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Graduate Certificate Requirements

bsu3We are currently undergoing exciting new changes to our graduate certificate curriculum. Therefore, please pay close attention to the specific requirements for the course catalog that you are using.

Note: Unless you are a currently enrolled graduate certificate student who is using a course catalog from 2015-2016 or before, you will use the new degree requirements as of Fall 2016. If you’re not sure which catalog you are using, please contact your advisor.


Graduate Certificate in Technical Communication Requirements – 2016-2017 Course Catalog (beginning Fall 2016)

Required Courses

ENGL 512 Technical Rhetoric and Applications


An advanced study of technical communication for those students who are or expect to become professional technical communicators. Topics of study include modern theories of rhetoric, focusing on semantics, syntax, readability, pragmatics, and hypertext. Students will write reports, proposals, manuals, and online documents related to their own backgrounds and fields of interest. PREREQ: ADM/PROG or PERM/INST.

ENGL 513 Technical Editing


An advanced course in the editing of technical documents. Major projects are related to each student’s field of interest. Topics of study include the theory and ethics of editing, content editing, copy editing, developmental editing, production editing, and online editing. PREREQ: ADM/PROG or PERM/INST.

ENGL 535 User Experience


User experience focuses on understanding—and designing experiences tailored to—human behavior. In this course learn to create successful visual and emotional user experiences while exploring links between usability and desirability, humanity and technology. PREREQ: ADM/PROG or PERM/INST.

Elective Courses (choose two)

ENGL 511 Rhetorical Theory for Workplace Writers


An introduction to rhetorical theories and concepts relevant to workplace settings, such as rhetorical genre theory, applied linguistics, ethics, and the rhetoric of science. Interdisciplinary approaches include cultural studies, STEM communication, linguistics, psychology and sociology.

ENGL 515 Visual Rhetoric and Information Design


A study and application of the rhetorical elements of design, including color, line, form, images, and type. Students will be introduced to desktop publishing, graphics, and Web-authoring software. Students will apply principles of visual rhetoric in creating print and online technical documents. PREREQ: ADM/PROG or PERM/INST

ENGL 516 Topics in Print Document Production


Study and application of the principles and techniques involved in taking print documents from conception to production. Topics will vary but can include desktop publishing, estimating time and cost, selecting paper and binding, working with pre-press and printing companies, and selecting appropriate distribution systems. The course assumes experience with personal computers and desktop publishing software. This course may be taken twice for credit. PREREQ: ADM/PROG or PERM/INST.

ENGL 518 Writing Software Documentation


The study and application of principles for creating effective print and online documentation. Topics can include content design and organization, writing style, graphic design, hypertext, and usability testing. The course also addresses strategies for working successfully as a technical communicator. PREREQ: ADM/PROG or PERM/INST.

ENGL 519 Technical Publications Management


Analysis and application of the principles of management and organizational behavior as they apply to the technical publications field. In a case-study environment focused on the publications process, students learn the techniques and practices of managing technical publications groups within organizational settings, while studying relevant principles of motivational theory and human behavior. PREREQ: ADM/PROG or PERM/INST.

ENGL 521 Topics in On-Screen Document Production


Study and application of the principles involved in designing, creating, and managing information on the screen. Topics vary but can include advanced Web design, help systems, and multimedia applications. Students practice effective hypertext and screen-design techniques from the fields of cognitive science, software psychology, and human factors. This course may be taken twice for credit. PREREQ: ADM/PROG or PERM/INST.

ENGL 536 Proposal Development


Study of principles of effective proposal development and grant writing for businesses and nonprofits. Topics include identifying funding sources, developing grant applications, creating proposals in response to requests/call for proposals, writing collaboratively within an organization, and giving convincing and audience-appropriate presentations. PREREQ: ADM/PROG or PERM/INST.

ENGL 537 Writing for Social Media and Online Communities


Apply interactive Internet-based technologies to easily collaborate, share, link and generate content. Analyzing user-created content and online communities, students will learn techniques and best practices for using the social web to enhance workplace communication using tools such as blogs, micro-blogs, wikis, social networking sites, tag clouds, and syndication. PREREQ: ADM/PROG or PERM/INST.

