Lakeland College


No human behavior has evolved more dramatically over the past decade than communication, and there’s no stopping these winds of change. Print media continues to scramble, trying to keep up with the ever-changing online world. Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter become more and more prevalent every day. And video communication is gaining popularity.

When it comes to communication, dramatic change is ongoing, and the traditional ways of reaching an audience simply aren’t sustainable – at least on their own. Here at Lakeland College, we are on the cutting edge of the communication revolution, and you will be too.

“It’s a new media world, and the way we choose to address that fact is by making ‘new media’ the center piece of the puzzle for our communication major,” says John McKenzie, instructor of communication. “We’ve got something new going on, and the curriculum at other colleges and universities just isn’t cutting it. They haven’t caught on, and we have. There’s not another program like ours. We’re a front-runner.”

Choose from two fields of study

Depending on what your career goals are, we have two areas of communication you can specialize in. You’ll take eight core communication courses that all students with this major will complete and choose between professional communication and rhetoric and public communication.

The professional communication track is for students who want to work in advertising or public relations. This major can also lend itself to becoming a journalist in print or digital media.

The rhetoric and public communication track is for students who are interested in designing media campaigns, running social media campaigns or even working in politics.

“Every business needs someone with strong communication skills,” McKenzie says. “Businesses are always hiring communication people.”


View Current Curriculum

Communication Major (42 semester hours)

Complete the following core courses:

  • COM 100 Introduction to Mass Media
  • COM 111 Fundamentals of Public Speaking
  • COM 211 Interpersonal Communication
  • COM 220 Persuasion & Advocacy
  • COM 325 New Media and Digital Communication
  • COM 340 Communication Theory
  • COM 350 Rhetorical Criticism (Writing Intensive)
  • COM 425 Critical Communication Approaches to New Media
  • WRT 300 Advanced Composition (Writing Intensive)
  • Three semester hours from one or a combination of the following:

    • COM 400 Internship in Communication
    • COM 490 Independent Research in Communication
    • WRT 110 Spectrum Practicum (1 semester hour per term)
    • WRT 210 Mirror Practicum (1 semester hour per term)

And one of the following areas of emphasis:

Rhetoric & Public Communication Emphasis

Four of the following:

  • COM 225 Political Communication & Activism
  • COM 240 American Oratory
  • COM 280 Special Topics in Communication
  • COM 360 Media Literacy and Effects
    OR SOC 225 Sociology of Media and Mass Communication
  • COM 370 Communication and Social Media
  • COM 480 Special Topics in Communication

Professional Communication Emphasis

  • COM 212 Team-Based and Group Communication

Three of the following:

  • WRT 150 Computer Design/Adobe InDesign for the PC
    OR ART 103 Digital Page Layout/InDesign
  • COM 280 Special Topics in Communication
  • WRT 201 News Writing
  • WRT 330 Advertising and Public Relations Writing
  • COM 480 Special Topics in Communication

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Snapshot of Success

Name: Nick Nelson

Hometown: Menasha, Wis.

Title: Promotional staff member

Business: Milwaukee Radio Group

Nick has a passion for music and enjoys interacting with people, so no wonder he loves his job so much.

“If I could do this for the rest of my life I would be happy,” he says.

Nick majored in writing and minored in communication at Lakeland. He’s drawn plenty of value from all of the classes he took and the extracurricular activities – such as working for the student newspaper. Particularly helpful, he says, was a fundamentals of public speaking class he took during the first semester of his freshman year. From that class, he gained confidence and skills that would benefit him at Lakeland and beyond.

Now he speaks to “hundreds and hundreds of people on a weekly basis” with ease while promoting four Milwaukee-area radio stations at myriad interesting events

Some of his assignments have included making appearances at movie theaters, car dealerships and other businesses. He interacts with people and gives out prizes, among other social duties. He’s worked at opening day for the Brewers, was set up in the Miller Park parking lot prior to the recent Paul McCartney concert and he met Nelly when the rapper visited the Energy 106.9 FM station during Summerfest. He’s given away CDs to kids who were celebrating a birthday and handed out free concert tickets.

“Now that I’ve been at the station for more than a year, I’m starting to recognize people who come out to our events,” he says. “I worked on a boat cruise, and actually had to tell people I was ‘working.’ Sometimes it’s hard to believe I’m being paid for this.”

Nick entered college with writing skills he says were far from polished.

“My experience at Lakeland changed my ability to communicate,” he says. “When I arrived, I was a professor’s nightmare when it came to writing, and it took me a long time to improve. But my professors never gave up on me. They knew I had it in me. I would not be in the position I am today without their help and dedication.”

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New social media platforms

Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are just a few forms of "new media" that Lakeland College communication students dig deep into. There are courses on blogging and general web-writing strategies, as well as courses based on Google Analytics and how to track the number of online visits and visitor behavior. We delve into "new media" such as LinkedIn, Pinterest, Reddit, Tumblr, Yelp and whatever may be new and popular by the time you're reading this.

"Texting and mobile communication come up, too," says McKenzie. "Generally, our focus throughout all the communication courses is how to be more persuasive in whichever medium we're using."

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  • PHONE: 1 (800) 569-2166
    FAX: 920-565-1206
  • MAIL: PO Box 359, Sheboygan, WI 53082-0359
  • DIRECTIONS: W3718 South Drive Plymouth, WI 53073-4878

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