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2021 - 2022 Academic Catalog

Entertainment Media

The Entertainment Media major prepares media literate, digitally adept graduates to pursue careers in developing, distributing and promoting content within the rapidly shifting entertainment industry landscape. By blending hands-on learning with theoretical perspectives, students learn the principles and practices of today’s media organizations, including film, streaming and broadcast industries. Students benefit from a mix of media studies, public relations, communication and digital media courses, as well as opportunities to apply their knowledge in student media outlets including Lasell Community Television (LCTV) and WLAS radio. The program culminates with students completing at least one required internship and a capstone experience in which they develop a digital portfolio to showcase their skills.

By planning early in consultation with an academic advisor, students may be able to reduce the time it takes to complete a bachelor’s degree in Entertainment Media to 3 or 3½ years.

The Double Laser Program offers students the opportunity to earn an accelerated Master's degree in as little as one year after graduation, while also saving up to 30% on graduate school tuition.

The following learning outcomes delineate what we strive for students to achieve when they complete a major program of study in Entertainment Media:  

1. Communicate clearly and effectively with diverse audiences through writing, oral and non-verbal methods in styles demanded by platform and discipline.

2. Critically analyze the content, functions, effects and ethics of media in a diverse, global society.

3. Formulate applied communication research questions and employ quantitative or qualitative methods to gather, analyze, and share findings.

4. Employ tools and technology within industry standards to plan and promote entertainment media content, taking into account audience needs.

5. Identify and articulate one’s skills, strengths and experiences relative to entertainment media career goals, and identify areas necessary for professional growth.

Course Code Course Title Credits
Core Courses
COM101 Understanding Mass Media 3
COM102 Visual Media Toolkit 3
COM103 Human Communication (KP) 3
COM105 Writing for The Media 3
COM203 Effective Speaking 3
COM212 Intercultural Communication 3
COM219 Social Media Management 3
COM315 Communication Research 3
COM327 Digital Storytelling 3
COM331 Media Literacy & Ethics 3
COM399 Pre-Internship Seminar 1
COM400 Field Experience I 4
COM495 Capstone Project & Portfolio 3
Concentration Courses
COM206 Professional Communication 3
COM208 Public Relations 3
COM216 Entertainment Media 3
COM225 Producing 3
COM307 Understanding Video Games 3
COM330 Strategic Campaigns 3
COM332 Television & Film Studies 3
Choose 1 from the following:
COM215 Radio Production 3
COM217 Video Production 3
COM218 Digital Video Editing 3
COM304 TV Studio Production 3

Additional Major Requirements:
Majors must earn a "C" or better in all Major Core courses. Failure to receive a minimum grade of C will result in the student having to repeat the course.

Math Requirement: Math208

Major Requirements: 65 credits

A minimum of 120 credits is required for graduation. This total includes the Core Curriculum Requirements as described elsewhere in this catalog. Some courses required for the major meet Core Curriculum requirements. 
For a complete explanation of graduation requirements, see Graduation Requirements in the Undergraduate Academic Policies section of this catalog.

Janice Barrett

Professor of Communication; Chair, Graduate Communication Program

Office: Donahue 108

Marie Campagna Franklin

Professor Emerita

Meryl Perlson

Chair of Communication; Professor of Communication

Office: Donahue 107

Brian Wardyga

Professor of Communication; General Manager, 109.2FM WLAS & LCTV

Office: Brennan Library, G04F

COM101 - Understanding Mass Media

This course surveys the theories, history, economics, audience, and regulations of the major forms of mass media, including newspapers, magazines, motion pictures, radio, television, and new electronic communication. Students develop a basic understanding of the roles of mass media and their effects on society and the individual. The course focuses on the relationship between mass media and society, so students can identify current trends that are changing the nature and function of traditional mass communication. Students examine and debate many current controversial issues concerning the mass media and their effects on our society and culture. Students discuss significant aspects of mass communication, including ethics and policy formulation that are playing key roles in the materialization of a new global communication era.

COM102 - Visual Media Toolkit

This course introduces?a practice-based?approach to visual communication design.?Through a series of projects, students develop?knowledge and techniques for communicating meaning visually using Adobe and other software for digital imaging, publication and web design.?They will expand their visual vocabulary while exploring topics including?typography, color,?photo enhancement and manipulation, and principles of graphic design for?print and digital media. By creating visual messages and a digital portfolio website, and?critiquing?their own and?others’?work,?students increase their?overall?visual literacy and understanding of effective visual communication.

COM103 - Human Communication (KP)

This course is a basic survey of human communication, especially interpersonal and group. Attention is given to perception, language and meaning, listening, theories of persuasion, verbal and nonverbal communication, small group discussion, interpersonal conflict, and interviewing. The course focuses on understanding how human communication is fundamentally related to issues of interpersonal relationships; the history of human communication and language development; perception and intrapersonal communication; leadership; group/team work; multicultural diversity in organizations; decision-making; power; public speaking; and ethical challenges. This course helps students to develop and practice skills that will guide effective action in their professional careers and interpersonal relationships. This course includes a Service Learning component.

