Designed for the working professional who wants to focus on a particular area of study, the certificate provides a substantial base that can be used for career advancement or continuation in Lasell's Master of Science in Communication Program. Each certificate is composed of five three-credit courses and can be completed within nine months.
Candidates to the certificate programs must hold a bachelor's degree and submit an application for study in the graduate program along with all necessary documents.
COM713 - Writing for Public Relations
Public relations writing focuses on multiple aspects of communication such as client needs, target audiences, and various formats. In this course, students learn how to craft effective written and visual messages for press releases, speeches, brochures, newsletters, broadcast outlets, web pages etc., and they develop strategies for soliciting and evaluating feedback from designated target audiences.X
COM721 - Principles of Public Relations
This course is in-depth study of the profession of public relations with a focus on contemporary issues, problems, and challenges using guided discussion and analysis of case studies. The course examines public relations and its role in mass media and in society and the challenges facing public relations professionals today. Upon completing this course, each student should: 1) understand what the field of public relations is and how to recognize best practices for public relations professionals; 2) be able to evaluate the effectiveness of public relations strategies; 3) be familiar with issues and concerns public relations professionals face in today’s increasingly global society; and 4) understand the importance of ethical behavior in public relations.X
COM722 - Crisis Communication
This course prepares students for anticipating the seven major types of crises faced by communication managers in organizations (skewed values and ethics, deception, management misconduct, natural disasters, technological crises, confrontations and boycotts, malevolence, and disinformation) and how to make preparations to deal with them effectively and competently. Students explore which organizational cultures and government practices create vulnerability to crises. The course examines appropriate leadership styles, management actions, and communications strategies before, during, and after a crisis. Students review issues such as leadership initiatives, management monitoring, crisis analysis, action strategy and determination, and implementation of communication strategies. Students learn how to minimize the damage to reputation caused by a crisis; engage in sound media relations; prepare risk communication programs; communicate with key stakeholders; and contribute to the post-crisis recovery and renewal of an organization.X
The certificate program is structured as follows:
- 15 credits are required for a graduate certificate.
- 9 required concentration credits (3 courses)
- 6 elective credits (2 courses) - view elective courses
COM701 - Communication, Ethics, & Society
This course is designed to present students with a graduate-level overview of contemporary mass communication. We focus on the relationship between mass media and society and the ethical issues inherent in that relationship; in the process, we identify current trends, particularly in technology, that are changing the nature and function of traditional mass communication. Students gain insight into the influences of mass communication on business, government, politics, education, the home environment, and non-profit instutions, as well as related ethical issues.
COM702 - Organizational Communication
This course focuses on both theoretical understanding and practical knowledge of the context and applications for organizational communication. Topics include: leadership, new technologies and their impact on organizations, organizational climate and culture, ethics, formal and informal channels of communication within organizations, management of diversity and conflict, relational communication (with interpersonal and group work), and issues of power and politics within the context of organizational settings. During the first half of the course, the focus is on the theoretical bases for organizational communication; then emphasis shifts to professional perspectives on organizational communication and practical applications for “real life” situations in the work environment.
COM703 - Communication Research
This course provides students with an understanding of the concepts, roles, processes, techniques, and strategies of communication research. The course examines research conducted in both the professional and academic settings, and includes quantitative (surveys, experiments, content analyses) and qualitative (focus groups, etc.) methods. The main goal of this course is to help students become intelligent "consumers" of research -- to provide the tools needed to evaluate and interpret research, as well as the ability to make knowledgeable decisions about the uses and benefits of research.
COM704 - Corporate Communication
This course is designed to present an overview of corporate public relations in contemporary society. The rapidly changing nature of global markets and the convergence of new information technologies are influencing the ways that communication professionals achieve their goals. The course explores the trends and issues affecting corporations, crisis management, public affairs communication, consumer affairs, employee relations, environmental issues, investor relations, issues of multinationals, ethics, and governmental relations.
