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Communication Studies

Advising

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Communication Studies

We hope you have found on our website the information you seek on courses, faculty, admissions, program requirements, and more. Should you have other questions or concerns, please feel free to drop by our department office:

Main Hall Room 512

Phone: 610-436-2500

Advising

Academic advising is a very important part of your undergraduate career, and your advisor is there to help you -- ultimately, though, you are responsible to make sure you have met all graduation requirements.

This section of our website is designed to help you, especially transfer students and students who are changing their major or who wish to double-major. Please review this section before contacting the undergraduate coordinator, Dr. Denise Polk, to meet for further discussion.

Advising FAQ

Degree Progress Report

Visit myWCU and access your Degree Program Report

What are my first steps for changing my major to COM or adding COM as a double major?

First, you must complete COM 224, COM 219, and SPK 208. We average grades for those three. Most people get into the major, but sometimes students re-take one or more classes to qualify. 

Once your required courses are complete, submit your form to the COM department secretary (Main 512). You can do so any time prior to completing the classes but we cannot process your form until we have grades for all 3 classes. 

Once you get into the major, you will be assigned a permanent advisor. Until then, The COM undergraduate advisor, Dr. Denise Polk can help you plan your courses for next semester prior to scheduling. You will also need to continue to meet your current advisor for scheduling flags.

Please read the Advising Sheet  we use. It will provide you basic information on the requirements you need.

 What is the Communication Studies advising form?

 It’s a form that COM advisors use to help you plan your courses. View/download the advising form and bring it to your meetings with your advisor.

What is the "applied area" on the advising form?

The purpose of the applied area is give students some flexibility in their schedule and in their career exploration. They are strategically selected classes by students that also help students reach the 120 required credit hours.

We encourage COM majors to consider a minor. For those students who elect to add a minor, the credits go in this area. We encourage taking 1-2 classes in your desired minor before officially adding the minor to make sure it is a good fit for you. Should you change your mind, we can still apply those credit hours in the "applied" area, which we would consider part of your career exploration.

Some students may wish to take as many COM classes as they can. The extra/elective COM classes could be placed in the applied area.

Some students may know of a particular career goal. Students would take courses (COM or from other departments) that will help them gain skills needed to achieve the career goal. For example, if you want to start a non-profit, you may want to take: 1) a business class that will help you create a business plan; b) an accounting class for keeping the books, and c) a course where you learn about grant writing. These all align with that career goal.

For transfer students, if you find you have some "extra" transfer credits that don't seem to "fit" anywhere, they might be able to fit here. Typically, we would put these extra classes in your free electives, but you have more than 9 credit hours that you've placed in free electives and they don't fulfill Gen Ed requirements, then we can consider placing them in this applied area. Part of the rationale is that we don't want you to lose tuition dollars for courses you took, so this provides a more flexible option.

For students who started with one major but are switching into COM, 12-18 hours of the coursework you took in your major can go here. Technically, that was career exploration too. If you have more credits than 18, you can consider putting them into the "free electives" section. Free electives are any college level courses that are of interest to you.

For students who are double majoring, 12-18 hours of the coursework you took in your other major can go here. You likely will have more credits than 18, so you can put them into the "free electives" section.

How do I know that I'm on track with my degree?

Be sure to meet with your advisor regularly. You can track your degree on your own by accessing your Degree Progress Report. You’ll find it in the Academics of myWCU. You can also read the Access Review file on how to access the Report.

Do I have to take a foreign language?

Yes. Foreign Language is required. Students have two options for completing the requirement, and there are some additional options that may be attractive to some students. Please read below

  • It may be helpful to be viewing the advising sheet while you review these options. You do not need to decide whether you select options 1 or 2 until you are enrolled in 102 and planning your next semester.

Option 1 - completing foreign language proficiency through the 202 level (please see more info below because demonstrating proficiency may not mean taking all four courses)

Option 2 - completing foreign language proficiency through the 102 level (please see more info below because demonstrating proficiency may not mean taking 101 and 102 courses) PLUS taking three approved culture cluster courses

a) the culture cluster courses must be approved for the language you are studying

b) the three culture cluster courses must have at least two different prefixes (i.e. - if SPA 101 and SPA 102 are completed, then the Spanish culture cluster courses must utilize at least two different prefixes within the Spanish culture cluster such as ESP, HIS, PSC, etc.)

NOTES:

i) If you speak a language fluently you may check to see if you qualify to test out of the requirement.

ii) if you took a foreign language in high school, you wish to continue in that language, and you think you remember some of what you learned, it may be worth your time to take the free online foreign language placement exam (about 20 minutes long, multiple choice). The results will help you determine at what level you should start your foreign language sequence (e.g., 101, 102).

Essentially this means you might be able to skip one or more classes. Although you will not earn academic credit for those courses you skip, it frees up some credit hours for you to take more electives. Find out if you qualify.

iii.) There is a way to earn academic credit for any courses you might place out of. If you wish to learn more about this credit-by-exam option -- a very economical way to earn college credit --- please refer to the link listed above.