COM105 - Writing for The Media

This course provides students with a basic introduction to and overview of communication writing that focuses on channels of communication (clients, audiences, formats); creating writing samples; conducting writing exercises; developing strategies for soliciting feedback; and engaging in peer editing exercises. Students learn about various media writing formats, such as news releases, features, profiles, columns, editorials, reviews, speeches, public service announcements, backgrounders, etc. This is a writing intensive course. Prerequisite: COM 101.

COM203 - Effective Speaking

This course provides instruction and practice in preparing and delivering the various kinds of oral presentations encountered by professionals. Students learn how to analyze audiences, organize different types of presentations, prepare and use visual aids, deliver presentations to different audiences and respond to questions. Students are taught to express themselves in a clear, confident, responsible, and appropriate manner. The classroom environment is conducive to confidence building and overcoming the fear of speaking.

COM212 - Intercultural Communication

This course examines communication issues that arise from contact between people from different cultural backgrounds in everyday life, social encounters, and business transactions. Interdisciplinary approaches are applied to the study of 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. Prerequisite: COM101 or SOC101 or PSYC101

COM219 - Social Media Management

Communication professionals must to be able to utilize different social media platforms to both engage audiences and increase brand impact and influence. This course is designed to introduce students to the key concepts and practices of managing social media channels. Through case studies, interactive assignments, and a social media project, students will learn necessary skills to managing a social media platform, including conducting a social media audit, developing a strategic social media plan, building an editorial calendar, identifying key metrics and using data analytics to assess and report the impact of social media posts and campaigns. Students will also earn Hubspot Certification in Social Media during the course. Prerequisite: Sophomore status.

COM315 - Communication Research

This course introduces students to methods of social research that are applied to communication theory and practice. This includes both academic research on human communication and the kinds of professional research conducted in media industries, such as journalism, advertising and public relations. Students conduct individual and group research projects during the term. Prerequisite: COM101, MATH208 & Jr Standing

COM327 - Digital Storytelling

This project-based course introduces students to the practice of digital storytelling to engage, inform and persuade audiences. Students will explore narrative structure and aesthetics of different storytelling media, with emphasis on micro, short form and episodic audio and video for social and online platforms. Students will develop story ideas, use desktop and mobile tools to acquire content in a variety of settings, and edit and repurpose content to maximize its usefulness. Through creation and analysis of their own and others’ digital stories, students will increase their understanding of effective digital storytelling. Prerequisite: COM101

COM331 - Media Literacy & Ethics

Mass media have become the primary and predominant storytellers of our time, and their messages can influence the way we see ourselves and the world around us. However, because messages are shaped by the corporate interests that control media organizations, their impact may not always be in the best interests of the public. It is the responsibility of audiences, therefore, to understand and to think critically about mass media messages. This course provides students with a framework to explore such media content critically. Students study the role mass media plays in communicating cultural values and its impact on society, by emphasizing how media companies shape public discourse. The course uses two avenues of inquiry; one exploring the philosophical basis of media ethics and another outlining case histories from the media. Current trends in the news and popular culture’s view of the ethical lapses in mass media, journalism, advertising, and public relations, are also explored. Special emphasis is placed on the diverse theoretical approaches through which ethical questions of media literacy can be explored. Prerequisite: COM101 and Junior standing.

COM399 - Pre-Internship Seminar

This seminar helps students to develop professional objectives and identify potential sites for their internships. In this seminar students identify their personal work style and strengths, will identify a good career match, will create an effective cover letter & resume, will develop effective networking, interviewing, and negotiation skills. This course will help students apply search tools for finding internships. A goal of this course is to secure an internship for the following semester. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing.

COM400 - Field Experience I

This course is the professional component of the capstone experience in the Communication Department. The course provides students with a work/skill development opportunity to practice communication theory and skills in a real work setting. The internship course is comprised of a minimum of 150 hours in the field, the weekly seminar, and its assignments, including an oral presentation. Students also write weekly reflections on their experience, complete written assignments, and do an oral presentation to a group of their peers. The field supervisor contributes to the student’s learning through guidance, feedback and evaluation of the students work. Prerequisite: COM399 Pre-Internship Seminar

COM495 - Capstone Project & Portfolio

In this capstone course, students will review and refine their digital portfolios to demonstrate knowledge and skills acquired through their studies. They will also apply their learning to produce a capstone project based on their area of specialization and career goals. These projects will involve research into the project topic, as well as integration of relevant communication theory, ethical issues and professional practices. Students will iterate projects from draft to final deliverable(s) based on presentation and critique of their work throughout the term. The course culminates with students exhibiting their projects and portfolios to program faculty. Prerequisite: Senior standing.

