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How Issues Of Enrollment, Funding, And Resource Allocation Have Shaped Three Engineering Communication Programs At Georgia Tech

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Writing and Communication II

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.701.1 - 10.701.15

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Paper Authors

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Lisa Rosenstein

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Jeffery Donnell

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Christina Bourgeois

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2461

How Issues of Enrollment, Funding, and Resource Allocation Have Shaped Three Engineering Communication Programs at Georgia Tech

Christina Bourgeois, Jeffrey Donnell, and Lisa Rosenstein

School of Electrical and Computer Engineering/School of Mechanical Engineering/Schools of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Materials Science and Engineering

Motivated in part by ABET’s emphasis on communication skills, many engineering schools have chosen to integrate explicit communication instruction into their existing technical curricula. Regardless of the motivation for creating them, engineering communication programs are commonly administered at the school level, with each school having the freedom to implement instruction in a way that best fits with its particular sequence of laboratory, design, and capstone courses. As a result, within any one engineering college, a variety of successful writing program models can exist. The choice of paradigm reflects not only the communications norms of the particular disciplines, but also the constraints presented by the number of students enrolled in each school and by limitations on staff and resources.

At Georgia Tech, several models of meeting the technical communications requirement have been developed. Within the College of Engineering (COE), some schools outsource technical communication instruction, requiring students to take a stand-alone course taught by faculty in the School of Literature, Communication, and Culture. Other schools have developed in-house, discipline-specific communications programs in which written, oral, and visual communication instruction is integrated into existing technical courses in the undergraduate program. One program uses the aforementioned undergraduate model but offers in-house, stand-alone courses on the graduate level. All of the schools within the COE at Georgia Tech have met the communications requirement by assessing their individual department’s needs and resource allocations in an effort to create a model that works best within their local environment. While institutional context helps to inform how communication instruction is handled at the school level, local/departmental issues of enrollment, funding, and faculty attitudes and perceptions of technical communications ultimately shape the genesis, development, and growth of each school’s communication program.

“Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2005, American Society for Engineering Education”

Rosenstein, L., & Donnell, J., & Bourgeois, C. (2005, June), How Issues Of Enrollment, Funding, And Resource Allocation Have Shaped Three Engineering Communication Programs At Georgia Tech Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon.

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