CA404 Seminar:SpecTop in Comm Arts:

for F1J 2011

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Mission Statement: The mission of Park University, an entrepreneurial institution of learning, is to provide access to academic excellence, which will prepare learners to think critically, communicate effectively and engage in lifelong learning while serving a global community.

Vision Statement: Park University will be a renowned international leader in providing innovative educational opportunities for learners within the global society.


CA 404 Seminar:SpecTop in Comm Arts:


F1J 2011 IN


Vasquez, Ashley


Adjunct Instructor of Communication Arts


Bachelor's of Arts Degree in Communication - Park University
Master's of Arts Degree in Communication and Leadership - Park University

Office Location

By Appointment

Office Hours

By Appointment

Daytime Phone



Semester Dates

Aug. 17 - Oct. 5

Class Days


Class Time

5:30 - 9:50 PM

Credit Hours


Communication and Organizational Crisis by Matthew W. Seeger, Timothy L. Sellnow, Robert R. Ulmer. ISBN-13: 9781567205343.

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:
CA404 Seminar: Special Topics in Communication Arts: 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 communications 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 instructor's educational philosophy is one of interactiveness based on lectures, readings, exams, group projects, writing and more. I will engage each learner in what is referred to as disputatious learning to encourage the lively exploration of ideas, issues and contradictions.

Learning Outcomes:
  Core Learning Outcomes

  1. Varies according to topic.

  Instructor Learning Outcomes
  1. Contrast how media, public relations and organizational leaders communicate internally and the organizational structure and communication demands of each.
  2. Evaluate strategies for handling crisis situations in each field.
  3. Adapt strategies for handling crisis and communication to personal ethics.
  4. Model the broad scope of communication techniques and crisis management strategies.
Core Assessment:
Varies according to topic

Class Assessment:
Class assessment will be based on exams, written work, case studies, participation and a case study research project, and service learning project.


Tests - 25 percent of total grade - 250 points
   Midterm - 100 points
   Final - 150 points
Written Work - 30 percent of total grade - 300 points
   Weekly prep questions and statements - 160 points
   Case study reaction papers - 140 points
Core Assessment - 25 percent of total grade - 250 points
   Service learning outline - 50 points
   Service learning rough draft - 50 points
   Final service learning document - 150 points
Participation - 20 percent of final grade - 200 points
   Attendance - 160 points
   Outstanding participation in class activities - 40 points
The mid-term and the final exams in this course will be short answer and essay style. Students will be required to draw from specific case studies and reading material to complete. Study guides will be provided and time will be dedicated for review of information.
Written Work
Weekly questions and statements - Each week (7 weeks) students are required to come to class prepared in writing five (5) questions from that particular weeks reading. There should be at least two of the weekly questions that the student can personally answer and the remaining three can be philosophical in nature or questions the student personal needs clarification on. Additionally, students must provide five (5) statements in writing about that particular week's reading. The statements should be opinion and nature and aimed at helping drive discussion in the classroom.
Case study reaction papers - Each week (6 weeks) following a case study discussion in the classroom, students are required to complete a two-page reaction paper. Students should highlight the case study's crisis, communication style and relate the event to class discussion and reading material.
Core Assessment
Service learning outline - A detailed outline of the student's proposed portion of service learning work is required. The outline must include general structure of the work to be completed as well as sources and material planned for use.
Service learning rough draft - One rough draft will be required from each student for his/her proposed service learning portion.
Service learning final draft document - a  final draft of the student's proposed service learning project portion will be due at completion of this course. A more detailed description of expectations will be provided during the class.
A great deal of points in this course are based upon attendance and discussion. To be successful in this course, a student should be present a great majority of the class periods, be prepared to discuss materials and opinions, and willing to have work reviewed by other students.

Late Submission of Course Materials:
All course work is expected to be completed on time. If you know you will not be able to complete an assignment before the assignment due date during particular class period, talk to me or email me with at least 24 hours notice and you will be allowed to turn the assignment in late. The instructor must receive all authorized late assignments before the beginning of the next class period to avoid a 10% grade deduction. No assignments will be accepted after two weeks of being late unless arranged with instructor under very special circumstances.

