Is Technical Communication Disappearing?

Elizabeth Vierkant-

A new revision has been made to the professional communication and emerging media (PCEM) major at University of Wisconsin–Stout. Soon, there will be only two concentrations instead of three.

The current concentrations in PCEM are applied journalism, digital humanities and technical communication. They were introduced to the program in 2010. As of Fall 2018, students will no longer be allowed to apply for the technical communication concentration.

 

Those that are currently enrolled in the technical communication concentration will be able to complete their degree. The program will officially closed by spring 2021.

While Technical Communication will no longer be an official concentration, Mitchell Ogden, PCEM program director at UW–Stout, made it clear that it would not be eliminated.

Rather than eliminating the technical communication concentration, we have actually integrated the technical communication courses into the core,” Ogden said, “We haven’t eliminated a single PCEM course in the program revision.”

Instead of completely eliminating technical communication, many of its core courses are being added to the PCEM program.

Ogden wanted to make sure he got students’ opinions in order to make the best revisions possible. He said, “Based on feedback we have received from students, we saw opportunities to make changes in the core that would make room to incorporate the tech comm courses.”

While no courses were removed, intercultural communication (COMST 312) was removed from the core of the program. Its content was too similar to transnational professional communication (ENGL 312).

The changes are being made to the program due to the imbalance of enrollment between the three concentrations.

“Since 2010, the program experienced a consistent imbalance of enrollment, making one concentration, applied journalism, much larger than the other two combined,” said Glendali Rodriguez, associate provost at Academic and Student Affairs for UW–Stout.

With the revision, UW–Stout hopes that PCEM will be an easier major for students to enroll in and understand. UW–Stout also expects that the Experiential Learning and Global Learning requirements will be easier to navigate.