In public relations courses, students are trained in written, oral, and visual communication. Special emphasis is placed on ethical considerations, and on the ability to communicate using electronic and digital media.

Scroll down to read descriptions of the courses offered at Carthage, or click on the following links for additional resources.

Human Communication (SI)

CDM 1150 / 4 credits 
This course provides a broad grounding in the history and current interdisciplinary understandings of human communication. Students will explore the role of identity/self and perception, verbal and nonverbal communication, listening, and culture in human interaction. These concepts will be further applied to the study of relationships, small groups, organizations, rhetoric, and media.
Prerequisite: None

Public Speaking (OC)

CDM 1200 / 4 credits 
A study of the role, rights, responsibilities, and ethics of the speaker, medium, and audience in a variety of speech situations in a democratic society. Speaking techniques examined include the processes of invention, organization, and presentation in informative, demonstrative, persuasive, and ceremonial settings. Students must demonstrate effectiveness in integrating media (e.g., presentation software or other video or audio elements) into their speech communications. Targeted instruction is arranged as necessary to ensure basic competency in the technical use of presentation software.
Prerequisite: None

Visual Communication (AI)

CDM 1300 / 4 credits 
An introduction to the practice of critical observation and analysis of static, dynamic, and interactive visual information. Students develop theoretical and applied skills in interpreting a wide range of visual information, and demonstrate their own abilities to design and produce visual information.
Prerequisite: None

Basic Adobe Creative Cloud

CDM 1925 / 4 credits
This course focuses on learning the basics of Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, and InDesign for students planning to work in the realm of communication, marketing, and other fields within the creative industry. Students taking this course should be a total beginner or have very limited knowledge of the programs. They will use these software tools to create and edit multiple small projects, a crucial skill for many majors seeking to gain entry into their professions. The steps of the creative process will also be introduced, from brainstorming to final solution. Students will be required to have access to a computer with Adobe CC, which can be found in several labs on campus.

Principles of Public Relations

CDM 2200 / 4 credits 
An introduction to public relations as the theory and practice of effective communication between organizations and their diverse publics. Explores the role of public relations in organizational culture and in society, with particular emphasis on ethics, corporate integrity, and local and global contexts. Case studies provide opportunities for students to engage in research on the public relations of actual organizations, and to develop writing and presentation skills required of public relations practitioners.
Prerequisite: None

Interpersonal Communication (SI)

CDM 2300 / 4 credits 
Theories and research of one-to-one human interaction. Topics include communication models, identity, social roles and expectations, self-disclosure, listening, conflict, trust, and the development, maintenance, and termination of relationships. Survey and application of intra- and interpersonal communication in friendships, families, romantic partnerships, and other social and professional contexts.
Prerequisite: CDM 1150 or consent of instructor

Rhetoric and Persuasion

CDM 3000 / 4 credits 
A study of rhetorical theory as it provides models for the construction and criticism of public discourse. Classical and contemporary writings on rhetoric are explored in the context of theories of language, representation, communication, and ethics.
Prerequisite: CDM 1150 or consent of instructor

Public Relations Writing

CDM 3350 / 4 credits 
Writing plays an integral role in modern public relations. This course develops an understanding of the conventions and practices of effective public relations writing for contemporary media, with special emphasis on writing for social media, as they relate to public relations. Coursework includes extensive exercises designed to develop skills in a variety of formats, styles, and rhetorical strategies appropriate to public relations.
Prerequisite: CDM 2200 or consent of the instructor

Social Media (SI)

CDM 3400 / 4 credits 
This course examines digital technology as a medium of communication. Issues covered include the social, economic, civic, and global implications of the information age.
Prerequisite: CDM 1150 or consent of instructor

Communications Management (SI)(ITL)

CDM 3420 / 4 credits 
This is an advanced course for public relations majors or other students who wish to understand the nature and management of effective communication within and among organizations. Students will develop insights and capacities in organizational communication leadership; careers and cultures in corporations, agencies, small business, and nongovernmental organizations; client relations; communication planning strategies and systems; stakeholder communication; stockholder and financial communication; reputation management; global communication; crisis management; change management; tracking issues and trends and managing communication about them; and funding and evaluating communications campaigns.
Prerequisites: CDM 2200 or instructor permission

Public Relations Skills Assessment

CDM 3565 / 0 credits 
This e-portfolio assessment for every Public Relations major must be taken during the spring of the third/junior year (the academic year prior to taking CDM 4030 Public Relations Senior Seminar). Assessment is pass/fail. Students are expected to revise and resubmit if necessary. Students may repeat the assessment until a passing grade is earned in order to take CDM 4030. The website will have been developed in a previous course. Students are expected to update their websites during their program to include new or improved content, including scholarly research and writing, speech content in presentation software form, current resume, samples of public relations writing and/or projects that focus on a variety of public relations skills, and optional elements (creative pieces, etc.).
Prerequisites: CDM 2200 and CDM 3350
Spring, taken during junior/third year

Public Relations Internship

CDM 3570 / 4-8 credits 
An internship enabling students to gain practical experience in public relations. The internship is typically arranged by the student, and must be approved by a department faculty member and by The Aspire Center. Students meet regularly with the supervising professor, maintain a log or journal of the experience, and complete a body of professional portfolio pieces. Prerequisite: None CDM 3600 Intercultural Communication 4cr Exploration of the various theories, opportunities, and problems related to communication by individuals within and across different cultural groups.
Prerequisite: None

Organizational Communication (SI)

CDM 3700 / 4 credits 
This course will help students understand organizational communication theories, models, and processes. Students will apply these principles in organizational communication through case studies and research presentations. Additionally, students will examine the impact of diversity, globalization, and leadership on organizational communication.
Prerequisite: None

Public Relations Campaigns (SI)

CDM 3810 / 4 credits 
The course draws heavily on students’ previous training in principles, writing, and research to develop and partially implement a public relations campaign for an actual organizational client. Students will use the principles and techniques of public relations to analyze case studies, track current public relations issues, create various communication campaigns, and solve real-world problems. The course introduces students to the process of campaign development, management, and evaluation using the principles and strategies of public relations and agency management.
Prerequisite: CDM 3350

Crisis Communication

CDM 3820 / 4 credits 
The importance of an organization’s image or reputation becomes readily apparent when organizations face crises of many types. How well they anticipate, communicate during, and respond meaningfully to these crises can enhance or destroy the organization’s reputation. Reputation management and crisis communication have long been a significant aspect of strategic communication and public relations. This course blends theory and practice in examining recent trends and issues in the related areas of organizational image, reputation management, and crisis communication.
Prerequisite: CDM 2200

Public Relations Senior Seminar

CDM 4030 / 4 credits 

This capstone experience provides public relations seniors the opportunity to integrate and utilize the knowledge and skills they have acquired during their course of study. The course culminates in the completion and public presentation of a senior project or thesis.
Prerequisites: CDM 3350 and CDM 3565