Here you can learn more about my administrative work at the undergraduate level
- PTC Writing Program at USF: a series of courses that serve ~6000 students a year, incorporate a uniform curriculum, and has to work for 40+ instructors with a variety of backgrounds; the program’s curriculum was updated in Fall, 2018.
- Undergraduate degree program at USF: an emphasis degree program in which I led an update to the curriculum an then a change to a PTC degree program when USF consolidated (effective Fall, 2020)
- Undergraduate degree program at University of Cincinnati: an emphasis degree in which I planned a critical part in its design; its update to semesters; and its update to field-wide practices through new course development
- Portfolios as a key to learning
PTC Writing Program at USF
Student Learning Outcomes
- Analyze and write in a specific context defined by purpose and audience
- Learn effective document design
- Write within a genre
- Develop your writing process, style, and editing techniques
- Practice Collaboration
For instructors, we offer an overview of our Programmatic foundations, which uncovers the basics of our theoretical approaches to building a this course.
The current curriculum has four assignments that are similar across the three courses. The differences in the student audiences for the courses come into play with the content they bring into the course as the focus of their assignments. This approach allows us to provide more directed professional development for the instructors, many of whom do not have a background in PTC.
Project 1: Understanding Genre (Document Series)
Students are provided with a common workplace scenario and asked to prepare multiple documents necessary for addressing and navigating a significant conflict or communication failure. Preparing these documents asks students to consider and compose for audiences, both internal and external, with varying levels of technical knowledge, institutional power, and investment.
Project 2: Design including visuals (Information Design)
Students select a specific concept, issue, or topic that interests them and is related to their major. They them locate and collect numerical data about the subject (in the form of studies, reports, spreadsheets, or articles), and select data to visualize and provide an overall sense of the subject.
Project 3: Research Summary
This project asks you to do workplace research into a local problem impacting USF or the surrounding community. Your goal for this project is to describe the problem in detail using as much information as you can gather from as many different sources as are useful. That means you are looking at research gathered by others (e.g., government agencies, non-profit organizations, professional and academic experts), but also you will gather your own data by contacting experts and asking impacted population for their perspective. You will produce a memo that reports your findings, giving readers a robust understanding of the problem you have researched.
Project 4: Collaborative Report Project
This unit asks students to write EITHER a feasibility report OR a recommendation report focused on one, local, real problem. Students will research a problem and write a report that describes the problem, identifies a possible solution, and satisfies the needs of their intended audience by fulfilling the genre expectations of their chosen document. Then, students will present their reports to the class. Students work collaboratively on the report. The project requires significant research and the creation of a formal report.
Undergraduate Degree Program at USF
In my first two years at USF, my job was to update the emphasis with the English major.
following are the courses in the PTC major at USF where I directed and facilitated common program outcomes and course outcomes to guide the development of common assignments and exercises. These versions are the general frameworks for the online version of these courses that have been quality reviewed via the Quality Matters rubric by USF’s Innovative Education division and are also the basis for face-to-face instruction as well. (The links for the courses go to a viewable google drive with all the materials and structure of the courses.)
- Introduction to Professional and Technical Communication
- Capstone in Professional and Technical Communication (new course)
- Research Methods for Professional and Technical Communication (new course: draft in process)
- Visual Rhetoric
- New Media
- Editing (new course: draft in process)
- Rhetoric of Marginalized Communities
- Expository Writing (our framework to discourse communities)
- Rhetorical Theory for Professional and Technical Communication
- Client and Civic Communication
- Managerial Communication
- Writing Technologies (new course)
Undergraduate Degree Program at University of Cincinnati
The work at USF has been an extension of the programmatic work that I completed at the University of Cincinnati. There I worked with colleagues to implement a Professional Writing and Rhetoric emphasis at the undergraduate level and then I was the lead faculty member to transition that curriculum from quarters to semesters. The process of semester conversion meant I re-wrote all the course learning outcomes and course descriptions. I also lead the creation of several new courses including Rhetoric of Social Media (one of the first in the US), user experience, and visual rhetoric.
Portfolios as Central to Student Growth and Assessment
At both USF and UC, I have instituted a portfolio requirement for undergraduate degree students. Aligning with much research in writing studies, the portfolio serves as a learning tool for students and assessment tool for programs. Moreover, when implemented with an eye to the next stage of a student’s life, it provides a way for them to showcase who they are for potential employers.
Here’s what we have written for students as the first page of the instructions for the portfolio:
A Portfolio is a portable, shareable, and organized selection of your best work. It highlights the range of your skills; it demonstrates your growth. Your portfolio is a statement of who you are as a writer and potential professional.
You will use the Portfolio for several purposes. The Portfolio provides
- an active form of learning that reinforces and integrates the concepts of your program coursework (program objectives listed below).
- an opportunity to practice your writing and improve your technical skills.
- a comprehensive way for your professors to assess your progress as a student.
- a showcase for potential employers to easily view your work, which can offer you a competitive edge over other applicants.
- a building block of your online identity. Creating a polished Portfolio shows that you are serious about your image as a professional.
- a chance to highlight your strengths and the whole range of personal qualities you can bring to a job.