Department of Mass Communication
The Department of Mass Communication offers students entry into the fast-paced world of mass media through written and digital platforms, providing students with in-depth explorations of theory, scholarship, ethics and law in media. Students are taught various professional skills and gain practical experience working with student media, through class projects, and during their mandatory internship. Students graduate with a professional portfolio, ready to connect their mass communication skills with their faith to influence the world 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
Class discussions focus on ethical decision making, respecting privacy, and how to use critical thinking skills and a Christian philosophy to make decisions.
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.
All traditional Mass Communication majors take a common core of classes, and then choose pne pf several areas of specialization.
Minors are offered in journalism, media, public relations and with a interdisciplinary degree.
All Mass Communication majors in the traditional program are required to complete a 150-hour internship with a professional organization. Students have interned with various media outlets, such as WDIV Channel 4, ONTV Lake Orion, MI., “Oakland Press,” Fresh 100.3, FM98 WJLB, 97.1 The Ticket, Troy Cablevision, Habitat for Humanity, and Hope House Detroit.
What Are My Career Opportunities?
Students who graduate with cutting edge media skills will be able to:
- become involved in and influence secular forms of media
- use those skills for Christian organizations
- produce broadcast programs
- write and edit for digital platforms and for print
- shoot and edit video
- become a journalist adept at print or digital reporting formats
- edit copy and edit video
- create web-design
- graphic design
- become public relations professionals working with corporations, non-profits, and agencies
Accelerated Learning Students
A BS in Mass communication degree can be earned through 8-week semesters accelerated programs delivered online and at several community colleges in the metro-Detroit area, and at Mott Community College, Flint, MI. Students completing their Specs Howard School of Media Arts diploma can also complete the BS in Mass Communication. For further information, click here.
Areas of Concentration
All traditional Mass Communication majors take a common core of classes, and then choose from the following choice of tracks:
Tracks for traditional 15-week semester students taking classes on RC Campus.
Tracks for traditional 15-week semester students in affiliation with Specs Howard School of Media Arts (commute to metro-Detroit) typically during their junior year.
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
- Shield Media, a student-produced website with fresh content, photos and stories about RC and beyond
- Shield Magazine, RC’s four-color student magazine produced twice a year that is written, edited, designed and photographed by students
- Shield Talks, a student-produced podcast with guests from the RC community
- ShieldTV, student-produced video stories
By working in these areas, students are able to use their creative talents in producing content while at the same time gaining valuable media experience and building a portfolio.
Mass Communication majors are required to work for Shield Media, 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, film, social media 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 Shield is that students create work for their portfolios, which can be used when applying for internships and jobs. Students can enroll in MCM1101 Shield Media Workshop to obtain credit for working on the various Shield Media platforms.
THE WORK OF OUR GRADUATES SPEAKS FOR ITSELF
Meet, Chelsea Dobija: Class of ’14
“When I first started at Rochester College, I was a bit nervous but ultimately excited to start my journey through the Mass Communication program. This program helped me build the confidence that I needed to make it in the broadcasting field. The teachers and staff prepared me by giving me advice and their own knowledge that they have experienced working in the same field. The most important thing that I had learned going through Rochester College is faith. When you first become a graduate, building or continuing your career can be tough. If you keep believing in your faith then you can make it through any obstacles before reaching your goals. My advice to the future, Mass Communication students is that you need to listen closely to what your professors have to say. The teachers in this program have real world experience. I appreciate everything that the staff at Rochester College did for my classmates and for myself.
I have been working for TJ Monte Productions – Pro DJ & Event Services since 2011. Since I graduated from Rochester College in April of 2014, I have become the Manager as well as continuing my position as a disk jockey. I have traveled all over the country, including New York, California and Texas, to do weddings and other events. I strive on becoming a better DJ every day by watching and listening to the role models who have more years of experience and have taught me what I know. Always be persistent and keep your faith.”
Meet Lindsay Baslock: Class of ’16
“The most rewarding thing in the Mass Communication department was the stressed enforced on finding the right internship. The theories and practice of a skill in a classroom can teach the basics but when you apply it in the “real world,” it becomes concrete. Networking and building connections is key and the professionals you are working for often times will help you in your next step to finding that dream job.
Studying at Rochester College helped me gain confidence in my faith that everything will turn out the way it is supposed to when the effort is applied. It has taught me to have an open mind about everything in life and learn from the lessons that opportunities bring.
The advice that I would give to a student interested in Mass comm is Selecting the right major can be pretty daunting, but Mass Communication will give you experience with each media outlet. When you allow yourself to seize opportunities then you will find the path that you are meant to follow. Working for Shield is definitely a great way for you gain exposure in your interests as well as help you build your portfolio of real world work experience.
The most challenging thing I’ve encountered at my current job is adjusting my writing style for certain projects. We write a mixture of feature, advertisement and social media copy and each word is crucial when adhering to different word counts.
The best part of being a Mass Communication major at RC was the relationships created with peers and professors. The smaller class sizes allow for you to interact with them more and by the end of my college career, professors felt more like friends than just teachers at the front of the classroom.
Students should join the Mass Communication department because of the variety of experiences offered. All of the classes offered help teach the art of interviewing, write different types of copy, design and conducting photo and video shoots. By the time you graduate you will be well-rounded enough to be confident in any job you have. A little peace of advice, keep an open mind about everything, be willing to learn from everyone and have a positive attitude in every task you tackle.”
RECENT GRADUATES FROM MASS COMM:
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.