MaconCatalog : The School of Engineering : Technical Communication : The Technical Communication BS Curriculum
 
The Technical Communication BS Curriculum
The program educational objectives that have been established for the Bachelor of Science in Technical Communication are as follows. Graduates are prepared to be professionals with the knowledge and skills needed to: (1) Identify, analyze, and solve technical communication problems using the principles and modern tools of technical communication. Graduates will demonstrate attainment of this objective within the first five years following graduation by their proficiency in the use of modern communication tools and processes and their production of high quality communication products. (2) Work effectively in a variety of contexts using superior communication skills, knowledge of contemporary issues and a commitment to professional ethics. Graduates will demonstrate attainment of this objective within the first five years following graduation by their effective written and oral communications, by their demonstrated sensitivity to the ethical dimensions of professional practice, and by their successful use of opportunities to master new processes and tools. (3) Manage projects and participate effectively on interdisciplinary teams. Graduates will demonstrate attainment of this objective within the first five years following graduation by their significant contributions to the success of their project teams. (4) Pursue additional graduate or professional education and lifelong learning. Graduates will demonstrate attainment of this objective within the first five years following graduation by their successful use of opportunities for certification and professional development, and by their engagement in, or successful completion of, graduate education. (5) Participate in local and global communities through sustaining service and leadership. Graduates will demonstrate attainment of this objective within the first five years following graduation by their service and/or leadership roles in community organizations, and by their participation in professional societies to promote professional practice.
The student outcomes that have been established for the Bachelor of Science in Technical Communication are as follows. Students by the time of graduation will know and be able to do the following: (1) Apply appropriate breadth and depth of skills in audience analysis, rhetorical purpose, and information design to identify technical communication problems. (2) Apply appropriate breadth and depth of core competencies (technical writing/editing, multimedia, usability, and instructional design) to analyze and solve technical communication problems. (3) Communicate effectively to both specialized and public audiences in a variety of modes, using appropriate media. (4) Incorporate an understanding of global contemporary issues and professional ethics in the practice of technical communication. (5) Demonstrate the ability to lead and manage projects and participate in interdisciplinary teams. (6) Relate the practice of technical communication to the need for lifelong learning. (7) Demonstrate community service and leadership (campus, civic, professional, or religious organizations).
Bachelor of Science (BS) Degree Requirements
Technical Communication Major
 
UNV 101
1 hour
 
 
Required Engineering Courses
6 hours
EGR 107. Introduction to Engineering Design
 
EGR 126. Programming for Engineers [or CSC 204]
 
 
 
Required TCO Courses
24 hours
TCO 220. Information Design
 
TCO 230. Web Design
 
TCO 250. Communication in Management
 
TCO 341. Technical Communication
 
TCO 361. Usability
 
TCO 363. Instructional Design
TCO 421. Technical Editing
 
TCO 480. Introduction to Internship
 
TCO 490. Technical Communication Internship
 
TCO 494. Portfolio
 
 
TCO Electives
24 hours
TCO 325. Multimedia
 
TCO 376. Visual Communication
 
TCO 451. International Technical Communication
 
TCO 476. Communication in High-Tech Environments
 
TCO 485. Social Media Management
 
TCO 491. Special Topics: (subtitle)
 
TCO 492. Special Topics: (subtitle)
 
TCO 493. Special Topics: (subtitle)
 
TCO 499. Independent Study
 
Additional electives may be selected from outside TCO with approval of the student’s TCO advisor. Students are advised to concentrate their electives in one of four areas: instructional design, multimedia, technical writing/editing, or user experience.
 
 
General Education Requirements
minimum of 30 hours
 
Communication and Writing (minimum of 3 hours)
 
TCO 141 (written and oral communication)
 
 
 
Religion (minimum of 3 hours)
 
at least one course selected from: AFR 230; ENG 225; HIS 275; GBK 203; PHI 240, PHI 247; REL 110, REL 130, REL 150, REL 170
 
 
Humanities/Fine Arts (minimum of 3 hours)
 
at least one course selected from: AFR 221; ART 106, ART 107, ART 108, ART 115, ART 116, ART 117, ART 222, ART 229; CLA 101, CLA 102; ENG 221, ENG 222, ENG 224, ENG 226, ENG 233, ENG 234, ENG 235, ENG 237, ENG 263, ENG 264, ENG 265; FLL 195; GBK 202, GBK 305; HIS 105, HIS 176, HIS 215, HIS 245; JMS 220, JMS 225, JMS 230; MUS 151; PHI 176, PHI 195, PHI 190, PHI 230, PHI 260, PHI 265, PHI 269; POL 176; REL 210, REL 230, REL 270; SST 180; THR 115, THR 218; WLT 101; (3 credit hours may also be selected from the 1-hour music ensembles to meet this requirement; MUS 182, MUS 183, MUS 191, MUS 192, MUS 196, MUS 197)
 
