1 Introduction

Annette Holba

Welcome to Senior Seminar! This open education resource (OER) is designed to guide you through this course that marks your final semester/year in the Communication and Media Studies (CMS) program at Plymouth State University. In this introduction to the course, the following topics are covered to open your final required core course experience:

About the CMS faculty.

By now, at this point in your academic career here at Plymouth State, you may have had every CMS faculty member for at least one course on your learning journey. However, this may not be true for every person in this course. Here is a list of each faculty member and a link to the faculty page where you can access their biographies:

Full-Time Faculty

Professor Scott Coykendall

Professor Annette M. Holba

Professor Cathie LeBlanc

Professor Mary Beth Ray

Professor Evelyn Stiller

Professor Metasebia Woldemariam

Professor Eun-Ho Yeo

Teaching Lecturers

Bethen Canelas

Stacy Curdie

Lena MacLean

Peter Miller

Christina Noyes

Ashley Phillips

Jordan Rosenburg

David Stewart


About the CMS BA program.

This is taken from our website: The BA in Communication and Media Studies is an interdisciplinary degree that allows students to investigate communication processes and effects from a variety of perspectives. Students receive a broad-based liberal arts education through a series of courses that offers significant opportunities for selecting classes to meet individual interests and needs.

Here are faculty perspectives in our own words.

Program Learning Outcomes:

  • The ability to read, write, listen, and present in various contexts and for various audiences.
  • The ability to understand emerging communication and media technologies, and the complex causes and opportunities of that evolution.
  • The ability to analyze and explain the moral, ethical and cross-cultural dimensions of messages.
  • The ability to apply communication and media theories to critically analyze real-world issues and employ practical, innovative solutions.

Program Mission:

The Communication and Media Studies Program offers undergraduate program options that combine social, cultural, and rhetorical approaches to the analysis and creation of messages within professional, social, and digital contexts. These programs offer students interdisciplinary perspectives that blend theory and practice, the historical and contemporary, and the conventional and the unconventional. Successful graduates of these programs will be employable,ethical, and competent communicators in the always evolving communication industry environment.

How the CMS program interfaces with general education and cluster learning.

The Communication and Media Studies BA program values and supports the University general education program by contributing Directions and Connections courses that any student can take across any major/discipline. Because of the interdisciplinary nature of communication and media studies in general, faculty and students are used to learning about, applying, and engaging multiple disciplinary perspectives in the work that we do. The CMS faculty also support and cultivate, and endorse the Habits of Mind, which are  the learning outcomes for the general education program but they are specifically, a usual way of thinking, a way of engaging with the everyday world. The Habits of Mind that we focus on at PSU are: purposeful communicationproblem-solvingintegrated perspective, and self-regulated learning. You can find out more about these habits of mind from the OER used in the Tackling a Wicked Problem course, a hallmark of our student’s first year experience and the general education program.

Habits of Mind are threaded through the entire general education program. They are also cornerstones of student life here at Plymouth State. Developing these habits takes a lifetime. In cultivating these habits, we prepare students to be active agents in their own learning. These habits are essential for success in the workforce and especially in the communication and media industry which is rapidly evolving every day. Habits of mind enable persistence and resilience in the individual which prepares students to sustain and thrive in any environment.

Our cluster learning model, which you can learn more about here, relies upon the cultivation of the habits of mind, as well as having the ability to work across disciplines, and be able to use an integrative mindset with others to engage in innovative and transformative thinking and action. CMS faculty make sure we collaborate across the Arts and Technologies cluster and other clusters across campus. All CMS students embody these habits and take ownership over their own learning. These two skills prepare students for life-long learning and success in the workforce.

Purpose of this OER.

The purpose of this OER is to develop a reader that is eventually authored by each CMS faculty member. Each of us come from various specialty areas in the broader communication and media discipline. We want to participate in your final core course in the curriculum, so eventually, each faculty member will have contributed to this reader. We also want each student who takes this course to have a similar experience. So developing a reader together enables these two experiences for all CMS seniors. Additionally, we wanted to provide a space for current seniors to add their perspectives and give messages or tips to future seniors. You will see a student perspective section where students will add their own thoughts and messages for the benefit to future students.

This OER brings together the following elements:

Figuring Out Who You Are (at this point in your life)

Thinking and Reasoning Ethically

Creating an Organized and Thorough Job Search

Serving the CMS Program By Connecting with CM2000 students (new CMS majors)

Our intentions looking forward.

We hope this introduction provides some insight into why we developed this reader for CM4905: Senior Seminar. Each semester/year this reader will be updated and evolve. Any suggestions for better reader access related to content layout, content in general, or anything else related to this book, please pass along to CMS faculty.


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CMS Seniors by Annette Holba is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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