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Department of
Communication, Liberal Arts, Social Sciences

What undergraduate degrees and minors does the Department offer?

The Department offers three undergraduate degrees: Bachelor of Science in Technical Communication, Bachelor of General Studies, and Associate of General Studies. The Department also offers several minors to explore a field of study in more detail.

 

Bachelor of Science in Technical Communication | Bachelor of General Studies | Associate of General Studies | Minors

 

Bachelor of Science in Technical Communication

The Technical Communication curriculum combines courses from three fields of study to prepare students for technical communication positions upon graduation:

• The TC courses introduce students to document design, graphics, and computer documentation, created online and for multimedia. The TC courses also develop students’ writing, speaking, and editing abilities.

• The humanities and social science courses improve students’ understanding and appreciation of history, literature, philosophy, psychology, and the arts.

• The science and technology courses provide students a background in one specific science or engineering discipline.

TCatTech

 

 

 

 

What is Technical Communication (TC)?

Technical Communication is digital, written, verbal and graphic communication. In our program, we emphasize that students be trained not only in grammar, editing and writing but also in visual design and digital media communication. Further, to help students in the program find jobs, we require that students take 12 hours in a science or engineering field. Our program offers this degree as a BS in Technical Communication.

 

Why get a degree in Technical Communication?

According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, workers in Technical Communication made on average $63,280 annually (Bureau of Labor Statistics). Also, jobs in Technical Communication are expected to grow by 17% over the next ten years (Bureau of Labor Statistics). Further, jobs ranging from medical documentation to web design offer technical communicators a wide range of career options. Many TC jobs are available in New Mexico at Honeywell and Sandia National Labs for those interested in staying in New Mexico. However, there are many TC jobs across the nation, from a variety of private and governmental institutions. Finally, TC is one of the few fields where you can get a job with a Bachelor’s degree.

 

How do I become a Technical Communication major?

For new students, visit http://www.nmt.edu/prospective-students, and click on “Apply Now” at the lower third of the page in the center.

To change your major, visit the Office for Student Learning, in Speare 104. Retrieve a change of major form. This form will need to be signed by Elisabeth Kramer-Simpson (available in Fitch 114 or at ekramer@nmt.edu). This form will also need to be signed by the advisor in your current major.

 

What are the Required Technical Communication Courses?

To get the Bachelor of Science in Technical Communication, students take the following required Technical Communication courses and an additional nine credit hours of technical  communication electives:

TC 100, Community Service, 1 cr, 1 cl hr
Proposing and then reporting in writing on a semester-long community service activity with any nonprofit organization. To be graded S/U. May be repeated for credit. This course is usually offered in the spring.

TC 101, Orientation to Technical Communication, 1 cr, 1 cl hr
Guest speakers introduce students to the myriad activities and career paths of technical communicators. This course is usually offered in the fall.

TC 151, Visual Communication, 3 cr, 3 cl hrs
Students are introduced to the significance of visual symbols in human communication. They learn fundamental graphic and document design principles, develop a vocabulary for analyzing the rhetoric, ethics, and politics of images, and apply this knowledge to the production of effective technical visuals.

TC 202, Elements of Editing, 3 cr, 3 cl hrs
Prerequisites: ENGL 112; TC 151
Grammar review. Description of types and levels of editing. Responsibilities of editors. Use of editing and proofreading symbols, usage guides, style guides, and style sheets. Production aspects of editing. Practice in online and hardcopy editing of short manuscripts.

TC 211, Media Studies, 3 cr, 3 cl hrs
Prerequisites: ENGL 112
Survey of media of mass communication, including print, television, film, and internet. Emphasis on social impact of media and on developing tools to examine media messages. Students will form research groups to present on and analyze selected media events.

TC 321, Internship, 3 cr, 3 cl hrs
Prerequisites: TC 202 and 211; ENGL 341; and consent of TC faculty
Work during a school term or the summer in a technical communication or media field, such as writing, gathering data, or production work, for an on or off-campus publications agency. To receive credit, students must have their internships approved in advance by the TC faculty. Students produce a report about their internship program. This course is usually offered in the fall.

TC 411, Persuasive Communication, 3 cr, 3 cl hr
Prerequisites: TC 202 and 211, or consent of instructor
Theory and practice of producing proposals, sales literature, application letters, résumés, and other documents and media that promote the interest of individuals or organizations in industry and government. Topics in psychology, rhetoric, and advertising may be considered. Students gain practical experience in design, writing, and illustrating promotional texts, particularly technical proposals.