The 24-hour Rule
As mentioned above, anytime you need to schedule an alternative day to turn in an assignment, you must contact me 24 hours prior to the assignment deadline you are trying to avoid. Additionally, if you are dissatisfied with a grade on an assignment, you must wait 24 hours to talk to me about it. There are no exceptions. In case of sudden illness on a day a major assignment is due, you must contact me, or at least leave a message, before the class meets, not the next class period.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:

Group Work
Often during the semester we will be working in groups. Get your group members’ phone numbers and call them when you are absent to get notes, assignments, etc. When an activity or assignment is designated as a group activity, collaboration is expected. When an activity is not specifically designated as a group activity you are to be the only individual to work on that assignment. If you collaborate on an activity not designated as a group activity and there is enough evidence of that collaboration to catch my attention you and your collaborators will receive a 0 for that assignment. I will neither ask for, nor accept, any explanations.

Communication Devices
All communication devices must be turned off, or set on silent, during the class session. No phone calls or text messages are to be sent or received without the instructor’s permission. If you are expecting an important message, notify the instructor in advance. You must have permission from the instructor to answer messages during class.

Word Processing
All assignments must be word processed (typed) unless otherwise instructed by professor.

Class Cancellations
If class is canceled for any reason, the class period following the canceled class will cover the material that should have been covered on the canceled day. Be sure to check your Park University email for any canceled class information and what to expect when you return after a canceled class.

Instructor Availability
Please feel free to discuss papers, presentations, and any problems you are having. I am available by email at least once per day and often more. Also, I will provide students with a cell phone number to reach me in case of emergencies since I do not have a permanent office. However, abuse of this privilege – forcing me to change my number – will result in limited email contact only in the future.
Extra Credit
At various times during the semester, extra credit opportunities will be given. You must have at least a C grade at the time the extra credit is recorded to be able to attempt the extra credit assignment. No extra credit will be allowed during the last two weeks of class.

Student/Teacher Responsibilities
• As a college student you must accept responsibility for your own actions. Reading for class, preparing for tests, completing assignments on time, and contributing to class discussions are the major responsibilities I expect from you as your part of the learning process. 
• My responsibility is to give you my best teaching effort, to create a positive learning climate, and to challenge you.  It takes work from both of us to make this a worthwhile experience. I vow to do my very best for you and if you have any suggestions for improvement, those are welcome in a private setting.
• Additionally, at times we will discuss controversial topics and have people who disagree with each other. You and I both must remember that while each of us has a right to our own opinion, we must respect the right of others to have differing opinions. Calling someone or some idea “stupid” creates a defensive communication climate and hampers the ability of all of us to learn. Think before you criticize. 
• Finally, come talk to me when you have questions, concerns, or suggestions about the class. It is less frustrating for both of us if you ask questions before the assignment is due, rather than after it has affected your performance. Additionally, if someone in the class or I make a comment you are uncomfortable with, please contact me immediately and first. Apologies and policy changes are best handled as soon as possible.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:
 Tenative Schedule - Subject to Change




Assignment Due

Week 1
Aug. 17

Introduction to Organizational Crisis

Chapters 1 and 2

Reading prep

Week 2
Aug. 24

Communication and Crisis

Chapters 3 and 4

Reading prep

Reaction No. 1

Week 3
Aug. 31

Crisis Development

Chapters 5 and 6

Reading prep

Reaction No. 2

Week 4

 Sept. 7

Crisis Development

Chapters 7 and 8

Reading Prep


Reaction No. 3

Week 5

 Sept. 14

Crisis Planning and Decision Making

Chapters 9 and 10

Reading Prep

Service learning outline

Reaction No. 4

Week 6

 Sept. 21

Communication Risk and Ethics

Chapters 11 and 12

Reading Prep

Reaction No. 5

Week 7

Sept. 28

Crisis, Leadership and Society

Chapters 13 and 14

Reading Prep

Service learning rough draft

Reaction No. 6

Week 8

 Oct. 5

Final Review


Service learning final draft

Final Exam

Academic Honesty:

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 2010-2011 Undergraduate Catalog Page 92

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 2010-2011 Undergraduate Catalog Page 92-93

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 2010-2011 Undergraduate Catalog Page 95-96

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:4/25/2011 10:36:43 AM