COM705 - Media Relations
Managing media relations for organizations is the focus of this course. The course is intended to increase knowledge of the principles and methods of generating publicity as well as the basics of planning and writing media relations campaigns. The rapidly changing nature of global companies and the convergence of new information technologies are influencing the ways that communication professionals achieve their goals. Students work individually or in teams to plan a comprehensive media relations program, to communicate a clear message, and to evaluate the effectiveness of public relations strategies for a chosen client. Lectures, readings, group work, guest speakers, and class discussions focus on techniques useful in such areas as local & national publicity, special events, and in community and government relations for organizations.
COM706 - Global Media
This course introduces students to theory, trends, and issues in the global media landscape. Students are exposed to a number of topics including: theoretical perspectives of global media, global media development, challenges and barriers of global media, ethical considerations in global media, the role of advertising and public relations in global media, and case studies from regions around the world.
COM709 - Negotiations & Conflict Resolution
This is a communication skills course designed to better understand the nature of conflict and its resolution through persuasion, collaboration, and negotiation. Students learn theories of interpersonal and organizational conflict and its resolution as applied to personal, corporate, historical, and political contexts. Students assess their own styles, skills, and values, and develop techniques to better resolve disputes, achieve objectives, and exert influence.
COM713 - Writing for Public Relations
Public relations writing focuses on multiple aspects of communication such as client needs, target audiences, and various formats. In this course, students learn how to craft effective written and visual messages for press releases, speeches, brochures, newsletters, broadcast outlets, web pages etc., and they develop strategies for soliciting and evaluating feedback from designated target audiences.
COM721 - Principles of Public Relations
This course is in-depth study of the profession of public relations with a focus on contemporary issues, problems, and challenges using guided discussion and analysis of case studies. The course examines public relations and its role in mass media and in society and the challenges facing public relations professionals today. Upon completing this course, each student should: 1) understand what the field of public relations is and how to recognize best practices for public relations professionals; 2) be able to evaluate the effectiveness of public relations strategies; 3) be familiar with issues and concerns public relations professionals face in today’s increasingly global society; and 4) understand the importance of ethical behavior in public relations.
COM722 - Crisis Communication
This course prepares students for anticipating the seven major types of crises faced by communication managers in organizations (skewed values and ethics, deception, management misconduct, natural disasters, technological crises, confrontations and boycotts, malevolence, and disinformation) and how to make preparations to deal with them effectively and competently. Students explore which organizational cultures and government practices create vulnerability to crises. The course examines appropriate leadership styles, management actions, and communications strategies before, during, and after a crisis. Students review issues such as leadership initiatives, management monitoring, crisis analysis, action strategy and determination, and implementation of communication strategies. Students learn how to minimize the damage to reputation caused by a crisis; engage in sound media relations; prepare risk communication programs; communicate with key stakeholders; and contribute to the post-crisis recovery and renewal of an organization.
COM724 - International Corporate Communication
This course focuses on the major role of multinational corporations in the global arena. They must interact with one another, with national and supranational governments, and with non-governmental organizations. Their concerns revolve around issues such as resistance to globalization, anger abroad toward the United States, climate change, human rights, sustainability, transfer of technology, and recruitment of human resources. These issues will be reviewed and strategies discussed that guide management thinking for strategic communications. The strategies are drawn from the fields of public relations, public affairs and marketing.
COM725 - Advertising
The emphasis in this course is on the role of strategic thinking about promotional elements in the field of advertising. The development of an integrated marketing communications program requires an understanding of the overall marketing process, including how organizations plan for advertising and determine their advertising goals and objectives. Students in this course examine the process of planning, developing, and executing an advertising campaign and related integrated marketing communications programs, as well as the various factors and considerations that influence this process. Advertising starts with research, and moves through analysis, planning, action and evaluation; hence, this course requires students to undertake the kind of strategic thinking, planning, and execution that is done by marketers, researchers, media planners, and copywriters. Throughout the course, students learn how advertising is regulated and about the key social issues and consumer problems with advertising.
