Academics
A Notre Dame Education

Communications

Mission

Through our expanding course offerings, the Communications Department seeks to develop
each student’s knowledge about communication arts and sciences because we believe that
communication is the key to issues of power and representation.

We are committed to building and nurturing a community of students who:
• Are able to think critically
• Have an awareness of and appreciation for multiple and diverse perspectives
• Are competent and trustworthy practitioners of communication
• Have the capacity for understanding that characterizes responsible engagement with
our communities and environment
• Are committed and willing to use communication skills to improve society

Our Goals:
• To provide educational experiences that promote the ideals of responsibility,
compassion and justice by fostering the technical, creative and ethical understanding of
human communication and interaction
• To teach students how to prepare and present effective responsible messages whether
those messages take the form of media stories, speeches, comments during meetings,
or casual conversations
• To empower students to develop more meaningful and effective voices
• To strengthen students’ basic speaking and writing skills
• To enhance students’ competence as media consumers and critics
• To acquaint students with the dynamic processes involved in all forms of discursive and
symbolic interaction

Courses Offered

List of 15 items.

  • Speech

    This course introduces students to the art of public speaking. Students will give four speeches over the course of the semester, ranging from extemporaneous speaking to more formal, memorized formats. Students will learn basic public speaking techniques for delivery, organization, memorization, confidence-building, audience analysis, and development of visual aids using various forms of technology.

    Prerequisites/Comments - This elective course is open to all students. (UC “g” Elective)
  • Introduction to Debate

    This course introduces students to basic argumentation theory and practice. Students will learn the basics of argument development, research, analytical reasoning, and public speaking. Students are expected to participate in novice level debate tournaments throughout the school year. There is a fee for this course. 

    Prerequisites/Comments - Open to all freshmen. Sophomores, juniors and seniors require the written consent of the instructor. Required of all students who plan to take Advanced Debate. (UC “g” Elective)
  • Intermediate Debate

    This course introduces students to advanced argument theory and practice. There is a more advanced focus on research and analytical thinking skills. Students begin to craft their own positions using research. Students are expected to practice these skills in sessions after school and to participate in varsity level competitions throughout the school year. There is a fee for this course. 

    Prerequisites/Comments - Students must have completed Introduction to Debate or obtain consent of the instructor. This course is open to 2nd-year debate students with the consent of the instructor. 
    (UC “g” Elective)
  • Advanced Debate

    Students continue to master advanced argumentation theory and practice. They will develop in-depth knowledge of argumentation strategy with a focus on advanced research skills and audience adaptation. Students are expected to practice these skills in sessions after school and to participate in varsity level competitions throughout the school year. There is a fee for this course. 

    Prerequisites/Comments - Students must have completed Introduction to Debate and Intermediate Debate or obtain consent of the instructor. Course can be repeated for credit. (UC “g” Elective)
  • Honors Advanced Debate

    Students will apply their argumentation theory and practice to developing community leadership skills. Students will master their public speaking skills by crafting and overseeing the implementation of a social action project. Students will be required to apply their advocacy skills in a “real world” setting to address an issue of social justice in line with the Holy Cross legacy of community service and experiential learning. In addition, students are expected to practice these skills in sessions after school and to participate in varsity level competitions throughout the school year. There is a fee for this course. 

    Prerequisites/Comments - Students must have completed Introduction to Debate, Intermediate Debate, and Advanced Debate. This course is open to 4th year debate students with the consent of the instructor. (UC “g” Elective – UC Honors)
  • Journalism I

    This course introduces students to the basic writing principles and styles of news and feature writing for print and online publications. Additional topics include a historical perspective of print journalism, the moral and ethical standards of both the print and broadcast media, and layout and design. 

    Prerequisites/Comments - Required of all students planning to take Journalism II or Yearbook. (UC “g” Elective) 
  • Journalism II: Art of Blogging

    A follow-up to Journalism I, this course focuses on the researching, writing, interviewing, and reporting techniques necessary to produce stories for print and online publication with an emphasis on the current journalistic trend of blogging. Additional topics include an introduction to photojournalism, magazine layout and design techniques, and video production. 

    Prerequisites/Comments - Completion of Journalism I and consent of the instructor. Required of all students planning to take Advanced Journalism. (UC “g” Elective)
  • Advanced Journalism

    This course focuses on the researching, writing, interviewing, and reporting techniques necessary to produce the student magazine, The Knight, and update the Notre Dame student blog (www.ndhsmedia.com). Additional topics include photojournalism, advanced magazine layout and design techniques, video production, generating story assignments, editing, and publication management. 

