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  1. 1. MINOR IN BUSINESS COMMUNICATION FOR INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY MANAGEMENT STUDENTS Why minor in Business Communication? Every aspect of organizational life depends on communication – team functions, customer relations, sales, human resources management, product development, to name a few. Business communication expertise will help you in all aspects of your work, from communicating with co- workers, managers, and subordinates to customers, clients, and industry partners. In fact, “excellent verbal and written communication skills” are specifically requested in the majority of job listings for ITM graduates. What better way to prove to employers that you have the communication skills they require than to have a Minor in Business Communication? • The Business Communication Minor will sharpen your ability to plan, prepare, and produce messages that are clear, complete, and thoughtful. You will learn to • focus your ideas • evaluate your audiences to ensure successful message reception • select, analyze, and organize information • choose the best communication channel for effective delivery • format and edit for accessibility, professionalism, and image • The Business Communication Minor will give you the ability to • write persuasive letters, memos and reports • create news releases, newsletters, corporate communications, and web content • learn strategies for communicating targeted or sensitive information • relate to intercultural audiences • deliver effective presentations with poise and control, using technology and visual communication appropriately • communicate productively in teams • The expertise you gain from a Business Communication Minor will give you an edge in job interviews as well as greater opportunities for promotion and challenging projects. What do graduates say about the Minor in Business Communication? Surveys of our students after graduation show that they were extremely satisfied with their communication education and its relevance to their professional needs in business and industry. Here is what several had to say: • Communication skills will get tested the first day of any job. . . . The company will give employees time to adjust to the database they are using, but effective communication skills are something the company will expect them to demonstrate immediately. (Business Systems Analyst – Hewitt Associates)
  2. 2. More from graduates who minored in Business Communication… • I am the co-founder and Communications Coordinator of Design by Appetite, a marketing and web design firm. Developing internal public relations was important for such a small company with partners who worked at distances from each other and needed to share ideas efficiently and receive timely information…. I wrote email newsletters to spur excitement and curiosity on new industry information, scheduled and chaired in-person team meetings, and maintained communications through our online discussion forums. My Communications courses helped me develop stronger writing knowledge for targeting clients’ audiences and speaking skills to engage business partners in new ideas. Most importantly, I learned that a communication structure exists in every company, no matter how small or large it is, and it may have an obvious or subtle impact on how well the business runs. It is better to plan an approach to the structure from the start in order to help create a strong organizational foundation, convey strategy or direction, and maintain team cohesion in the long run. (Co-founder and Communications Coordinator – Design by Appetite) What are Business Communication classes like? • Most business communication classes have maximum enrolments of 30 students. • Teachers give detailed feedback and work closely with students in lively interactive settings. • Many faculty have won teaching awards, including the university-wide GREET teaching award, the Business students’ award for creating the most positive classroom environment, and many CESAR (Continuing Education Students Association Ryerson) awards. What are the requirements for a Minor in Business Communication? Six one-semester courses make up the Minor in Business Communication. The following two courses are both required: CMN 124 Written Communications in ITM CMN 314 Professional Presentations You may choose any four of the following elective courses: CMN 313 Organizational Problem Solving and Report Writing CMN 315 Issues in Communication and the Contemporary Workplace CMN 413 Corporate Communications CMN 414 Interpersonal Communication in Management CMN 443 Contemporary Intercultural Communication CMN 444 Studies in On-Site Communication: The Nonprofit Sector CMN 447 Communication and Law CMN 448 Introduction to Visual Communication CMN 450 The Art of Podcasting Minor in Business Communication for ITM Students Page 2
  3. 3. More Information About Courses in the Business Communication Minor: Six one-semester courses, two required and four electives, make up the Minor in Business Communication. Required: CMN124 Written Communications in ITM. This course emphasizes analysis, organization, tone, style and strategy in the development of effective written communications. Data collection and report documentation are included. This course is specifically designed for students in the Information Technology Management program. Lab: 3 hrs. CMN 314 Professional Presentations. Successful professionals achieve their objectives by consistently delivering high-impact presentations to diverse, demanding audiences. Rising expectations and extensive technology often complicate rather than improve the presenter's ability to communicate effectively. In this essential course, students learn to cope with fear, structure content coherently, develop poise and confidence, and