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We are doing a research on Developing a TLIM Technical Writing Directed Emphasis Track

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How did you tackle the task given?

How should our audience continue the development process?

What are things the audience needs to know or consider before attempting to move on the implementation process?

What don’t they know yet? How should these unknowns be approached?

Additional Info

 

 

Post-Proposal Executive Summary

 

 

Project Title: Developing a TLIM Technical Writing Directed Emphasis Track

 

Statement of Project Context & Relevance: Why was this project requested? Strategic purpose & value.

Our project, as part of our Senior Project, was requested to develop a TLIM Technical Writing Directed Emphasis Track. This track can mirror the requirements of a minor. The strategic purpose is to create an emphasis track to bring students into the College of Technology and pursue a career in Technology Leadership Innovation & Management with a focus in Technical Writing to become more employable and attractive to employers looking to hire college graduates from the University of Houston.

 

Include Project Scope: Note the proposed scope & any requested adjustments requested to project scope.

The proposed scope of our project is to research & develop a TLIM Directed Emphasis Track in Technical Writing to fill the needs of local industries and organizations. The requested adjustment to our project is to restructure our focus to be generally based on Technical Writing instead of only targeting the medical industry. As we develop our course plan, we can eliminate Proposal Writing as one of the classes since it is already part of the TLIM degree plan and replace it with Grant Writing. We should also combine medical & science writing into one topic.

 

Include Project Deliverables: Note proposed deliverables & any requested adjustments requested of project deliverables.

At this point, our deliverables consist of a TLIM Directed Emphasis Track consisting of 18 credit hours focused on the medical industry. We are also making a course plan and marketing material that will explain why Technical Writing is a good career field. We have a chart that includes general information on Technical Writers and a Grant Writing Process diagram.

The requested adjustment to our deliverables is to change our focus to Technical Writing to a general focus and include Grant Writing as a course to our Directed Emphasis track. We should also include a deliverable that lists courses that don’t currently exist at the University of Houston. We need to include research deliverables that persuade our audience to take an interest in Technical Writing, show the background of the technical writing field, what kind of jobs are available in the Houston area, and what other universities are offering.

 

 

Project Plan Introduction

Purpose:

The purpose of this proposal is to persuade Dr. Anthony Ambler, the Dean of College of Technology and Brian Mehring, the Program Coordinator to implement a Technical Writing Directed Emphasis Track to the Technical Leadership and Innovation Management degree program allowing students who are looking for opportunities in the medical field and to have a wide a competitive edge to fill a range of job opportunities.

Goals:

We have a couple of goals that we hope to accomplish by using this proposal. Our main goal is to implement a Technical Writing Direct Emphasis (DE) track for Technical Leadership and Innovation Management (TLIM). This will be done by persuading the personnel in charge of the college. The TLIM major has a slot for 18 semester hours that can be filled with any courses you would like to take. Another goal will be to develop a course planner that will fill up those 18 semester hours with Technical Writing courses. With this the student will be able to put in his resume that he/she has a direct emphasis in technical writing and a major in TLIM. Our last goal is to develop an information sheet for the students that are interested in taking a Technical Writing Directed Emphasis. This information sheet will include companies who are looking for full time/ intern technical writers in the Houston area. We will also include job descriptions, salary/wages, and benefits. This sheet will be used to motivate students to take a Technical Writing Directed Emphasis and it will raise awareness for this type of career.

 

 

Name Our Overall Solution:

Our team’s overall solution is to successfully build a course planner through researching writing courses offered at UH. We will also research other universities around the country and see what has made their technical writing path successful. Lastly meeting with personnel who have this job to get insight on what courses helped to be successful in their career. Combining these three factors will give the insight and information we need to develop a great and useful course emphasis.

Forecast Plan:

We plan on researching a lot on technical writing. We are going to investigate what industries in Houston are looking for Technical Writers. We are doing this to inform the students who are interested in taking this emphasis track, so they know what opportunities are offered if they take this direct emphasis. We are also going to create a course emphasis that will give students the right amount of course the students will need. This course emphasis will not have unnecessary classes, every class will serve a purpose and will be used in the real world. Once the course is created we will talk about the benefits that technical writers get and see how we can implement it into the TLIM degree.

