Communication and Media Studies 658

COMS 658
Diversity in the Workplace

1. Catalog Entry

COMS 658
Diversity in the Workplace

Prerequisite: Graduate Standing

Credit hours (3)

For managers and members of the workforce, diversity poses both challenges and benefits.  Greater emphasis on understanding cultural differences and managing diversity as a competitive advantage has become both a reality and an opportunity in American organizations.  This is a seminar format course in which students will discuss and explore concepts and theories relating to diversity communication in work relationships and personal relationships.

2. Detailed Description of Course

The course with cover such topics as:
• Diversity in the Workplace: A Theoretical Perspective;
• Diversity in the Workplace: A Legal Perspective;
• Case Studies relating to Gender, Age, Disabilities, Race, Sexual Orientation, and National Origin;
• Exemplary Organizations;
• Analyzing Self, Understanding Differences, and Assessing Organizations

3. Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

A variety of methods will be used to teach the course.  For instance, seminar reports might be assigned in which the students will present a reading to the class.  Not only do they present this material, but they also lead a discussion about the material by constructing discussion questions.  The student must also relate their readings with concepts/theories from previous readings.  Exams may be administered to assess the students’ mastery of the material.  And, students might be required to write a research proposal or complete a final project.  Students will also be participating in “hands-on” activities to better understand the material.  For example, participating in the “Tunnel of Oppression” or attending an event on campus that relates to diversity.

4. Goals and Objectives of the Course

Having successfully completed this course, graduate students will be able to define diversity and what it means to manage diversity in the workplace, to identify management’s role in managing diversity in the workplace, to acquire tools for working productively with diverse groups of people, to study cases of organizations that have ineffectively managed diversity, and to study cases of organizations that have effectively managed diversity.  Students will also expand individual understanding and critical thinking regarding diversity.

5. Assessment Measures

A variety of assessment measures may include exams, final papers or final projects, and seminar reports.

6. Other Course Information


Review and Approval
February 1, 2008