TC 420, Senior Seminar, 3 cr, 3 cl hrs
Prerequisites: TC 211 and senior standing in the Technical Communication program
Readings in professional journals and discussion of current issues in technical and professional communication. Taught as a seminar with students presenting papers. Research leading to proposal for TC 422, Senior Thesis. This course is usually offered in the fall.

TC 421, Professional Writing Workshop, 3 cr, 3 cl hrs
Prerequisites: TC 202 and 211, or consent of instructor
Emphasis on the development and writing processes of professional communication documents, which might include computer/software documentation, websites, videos, policy and procedural manuals. Students gain practical experience working on an in-depth documentation project with clients and developing materials for users. This class is offered every third semester.

TC 422, Senior Thesis, 3 cr, 3 cl hrs
Prerequisite: TC 420
Initiation, production, and presentation (oral and written) of an original research project in technical communication.

For the full course descriptions, see our Course Catalog page or NMT’s most recent catalog.

 

About Internships

Our program has several connections that help our students get internships. Deb Caldwell has been helpful connecting us with internship opportunities at IBM in California. Craig Lesley has discussed possible opportunities at National Instruments in Texas. There are many opportunities for internships within New Mexico as well. The American Society of Radiologic Technologists offers two internships to our students in the summer in Albuquerque. Some students have also found internships on campus at Tech, from working on the ejournal Xchanges to writing articles for Public Information Officer Thomas Guengerich.

For up to date internship postings, please join our facebook group. Also, make sure to attend the career fairs at Tech to speak to companies interested in hiring TC interns. Contact Elisabeth Kramer-Simpson at ekramer@nmt.edu to discuss internship possibilities.

 

Our Scholarships and Awards

The TC program awards the following scholarships and awards:

Tech Scholar

Tech Scholars have completed 30 or more letter-graded hours at New Mexico Tech. Also, these students have achieved a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or better. This is a high honor that is added to the student’s transcript and allows the student to register early for classes at Tech. This honor is awarded annually.

Technical Communication Scholarship

This scholarship awards $1,000 to students who have completed two semesters at Tech and who maintain a GPA of 3.0 or better. Priority is given to historically under-represented groups of students. This scholarship is presented annually.

Outstanding TC Senior Award

The TC program awards $200 to one senior annually who has demonstrated superior work and engagement in the TC program.

 

For more questions about the TC program, the STC (the student organization) or to make a donation, contact Elisabeth Kramer-Simpson at ekramer@nmt.edu.

 

How do I Minor in Technical Communication

Students wishing to minor in Technical Communication are required to take the following three courses (9 cr) and three other TC courses (9 cr):

TC 151, Visual Communication, 3 cr, 3 cl hrs
Students are introduced to the significance of visual symbols in human communication. They learn fundamental graphic and document design principles, develop a vocabulary for analyzing the rhetoric, ethics, and politics of images, and apply this knowledge to the production of effective technical visuals.

TC 202, Elements of Editing, 3 cr, 3 cl hrs
Prerequisites: ENGL 112; TC 151
Grammar review. Description of types and levels of editing. Responsibilities of editors. Use of editing and proofreading symbols, usage guides, style guides, and style sheets. Production aspects of editing. Practice in online and hardcopy editing of short manuscripts.

TC 211, Media Studies, 3 cr, 3 cl hrs
Prerequisites: ENGL 112
Survey of media of mass communication, including print, television, film, and internet. Emphasis on social impact of media and on developing tools to examine media messages. Students will form research groups to present on and analyze selected media events.

For the full course descriptions, see our Course Catalog page or NMT’s most recent catalog.

 

Bachelor of General Studies

Why get a degree in General Studies?

This degree allows a student to plan a program of courses according to individual educational goals and career plans.

 

What are the requirements of the Bachelor of General Studies (BGS)?

The Bachelor of General Studies degree will be awarded after completion of 130 credit hours with a grade-point average of 2.0 or more. Other requirements for this degree include the following:

• Completion of the General Education Core Curriculum:
—Area 1:  Communications (9 credit hours).
—Area 2:  Mathematics (3 credit hours).
—Area 3:  Laboratory Sciences (8 credit hours with associated labs).
—Area 4: Social Sciences (6 credit hours).
—Area 5: Humanities (6 credit hours).
—Area 6: Additional Courses from Area 4 or Area 5 (6 credit  hours).

• 42 credit hours in courses numbered 300 or above.
For the list of courses offered by our Department and the course descriptions, see our Course Catalog page or NMT’s most recent catalog.

• Completion of the BGS Academic Career Plan with a stated Emphasis area or areas.

• Fulfillment of the Institution’s residence credit requirement (30 credit hours).

