Below is just a small sample of courses you’ll take as a Digital Communication & Design major at Jessup. This list is not a guide for course selection. It was created to give you a peek at the program’s academic offerings. For official program requirements, please see the current course catalog.
Major Courses (9 units)
The Creative Christian is the cornerstone to a performing or visual arts student’s education. Within this course, the student will learn about the nature and purpose of art viewed through a Judeo-Christian lens. They will discover how this knowledge can guide their aesthetic comprehension as they observe, create, and support art and artists. Using both the Bible and other powerful literature derived from some of the great aestheticians of our time, the student will be able to approach art with a newly developed critical eye to guide them through the rest of their study in the creative arts.
Study of the basic principles and methods of public speaking.
An integrated and experiential study of effective small group dynamics from both a psychological as well as a theological perspective. Students will become familiar with the stages in the development of small groups, gaining insights and skills to become effective small group members and leaders.
Core Courses (38 units)
The story of Mass Communication is the story of revolutions in technology, from the printing press to the internet. Understanding this history is key to understanding the current revolution and our rapidly evolving digital world today. This course studies the changes in communication technology over time, surveys the various mass media today, and examines the impact this convergence of digital technology has on business and society from a Christian worldview.
All communication is storytelling, and there are universal principles to be discovered in great stories and great characters. This course takes students from ancient myths to Netflix and Hulu, identifying the elements of effective storytelling. As they study stories from the Old Testament to contemporary films, students will learn to develop their own stories and characters for use in the digital world.
We are living in a time of digital revolution. This course covers the history and development of Internet and digital communication technologies, and the ways these changes impact society. This includes topics like new media’s relevance for identity formation, interpersonal relationships, social networks, news and media production, local and global cultures, media freedom, privacy, and surveillance. Applying a Christian worldview to these concepts, students are encouraged to think critically about the current and future impacts of digital technologies, both in their everyday life and in their future careers.
Effective writing skills are essential for every communicator. This course gives students the opportunity to examine and practice the types of writing that are produced across the various media. The fundamentals of style, voice and structure will be applied to a wide variety of writing platforms, including, web and social media, advertising and public relations writing, print and broadcast journalism, scriptwriting, blogging and more.
An education in Digital Communication & Design should be both theoretical and practical. This course is practical with an emphasis on podcasting. It’s an opportunity for “doing” and “making” across a broad spectrum of media, ultimately producing a pilot episode of a professional quality podcast which students can use to launch their own show. Students will produce graphic designs, create social media marketing materials, and develop a web presence in support of their shows. Students will produce, research, write, record, and publish a pilot episode which will be featured as part of an anthology series showcasing their work on the Jessup Podcast Network
Upon completion of the Digital Workshop course, students will be able to:
- Demonstrate basic research, writing and production skills in a variety of media
- Collaborate with others on media production projects
- Articulate ways in which skills practiced in the classroom can be most effectively used in business and ministry
- Design the outline for a quality podcast show, with related media in support of marketing and promotion
- Research, write, edit, and produce a quality podcast pilot episode.
Every concept, idea or story you see is constructed using the grammar of how we perceive visual form. This course builds a vocabulary of visual composition grounded in the fundamentals of design. Students will learn how this visual language effectively communicates messages by studying real-world examples. The class explores the elements of design and principles of composition, teaching students to convey meaning through form.
The ability to critically examine and construct messages is a fundamental communication skill. It goes beyond the identification of fallacious reasoning to also understand what assumptions and values underlie a logically sound argument, and how to combat weak or false assumptions with persuasive arguments. This course teaches students how to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of arguments; recognize common fallacies; apply basic rhetorical criticism methods; and construct well-reasoned arguments that will be persuasive to a particular audience. Students will practice their critical thinking skills on a variety of message types and will learn to be thoughtful consumers and ethical, effective producers of content in contemporary media.
Participation in two internships in a business, church, or non-profit environment is required. Interns will complete a variety of tasks and written reports. Internship provides real-world experience related to students’ specific field of study under the supervision of both an approved internship provider and a faculty advisor.
The digital world is full of legal and moral questions. This course covers the legal principles that apply to all media professionals and the ethical responsibilities of organizations and individuals who work in those fields (and anyone with a Facebook page or Instagram account). Topics covered include privacy, use of copyrighted material, libel and defamation, and issues of particular application to the rapidly evolving digital space. Students will identify the current ethical standards of the communication professions and practices, and discuss any areas where acceptable professional standards may be in conflict with a Christian worldview.