Behavioral/Social Science (minimum of 3 hours)
 
at least one course selected from: AFR 190, AFR 210; ANT 101; COM 230, COM 250; ECN 150, ECN 151; GBK 407; GEO 111; GHS 200; JMS 101, JMS 145, JMS 240; PHI 237; POL 101; POL/IAF 253; PSY 101; SOC 101, SOC 210; WGS 180, WGS 237
 
Quantitative Reasoning (minimum of 7 hours)
MAT 133, STA 126
 
Scientific Reasoning (minimum of 8 hours)
at least two courses selected from: BIO 102, BIO 110, BIO 202; CHM 110, CHM 111, CHM 112; ENB 150; PHY 102, PHY 108, PHY 109, PHY 115, PHY 141, PHY 142
 
One additional course selected from groups 2, 3, 4, or 6 (minimum of 3
hours)
 
Professional Tracks
15 hours
Students must select one of the Professional Tracks outlined below. These courses are designed to develop strength in a corollary discipline compatible with the student’s career plans. In some departments, this track may be called a minor and be so listed on the transcript.
 
Art (including Photography and Graphic Design)
Familiarity with the principles of graphic design and photography is an advantage for technical communicators who create both print and digital media. See the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences section of this catalog for descriptions of minors in art and photography.
 
Business
This track allows students to earn a minor in business administration, accounting or economics. By enrolling in this track, technical communication majors gain expertise in business to better understand how companies operate, how business decisions are made, and how products and services are marketed.
 
Computer Science or Information Science Technology
A large percentage of technical communication careers involve the computer industry; having a grasp of computer science and information technology is an asset for technical communicators. See the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences section of the catalog for descriptions of minors in CSC and IST.
 
Foreign Language
Many companies are international, and having skills in a language will be an asset. Courses leading to a minor in French, Spanish, or German will involve at least two courses numbered 300 or above. The total number of courses will depend upon the student’s earlier preparation and fluency. See the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences section of this catalog for minors in a foreign language.
 
Individualized
Students may individualize their choices, providing they select at least 15 hours making a coherent, logical set of courses, with at least 3 courses numbered 300 or above. Consult with your TCO advisor and get approval from the Technical Communication Chair.
 
Journalism and Media Studies
Digital media, video, public relations, journalism, and media law and ethics are relevant courses for technical communicators. See the description of minors in JMS in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences section of this catalog.
 
Ministry Media and Technology
This track prepares students for work in churches or para-church organizations to develop and manage web design, social media, information systems, and worship and audio-visual technology. Students who complete the required Religion courses in this track may be eligible for admission to the Mercer McAfee School of Theology Master of Divinity and other master’s degrees.
 
Pre-Health
Health professional rely increasingly on digital media to communicate with their patients, their colleagues, and the public. The pre-health track allows students to combine their technical communication skills with the mathematics and science courses required for entry into medical, dental, pharmacy, physical therapy, and veterinary schools. See the Pre-Health Professions section of this catalog for these requirements.
 
Pre-MBA
Students wishing to pursue an MBA after graduation should take the following courses: ACC 204, ACC 205, ECN 150, ECN 151, and FIN 362. Successful completion of this track will qualify the student for acceptance into the MBA program. See the School of Business section of this catalog for more information.
 
Free Electives
Variable
Students will take free electives as needed to gain the 120 hours required for graduation. These electives are entirely open for student choice.
 
Total Semester Hours Required
120 hours
 
Double and/or Second Majors
Students are encouraged to investigate the possibility of combining another major with the technical communication major, especially when preferred career directions are clear early in their academic programs. This option may provide opportunities to combine fields of interest, even widely dissimilar ones.
Minor in Technical Communication
Students wishing to earn a minor in technical communication should select at least 15 hours of course work in technical communication courses, including TCO 220, 230 and/or 250, TCO 341, and at least two other courses above 300. TCO 141 may not be counted towards a TCO minor. The student should consult with the chair of his/her major academic unit to get approval for selected courses and then formally declare the TCO minor.
Sample 4-Year Curriculum
The Bachelor of Science in Technical Communication degree may be completed in four years. This sample curriculum shows one possible configuration of courses, but will vary according to each student’s circumstances (for example, students who exempt MAT 133 will have 4 more hours of free electives).
 