• To be admitted into the program for this degree, the candidate must meet with the chair of the CLASS Department and the BGS academic advisor, who will be assigned by the Department chair, to create a BGS Academic Career Plan that will be on file with the Registrar. Any changes to the BGS Academic Career Plan must be approved by the Department chair and the student’s BGS academic advisor. These changes will be on file wit the Registrar and must be met, along with the above-stated requirements, before the degree will be awarded.

For more information contact Steve Simpson ssimpson@nmt.edu.

 

Associate of General Studies

What is the Associate of General Studies (AGS)?

The AGS is a two‐year certificate that may be awarded after completion of 65 credit hours of course work approved by the CLASS department chair and the student’s AGS academic advisor with a grade‐point average of 2.0 or above. Fulfillment of the Institution’s residence requirement (30 credit hours) must also be met.

What are the requirements of the Associate of General Studies (AGS)?

• To be admitted into the program for this degree, the candidate must meet with the CLASS department chair and the AGS academic advisor, who will be assigned by the Department chair, to create a AGS Academic Career Plan that will be on file with the Registrar.

• Any changes to the AGS Academic Career Plan must be approved by the Department chair and the student’s AGS academic advisor. These changes will be on file wit the Registrar. The certificate will be awarded only after completion of the above requirements and completion of the AGS academic Career Plan and after petition to the Vice President for Academic Affairs.

• Completion of the General Education Core Curriculum:
—Area 1: Communications (9 credit hours).
—Area 2: Mathematics (3 credit hours).
—Area 3: Laboratory Sciences (8 credit hours with  associated labs).
—Area 4: Social Sciences (6 credit hours).
—Area 5: Humanities (6 credit hours).
—Area 6: Additional Courses from Area 4 or Area 5 (6 credit  hours).
For the list of course offered by our Department and the course descriptions, see our Course Catalog page or NMT’s most recent catalog.

For more questions about the Associate of General Studies certificate program, contact hum@nmt.edu.

 

Minors

All Minors

• Minimum credit hours required: 18.
• Restriction: If a student takes more than one minor in the Department, only six (6) credit hours of one minor may be applied towards another minor.
• Additional requirements as listed under each minor.

 

Minor in Hispanic Studies

The following courses are required:
• One of the following sequences (6):
—SPAN 113 and 114, Elementary Spanish I and II.
—SPAN 113N and 114N, Spanish for Native Speakers.
• An additional 12 credit hours in any topic relevant to Hispanic Studies with the consent of the minor advisor.
For the list of course offered by our Department and the course descriptions, see our Course Catalog page or NMT’s most recent catalog.

 

Minor in History

The following courses are required:
• A 100‐level history course sequence (6).
• Twelve (12) additional credit hours in history courses. Of these 12 credit hours, six (6) credit hours may be taken in art history or music surveys.
• Students taking the history minor are strongly encouraged to take the 12 additional credit hours from as wide a variety of topics as possible.
For the list of course offered by our Department and the course descriptions, see our Course Catalog page or NMT’s most recent catalog.

 

Minor in Literature

The following courses are required:
• 18 credit hours in ENGL literature courses.
For the list of course offered by our Department and the course descriptions, see our Course Catalog page or NMT’s most recent catalog.

 

Minor in Philosophy

The following courses are required:
• PHIL 231, Comparative Introduction to Western Philosophy.
• Fifteen (15) additional credit hours in philosophy courses.
• With the consent of the minor advisor, of these 15 credit hours, six (6) credit hours may be taken in upper‐division courses that have a substantial philosophical focus and content.
For the list of course offered by our Department and the course descriptions, see our Course Catalog page or NMT’s most recent catalog.

 

Minor in Technical Communication

The following courses are required:
• TC 151, Visual Communication (3).
• TC 202, Elements of Editing (3).
• TC 211, Media Studies (3).
• Nine (9) additional credit hours of TC courses.
For the list of course offered by our Department and the course descriptions, see our Course Catalog page or NMT’s most recent catalog.

 

Minor in Science, Technology, and Society

The following courses are required:
• SS 130, Introduction to Science and Technology Studies (3)
• Six (6) credits of social science (SS) courses in science and technology studies with at least
three at the 300 level.
• Nine (9) credits of social science in science and technology studies and/or similar humanities and social science courses approved by the student’s minor advisor.
For the list of course offered by our Department and the course descriptions, see our Course Catalog page or NMT’s most recent catalog.

Department Chair
Dr. Steve Simpson
ssimpson@nmt.edu

Department Secretary
Liza Apache
lapache@nmt.edu
Department of Communication, Liberal Arts, Social Sciences
New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology
Fitch Hall
801 Leroy Place
Socorro, NM 87801

Phone: 575-835-5445     Fax: 575-835-5544