Seneca Becomes CPTC Accredited Training Organization

Seneca College has been approved as the first Accredited Training Organization for Certified Professional Technical Communicators (CPTC). We can now offer Foundation level training and the certification exam to students and working professionals.

For more information on Certification, and upcoming training sessions, contact Beth Agnew.

 

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Tech Comm Students Earn Award for Website Redesign

A team of Seneca students who helped redesign The Regional Municipality of York’s website have won a Toronto Ovation Award of Merit.

The awards are presented annually by the International Association of Business Communicators to recognize communications excellence throughout the Greater Toronto Area.

Technical Communication students Meghan Graham, Hailey Thomson, Olivia Gajadhar and Nicholas Chin, along with Corporate Communication students Eric Sisti, Olena Babiy and Cinthia Guizar redeveloped the York.ca website as part of their four-month co-op placements with the municipality.

Their website work was acknowledged for its easy navigation, attractive design and clear writing.

A formal gala is being held on May 22 in Toronto to recognize all of the 2014 Ovation Awards recipients.

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Seneca Tech Comm Professors Honored

Two of our Seneca Tech Comm professors have received professional acknowledgement from the Society for Technical Communication (STC). Beth Agnew has been named an Associate Fellow, and Bernard Aschwanden has been elected Vice President of the Society; he will move into the role of STC President next year.

These honors represent endorsement by their peers of their skills and leadership in the profession of technical communication, a discipline where practitioners make technology easier to use and understand.

“We are delighted to see our faculty achieve these important professional milestones,” said Michael Maynard, Dean of the Faculty of Communication, Art and Design. “Both professors are generous in sharing their deep industry expertise with our students, and have further distinguished themselves by their commitment to our post-graduate Technical Communication program. Our graduates enter the field with confidence in their skills, having been mentored by such accomplished teachers.”

Advancement to the rank of Associate Fellow is predicated upon having accomplished important work in the field of technical communication, made significant contributions to the Society, held leadership positions, published papers, given presentations, and mentored those new to the field.

Beth Agnew, one of the first to achieve the Certified Professional Technical Communicator designation, has been the manager of the STC’s Marketing Communications Special Interest Group (SIG), assisted with the STC’s Military Transition to Tech Comm initiative, and is a popular speaker at society events and industry conferences. She is the coordinator of the Seneca Technical Communication program.

The position of STC Vice President involves promoting the profession worldwide, and guiding the future direction of the Society. The VP moves into the role of President, then serves as immediate Past-President, making it a 3-year commitment for the person elected.

Bernard Aschwanden is a certified Adobe expert and trainer, and specializes in single-sourced content, which he teaches in the Tech Comm program. He is an Associate Fellow, has been president of the Toronto Chapter of the STC, and served recently as a Director of the society.

Both professors will be acknowledged at an honors banquet at the STC International Summit in Phoenix, AZ in May.

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Grads Go Back to School

This report from the Globe and Mail on students who go to college after university graduation highlights the advantages practical training and a co-operative work experience give you when you’re looking for a job.

A graduate certificate, like that awarded after completion of our 1-year Technical Communication program, gives new grads additional qualifications that differentiate them from other recent graduates in their field of interest. The co-op work placement provides that valuable real world experience that employers look for.

If you’re a new graduate, consider one of the graduate certificate programs at Seneca, or specifically our program in Technical Communication.

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Interested in Technical Communication?

If you’re looking for more information about technical communication, or as it is also known technical writing, you can search for related items or rely on an aggregator like Alltop.

Gathering information about the profession will lead you to a number of well-written blogs, the Society for Technical Communication itself, and a list of programs that provide degrees, diplomas or certificates in various aspects of the discipline.

If you think TechComm is right for you, we’d love to consider your application for our 1-year post-graduate certificate program. It includes a co-operative education component so you can try out the field while you are learning. TechComm is ideal for anyone who loves to write, explain, and play with technology. Contact us if you want more information.

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Tech Comm Can Be Full of Surprises!

Here’s a note we just got from one of our excellent tech comm grads, Ellen Fleischer:

Maybe I shouldn’t be surprised that I’m working in my field. After all, that was my goal when I went into tech comm. However, after graduation, I had to face a few harsh realities:

  1. I’d entered Tech Comm with a strong English background, but scant technical experience. Partly because of this and partly because I tend to get nervous at job interviews, I was unable to secure a co-op placement through Seneca. Instead, I spent my winter semester copyediting a textbook. Even though I loved the work and it fulfilled the co-op requirement, the position didn’t give me hands-on workplace experience in tech comm.
  2. Not having much of a technical background, the thought of working with IT terrified me.

After I graduated in August, I updated my resume and tried my best to find work in editing and/or tech comm. I started volunteering for a monthly online magazine, which led to some paid editing credits on an independent comic book (expected publication in March 2013).

I also started exploring the freelance sites. It took about three months, but I’ve just hooked up with one of the rare US-based companies (as opposed to independent employers looking for cheap short-term labor) that does not require a W9 of their independent contractors. They advertised for someone to rewrite their procedures manuals and were very impressed by my portfolio—despite its lack of IT documentation.

I’m doing freelance work for Covalent IT in Colorado. I never saw myself doing anything like this, much less enjoying it, but I do and I am.

Great news, Ellen, thanks for letting us know! Ellen is not the only grad to find that her first few technical communication assignments involved working remotely as a freelance contractor. These initial forays into the profession can lead to other more lucrative and permanent opportunities.

We’re proud of all our grads, and love to hear how you’re doing. Don’t forget to keep in touch!

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