TechComm Programmatic Central

This project is a longitudinal study that has examined programs in technical and professional communication (TPC) over the last (yikes) ~10 years. Gathering together what has become the most comprehensive data set ever collected, it focuses on a curricular view at the field-wide level by taking into account the field’s curricular history as well as its current make-up. This project extends and updates some of my published research. More so, it brings together all the data into one place along with some practical tools for administrators and faculty who want to start, update, build, and/or sustain programs in TPC.

These are a series of maps that display TPC degree programs at US institutions.

Once I finish verifying upward of ~100,000 data points (cause it’s just me), the project will undergo peer review and the data will be available publicly. (Though, just contact me if you have a programmatic question and I’m happy to send you what I have.)

But until then, here are some of what this project covers:

  • degree names, departments, and institutions of TPC programs in the US
  • curricular requirements of 609 degree programs, with things like
    • # of hours
    • online or on-site
    • # of required courses
    • cumulative experiences (e.g., capstone courses)
    • internships as required, optional or neither
  • courses, which includes
    • course titles
    • course descriptions
    • required or other

All of this qualitative data is coded in a way so that we can see field wide things. This is how I know that the editing course is the most common course in curricula. This is how I can tell you that 26% of degree programs in TPC are offered fully online. This is how if you asked what institution offered an intercultural course or a content management course,  I can tell you.

Thinking of starting your own TPC degree program but want to do a comparison of other programs, well, just ask and I can tell you who offers a program in your state or who is a good “peer program” to  look at based on institutional type or orientation. Based on data and related interviews, I have created some question sheets and exemplar program information, and I encourage any program to consistently invoke the idea that Joanna Schreiber and I call GRAM, which is a continuous improvement model.

I’ve also updated the work I did with Sally Henschel to create a something of a construct model for TPC. A construct model is a  coherent, and integrated assessment system. In writing studies, there have been several models put forward, but they are all theoretical without any specific data or institutional cases to test the models. The pseudo-construct model I’ve created is based on field-wide data so the starting point for it has already in some ways been proven. But by creating a construct model that complements GRAM, TPC is afforded a sophisticated approach to programmatic work. The chapter in the book gives much, much more details but it’s a rather innovative and important part of the evolution of equitable program assessment and design.

In looking at this data, I also have impartial and incomplete sets of all sorts of things like marketing-copy from websites, brochures folks post, course outcomes about specific courses, faculty information, and well, some days I just don’t know what I have.

If you’re interested in anything programmatic, feel free to contact me. I share data all the time because multiple perspectives is a way to make TPC stronger.

Fingers crossed, y’all will be able to use and reference this project soon. (1/2021)

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