Students have the opportunity to take ownership of their own creative process, conceptualizing and developing a substantive digital media project independently in consultation with a faculty advisor. The work created should serve as a culmination of students’ studies in pursuit of a degree in the Department of Digital Communication and Design, and should highlight a student’s area of focus within digital media.
This course is offered by the Career and Life Planning (CLP) office. It supports the campus wide initiative of the office which is to help WJU students and alumni be prepared for the world of work upon graduation and to become “exceptionally employable.” In this course, students will engage in discovering their values, interests, and strengths as they relate to their major and career options. The course is designed as an extensive opportunity to deepen students’ understanding of self and apply that knowledge within career planning. Students will use an array of self-assessments and career exploration tools to research and identify careers and academic options and to create an action plan for attaining vocational goals.
This course is offered by the Career and Life Planning (CLP) office for juniors and seniors. CLP exist to help WJU students and alumni be prepared for the world of work upon graduation and to become exceptionally employable. This course supports this campus-wide initiative. This course will engage students to demonstrate and practice all of the steps associated with institutional internship requirements and practical tools to use within the job search process. Course topics include, but are not limited to, self-assessment, occupational research, goal setting, résumé writing, cover letter writing, internship resources and procedures, social media reputation management, portfolio creation, and interviewing strategies.
Digital Communication & Design Concentrations
Students must choose a concentration listed below.
Media Concentration (12 units)
Excellent, strategic writing skills are particularly vital for any media-related career. This course teaches students how to hone existing writing skills and pair them with the technical skills relevant to digital settings. Topics include becoming proficient in current digital publishing tools; writing for search engine optimization; writing with word count constraints; developing strategies for embedding links; providing appropriate attribution for sources; and incorporating multiple media types to create an effective post, article, or webpage. Students will work with personal and professional blog posts, podcasts, digital news and magazine articles, social media posts, and other forms of new media communication.
A general explanation of the analysis of marketing opportunities; planning of marketing programs with emphasis on product, price, promotion and distribution; control of the marketing effort; social and ethical responsibilities of marketing.
With more and more people getting their news online, this course teaches the effective consumption and production of digital news. Students will learn and practice the fundamentals of gathering, evaluating, and reporting information on multiple contemporary media platforms. This course covers how news production and consumption has evolved in the digital age and the related implications for the news industry, democracy, and society. Students will help develop news judgement; hone research, reporting, and editing skills; and produce multimedia news content crafted for digital environments. The history, philosophy, ethics, and major criticism of the news media are covered. Major topics include copyrights, libel, privacy, sourcing, and First Amendment freedoms and responsibilities from a faith-based perspective.
This course is a practical application of contemporary methods for gathering, analyzing, and developing market research for use in business decision making. Research methodology includes specific topic areas as the research process, primary and secondary data, qualitative and quantitative research methods, statistical analysis, and utilization of technology. Questionnaire and experimental design, attitude measurement, sampling and data analysis are emphasized along with applications to marketing decision-making.
Digital Design Concentration (12 units)
This course is designed to teach the students the basics of nonlinear video editing and camera operation. Students will learn how to use software like Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere Pro CC to organize and edit video footage. They will also learn how to get proper exposures by getting hands-on experience with professional cameras.
Students apply their work from prior design courses into this technology-driven medium and communication tool. The goal is for the student to be able to create and communicate a targeted message using this form of artistic media. Students will deal with the elements of design and begin to explore the software appropriate for communicating a clear message through design.
Animate your ideas. This course gives a framework for using motion to join and convey relationship between the elements of a composition or story. Through traditional animation theory and motion principles, students learn to meaningfully structure movement from one state to the next with thoughtful pacing, style and consistency. Students will also explore motion as a component of interaction design.
What is the goal of your audience and how will they interact with your work? This course focuses on designing for the participation of others. By first developing a sensitivity to the needs and goals of various people who might interact with a message or story, students learn the fundamentals of user experience design (UX) and the foundations for interaction design (affordance, error prevention, iterative design). Students will practice the process that takes them from simple concept sketches to interactive prototypes for a real context based on the most relevant medium for interaction (such as web, mobile application, AR/VR, etc.).
Journalism Concentration (15 units)
A 15-unit concentration in Journalism can be earned through a one-semester program studying at a partner university in New York. Students must have completed one full year of education at William Jessup University before attending the Journalism Semester in NY. Contact Jessup Lead Faculty for Digital Communication & Design for details.