COM 495 Senior Capstone Experience in Communication


Spring 2011

Dr. Janellen Hill

Office: Loyola #30, x4969,

Office Hours: Thursdays from 3:15– 5:00 p.m.; Wednesdays from 2:00-4:00 p.m.


Course Description:  This course brings together senior COM majors to focus on a synthesis of the communication field of study.  Research projects will be conducted and reported to the class. Preparation for future professional work and development will be explored.


Enrollment is restricted to Communication majors who have completed a minimum of 18 SH in Communication and an overall minimum of 86 SH.


Course Objectives:

1.      To review and synthesize courses taken in the Communication major, demonstrating the ability to articulate theoretical approaches to the study of communication and the ways in which communication impacts culture.

2.      To demonstrate the application of knowledge and skills in research methods, group, interpersonal, media and written communication.

3.      To practice skills for effective public presentations

4.      To learn and develop skills for effective professional employment search.

5.      To recognize personal growth and accomplishments


Course Requirements:

  1. Synthesis Project (30%)

Students are assigned to groups based upon upper division elective courses taken in Communication.  Three faculty members will serve as advisors and evaluators of the project.  Groups are required to meet with the professor of the course to develop and focus a research question. A second faculty member and Dr. Hill will complete the faculty group.  The group must meet with faculty members on at least two occasions during the process—one in the two weeks following group assignment and the second one week prior to presentation.

Each group is assigned one 60-minute portion of class time in which to offer a professional overview of the disciplinary area and its application.  The assignment includes a detailed outline, relevant supporting materials and an annotated bibliography. Examples of Research Questions include:

What gaps, contradictions, or issues exist in the field?
What controversies exist in the field?
Who is left out, who is presented, and whose interests are served in the field? 
What significant communication processes (applications) do you see in the world that applies the knowledge of the field?
Does this field offer processes for potentially significant social changes?
Are there new directions or potentials for new directions emerging from the field?
Does this field contribute to social justice or the common good? In what ways?


  1. Resume (5%)


  1. Job Search Project (20%) 

This assignment includes locating library resources useful to identifying goals, job leads, and graduate school programs. 


  1. Informational Interviewing (15%)

Each student will complete two interviews with a communication professional.  Written materials documenting this experience include background sketch of professional position, potential questions, and post-interview evaluation. 


  1. Portfolio (10%). 

Each student will develop and present to the class a portfolio of best work samples.  Your portfolio should have a theme and include a table of contents and rationale for the included work.


  1. Practice Interview (10%). 

Each student is required to complete a practice interview with Regis University Career Services.  Your interview will be videotaped and critiqued.  You will write a critique of your interviewing skills.  Schedule these interviews early in the semester.


  1. Class Participation (10%)


Policies:  When a student misses three class sessions or fails to complete every assignment, she or he will earn a failing grade.  Absolutely no late papers/work accepted. 

Please, no competing audio/visual technology. 


Grades will be assigned as follows:

100- 90 points……… A

89-80 points…………B

79-70 points…………C

69-60 points………... D











Course Schedule:


Week One—January 18

Introduction to course.  Student survey.


Week Two--January 25

Richard DelliVeneri, Director Career Services:  Resume development. Search strategies and campus career resources.


Week Three—February 1

Project groups assigned and begin working together on project.

Bring 5 copies of your resume to class for group critique

How to work effectively in groups


Week Four—February 8

Due:  Final Resume


February 9:  Regis Career Fair; Attendance required.

Student Center Dining Hall

10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.


Week Five—February15

Introduction to library resources for employment searches with John Schmitt, resource librarian.  DML 310. 

Job Search Project distributed.


Week Six--February 22

How to Build Relationships to Explore and Promote your Career

Richard DelliVeneri, Director Career Services: Informational Interviewing & Networking


Week Seven—March 1

Portfolio discussion

Due:  Job Search Project 

Don’t leave for spring break without scheduling your video practice interview with Career Services!


Week Eight--March 8

Spring Break


Week Nine-- March 15

Synthesis Group Project Presentation 1


Week Ten--March 22

Synthesis Group Project Presentation 2



Week Eleven--March 29

Synthesis Group Project Presentation 3 


Senior Etiquette Dinners, March 30 and March 31


Week Twelve—April 5

Synthesis Group Project Presentation 4


April 5 & 6:  Senior Etiquette Dinner

6-8 p.m.  Student Center Faculty Lounge


Week Thirteen—April 12

Synthesis Group Project Presentation 5

Due:  Self critique of Video Practice Interview


Week Fourteen--April 19

Portfolio presentations

Due:  Reports on Informational Interviews


Week Fifteen--April 26

Portfolio presentations

Senior Exit Survey


May 1—Senior/Faculty Barbeque

5-8 p.m.