Communication Studies

COMMunity & Academic Pathways for Student Success (CAPSS) Program

At CAPSS we work to support first-time transfer students in the Department of Communication Studies at CSUN to complete their degree requirements in two academic years. We achieve this through a cohort academic experience, cultivating community, and hands-on advising. 

By being a part of this program, you will be guaranteed seats in all assigned COMS classes, depending on the academic pathway you choose. These two pathways are Applied and Advocacy. The Applied pathway is for students interested in private sector careers such as marketing, human resources, public relations, sales, healthcare, and management, among others. The Advocacy pathway is for students interested in non-profit, community engagement and outreach, and social justice advocacy work, among others. 

Student success in this program is achieved by:

  • taking 15 units per semester OR 12 units in the Fall and Spring semesters and one class in both Winter and Summer Sessions
  • having guaranteed seats in all assigned COMS classes while in the program
  • receiving hands-on academic advising
  • engaging in community and support building with peers and advisers

If you are interested please complete the application when the application window opens and submit a transcript (unofficial or official) with your most recent grades and GPA by email. Only applications with all materials submitted will be considered. First-generation college students are strongly encouraged to apply. 

Before applying:

  • Submit transfer application to CSUN & get accepted
  • Declare a COMS major

What are the CAPSS Pathways?

  • Applied: For students interested in private sector careers such as marketing, human resources, public relations, sales, healthcare, and management, among others
  • Advocacy: For students interested in non-profit, community engagement and outreach, social justice advocacy work, among others

When is the CAPSS application due?

  • Applications to enroll in CAPSS opens in the Spring
  • Students receive acceptance notifications by the Summer

Social media handles:

Instagram: @capss_csun

 


CAPSS FAQ

What are the benefits of joining CAPSS?

  • Graduate in 2 years
  • Guaranteed COMS classes in the Applied or Advocacy pathways
  • Hands-on advising
  • Career coaching
  • Peer interactions, support, and more!

Am I eligible for CAPSS?

In order to be eligible you must meet the following criteria:

  • Accepted to attend CSUN in the Fall
  • Be a Communication Studies major
  • Be a first-time transfer student
  • Hold and maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.2 or higher
  • Not enrolled in the Student Transfer Achievement Reform (STAR) program or Educational Opportunity Program (EOP)
  • Be willing to take courses assigned by CAPSS advisers (including summer and winter, if needed); attend community-building and career coaching events; and attend advising sessions with advisers.
  • First-generation college students, students of color, and students from other underrepresented groups are strongly encouraged to apply.

What COMS classes will I take if I choose the Applied Pathway?

In addition to electives and university required GE courses, Applied students will take:

Required Core (15 units):

COMS 301-Performance, Language and Cultural Studies

COMS 321-Rhetorical Discourse

COMS 327-Rhetorical Theory

COMS 351-Communication Theory

COMS 356-Intercultural Communication

 

Required Methods (3 units):

COMS 450-Communication Research Methodology

 

Divisional Major Requirements (9 units):

COMS 445-Communication and Popular Culture (Performance and Cultural Studies)

COMS 431-Persuasion (Communication Theory)

COMS 435-Rhetoric of Women (Rhetoric)

 

Community Involvement (3 units):

COMS-Training and Development

Major Elective (15 units):

COMS 312-Health Communication

COMS 323-Group Communication

COMS 451-Interpersonal Communication

COMS 453-Organizational Communication

COMS 360-Communication, Gender and Culture

COMS 494 & 494/L- Internship in Communication Studies

 

Note: Classes are subject to change based on availability. CAPSS advisers reserve the right to make scheduling changes when needed.

What COMS classes will I take if I choose the Advocacy Pathway?

In addition to electives and university required GE courses, Advocacy students will take:

 

Required Core (15 units):

COMS 301-Performance, Language and Cultural Studies

COMS 321-Rhetorical Discourse

COMS 327-Rhetorical Theory

COMS 351-Communication Theory

COMS 356-Intercultural Communication

 

Required Methods (3 units):

COMS 440 – Performance and Cultural Studies Criticism

 

Divisional Major Requirements (9 units):

COMS 445-Communication and Popular Culture (Performance and Cultural Studies)

COMS 431-Persuasion (Communication Theory)

COMS 435-Rhetoric of Women (Rhetoric)

 

Community Involvement (3 units):

COMS 410-Community-Based Performance

 

Major Electives (15 units):

COMS 312-Health Communication

COMS 401-Performance and Social Change

COMS 360-Communication, Gender and Culture

COMS 436-Communication and Food

COMS 464-Digital Culture

COMS 494 & 494/L- Internship in Communication Studies

 

Note: Classes are subject to change based on availability. CAPSS advisers reserve the right to make scheduling changes when needed.

Can I take a minor if I am in CAPSS?

It may be possible to declare a minor. However, you must notify the CAPSS advisor before you begin the program. 

When you declare a minor and are part of the CAPSS program, you must take winter and summer courses and in some semesters take more than 15 units. Note that winter courses are not covered by financial aid. Summer courses may be covered by financial aid but get confirmation from the financial aid office.

Also, we cannot guarantee seats in your minor classes. Therefore, students must seek out advising in the minor, check to see when the classes needed are offered, and take classes when they are available. All students must let CAPSS advisers know what classes outside of the COMS major they are taking each semester, including summer and winter.

Can I study abroad if I am in CAPSS?

No. Because this program is designed to have you finish your degree through a cohorted experience, there will be no room for you to take a semester abroad.

We also cannot guarantee the classes you need to stay on track to graduate in two years will be offered during a study abroad semester.

Can I be in CAPSS if I am involved in other special programs like EOP or STAR?

No. Due to the mandatory requirements and time commitments in other programs, we encourage students to only participate in only one program.

Can I take all my classes online or in-person?

CAPSS advisors intentionally design semesters to provide a balance of online and on-ground classes. The combination of online and on-ground classes allows students to build community in their cohorts and to accommodate work and family schedules.

Am I guaranteed seats in ALL my classes?

No. You will only be guaranteed seats in your COMS classes during the Fall and Spring semesters. 

Seats are not guaranteed for GE classes outside of the major, classes in your minor, or classes taken in the winter or summer sessions.

Can I change my schedule?

The only classes a student may select and schedule on their own are GE classes outside of the Communication Studies major. CAPSS advisors strategically select which classes CAPSS students will take within the Communication Studies major each semester to ensure a seat in those classes and to build a cohort community. Students who want to change a class must speak to a CAPSS advisor first to gain approval for such changes.

Are there time commitments to CAPSS other than my classes?

Yes. Students will participate in mandatory community-building and career coaching events, as well as advisement sessions throughout the academic year. Participating in these events and advisement sessions are key to community building and academic success. There are usually three events in a given semester.

Where can I find financial aid resources?

Please visit the following website for information on financial aid and scholarships: https://www.csun.edu/financialaid

Who can I contact if I have additional questions?

Please contact us at capss@csun.edu