Welcome to the Communication major! Our goal is to give you a wide range of classes that cover the broad spectrum of communication. We will teach you how to speak effectively in front of an audience and in a small group. You will learn how to reach a mass audience using public relations and marketing skills. Most importantly, our students get hands-on practice through internships, PR/marketing campaigns, participation in plays and musicals, and in many other applied learning experiences.
The Communication major aims to promote an awareness of the complexities of the human communication process, to assist in the refinement of communication skills, and to encourage the free and responsible use of communication abilities and mediums. The study of communication is especially recommended for students who are considering future occupations or training in areas such as public relations, management, missions, journalism, counseling, the youth pastorate, marketing, consulting, law, media communications, personnel management, teaching or the ministry.
Examples of courses in this major:
An examination of the process of communication and interpersonal relationships focusing on the role of the self, people perception, the environment, and the interaction of interpersonal orientations. Personal skills in resolving conflict and stimulating friendships are examined through exposure to theory, practical exercises, and the analysis of experiences in current relationships.
This course explores moral reasoning and practice in the communication field as well as the major theoretical approaches to communication. Case studies will be used to examine truth-telling, business pressures, deception, fairness, privacy, social justice, and the relationship between ethics, theories and practice. Applications in advertising, the entertainment industry, politics and the church.
An introduction to the theory and practice of public relations, emphasizing its publics, management function, writing skills, communication processes, tools, and professional ethics. Each student will work with a community partner to facilitate some aspect of PR in a real-world setting.
A critical survey of mass media, and its effect on societal structure. This course surveys media from a variety of perspectives in order to understand the role that media has in shaping various worldviews. It explores economic controls, governmental controls, problems, effects of media, and societal evolution of the information and entertainment media.
A survey of various applications of communication theory to business and organizational life. Special emphasis is given to small groups, interviewing skills and persuasive proposals.
A survey of the methods used in communication research. Students will examine, critique methods, as well as participate in their own research projects using the course instruction.
An examination of the logical structure and function of argument in oral and written discourse with special attention given to fallacies and test of evidence. Students will engage in two-person and four-person classroom debates.
The individuals who will challenge you to learn:
B.S. in Communication and Business, Grace College; M.A. in Communication, Ball State University
Mike Yocum joined the Grace College faculty in 1999. He is the program director for the Communication Department and directs the theatre program at Grace. Yocum is also a professional actor, performing in four to five productions a year. In addition to his acting, he is a singer, lighting and set designer, director, production manager and writer. He is a certified Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) trainer and has led numerous workshops over the past 20 years.
B.A. in English, Westmont College; M.A. in English Literature, University of California (Santa Barbara); M.Div., Fuller Theological Seminary
Frank Benyousky joined the Grace College faculty in 1985. He specializes in English Renaissance and C. S. Lewis, has written on George MacDonald, and has completed advanced studies in communication at Notre Dame. Benyousky also worked extensively with the Grace College Prison Extension program from 1989 through 2005. His specialty in communication is in cinema and the relationship between film, faith and culture.
B.A. in Communication Studies, University of Northwestern, St. Paul; M.A. in Speech Communication, Minnesota State University, Mankato; Ph.D. in Communication, University of Memphis.
Patrick Loebs joined the Grace faculty in 2013. He teaches a wide variety of communication courses for the college. His primary research is in political and early-American rhetoric. He is currently engaged in various writing projects and has recently published works on the rhetoric of U.S. presidents. In his spare time, he enjoys woodworking, playing instruments, biking and spending time outdoors. Pat and his wife, Heidi, are originally from Minnesota and have two children.
Some of the positions you can obtain:
Almost everyone plans an event at some point—a birthday party, a social gathering or even a pie-eating contest. Event planners take care of logistics like scouting a location, organizing lodging, and securing food and refreshments as well as helping to determine the tone and scope of the event. Due to all the people involved in the process of planning an event—clients, vendors, attendees—event planning is a people-oriented, and thus a communicative, profession.
Broadcast news analysts, news anchors and radio personalities are responsible for distilling the day’s events into public broadcasts. They must be articulate, charismatic and compelling. They must also be able to prepare—which means reading, interpreting and writing—and deliver the day’s news. In breaking news situations, newscasters must think on their feet to relay critical information without bias and with sensitivity to those involved in the situation.
A public relations specialist, sometimes known as a media or communications specialist, is responsible for a company’s public image. They manipulate public opinion and try to earn credibility and trust for their employer through various means of branding and messaging. Often they are the mediator between their employer and the press, write press releases and speeches, give public statements, organize events and act as a spokesperson. In government offices, the public relations specialist is referred to as the public information officer or press secretary.
Publicists help individuals like authors, athletes, politicians, celebrities and others get the media coverage they need to succeed in their field. Communications skills are therefore important, as publicists spend their day talking to the press, arranging appearances on television or radio shows, landing interviews with key journalists, and generating excitement and interest around their client’s work or personality.
Salespeople, sometimes known as account executives, sales agents or sales representatives, sell products or services with a focus on building a loyal clientele. It is a highly personal profession, with the best salespeople being the best communicators and networkers. Often they meet with clients face-to-face, though some sales jobs are conducted over the phone or Internet. They need to be outgoing, present a convincing pitch, and stay updated on the industry.
A high-energy, fast-paced career field promoting advertising space for publications in newspapers, magazines or online sources. Visit advertisers to make sales presentations and create awareness of organizations, programs, services or events.
Plans fund-raising programs for charities or other causes and writes to, telephones, uses social networks, or visits individuals or establishments to solicit funds or gifts-in-kind. Compiles and analyzes information about potential contributors and plans selling approach.
Every company with multiple employees, from international banks to hospitals to nonprofits, has a need for a communications specialist. Internal communications managers and specialists ensure the company’s various departments and employees are working together harmoniously and efficiently. Large companies employ entire communications departments that are then responsible for ensuring that top-down communication is clear, developing written materials such as newsletters and style guides, and overseeing the workflow of any written content. In a small company, the communications manager and specialist may be the same job.
Researches market conditions in local, regional or national areas to determine potential sales of product or services. Establishes research methodology and designs format for data gathering such as surveys, opinion polls or questionnaires.
What others are saying:
The professors at Grace have poured into my life beyond any expectations I had of the typical college professor. And I've learned just as much outside of the classroom through personal discussions about life, real-world principles and how to live authentically. My future as a communicator has been positively impacted by the biblical foundation permeating this campus.
—Rachael Ramos, B.A., Communication (Public Relations specialization), 2012
The opportunities that professors gave me to expand what I was learning into real-life, valuable experiences were what made my Grace education so awesome—from presenting papers at two academic conferences, to an internship doing videography for United Way of Kosciusko County, to having my first job two weeks before graduation, not to mention all of the hands-on, real-life experience I was given right in the classroom with creating and presenting projects to real clients!
—Cristina Hoyt, B.S., Communication, 2010