Effective writing is a tool for survival and success in the workplace and not just in a classroom exercise. To learn these writing skills, students need to learn the fundamentals in technical writing classes to prepare them for the writing they will actually do at the workplace. That is exactly what the English Department at California University endeavors to do through the Technical Writing Track (Major or Minor) of the Professional Writing Program. The purpose of the technical writing courses is to introduce students to the style, tone, techniques and formats used in scientific and technical documents and reports. Using interactive teaching strategies, students plan, structure, write, and evaluate a variety of scientific and technical papers and reports to multiple audiences. Students are also trained to apply problem solving strategies to writing tasks such as analysis, information management, and document evaluation. To do this, they employ writing that is appropriate to scientific and technical material such as definition, description, multiple evaluation.
The required courses in the program teach students to practice writing scientific and technical reports, manuals, memos, and letters (including application package) individually and collaboratively using the correct style, tone, and formats. Finally, the students learn to plan structure, and collaboratively write formal reports for multiple audiences. For the major a student has to complete 39 credits of designated course work. Another option available is the Minor in Technical Writing. The minor provides students with theory and practice in technical writing. Students will complete at least 21 hours in technical writing and related courses in the Professional Writing Track, develop a portfolio, and have the option of participating in internships. The minor in technical writing will be available only to undergraduate students.
Apart from the course work, students have the option to participate in up to six hours of internships. Starting with on-campus internships, students are moved to off-campus positions as technical writers with businesses and publishers. Our interns have found challenging positions as creators of technical documents for companies in the region, and some have had to take on all the responsibilities of an editor for a technical journal, Popular Inventions & Inventors, published in Pittsburgh. Currently we have been approached by SMS of Philadelphia, a leading provider of health information systems and services to become a source of qualified students for their Software Product Communication Department. In fact, at present we have more offers of internships from companies than we have students to fill them.
If you want more information, or guidance about a career in technical writing contact:
Dr. Pathak, Coordinator, Professional Writing Program at firstname.lastname@example.org
Scientific and Technical Writing is one of three Professional Writing concentrations. It is one of the most lucrative fields in writing because technical writers are in great demand. Cal U's program is designed to be career-oriented. You will be a double major: a professional writing major pursuing a specific scientific or technical interest.
In addition to the specified courses, you should take courses in a related discipline from the Natural Sciences, Science & Technology, Graphics, or Technology Education programs.
Through a balance of course work and internships, this program produces graduates who can succeed in the marketplace.
Careful, personal advisement
Constant reevaluation of required and related courses based on suggestions made by faculty and potential employers
Firsthand, on-the-job experience through internships with major corporations and the media
establishing contacts in the field through:
a. Professional organizations with national and local connections
b. Field trips and guest lectures (Students have been guests at "Careers in Communications" day in Pittsburgh; they have been addressed by key personnel from the Washington Observer Reporter, the Uniontown Herald Standard, and the Greensburg Tribune-Review)
c. Active pursuit of recognized state and national honors. (In the past two years, our students have won statewide honors through the "Golden Quill" award and national recognition through the Direct Marketing Institute and the Pulliam foundation)
Development of a sense of professional responsibility by stressing the importance of deadlines, self-criticism, and hard work
Minor - 18 creditsEnglish Major
ENG 217 Technical Writing I 3
ENG 212 Business Writing I 3
ENG 308 Research for Writers 3
Area of Concentration Technical Writing - 18 Credits
ENG 419 Internship 3
GCT 225 Principles of Layout & Design 3
GCT 260 Electronic Desktop Publishing 3
Principles of Layout & Design
Electronic Desktop Publishing
Internships are one of the major attractions of the Professional Writing Program. Students are permitted to display their abilities through a limited on-campus internship-such as working in the Public Relations Office, Admissions Office, Sports Information Office, or Dean of Science & Technology. Those qualifying are sent out for a semester of fieldwork. Interns have been placed in the Business and Professional Advertising Association of Pittsburgh program, the Greensburg Tribune Review advertising and journalism program, Pittsburgh Magazine, WPXI-TV, KDKA-TV, Westinghouse, Pennsylvania Economy, the Harrisburg Bi-Partisan Legislative Committee, the Harrisburg News Bureau, and Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission to mention a few.
To schedule a campus visitation, contact:
The Office of Admissions
California University of Pennsylvania
250 University Avenue
California, PA 15419