employ technology in a sophisticated way to connect meaningfully with their audiences. Lab: 3 hrs. Electives (Choose four of the following): CMN 313 Organizational Problem Solving and Report Writing. Organizational Problem Solving and Report Writing focuses on the selection, treatment and solution of a complex problem in an organization, through the development and preparation of a formal, analytical report. Students learn how to identify a problem, define its purpose, customize a message for multiple audiences, create a work plan, apply primary and secondary research methods, and structure an argument logically and persuasively. Students will strengthen their critical thinking skills as they evaluate findings and formulate conclusions and recommendations. Lab: 3 hrs. CMN 315 Issues in Communication and the Contemporary Workplace. Effective communication has always been an essential component of business. It is particularly important today, when business people communicate in increasingly complex and diverse workplaces. They must deal with ethical dilemmas, intensifying organizational change, global and multicultural partners, increased specialization, and constant technological developments. Using practical examples and case studies, this course both explores communication challenges that business professionals face today and helps them develop strategies and practices designed for the contemporary workplace. Lecture: 2 hrs. Seminar: 1 hr. CMN 413 Corporate Communications. How does a company communicate its reputation and image and manage these intangible features when damaged? Through examining high-level communication strategies and products, students develop sensitivity to the language, formats, and images organizations use to manage their concerns. Students also practice skills corporate communication professionals employ to communicate with a variety of audiences. Prerequisites: Any one CMN course. Lecture: 2 hrs.; Seminar: 1 hr. CMN 414 Interpersonal Communication in Management. In this workshop course, students participate in a variety of group and individual exercises designed to develop the interpersonal skills necessary for effective management. Emphasis is placed on understanding how varied backgrounds, personalities, and cultural perspectives affect group processes such as problem solving, decision making, resolving conflict, and negotiating. Some sessions may be videotaped. Prerequisite: Any one CMN course. Lab: 3 hrs. Minor in Business Communication for ITM Students Page 3
  4. 4. Business Communication Minor Electives Continued: CMN 443 Contemporary Intercultural Communication. In today's global environment, success or failure of almost any venture requires a clear understanding of intercultural issues. In this course, various communication strategies and theoretical frameworks are analyzed in cultural context. Prerequisite: Any one CMN course. Lab: 3 hrs. CMN 444 Studies in On-Site Communication: The Non-Profit Sector. A driving force of modern corporations is social responsibility: supporting the nonprofit charitable sector through donations, sponsorship, and employee volunteerism. To appreciate this key business area, students independently study, through first- hand experience and primary and secondary material, the communications of a specific nonprofit organization. Students will gain in-depth understanding of the agency's planning and preparation process, and potentially have the opportunity for hands-on training under the supervision of an agency mentor. Prerequisite: Students must achieve a minimum grade of 'B' in at least one CMN course prior to enrolling in this course. See the Department of Professional Communication for more information. Lab: 3 hrs. CMN 447 Communication and Law. Communication practitioners must be sensitive to the legal risks and implications of their messages. They must consider ethical responsibilities to clients, employees, and themselves. Clear and accessible documents, in language and design, help the company manage internal and external relations. In this essential course, students study such communications as contracts, briefs, client letters and proposals, to gain a firm understanding of the legal dimensions of organizational communication and to contribute that knowledge to the company’s enterprise and obligations. Prerequisites: LAW122 or LAW321. Lab: 3 hrs. CMN 448 Introduction to Visual Communication. This challenging course introduces students to the study of Visual Communication. Students learn a vocabulary of visual meaning-making (i.e., a visual language). Building upon the vocabulary, they learn how visual texts can be rhetorical and persuasive within a professional communication context. They learn how visual texts manipulate and become manipulated by a surrounding visual culture. It is recommended that students be in their third or fourth year of study. Lab 3 hrs. CMN 450 The Art of Podcasting. One of the most exciting new communication delivery channels is the podcast—the method of distributing multimedia files over the Internet for mobile playback. This course blends theory and hands-on practice to teach students the art—and mechanics—of podcasting. Content development, distribution, Web syndication, marketing, and aggregators will all be covered. Students are expected to have basic familiarity with the Internet; from this base, they will learn how to manage the entire podcasting cycle—from concept to implementation. Lab: 3 hrs. Each of the 300 and 400 level Minor courses is a Professionally-Related Elective Where do I go for more information about the Business Communication Minor? Contact the Department of Professional Communication Room RCC 370A Rogers Communication Centre 80 Gould Street 416-979-5326 procom@ryerson.ca www.ryerson.ca/procom Minor in Business Communication for ITM Students Page 4