 

 

 

Project Plan

This TLIM Directed Emphasis (DE) track was developed to focus on Technical Writing, specifically meant to help a student find a role as a technical writer in the medical industry. With the University of Houston being located “near the Texas Medical Center (TMC) – the largest medical city in the world” (TMC.edu, 2020), there are many job opportunities for technical writers in the medical industry. This Directed Emphasis courses will focus students on the experience needed to fill any Technical Writer position, in particular the Healthcare industry.

Technical Writing Directed Emphasis Track (focus in the Medical industry)

UH College of Technology

18 semester hours minimum

TLIM 3302 – Business & Technical Report Writing

TLIM 3325 – Medical Writing

TLIM 3326 – Proposal Writing

TLIM 3327 – Documentation & Manuals

TLIM 3371 – Public Relations Writing

TLIM 3376 – Science Writing

 

How each class will benefit a student with a Technical Writing Directed Emphasis Track:

TLIM 3302 – Business & Technical Report Writing

the study and practicing formal and informal writing of technical information with an emphasis on report writing

 

TLIM 3325 – Medical Writing

the study of practice of interpreting and incorporating findings and statistical results into clear, comprehensible, and well-organized prose

 

TLIM 3326 – Proposal Writing

practice in writing and editing a series of proposal of varying scope and complexity

 

TLIM 3327 – Documentation & Manuals

application of general rhetorical principles and current theory in document design to the development of procedures manuals and other documentation

 

TLIM 3371 – Public Relations Writing

study of techniques and methods of public relations in promoting the images of organizations, corporations and institutions, both public and private.

 

TLIM 3376 – Science Writing

study & practice of documenting, reporting and presenting science in articles, audiovisual scripts, specifications, reports and proposals

 

Houston Market:

Houston, Texas is “the fourth most populous city in the nation” (HoustonTx.gov, 2018). Located inside of Houston is the Texas Medical Center. It is “home to the world’s largest children’s hospital and world’s largest cancer hospital” (TMC.edu, 2020). The Texas Medical Center is the 8th largest business district in the United States consisting of 10 million patient encounters per year and 106,000+ employees. For this reason, our group decided to focus our Directed Emphasis Track on Technical Writing and the Medical Industry.

Job Opportunity:

Even during the COVID-19 crisis, Technical Writing positions are in high demand and are available to be filled remotely. Technical Writing jobs are also available as Contract Writer, Report Writer, Medical Writer, Content Writer, Travel Writer, Investment Writer, and much more (ZipRecruiter.com, 2020).

 

Job Qualifications:

After researching Technical Writer job opportunities in the Houston area, these are some of skills and requirements sought after by employers (Indeed.com, 2020):

Ability to create & maintain policies, procedures, training manuals, & guides

Experience in professional writing & editing

Experience in communicating information in science & medical audiences

Strong organizational skills & the ability to meet multiple, changing deadlines; prioritize & work on multiple projects simultaneously

With the Directed Emphasis track courses being focused on Technical Writing in the medical field, we believe that this will help students be prepared to fill these roles.

Compensation:

In the Houston job market, Technical Writers make an average of $72,000 per year (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2020).

Other colleges that offer Technical Writing:

 

The University of Minnesota is one example of a university that offers a Bachelor’s Degree in Technical Writing & Communication (cla.umn.edu, 2020). They also Directed Emphasis Tracks called Sub-Plans in different focuses such as “Information Technology & Design, Biological & Health Sciences, Legal Discourse & Public Policy, Environmental Science” (cla.umn.edu, 2020).

The University of Little Rock in Arkansas also has a Bachelor in Professional & Technical Writing (ualr.edu, 2020). The areas of focus they offer are in “Nonfiction Concentration and Technical Writing Concentration” (ualr.edu, 2020).

 

The Benefits of Technical Writing in the HealthCare Field & Other Potential Industries

 

The information a specialized essayist needs to research can be partitioned into in any event four principle gatherings: Product information: Information about the item you’re reporting—how it works, how it’s designed, what highlights it gives, etc.

 

The exploration cycle isn’t finished without conveying its discoveries to the logical society. Technical writing and research benefits science, its application to practice, and enables different specialists to plan their own tests. Distributing biomedical examination is particularly significant on the grounds that it helps upgrade comprehension of wellbeing, ailments, and their administration and improves clinical work on, profiting the whole human culture. Clinicians and scholastic researchers must understand the significance of distributing their exploration which isn’t just a moral and an ethical commitment yet in addition a due zenith of the examination cycle.

