Faculty Scholarly Dissemination Grants


Technical Communication Program Curricula as Loci for (Academy-Industry Stakeholder Negotiation)




College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Date Range



Whether explicitly acknowledged or not, technical communication program curricula are the product of complex negotiations among multiple stakeholders from industry, the academy, and beyond. The interests of students, disciplines, departments, university administration, accreditation organizations, instructors, neighboring academic programs, local industry, state governments, professional groups, scholarly organizations, local communities, and even global capitalism have profound determining influences on individual program curricula. This panel explores multiple mechanisms for such stakeholder negotiation, and offers frameworks for understanding the role of stakeholder negotiation in the construction not only of local curricula, but of a larger academic discipline and industry profession. Jim Nugent will begin the session by providing a brief overview of program research to ground the discussion in what is known about technical communication curricula. As several scholars observe (Harner,and Rich, Nugent), program curricula are remarkably diverse in their character and construction. Laurence Jose will continue the session by exploring the potential for introductory courses in professional writing to become a locus for enacting connections with the workplace. Reflecting on the programmatic function of such courses, she will discuss the implications and the affordances of opening the classroom to professionals in the field. Finally, Erik Hayenga will call to the fore the balance between vocationalism and preparing graduate Scientific and Technical Communicators (STCs) to do real work. His presentation will specifically track the challenges in, and implications of, establishing a degree program advisory board, while also addressing the political tensions that are a part of such institutional identity change.

Conference Name

2011 Annual Conference of the Council for Programs in Technical and Scientific Communication (CPTSC)

Conference Location

James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA

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