COM206 - Professional Communication

This course is designed to provide an understanding of the most important communication and career-related formats of professional writing, including power point presentations, memos, business letters, reports, brief speeches, instructions, newsletters and brochures. Special emphasis is given to various writing processes one must complete on a tight deadline for a business audience of peers, customers or employers. Prerequisite: ENG 102.

COM208 - Public Relations

In this course, students explore the evolution, theoretical basis for, and practice of professional Public Relations. Students review the history and current practices of Public Relations and examine the differences between PR and advertising; press relations and public affairs; promotions and news events; marketing and media placements. Students gain insights into the Public Relations function for corporations, high tech companies, government agencies, politics, education, the entertainment industry, sports, and non-profit institutions. Lectures, case studies, readings, group work, guest speakers, and class discussions focus on techniques useful in such areas as local and national publicity, special events, and community and government relations for organizations. Prerequisite: COM101

COM216 - Entertainment Media

A focus on the entertainment media industry requires making sense of the material that captures the audience's attention, influences culture, and provides enjoyment to mass media consumers. Course topics include the business of entertainment media, the production and distribution of media content, and multimedia convergence. Students in this course examine the multiple genres for the content of entertainment media, such as drama, comedy, reality TV, and gaming. Students learn how the entertainment industry works, captures the interests of contemporary audiences, and influences our culture and values. Prerequisite: COM 101. Formerly - COM302

COM225 - Producing

Producing introduces students to the basics of TV producing.  Students learn the process of writing a pitch, proposal, treatment, and budget.  They  also learn the fundamentals of basic screenwriting and production scheduling, as well as managing cast, crew and vendor relationships.  The course also explores the roles of the casting director, location manager, production coordinator, and script supervisor.  The course concludes with a preview of the production team and the role of the line producer, unit production manager, production manager and assistant directors involved in managing the physical production process of producing a television show.  This course emphasizes the competency of writing and research.

COM307 - Understanding Video Games

Understanding Video Games introduces students to the foundation, process, and impact of the video game industry.  Students evolve from merely riding the gaming highway to analyzing and deconstructing it.  The course pays particular attention to the history and breakthroughs in the technology, social and political impacts such as the ESRB, sex and violence in games, as well as past, present and future trends of the gaming market.

COM330 - Strategic Campaigns

This course integrates the knowledge students have acquired in previous courses in the field of marketing communications. Students will develop a strategic communication campaign that is grounded on both an organization’s objectives and a thorough understanding of a target audience. Students will work with a client (real or fictitious), on an actual campaign that includes marketing and communication objectives, primary and secondary consumer research, a target-centered strategy, tactical recommendations, execution of the creative brief, and an evaluation plan. Special emphasis will be placed on the strategic work that goes into developing, planning, and executing the campaign within industry standards. Prerequisites: COM208 Public Relations or COM221 OR BUSS220

COM332 - Television & Film Studies

This course explores TV and film as both art forms and artifacts of cultural communication. Students analyze TV and film through various perspectives such as narrative structure, genres, aesthetics, audience reception and social functions. Through these lenses, the course explores the interplay between industry developments, content, and delivery methods such as streaming, moviegoing, and broadcasting. Prerequisites: COM101.

COM215 - Radio Production

Radio Production introduces students to the basics of radio production. Students learn announcing techniques, the fundamentals of microphones and sound mixing, as well as the skills to produce quality radio. The course also provides a general overview of the behind-the-scenes radio business and industry. Projects include a news announcement, radio interview, public service announcement, and a short music format radio show. Much of this class takes place outside of the classroom at the Lasell University Radio station. Finally, this course introduces students to the communication competency of speech.

COM217 - Video Production

Video Production introduces students to the basics of video production from an EFP (Electronic Field Production) perspective. Students will learn the functionality and art of digital videography and digital editing by completing a roll test, editing project, photojournalism package, and a TV commercial. The course will also examine the business of video production. Finally, this course introduces students to the competency of visual communication.

COM218 - Digital Video Editing

Digital Video Editing teaches students the basics of editing digital media using the popular software program Adobe Premiere Pro. The aesthetics of editing are also discussed and analyzed through screening various types of edited media. Projects for the course include editing TV commercials, news packages, movie scenes, and music videos. It is recommended that students have acquired basic computer skills prior to taking this class. Finally, this course introduces students to the competency of visual communication.

COM304 - TV Studio Production

TV Studio Production introduces the fundamentals of television production in a TV studio environment. Students learn pre-production planning, live-to-tape directing, and participate in full television crew rotations to produce high quality PSAs and their very own TV show to be submitted to local access television.  Throughout the semester, students develop a variety of production skills from hands-on television studio operation.