COM730 - Graphic Design for the Marketplace
This course is designed to engage students historically, theoretically, and practically in terms of Graphic Design and its relationship to the consumer marketplace. The goal is to introduce student's to new ways of thinking about consumer driven Graphic Design principles by reading a wide range of texts, exploring and researching contemporary design solutions, and presenting original design marketing strategies.
COM731 - Video Production
This course teaches graduate students the techniques of video production from an EFP (Electronic Field Production) perspective. Students learn both the functionality and art of digital videography and nonlinear editing. The course also provides a genuine understanding of the business of video production. By the end of the semester, students should be able to: Successfully operate a JVC GR HD-1 digital camcorder to shoot quality EEP on the fly - Differentiate between quality shots and poor videography - Produce short narrative through story boarding, directing, shooting, and editing - Perform basic nonlinear editing using Avid Xpress Pro - Converse in "TV Talk," using standard media vocabulary
COM738 - Persuasion & Public Opinion
This course introduces students to the dynamics of social influence. Students learn the theories, strategies, and techniques of persuasion as a means of shaping public opinion and attitudes. The course examines how individuals, business, government, and institutions craft messages and communicate through the press, entertainment media, advertising, and public relations. Primarily through public opinion research, students can ascertain and understand the beliefs, attitudes, and values of groups and society. Students learn how to craft persuasive messages, how to evaluate the attempts of others to persuade audiences, and how to recognize and avoid unethical attempts at persuasion.
COM742 - Integrated Marketing Communications
This course introduces students to the theory and practice of integrated marketing communication (IMC) and provide an overview of developments in the field. Students learn about the profession of corporate communication and its interface with society. Some of the topics addressed in the course include the relationship between public relations (PR) and marketing, the history and development of advertising and public relations, public opinion and its role in IMC planning, media relations, research for campaign design, global communication, and crisis management.
COM743 - Integrated Marketing Com & the Internet
This course introduces students to web based public relations and marketing strategies and emphasizes the effectiveness of the Internet as a direct and interactive communication channel with target audiences. Emphasis is placed on the role of the Internet as a critical element of the marketing communications mix with a focus on how the web has altered traditional marketing and public relations strategies.
COM744 - Integrated Marketing Com Planning
This course introduces students to the four-step process in planning and solving corporate communication problems. Students learn to apply course concepts to hypothetical situations through individual and group work on IMC cases. Group project assignments enable students to (1) gain experience in doing collaborative work and (2) develop a problem-solving approach to on-the-job situations that an IMC professional is likely to encounter. An important aspect of working on problems in class is an introduction to the various techniques and strategies of communicating with target audiences. In addition to the assigned reading material, the course also features guest speakers from the advertising and public relations professions to bring a real world dimension to the material.
COM750 - Intercultural Communication
This course examines communication issues that arise from contact between people from different cultural backgrounds in everyday life, social service encounters, and business transactions. The course uses interdisciplinary approaches to study how verbal and nonverbal presentation, ethnic, gender, and cultural differences affect communication. The course provides exercises in participation, analysis, and criticism of interethnic and interracial communications in small group settings. Students examine factors of international communication, such as the cultural, economic, political, and social influences and the role of communication in affecting social change in a wide variety of cultures and countries.
COM751 - Health Communication
This course provides students with an understanding of how to design and deliver media support services for health media productions, health communication campaigns, and organizations developing their health communication capacity. Focused activities reflect health and science themes to benefit the public at large, as well as special populations and health care institutions, such as hospitals. Students learn to use and value the media in its potential to be a resource for lifelong learning, health promotion, and positive social change through educating the population about health messages and wellness themes.
COM752 - Community Relations
This course provides an examination of the evolution of community relations, the theory behind it, and the techniques employed by its professionals. Using a case study approach, students learn how to select a site for expansion; conduct a community relations audit; work with state, local, and federal governments; and develop sound relationships with the media and advocacy groups in the corporate and nonprofit arenas.
COM753 - Public Relations in Non-Profit Settings
Students examine the role of managed communication and marketing in public relations problems unique to health, education, arts, and human- and public-service organizations. The course focuses on analysis of organizational structure, public relations and communication programs, and fund-raising practices of these agencies.
