others.

SLMC 328. SLMC Directed Study. (3 crs)

This is designed as an individualized study for interested students focusing on a specific topic in an SLMC area of interest. A guide is drawn upon mutual agreement between faculty and student. Student submits a report to instructor at the end of the study period.

SLMC 331. Communications Law. (3 crs)

The course is designed to give students an overview of one of our most important fundamental rights, the Right to Free Speech. The course will peruse through the gamut of First Amendment laws and constitutional privileges that have influenced our society and have ultimately shaped our legal system.  The course will use statutory law and case law to examine the difference between protected speech and unprotected speech whether written or spoken. Above all, the course will analyze how existing law controls the operation of Mass Media and its impact on culture and systems of communication.  Prereq: ENGL 010.

SLMC 332. Intro to Legal Research. (3 crs)

Introduction to Legal Research prepares students with the necessary advanced research skills in legal research by exploring the essential legal resources used by lawyers and other legal professionals.  Upon completion of this course the student will be equipped with the vital research skills in various, if not, all legal related occupations.  This course will prepare students with research skills that will enable them to find relevant legal information to enhance any legal analysis.  The course explores all facets of legal research using book research as well as online research.  Prereq: Junior Status and SLMC 331.

SLMC 341. Race, Gender, and Media. (3 crs)

This course explores how gender, ethnicity, and race are represented in both news media and popular culture. A particular emphasis is on representation in media images, texts, and sounds, and on the significance of studying race and gender. The course invokes social scientific inquiries, both qualitative and quantitative, critically examining historical, socio-economic and institutional influences that govern the representation of race and gender in intersection of other cultural influences.   

 

SLMC 343. Programming. (3 crs)

This course is a survey of radio, television, cable and internet programs. It examines and evaluates national and international programming strategies and imagery used to maintain competitive audience. This course prepares students for entry-level jobs in programming and audience research at radio and television stations, syndicators, radio and television networks and cable systems. Finally, this course provides a theoretical framework for organizing and making sense of the processes of programming: selection, scheduling, promotion, and evaluation as practiced by stations and networks.   Prereq.:  MJFC 101 or SLMC 202.

SLMC 351. Advanced Public Speaking. (3 crs)

Public speaking has become an important force for molding and shaping society.  In an increasingly complex world, the need for articulate public speakers, that is, those who can present appropriate, relevant, and clear ideas to listeners in a direct, open and convincing manner has become even greater.  This course is designed to provide the advanced student with specific communication principles and skills necessary for effective public speaking in a variety of contexts.  Prereq: SLMC 101.

SLMC 352. Intro to Organizational Communication. (3 crs)

This course is designed to explore the various theories and concepts that are foundational to practices and applications in the discipline of organizational communication.  The nature of communication as the connecting thread in organizations and between organizations, social and enterprising, will be stressed. Emphasis will be placed on the understanding of organizations, management and leadership within the context of communication.  Students will be exposed to the theoretical underpinnings of organizations, their processes and functions.  Special attention will be given to the role of effective communication/interaction within the organization to maintain stasis and to manage change. 

400-level courses

SLMC 401. Practicum-Internship: Public Relations (PR). (1 cr)

This is an experiential learning course. Experiential learning is an educational plan that integrates classroom study with practical work experience. This course is designed to provide qualified public relations students the opportunity for challenging and educational “hands-on” learning experience the public relations, journalism or communications fields. Students gain experience and helpful career direction by working under qualified professionals in a structured business environment. Paid or unpaid, students are expected to perform duties that are similar, if not identical, to the type of work they will do upon entering the professional workforce. Prereq.  Junior/Senior Status, SLMC 311, and prior approval of internship before beginning of internship.

SLMC 402. Practicum – Internship: Advertising (AD). (1 cr)

This is an experiential learning course. Experiential learning is an educational plan that integrates classroom study with practical work experience. This course is designed to provide qualified Advertising students the opportunity for challenging and educational “hands-on” learning experience in the advertising, marketing related or communications fields. Students gain experience and helpful career direction by working under qualified professionals in a structured business environment. Paid or unpaid, students are expected to perform duties that are similar, if not identical, to the type of work they will do upon entering the professional workforce.  Prereqs: Junior/Senior Status, SLMC 321, and prior approval of internship and service learning experience before beginning the internship and service learning experience.