ENGL 590 Internship


An actual work experience during at least one semester in which the student creates a substantial body of work in technical communication for a specific audience. This body of work should demonstrate at a professional level the application of the principles learned in previous course work. For information about arranging internships and contacting the Internship Director, see the internships information page. PREREQ: None.


Graduate Certificate in Technical Communication Requirements – 2015-2016 Course Catalogs and Prior (Spring 2016 and before)

Required Courses

ENGL 512 Technical Rhetoric and Applications


An advanced study of technical communication for those students who are or expect to become professional technical communicators. Topics of study include modern theories of rhetoric, focusing on semantics, syntax, readability, pragmatics, and hypertext. Students will write reports, proposals, manuals, and online documents related to their own backgrounds and fields of interest. PREREQ: ADM/PROG or PERM/INST.

ENGL 513 Technical Editing


An advanced course in the editing of technical documents. Major projects are related to each student’s field of interest. Topics of study include the theory and ethics of editing, content editing, copy editing, developmental editing, production editing, and online editing. PREREQ: ADM/PROG or PERM/INST.

ENGL 514 Technical Communication Ethics


An examination of the various ethical issues inherent in the practice of technical communication. Topics include the ancient debate about the claims of philosophy and rhetoric; Kant’s categorical imperative; the modern standards of rights, justice, utility, and care; the employee’s obligations to the employer, the public, and the environment; and the common ethical issues faced by technical communicators, including plagiarism and copyright violation, the fair use of words and graphics, trade secrets, whistleblowing, and codes of conduct. The course will use the case study method.

Elective Courses (choose two)

EDTECH 511 Interactive Courseware Development


Learning the tools for development of instructional courseware, which is the graphic interface for delivery of online instruction. Development of functional and instructionally effective courseware. PREREQ: EDTECH 502, EDTECH 503, or PERM/INST.

ENGL 515 Visual Rhetoric and Information Design


A study and application of the rhetorical elements of design, including color, line, form, images, and type. Students will be introduced to desktop publishing, graphics, and Web-authoring software. Students will apply principles of visual rhetoric in creating print and online technical documents. PREREQ: ADM/PROG or PERM/INST

ENGL 516 Topics in Print Document Production


Study and application of the principles and techniques involved in taking print documents from conception to production. Topics will vary but can include desktop publishing, estimating time and cost, selecting paper and binding, working with pre-press and printing companies, and selecting appropriate distribution systems. The course assumes experience with personal computers and desktop publishing software. This course may be taken twice for credit. PREREQ: ADM/PROG or PERM/INST.

ENGL 517 Oral Communication for Technical Communicators


The theory and practice of several major kinds of oral communication modes used by technical communicators, including interviewing of technical experts and clients, group discussion, and technical presentations that incorporate presentation software. PREREQ: ENGL 515 or PERM/INST.

ENGL 518 Writing Software Documentation


The study and application of principles for creating effective print and online documentation. Topics can include content design and organization, writing style, graphic design, hypertext, and usability testing. The course also addresses strategies for working successfully as a technical communicator. PREREQ: ADM/PROG or PERM/INST.

ENGL 519 Technical Publications Management


Analysis and application of the principles of management and organizational behavior as they apply to the technical publications field. In a case-study environment focused on the publications process, students learn the techniques and practices of managing technical publications groups within organizational settings, while studying relevant principles of motivational theory and human behavior. PREREQ: ADM/PROG or PERM/INST.

ENGL 521 Topics in On-Screen Document Production


Study and application of the principles involved in designing, creating, and managing information on the screen. Topics vary but can include advanced Web design, help systems, and multimedia applications. Students practice effective hypertext and screen-design techniques from the fields of cognitive science, software psychology, and human factors. This course may be taken twice for credit. PREREQ: ADM/PROG or PERM/INST.

OPWL 537 Instructional Design


This course gives an overview of several models for instructional systems design and examines the processes involved in designing effective instructional interventions. Working with a real client , students conduct a full-scale instructional design project in phases over the duration of the course. PREREQ: OPWL 535 and OPWL 536.

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