COM754 - Governmental Relations
This course aims to assist students with their understanding of the complex ideas associated with the role of the media in our democracy. Because the media have become a central force in American political life, students need to become aware of how the governance of our country is influenced by the intersection of the media and politics. Through a variety of activities, cases, and readings, students learn how to work with elected officials who have made their media strategies a key component of their leadership on public policy issues that affect citizens, corporations and non-profit organizations.
COM755 - Communication Law
This course presents a study of the laws that apply to communication practitioners. Topics include the First Amendment; defamation; invasion of privacy; copyright; regulation of advertising, obscenity and indecency; and the emerging field of Internet Law.
COM756 - Health Promotions & Campaigns
This course takes an applied approach to researching, planning, implementing, and evaluating health communication efforts. Through exposure to rich health communication campaign cases, students learn where and why some campaigns worked and others failed. Students design their own heath campaigns informed by theory and health models.
COM758 - Branding Health Services
Students in this course learn about branding as a marketing tool applied to health products, services, and campaigns. This course integrates theory with applications through the analysis of multiple case studies and branding strategies.
COM761 - Communicating in Groups and Teams
This course focuses on communication skills needed to lead teams and groups in interpersonal communication contexts. It examines leadership skills and communication strategies necessary for developing and maintaining effective professional relationships. Leading teams involves the use of communication skills in facilitating different personalities, cultures and competing agendas. Topics include enhancing professional relationships, attitudes and values, nonverbal communication, language, and methods of conflict resolution in group interactions.
COM762 - Communication Strategies for Leaders
This course provides a foundation for understanding the significance of communication strategies and skills and their application to developing capabilities for leadership in today’s complex and multi-faceted organizations. Students are exposed to many different styles of communication used by effective leaders, including contemporary collaborative models. The theoretical frames for communication and leadership provide students with perspectives that assist them in developing their own personal model for effective communication in their leadership roles.
COM796 - Comprehensive Examination
The comprehensive examination provides evidence of student knowledge of key concepts, skills, and other important materials related to the communication field. Preparation throughout the semester includes regular study group meetings with faculty and peers focused on reading and discussing case studies related to the major, as well as preparing written analyses of issues and concepts found in the case studies. The full-day exam requires analyzing case studies in the major and in the area of concentration, and developing written responses that integrate skills and understandings derived from coursework and other educational experiences in the degree program. Prerequisite: COM 703
COM797 - Thesis
Students completing a master’s thesis design, conduct, and report original research related to their concentration, working closely with a faculty advisor in the department and following detailed guidelines provided by the department. Prerequisites: COM 703 and prior preparation in statistics.
COM798 - Special Study Project
The project can be a document, a video, or a multi-media presentation developed under the guidance of a Lasell College faculty member to applying communication skills and professional expertise derived from the student's program of graduate study. Such projects are designed to solve some problem in communication that is relevant to the student's area of concentration in public relations or integrated marketing communications.Prerequsite: COM703
COM799 - Professional Internship
The internship is a hands-on working experience in the field of the student’s concentration. Students who opt for the internship are expected to complete 150 hours in organizations that are committed to providing interns a high quality educational experience by having a supervisor available with time expressly for the purpose of teaching and guiding the intern. As a part of their internship, students undertake meaningful projects, including regular reflection, analysis, and written products, under the supervision of both an employer and Lasell College faculty member.The internship is a hands-on working experience in the student’s field of concentration requiring a minimum of 150 hours of placement under the supervision of both an employer and a faculty member. Beginning in the semester preceding the internship placement, the student identifies what type of organization they desire for their internship. The student holds primary responsibility for obtaining a field experience site and is responsible for setting up interviews with prospective internship sites.. The internship supervisor monitors student performance and visits internships sites as needed. On completion of the internship, the student submits a reflection paper to the faculty supervisor on their experience. Students may not perform internships at their current place of employment without prior consent of the Dean of Graduate and Professional Studies. Each student makes a public and professional presentation of the Graduate Internship experience. This course is taken during the student’s final graduate semester. Prerequisite: COM 703.