SLMC 403. Practicum-Internship: Legal Communication (LC). (1 cr)

This is an experiential learning course.  The course is designed to provide students with an opportunity for challenging and educational “hands-on” learning experiences in legal communication. Prereq:  Junior/Senior Status and SLMC 331, and prior approval of internship before beginning of internship.

SLMC 404. Practicum-Internship: Media Management (MM). (1 cr)

This course is designed to facilitate the student’s transition from college to the world of work. The focus of the class will be skills training in topics related to the identification and acceptance of employment opportunities, career development and techniques for upward mobility within the field of telecommunications management.  Prereq.: SLMC 321 or SLMC 343, and prior approval of internship before beginning of internship.

SLMC 405. Practicum-Internship: Organizational Communication Management (OCM). (1 cr)

This is an experiential learning course.  The course is designed to provide students with an opportunity for challenging and educational “hands-on” learning experiences in organizational communication.  Prereq:  Junior/Senior Status and SLMC 352, and prior approval of internship before beginning of internship.

SLMC 407. Special Topics (SR). (3 cr)

This is a special topics course designed for students in the strategic communications concentration. The title of the course will change to reflect its focus at the time the course is offered.

 

SLMC 410. Social Media & Integrated Marketing. (3 crs)

This course is designed to provide students with the history, theory and practical uses of Integrated Strategic Communication (ISC), along with the legal and ethical issues associated with social media. This course requires students to create comprehensive ISC campaigns with an emphasis on targeted uses of social media channels and tactics.  Prereqs: Senior Status and SLMC 323 or SLMC 311.

SLMC 431. Conflict Management and Negotiation. (3 crs)

Conflicts are pervasive in human social life. There are differences in disputes involving participants with different backgrounds and goals in different situations, but there are similarities and identifiable underlying dimensions in conflict communication. Some relevant dimensions include gender, role, ethnicity, nationality, and family background. The purpose of this class is to introduce conflict as it occurs in a variety of contexts and the ways in which communication can impact the outcome of conflict. It is also designed to provide students with a framework for the systematic analysis, management and negotiation of conflict through the use of communicative strategies. Activities for learning include reading about conflict and communication, analyzing conflicts, experiencing, and evaluating communication behaviors that are effective. An introduction to negotiation strategies and practices will be presented. 

SLMC 441. Broadcast Management. (3 crs)

In this course, we will examine various broadcast companies, the organization of these companies and the underlying principles governing their management.   Prereq.:  MJFC 101 or SLMC 202.

SLMC 451. Intro to Training and Development. (3 crs)

The training and development industry is vastly growing and reflects the information age as well as the technological advancement of the 21st century.  This advancement complements and enhances the field of training and development.  Therefore, the expertise and competence of professionals with training and development skills is critical.  This course will examine various concepts, theories and issues relevant to organizational communication training and development.  Organizational training initiatives will be introduced and explored.  To address the changing needs of the workplace we will study the importance of re-education, re-tooling and the re-development of new models.  Also, we will examine the field of training and development in an effort to understand the importance of adult and experiential learning as a tool for sustaining and/or improving organizational effectiveness.  Prereq: SLMC 352.

SLMC 490. Communication Research Methods. (3 crs)

This course is designed to introduce students to the basic concepts, principles, and techniques of communication research.  Focusing on both qualitative and quantitative research methods, this course will provide students with a basic understanding of what types of studies lend themselves to specific research methods and how to collect and analyze data according to these methods. The course will provide participants with a foundation for developing more advanced research and entrepreneurial skills. 

SLMC 491. CapComm Lab. (3 crs)

CapComm Lab is designed to provide an opportunity for students to gain practical experience through working in a co-curricular advertising and public relations student-run strategic communications firm. The course emphasizes planning, developing, implementing and evaluating strategic communications campaigns.  Prereq.: SLMC 312 or SLMC 323.

SLMC 492. Capstone: Senior Research Project. (3 crs)

In this course, students will review the major stages in the research process.  Students will conduct and complete a major communication Capstone project related to students’ field of study.  Prereq: SLMC 490 (cannot be taken simultaneously with SLMC 492).