Clinical composing is the study of imparting biomedical information to proper objective crowds, for example, the controllers, medical services experts or patients, and overall population to accomplish certain goals. An analyst might be phenomenal at his/her work yet may not really have the imperative specialized composing aptitudes to introduce their information and discoveries in the best way. An expert clinical essayist (PMW) is the specialized composing master with a biomedical degree (most likely a serious one, for example, a PhD) and has a sound comprehension of biomedical examination systems and information on the current detailing rules just as distribution rehearses. He/she would have generous information expository abilities with comprehension in insights. A PMW can assist the scientists with investigating, sorting, and presenting their information most viably to accomplish a set goal, for example, getting distributed in a regarded diary, getting extra examination subsidizing, or discovering acknowledgment for their work by their expert companions or the controllers.

A PMW makes a substantial contribution to make the research publication worthy. Benefits of hiring a PMW. In addition to the technical writing assistance, a PMW offers the following:

Achieve conformity with the current reporting and publication standards such as the Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials or the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors guidelines

Guidance on the choice of publication/authorship requirements/good publication practices

Editorial support (editing and journal styling)

Manuscript submission

Managing timelines and coauthor reviews

The value that a PMW brings to the manuscript has been clearly demonstrated in the form of enhanced reporting and writing quality and greater speed of acceptance by the journals. (Sharma, 2018)

How Technical Writers Execute

A specialized writer prides him/herself on having brilliant language, composing, and relational abilities, and endeavors to make proficient and mistake free documentation so as to build up validity with the crowd. Specialized journalists additionally have fantastic examination and investigation aptitudes and do broad exploration so as to make a record that imparts data in clear, valuable terms. This, thus, enables the ability to discover, comprehend, and use what they read properly.

At the point when given a task, the specialized author should initially investigate the intended interest group so as to characterize what they will require. The sound or feel of an archive is administered by the focused-on crowd and the report type. Precise crowd examination will shape what the archive’s introduction, plan, and substance will resemble, and characterize whether the correspondence will be happy, silly, formal, or expert.

 

Breaking down the intended interest group will likewise assist with characterizing the tone and information level of the archive, and tailor it explicitly. For instance, programming documentation will in general be clear and straightforward, so unpracticed clients can without much of a stretch tail it, while clinical methods utilized by doctors might be less disentangled, in light of the fact that it expects that the technical expert has information in the field.

 

 

The following are a few questions a technical writer may ask themselves at the outset of a document:

Who will the target audience be?

What is the knowledge level of the audience?

What is the role of the audience?

What is the task of the audience?

What is the purpose of the document?

What will the audience be persuaded to do? (Sokanu Interactive Inc. , 2020)

 

 

 

Below are a few quick facts about technical writers: (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2020)

 

How to get through the Grant writing process diagram (Wiggins, Beverly, 2004)

 

Aside from the various jobs that become available for such an education, many other jobs and careers require Technical Writing as mentioned before to obtain these grants. Chemists, Engineers, Research Facilities, and Scientists all thrive from how well they can perform technical writing. All of these different fields are only able to function through the amount of funding they are able to receive in grants from the government and other non-profit organizations. The way that grants work is through applications submitted by the people trying to get funding. These applications usually require an extensive amount of technical writing to be completed, explaining the importance of their studies and why their project is more important than others.

Technical Writing & Career Success

Technical Writing seems to be greatly underappreciated as a necessary skill in the business world by current students who have no knowledge of the business world. We have surveyed 54 students currently enrolled at UH from various majors and have come to one conclusion. That conclusion is that students do not think they will necessarily need Technical Writing to be successful in their careers. On a scale from one to ten, the average answer was five and a half. Only one in thirteen students categorized the importance of Technical Writing at a nine or above. This means the majority of students surveyed did not consider Technical Writing to be important enough to study and learn and therefore will not proactively attempt to obtain the knowledge necessary to prosper.

In comparison, according to the article Engineering Technologists as Writer by Carol Barnum and Robert Fischer, they found that a majority of graduated students who had already spent about 20 years in the business world considered Technical Writing to be “very important” to their day to day job. Over one third of those surveyed considered their jobs to require 40%-100% of Technical Writing in their daily tasks pertaining to their careers. Furthermore, 80% of the participants ranked Technical Writing as “very important”.

These statistics reflect the actual importance that technical writing will have for a successful career for students after graduation. These students all went into different career fields, from engineering, to chemists, to doctors. Even though these students had different career fields, their results were pretty consistent about the importance of Technical Writing.

