CA404 Seminar:SpecTop in Comm Arts:

for S2J 2012

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Mission Statement: Park University provides access to a quality higher education experience that prepares a diverse community of learners to think critically, communicate effectively, demonstrate a global perspective and engage in lifelong learning and service to others.

Vision Statement: Park University, a pioneering institution of higher learning since 1875, will provide leadership in quality, innovative education for a diversity of learners who will excel in their professional and personal service to the global community.


CA 404 Seminar: Special Topics in Communication Arts


S2J 2012 PV


Ventresca, Thomas J.


Senior Instructor


M.A Counseling, University of Missouri-Kansas City
M.A. English, Pittsburg State University
B.A. English, Rockhurst University

Daytime Phone



Semester Dates

March 19 - May 13, 2012

Class Days


Class Time

5:30 - 9:50 PM


Advanced standing or permission from the instructor.

Credit Hours



Communication and Gender.  4th Edition.  Scottsdale, AZ: Gorsuch Scarisbrick, 2003.

Textbooks can be purchased through the Parkville Bookstore

Additional Resources:

McAfee Memorial Library - Online information, links, electronic databases and the Online catalog. Contact the library for further assistance via email or at 800-270-4347.
Career Counseling - The Career Development Center (CDC) provides services for all stages of career development.  The mission of the CDC is to provide the career planning tools to ensure a lifetime of career success.
Park Helpdesk - If you have forgotten your OPEN ID or Password, or need assistance with your PirateMail account, please email or call 800-927-3024
Resources for Current Students - A great place to look for all kinds of information

Course Description:
Revolving topic seminar for advanced students, which may be repeated under different topic headings. Topics deal with such matters as social responsibility in mass media, effects of technological change upon communication industry, film criticism, promotional strategies and case studies, or possibly issues and problems in broadcast management or public relations. PREREQUISITE: Advanced standing or permission of instructor. 3:0:3

Educational Philosophy:

The facilitator's educational philosophy is one of critical thinking and exploration based on readings, lectures, dialogues, writings, presentations, and students' insights.  The facilitator will engage each learner in a lively discussion of issues and challenges, and how these ideas and insights can improve professional careers and personal lives.

Learning Outcomes:
  Core Learning Outcomes

  1. Varies according to topic.

  Instructor Learning Outcomes
  1. 1. To facilitate more effective communication episodes with the opposite sex.
  2. 2. To differentiate between female-male stereotypical images and actual communication.
  3. 3. To consider the consequences of gender-bound behavior.
  4. 4. To develop strategies for improving gender-bound differences.
  5. 5. To create an environment that allows for the authentic exploration of feelings and communication obstacles.
  6. 6.  To experience new patterns of interacting and relating to others that transcends previous limits.
  7. 7.  To discover unconscious gender filters that we employ to interpret the actions/statements of others.
  8. 8.  To employ insight and skill to overcome gender differences in communication styles.
Core Assessment:
Varies according to topic

Class Assessment:

All Park University courses must include a core assessment that measures the relevant Core Learning Outcomes.  The purpose of this assessment is to determine if expectations have been met concerning mastery of learning outcomes across all instructinal modalities.  The core assessment for this course is the Portfolio.

The Portfolio will include the following:
(1) at least one assignment that requires students to analyze gender communication
(2) at least one assignment that illustrates student understanding of gender differences in values and communication
(3) at least one assignment that assesses one's own gender communication strengths and weaknesses and an action plan to improve weak areas
(4) a five to ten-page research paper

While this activity is required, its weight related to the grade computation may be modified as long as it is at least 20% of the total grade for the course.  The Portfolio will assess outcomes 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8.

Students will be evaluated by the above Portfolio assignments, plus five short reflection papers on the readings, one or two chapter presentation(s), class participation, and attendance.

All papers should be typewritten, double-spaced.  Name, title, number of assignment, and date in upper right hand corner. Students may rewrite their graded papers.  Hand in rewritten papers by the next class (include the original stapled underneath the rewrite).  The scores of the two papers (the original and the rewrite) will be averaged to get a new score. The content, organization (opening, body, close), and mechanics (grammar, punctuation, spelling) of the papers are very important.


(1) Three assignments (100 points each = 300 points)
(2) Research paper (300 points)

Five short reflection papers (50 points each = 250 points)
One or two chapter presentation(s)  (100 points)
Participation.  (50 points)
Perfect attendance.  (50 points)
One class missed.  (0 points) 
Two classes missed. (-70 points )
Three classes missed.  (-160 points and failing grade for class)

A = 900-1000
B = 800-899 
C = 700-799
D = 600-699
F = less than 600 points

Late Submission of Course Materials:

Late papers may not be accepted; if accepted they may be subject to a reduced grade.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:

Students are expected to honor the basic rules of classroom behavior: (1) only one person speaks at a time, (2) no side conversations while someone is talking, (3) full attention given to person speaking, (4) treat others as you would like to be treated (respect shown to everyone in the class).

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

Class #1


March 20 


Overview of Course. Introductions. Interpersonal relationships and the androgynous person.


Read Chapter One in textbook.


Class #2


March 27


Identity and Stereotypes, Language.


Read Chapters 2 and 3. Reflection paper on Chapters 1 and 2. Reflection paper on Chapter 3. Student presentations of chapters.


Class #3


April 3


Nonverbal Communication.


Read Chapter 4. Profolio Assignment #1 Due. Student presentation on chapter. Reflection paper on Chapter 4.


Class #4


April 10  Friendships, Family, Courtship, Marriage


Read Chapters 5 and 6. Reflection paper on Chapter 5 and 6. Student presentations of chapters.


Class #5


April 17




Read Chapter 7. Portfolio Assignment #2 Due. Student presentation of chapter.


Class #6


April 24


The Media


Read Chapter 8. Reflection paper on Chapters 7 and 8. Student presentation on chapter.


Class #7


May 1




Read Chapter 9. Portfolio Assingment #3. "Keys to Communicating with the Opposite Sex." Student presentation on chapter. Draft of research paper due. 


Class #8


May 8

Final reports and presentations.


Research paper due. Presentation on research paper. Profolio completed.


Academic Honesty:
Academic integrity is the foundation of the academic community. Because each student has the primary responsibility for being academically honest, students are advised to read and understand all sections of this policy relating to standards of conduct and academic life. Park University students and faculty members are encouraged to take advantage of the University resources available for learning about academic honesty ( or Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 93

Plagiarism involves the use of quotations without quotation marks, the use of quotations without indication of the source, the use of another's idea without acknowledging the source, the submission of a paper, laboratory report, project, or class assignment (any portion of such) prepared by another person, or incorrect paraphrasing. from Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 93

Attendance Policy:
Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system.

  1. The instructor may excuse absences for valid reasons, but missed work must be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
  2. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
  3. In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a semester/term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of "F".
  4. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
  5. Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance or Veterans Administration educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the semester/term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student.
  6. Report of a "F" grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for those students who are receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned in item 5 above will be reported to the appropriate agency.

Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 96

Disability Guidelines:
Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: .


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Last Updated:2/23/2012 5:09:18 PM