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Duke University and Chapter Members Team to Offer Technical Communication Certificate
2007, Q2 (July 29, 2007)
By Meredith Kinder, Carolina Communiqué Managing Editor

Members of the Carolina chapter are actively involved in the Duke Continuing Studies' Technical Communication Certificate. This working relationship furthers the goals of both of our organizations, in outreach and in educational mission.

About the Certificate

The Technical Communication Certificate is a noncredit professional certificate from Duke Continuing Studies. Enrolling and completing the program demonstrates students' commitment to learning and professional development in an ever-changing market. The courses that are part of this eight-month curriculum teach the basics to those interested in starting a career in technical communication and also sharpens the skills of more seasoned veterans.

Students are given the opportunity to apply for internships in the Research Triangle Park area in order to gain hands-on knowledge and add pieces to their portfolio.

The certificate program offers evening and weekend classes.

Current Carolina Chapter Members Involved as Instructors

Both current and past Carolina chapter members have been involved in the program from its conception. Five current Carolina chapter members serve as instructors in the program.

Larry Kunz teaches the Managing the Information Development Process course. Larry's course shows students that there is more to technical writing than writing, no matter if you're a one-man department or part of a large team. It includes topics such as project management, information gathering, and final production. Larry teaches students the basics behind planning, scheduling, budgeting, tracking, and reporting status.

Michael Harvey teaches Introduction to XML and DITA. The course provides a conceptual and historical overview to those topics and relates them to structured information and authoring. It surveys tools for working with XML and DITA, provides practical insights into their use, and covers how XML and DITA reduces the cost of content creation, localization, and publishing.

Chris Benz and Linda Roberts teach the Tools Overview course. In it, they provide overviews of commonly-used technical communication tools and equip students with the knowledge they need to have when selecting tools for different projects. They cover tools for desktop publishing, graphics, web design, content management, and more.

Ann-Marie Grissino teaches the Information Architecture course as well as the final project capstone course. In the Information Architecture course, Ann-Marie teaches students how to structure their writing as an information solution based on the way it's delivered and the way users access it. She teaches strategies for analyzing, categorizing, and "chunking" information and also tactics for supplying readers with ways to visually identify informational hierarchies.

In the final project capstone course, Ann-Marie and students assemble everything that students learned during the program into a final paper or project. Students write the final paper or project and it is then reviewed by instructors.

Examples of Student Capstone Projects

Two students in Ann-Marie's capstone project have shared their projects with Carolina Communiqué. Their final projects are included below.

Meredith Kinder can be reached at meredith dot kinder at sas dot com. End of article.

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