The Capstone (COMSTRAT 701 [formerly COMSTRAT 702]) is the final course in the online MA Strategic Communication program. Capstone deliverables are a demonstration of the student’s mastery of core MA Strategic Communication concepts through a comprehensive exam and professional online portfolio. Students are assessed in three core attributes: critical thinking, written communication and creativity. The comprehensive exam includes prompts for students to respond to five (5) questions, case studies or activities. Each response is open-book (not proctored) and completed individually (non-collaborative).

With these five prompts, students are asked to demonstrate their understanding and proficiency in the following core areas:

-Research methods
-Crisis communications and reputation management
-Professional ethics
-Persuasion in communication
-Brand and consumer behavior
-Multimedia content creation
-Storytelling across multiple channels
-Integrated campaign strategy and development

701 is the final course in the online MA Strategic Communication program. The course culminates in a balloted comprehensive examination of the student’s mastery of content from the M.A. in Strategic Communication.


Required Readings

No specific textbook is required for this course. Students are given support material attached to each prompt or discussion forum. Most are articles, blog posts or resource documents created by industry experts.


Course Resources for Students

Blackboard Learn: Announcements, weekly pacing, deliverable information, samples and discussion forums

myWSU: Roster and enrollment status, final grades

Christy Curtis: Central person to contact for advising, registration, special requests or needs and other troubleshooting issues


Instructor

Rebecca L. Cooney MSC
Clinical Assistant Professor

Director, Online MA StratComm
Research Associate, NaPDI
Faculty Advisor, PRSSA

Office: GOERTZ 205
Office Hours: By appointment
Phone: (509) 335-3911
Email: rebecca.cooney@wsu.edu

 

Advising

Christy Curtis, MA
Instructor

Graduate Coordinator, Online MA StratComm
COM 102 Course Supervisor

Office: GOERTZ Main Office
Office Hours: By appointment
Phone: (509) 335-5608
Email: christine.curtis@wsu.edu

Course Learning Goals

(1) Critical Thinking: Ability to gather and assess strategically relevant information using analyses and research.

(2) Written Communication: Evidence of professional skills to develop strategic communication materials using best practices and industry standards presented across the curriculum

(3) Creativity: Demonstrate knowledge of strategic, entrepreneurial communication skills such as managing online presence, self and organizational presentation, and collaboration in an increasingly global world.


Course Deliverables

(1) Completion of five (5) questions, case studies or activities (referred to in this course as “prompts”)

(2) Completed Online Portfolio that includes an About Me page, Resume or Work History, Portfolio Index showcasing six (6) completed assignments across the curriculum and Contact page.

(3) Optional, yet encouraged participation in weekly discussion threads designed to maintain student and instructor connection and add value and insights related to prompts.


Information about Prompts

Online MA faculty are the authors of questions, case studies and activities posed to Capstone students. Working with the Capstone instructor, faculty are asked to submit a question, case study assessment or demonstration of skills they recommend that validates a students’ competency level in each of the core areas.

Questions, case study assessments and activity demonstrations are collected throughout the academic year. All submissions are compiled and reviewed by MA StratComm leadership with five (5) prompts selected per semester. All submissions not selected are put into a rotation pool for application in future semesters so we are sure to have unique comprehensive exam questions each semester.

Upon selection – faculty who designed the question are asked to provide additional information around their question, case study or demonstration including instructions, expectations, word or page count limit, correct/acceptable answers, and/or rubric that are then passed on to the Capstone students to aid in their successful completion of the prompt.

Online Portfolio Information

As part of Capstone curriculum, student portfolios are developed progressively throughout the semester with three stages of review and assessment by the Capstone instructor. Faculty review committee members will receive a link to the portfolio 2-3 weeks prior to balloting so they have a chance to review and complete their pass/fail assessment.

Your online portfolio is a great way to showcase your biography, skills, qualifications and past course work or projects related to internships and other roles you have played in the communications field.

The Goal: For students to demonstrate their knowledge in the use of new and traditional media for information production and dissemination.

The Task: Complete and refine your Online MA Strategic Communication Online Portfolio with the following elements:

"About" page: brief bio and context for the portfolio

Resume or Work History including education, work history and highlighted skills and expertise

Portfolio Index – SIX examples are showcased. With each example students will provide context including a brief overview of the course related to the sample + an overview of the assignment scope itself (purpose, vision, goal).


"This is a great wrap-up course to this program. I enjoyed getting to put all of my learning and skills to work on these prompts. I now have a great portfolio of work and a great website for self-promotion." - former Capstone student

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