    Prerequisites/Comments - Completion of Journalism II. Can be repeated for credit. (UC “g” Elective)
  • Yearbook

    Students in this course design, create, and produce the school yearbook, The Arches. Relying on journalism skills acquired in Journalism I, students target their journalistic focus towards feature writing and more complex layout and design and photojournalism skills. Also relevant to the course are project management techniques necessary to produce a visual representation of the school year that adheres to necessary publication deadlines and budget requirements. 

    Prerequisites/Comments - Completion of Journalism I or consent of the instructor. Not open to freshmen. Can be repeated for credit. (UC “g” Elective) 
  • TV Production I

    This course introduces students to all aspects of television production. Topics covered include the use of studio and ENG cameras, lighting, audio, visual effects, editing, and pre and post-production work. There is a fee for this course. 

    Prerequisites/Comments - Open to 10th, 11th, and 12th grade students. Required of all students planning to take TV Production II.
  • TV Production II

    Television Production II deepens and refines the skills, experiences, knowledge and vocabulary introduced in Television Production I. A component of this course will examine the history of video today and future trends, but the sequence of units is influenced by the same project-based workflow students will engage in once they are in a real-world media production environment, regardless of their chosen career path. Because a primary focus of the course is on broadcast journalism, students will learn about its foundations and the craft’s two main components – writing and reporting news and feature stories. It offers students the opportunity to experience how an actual television newscast is produced, directed, and put on the air, while also training students to take on supervisory roles in production as they produce a weekly news program for NDTV – the school’s broadcast news program. It will be their responsibility to plan, design, shoot, edit, distribute, and exhibit their work, while developing artistically and intellectually, as they face aesthetic and logistical challenges. 

    Prerequisites/Comments - Completion of TV Production I and consent of the instructor. Can be repeated for credit. This is a time-intensive course which requires field and studio production work before and after school, as well as during X-period. (UC “f” Elective – VPA credit) 
  • TV Production III - Filmmaking

    This course exposes students to the elements of film production. Topics covered include screenwriting, storyboard creation, shooting scripts, scheduling, budgeting, production design, cinematography, editing, and sound design. There is a fee for this course. 

    Prerequisites/Comments - Completion of TV Production II and consent of the instructor. Can be repeated for credit. This is a time-intensive course which requires field and studio production work before and after school as well as during X-period. (UC “g” Elective) 
  • Sports Broadcasting

    In this course, students will learn to produce different types of sports programs, including live coverage of sporting events. The curriculum will include: development of play-by-play and color commentary skills, as well as the editing of sports packages and sports highlights tapes. Some productions will be Live-Streamed on the school’s website. While this class will cover all sports, an emphasis will be placed on those sports competing during the semester in which the course is taken. Additionally, this class will also work closely with NDTV to produce weekly and monthly sports segments, as well as an onsite studio show, with pre-game, halftime and post-game segments. 

    Prerequisites/Comments - This elective course is open to all students. (UC “g” Elective) 
  • Broadcasting & Media Studies

    Broadcasting and Media Studies is a one-semester elective class in which students will learn the history of three primary mediums (radio, print media such as newspapers/magazines, and cinema-television) and their respective evolutions to podcasting, blogging/online publication, and online video sharing/broadcasting. Not only will this course examine the effects that these evolutions have had on American society, it will also provide students with the opportunity to create a podcast, a blog or online publication, and TV show or short film using popularly accessible media. Through these hands-on projects, students will better understand the role and importance of media in society. This course will provide a unique foundation for students who go on to major in communication studies, journalism, or broadcasting at the university level. 

    Prerequisites/Comments - This elective course is open to 10th, 11th, and 12th grade students. (UC “g” Elective) 
  • Screenwriting

    In this course students will learn the fundamentals of screenwriting—story structure, character development, plot, theme, conflict, and “vision.” Through an emphasis on the structural analysis of feature film writing, students will develop a professional screenwriter’s conceptual vocabulary for developing, writing and rewriting his or her own work. Students will begin writing their own feature-length screenplays and by the end of the course will have completed the first act. 

    Prerequisites/Comments - This elective course is open to 10th, 11th, and 12th grade students. (UC “g” Elective) 

Faculty

List of 6 items.

  • Sabrina Landinguin

    Communications Department Chair & Journalism Teacher
    (818) 933-3652
  • Elisia Harkins-James

    Television Production & Film Production Teacher
    (818) 933-3654
  • Christina Tallungan Phillips '95

    Debate Teacher
    (818) 933-3653
  • Bill Seward

    Sports Broadcasting Teacher
    (818) 933-3600 Ext. 461
  • Nate Tupas '13

    NDSN & Sports Broadcasting Teaching Assistant
    (818) 933-3600
  • Monique Gelineau '09

    Television Production & Film Production Teaching Assistant
    (818) 933-3600
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