With the rise of social media and a 24/7 news cycle big companies and organizations are experiencing different crisis situations that have the potential to make or break the future of their business. Did you know this could be a job?!

Welcome to SCC 420, Risk and Crisis Communication.

If you want to know you can handle a crisis situation in the future, this class is for you. But before we get there we have to rewind a bit. Risk and Crisis Communication, or SCC 420, is an upper division class at Chapman University. Before you are able to take an upper division class at Chapman you are required to take some lower division classes or prerequisites that will help build your understanding of the SCC or COM Major and the skills it can teach you.

“Don’t Panic, YOU will flourish!”

The Prerequisites for SCC 420 are…

COM 100: Introduction to Communication Studies. This course is an interesting, well rounded introduction to the communication major, and will be great for setting the foundation for what is to come. 


SCC 100: Introduction to Strategic and Corporate Communication. This class is an awesome introduction to different communication theories that will be present throughout the major. 


The final one is SCC or COM 295: Research Methods. This class will really help you develop your analytical skills as its main focus is learning how to measure how people respond to different messages through different research methods. Minimum grade of C required.

Alright! Now we are all ready to head into Risk and Crisis Communication!  Curious to know what you might be doing in the class?

Here is what you will learn…

Risk and Crisis Communication looks at how communication dynamics could be the root of an organizational crisis and how they can also block a crisis from happening. It is all about knowing how to communicate in certain situations.

In this class you will also study how people work. By this I mean you will study how people strategize, communicate and make decisions when they are in stressful situations as well as crisis situations.

SCC 420 also teaches different media theories and tactics that can help teach how someone should speak to the media in a crisis situation, and how they can turn a crisis around through deliberate communication.

So I know this all sounds really interesting, and i’m sure you are wondering…

What does a normal class look like?

Although each teacher will teach the class differently, there are some constituencies that you can expect.

Each class day to day will be a little different, but one might include:

  • a brief discussion of any current crisis going on in the world
  • followed by a short video discussing a media tactic that could be used to bring an interview back in the right direction
  • Followed by a discussion about a case study or important theory relevant to the course

Classes never feel too rushed or too crammed, and are always engaging because most of what we learn about involves companies or organizations we all know about or support.

Assignments for this class can vary depending on the professor, but generally all relate to the course material.

Two assignments we had:

  • A case study presentation where we presented on a past crisis that a big organization dealt with.
  • Making our own crisis communication plan. This was really interesting because it is as close to the actual business you can get while still being in school.

All the assignments in this class were actually applicable and matched well with what we were learning, and that always makes a class more enjoyable.

So what is the biggest reason to take this course??

In a crisis there are certain things that need to be done at a certain speed, and if you do not have the knowledge of what has to be done then and there it will already be too late.

So don’t panic… this class won’t cause a crisis….YOU will flourish!

SCC 420 truly teaches students how to combat crisis. Students even got the chance to create Proactive Crisis Communication Plans to learn how to avoid any possible crisis situation.