There is a clear distinction between these two differing results about the importance of Technical Writing. This difference clearly being that one group has had experience in the business world while the other group has not. Students have not yet experienced the amount of Technical Writing that will be necessary in the business world. This is one of the main reasons that it is up to the educational institutions to include a curriculum into the college that will prepare their students for an actual work atmosphere. Degrees are worthless if they cannot be applied effectively.

For this reason, we are urging for the administration of UH to take more responsibility towards creating a successful future for their students. It is clear that students are ignorant to the importance of such a skill in the success of their future. Even though it will remain on the student, at least creating such a learning track will be more appealing as it will be considered more effective.

Technical Writing Around the Globe

In another article, Technical Communications in the International Workplace, by Barclay, et al., it goes on to explain how Technical Writing affects an international business atmosphere, which in today’s world, is the most important aspect in business. As the world becomes more and more interconnected through the internet and all the applications that come with it, the business world is set to adapt and change. With international exchange and business being so important to the global market, we cannot take the skills required to thrive in such an atmosphere lightly. 87% of businesses in 1990 required some form of up front technical communications proposal of desired business operation before even considering a business partner. (Barclay, et al., 1991) This is exactly what we refer to when we emphasize how important this skill is to business. When the company is able to communicate their business well, they will be able to grow and progress.

According to this same article, Technical Writing is becoming a global necessity for institutions of higher education. Considering that colleges in the UK were barely beginning to implement such programs back in the 1990’s, it goes to show how the globe began to realize how necessary this skill is.

The University of Houston takes pride in being one of the most diverse campuses in the nation. I think there is great opportunity in that fact, as we can use a Technical Writing track to leverage the diversity of our students by converging career opportunities. For instance, if there was a company looking into globalizing, or that has already been globalized, it would be in their interests to hire graduates with Technical Writing Communications skills, as these students will be the people to propel the business forward in the global market.

The job of Technical Writers itself is taking specialized topics in these specific areas of business and being able to effectively communicate a complex message to the average user otr audience. There are various ways to implement a degree such as Technical Communications, like the following jobs: Indexers, Information Architects, Instructional Designers, Technical Illustrators, Globalization & Localization Specialists, Usability & Human Factors Professionals, Visual Designers, Web Designers & Developers, Teachers & Researchers of Technical Communication, & Trainers and E-Learning Developers. Therefore you can see how versatile an education in this area proves to be.

99.8% of the world participates in Technical Writing in one form or another. (Kimball, 2017) As the world becomes more intertwined through the internet, websites and apps, Technical Writing becomes more vital to function in today’s everyday society. We use social media to portray ourselves as the best self we can be to try and maintain a vast network of meaningful business connection. If people cannot create an effective online presence, they very well may be left behind, regardless of how much knowledge or experience they have. As the technology increases to advance and improve, we find ourselves drifting more and more into a technical world in every aspect of our life. This would mean that the field of Technical Writing will have an increasing demand in all aspects of our life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Conclusion

 

Summary of Major Points & Deliverables:

 

Technical writing is able to cover a variety of fields because the writer is able to break down technical communication as well as write about the particular subject that needs direction. Technical writers are able to effectively do their job by not only having brilliant language but also being able to investigate their subject or group thoroughly. This investigative period is key in determining how to create and the method of delivery for the technical writing.

 

Technical writing in the medical field can be advantageous. A PMW can assist scientists and doctors with investigating, compiling, organizing and presenting data and significant findings. With the help of a PMW, research conducted by the scientist can become publication worthy.

 

UH is in a position to not only maximize its students potential, but also become more diverse in an already diverse campus. The implementation of a Technical Writing Directed Emphasis along with the TLIM degree plan will provide students with an opportunity to take part in a fast growing and productive field.

 

 

 

Goal Fulfillment:

 

The implementation of a Technical Writing Directed Emphasis into the Technology Leadership & Innovation Management degree program at the University of Houston will be beneficial not only for the students, but also the university. With a path of directed emphasis, it makes sure that students engaging in the program are better prepared to not only do their job in a professional setting, but will be able to stand out among other candidates for a job. UH students will know how to cover various aspects of technical writing as well as be effective project managers. With this in mind, the more students that graduate and are able to successfully find work and perform well will cause the program to become better recognized as a top course at the university which will cause more funding to be pumped back into the college and program. This will bring about a cycle that improves student success as well as the success of the College of Technology.

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