Jul
2015

Program Director-ing

For the past three semesters I’ve been a Program Director. I know some posts have mentioned that, but because I initially took on the responsibility for a colleague while he was on sabbatical, it felt temporary. He came back and then left again, so taking over a second time means I finally know what I’m doing. 🙂

Although the on-campus Professional Communication & Emerging Media program has about 130-150 students in it, I want to focus on the online one since that’s what I’m charged with “growing to a full cohort of 24 students within three years of launch.” We launched in Fall 2014 and enrolled 5 students, but going into Fall 2015 we already have 14 students, with new inquiries coming in each week. I’ve upped the marketing efforts and have a better awareness of the nearby tech schools and UWColleges that can feed in to our program, but this year will be crucial. Here’s more info about our target audience as well as our program objectives:

The potential student demographic has been outlined as follows:

  • Students who complete a two‐year degree at a WI/MN community or technical college and wish to finish a B.S. degree online.
  • Students enrolled in a UW-Colleges campus who wish to pursue a collaborative degree while attending their local campus.
  • Students who did not finish a bachelor’s degree who wish to build marketable skills by combining their professional competencies with communication skills.
  • Students who wish to pursue a bachelor’s degree with no previous college experience.
  • Students currently enrolled in the on-campus PCEM program who wish to complete their B.S. degree 100% online.

Graduates of the PCEM.AC program will demonstrate that they can:

  1. Gauge audience concerns and attitudes
  2. Apply appropriate rhetorical principles
  3. Understand and apply concepts and strategies of global communication
  4. Understand interpersonal, organizational, and intercultural communication within discourse communities
  5. Understand and apply ethical concepts
  6. Apply visual communication strategies
  7. Apply user-centered information design strategies
  8. Apply research techniques
  9. Demonstrate use of audience-appropriate styles
  10. Apply usability strategies
  11. Understand concepts of content management and use content management systems
  12. Write effectively for a variety of audiences, technical and/or generalist, within chosen industry fields.
  13. Apply the concepts of effective communication in their particular field, industry, or specialization.

Today the Stout Online director sent out this “Online College Students 2015: Comprehensive Data on Demands and Preferences” report and while technical and professional communication isn’t listed as a “top” program choice, I’m happy to say we definitely offer students opportunities to jump the other five hurdles.

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