Professionals Learn Technical Writing Skills in Online U of A Program
Adam Pope, director of the Graduate Certificate in Technical Writing and Public Rhetorics, uses videos to help online professionals and students learn new skills and expertise.
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – A University of Arkansas online graduate program in technical writing is teaching professionals and graduate students new career skills while connecting them to local non-profits that need writing expertise. Everyone wins.
“A vital aspect of the program is the opportunity it provides for students to accomplish real-world, hands-on projects for organizations in the region,” said Adam Pope, a visiting assistant professor for the English Department and director of the online Graduate Certificate in Technical Writing and Public Rhetorics.
The online program offers professionals in businesses, education and not-for-profit groups a flexible path to become writing specialists.
Students in the certificate program are required to take four courses that are all offered in the fall, spring and summer semesters. Students pay in-state tuition, no matter where they live.
Mary Ann Lattanzio, a museum educator at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, enrolled in the program after she re-entered the workforce after a 10-year absence.
“Effective verbal and written communication is an integral part of my current role at Crystal Bridges, and I highly recommend this program to anyone seeking to strengthen these valuable skills,” Lattanzio said.
Elizabeth Prenger, director of outreach for the First Tee of Northwest Arkansas, was looking for expertise to develop a social media plan for her not-for-profit group, and found it in a student from the certificate program.
“Your student was very thorough in his research on our organization and had a great understanding of our social media needs,” Prenger told Pope. “The student provided an extremely helpful social media plan that my organization will benefit from for the rest of the season.”
Amber Friday-Brown, enrolled in the program while working as site coordinator for the Membrane Science, Engineering and Technical Center in the Department of Chemical Engineering.
“I now have the skills I need to communicate in the 21st century,” Friday-Brown said. “The Graduate Certificate in Technical Writing and Public Rhetorics has assisted me in getting a challenging position I enjoy and in which I am successful.”
Graduate students in the program also worked with WelcomeHealth, a Fayetteville non-profit that provides general medical care, dental care and prescription services for people in Northwest Arkansas, regardless of their ability to pay. The online students provided recommendations for WelcomeHealth’s website and social media messaging.
“We are currently revamping our website based on the students’ recommendations, and we have a solid social media plan that we are implementing, too,” said Brittney Gulley, director of development at WelcomeHealth. “We certainly appreciate the help and would recommend their work to others.”
Jonathan Carlson, a graduate student in journalism, said the program gave him a flexible option to expand his understanding of visual design and language conventions.
“The distance learning experience was both convenient and rewarding, as I could frequently review complex material online at any time,” Carlson said. “I would recommend this program to a variety of active professional fields for improving workflow and product quality.”
About the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences: The J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences is the largest and most academically diverse unit on campus with 19 departments and 43 academic programs and research centers. The college provides the core curriculum for all University of Arkansas students and is named for J. William Fulbright, former university president and longtime U.S. senator.
About the University of Arkansas: The University of Arkansas provides an internationally competitive education for undergraduate and graduate students in more than 200 academic programs. The university contributes new knowledge, economic development, basic and applied research, and creative activity while also providing service to academic and professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the University of Arkansas among only 2 percent of universities in America that have the highest level of research activity. U.S. News & World Report ranks the University of Arkansas among its top American public research universities. Founded in 1871, the University of Arkansas comprises 10 colleges and schools and maintains a low student-to-faculty ratio that promotes personal attention and close mentoring.
Adam Pope, visiting assistant professor
Department of English
Andra Parrish Liwag, director of communications
J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences
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