University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee Announces New Professional and Technical Communication B.A. Degree

StudentsTwenty-first century communication calls for new training and knowledge. Today’s professional environment is powered by complex technology, fueled by information, and driven by masterful communication skills. To respond to these and future challenges, the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee has created a Bachelor of Arts in Professional and Technical Communication. “As the field of professional and technical communication becomes a strong career track, it makes perfect sense to have it become a separate degree program,” says Prof. Tod Roberts, instructor of English and director of the Writing Internship Program at USFSM. Roberts and fellow USFSM instructor Dr. Wilma Davidson designed the program, which was approved by USF System Trustees last November and will be first offered in the fall of 2013.

“This will be the only undergraduate program of its kind in the state, offering courses in professional and technical writing with electives in business and information technology,” says Roberts. “Other schools have similar programs, especially at the graduate level, but none has quite what we are offering. This is an exciting opportunity for USFSM students.” He adds that the classes, presented by instructors known for their contributions in professional and technical communication, will be kept small in order to provide “individual attention and pragmatic instruction geared to today’s job market.” In addition, many courses will be offered online, providing access to adult students working and supporting a family while earning a degree.

Davidson notes that the program also offers a strong focus on corporate communication needs in advertising, crisis management, human resources, marketing communications, and public relations. Courses in writing, editing and publishing for a wide variety of formats, including scholarly, technical, medical, non-profit and journalistic, are also part of the curriculum.

Roberts emphasizes that a vital aspect of the new degree program will be partnering with area businesses and non-profit institutions to offer internships to graduates. “This real-life experience will be a requirement for the degree and will give our graduates a strong competitive edge,” he says. “In addition to the degree, we will offer an Undergraduate Certificate in this specialty to enhance the career prospects for students in other majors.”

“Globalization, cross-cultural influences, technical advances, and new ethical and regulatory requirements have changed the communication needs of today’s marketplace,” says Davidson. “This USFSM program gives its graduates the skills they’ll need to meet these challenges and build successful, long-lasting careers.”

For more program details, contact:

Dr. Wilma Davidson • 941-387-8735 • davidson@sar.usf.edu

Prof. Tod Roberts • tr@sar.usf.edu