Search icon Looking for something?

Technical Communications Certificate at Duke University
2010, Q3 (July 16, 2013)
By Tanya Anderson

Duke University
Duke University
Duke University Continuing Studies (DCS) is well-known for its commitment to adult learning. DCS offers courses in self-enrichment and certificate courses in such fields as paralegal studies, financial planning, and English as a Second Language. But one the best kept secrets of DCS is the Technical Communication Certificate Program.

For the past four years, in association with the Carolina Chapter of STC, DCS has offered the Technical Communication Certificate Program. The Tech Comm Program, as it has come to be known, provides students with the foundation and skills necessary to break into the field of technical communication. But, don’t be fooled. The program is not just for novices. The Tech Comm Program is also designed to provide an experienced technical communication professional with the additional skills needed to become more effective in the field. That versatility can be attributed to a dynamic curriculum and knowledgeable instructors.

To develop a curriculum that would provide a learning experience to students of various educational and professional backgrounds, experts in the field were recruited. Included in that group of experts were leaders in the Carolina Chapter of STC. As a result, a functional and unique curriculum was designed that includes courses in writing and editing skills, commonly used software for technical writing, and project management. Also included in the program curriculum are courses specific to designing and managing information, such as Information Architecture. The curriculum culminates with a Capstone course, which requires students to develop, on their own, a technical communication project. Although this is probably the most challenging course, most students also find it one of the most enjoyable.

In addition to the curriculum, an important factor in the success of the Tech Comm Program is the instructors. Recently, I spoke to a 2009/10 graduate, Tim Kornegay. When asked about his experience as a student in the Tech Comm Program, Tim made sure to mention how much he enjoyed the hands-on learning format used by the instructors and how impressed he was with the instructors’ knowledge of the technical communication field. Tim’s comments are not surprising, especially considering that our instructors are STC members and are active in the technical communication profession.

One of the goals for the Tech Comm Program is to graduate in May of each year knowledgeable and productive technical communicators. So far we have done just that! The program has been deemed successful each year and continues to grow as the field of technical communication grows. The next Tech Comm class begins in the fall of 2011. To learn more about the program, please visit the website at www.learnmore.duke.edu/certificates/technical/.

Tanya can be reached at ander085 at duke dot edu. End of article.

More articles like this...
Comments powered by Disqus.