Technical Communication
 
Freshman Year
Fall Semester
Spring Semester
UNV 101
Freshman Experience
1 0 1
EGR 107
Intro to Engr Design
3 0 3
TCO 141
Intro to Prof Comm
3 0 3
EGR 126
Programming for Engr
3 0 3
MAT 133
Precalculus
4 0 4
TCO 230
Web Design
3 0 3
TCO 220
Information Design
3 0 3
XXX 1xx
Science Course w/Lab
3 3 4
XXX
Gen Ed Grp 2
3 0 3
XXX
Gen Ed Grp 3
3 0 3
 
 
__ __ __
 
 
__ __ __
 
 
14 0 14
 
 
15 3 16
 
 
Sophomore Year
Fall Semester
Spring Semester
TCO XXX
TCO Elective I
3 0 3
TCO XXX
TCO Elective II
3 0 3
STA 126
Elem Statistic Meth
3 0 3
TCO 341
Tech Comm
3 0 3
TCO 250
Comm in Mgmt
3 0 3
TCO XXX
TCO Elective III
3 0 3
XXX
Sci Course w/Lab
3 3 4
XXX
Prof Track Elec I
3 0 3
XXX
Elective
3 0 3
XXX
Gen Ed Grp 4
3 0 3
 
 
__ __ __
 
 
__ __ __
 
 
15 3 16
 
 
15 0 15
 
 
Junior Year
Fall Semester
Spring Semester
TCO XXX
TCO Elective IV
3 0 3
TCO 361
Usability
3 0 3
TCO XXX
TCO Elective V
3 0 3
TCO XXX
TCO Elective VI
3 0 3
XXX
Gen Ed Grp 2/3/4/6
3 0 3
XXX
Prof Track Elec III
3 0 3
XXX
Prof Track Elective II
3 0 3
XXX
Elective
3 0 3
XXX
Elective
3 0 3
XXX
Elective
3 0 3
 
 
 
TCO 480
Intro to Intern
0 1 0
 
 
__ __ __
 
 
__ __ __
 
 
15 0 15
 
 
15 1 15
 
 
Senior Year
Fall Semester
Spring Semester
TCO 363
Instructional Design
3 0 3
TCO 490
Internship
2 0 2
TCO XXX
TCO Elective VII
3 0 3
TCO 494
Portfolio
1 0 1
TCO XXX
TCO Elective VIII
3 0 3
TCO 421
Tech Editing
3 0 3
XXX
Prof Track Elective IV
3 0 3
XXX
Elective
3 0 3
XXX
Elective
3 0 3
XXX
Prof Track Elec V
3 0 3
 
 
 
XXX
Elective*
2 0 2
 
 
__ __ __
 
 
__ __ __
 
 
15 0 15
 
 
14 0 14
 
*Number of Free Electives will vary; must reach total hours of 120
 
4+1 Bachelor of Science/Master of Science, Technical Communication Management
Students who complete the first three years of the Bachelor of Science with a technical communication specialization with grades which qualify them for graduate study may directly pursue the Master of Science in Technical Communication Management degree during their fourth and fifth years of study. A full calendar year is needed to complete the Master of Science in Technical Communication Management degree. See the graduate studies section near the back of this catalog for more information about the 4+1 Master of Science in Technical Communication Management program.
 
 
Senior Year (4+1 Bachelor of Science/Master of Science students only)
Fall Semester
Spring Semester
TCO 363
Instructional Design
3 0 3
TCO 490
Internship
2 0 2
TCO XXX
TCO Elective VII
3 0 3
TCO 494
Portfolio
1 0 1
TCO XXX
TCO Elective VIII
3 0 3
TCO 421
Tech Editing
3 0 3
XXX
Prof Track Elective IV
3 0 3
XXX
Elective*
3 0 3
XXX
Grad Course**
3 0 3
XXX
Prof Track Elec V
3 0 3
 
 
 
XXX
Grad Course**
3 0 3
 
 
__ __ __
 
 
__ __ __
 
 
15 0 15
 
 
15 0 15
 
 
*Number of Free Electives will vary; must reach total hours of 120
** During the senior year of undergraduate work, 4+1 students may take courses only from among the TCO graduate courses. They may not take TCO 685, Project Research until the +1 year.
 
Graduate Year (4+1 Bachelor of Science/Master of Science students only)
Fall Semester
Spring Semester
TCO 6XX
Grad Course
3 0 3
TCO 6XX
Grad Course
2 0 2
TCO 6XX
Grad Course
3 0 3
TCO 6XX
Grad Course
1 0 1
BAA 6XX
Grad Course
3 0 3
MBA 6XX
Grad Course
3 0 3
 
 
__ __ __
 
 
__ __ __
 
 
9 0 9
 
 
9 0 9
 
Students will need two additional graduate courses in TCO to complete the required 30 hours. These courses may be taken during the Senior year or during the summers surrounding the +1 year.