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Current Overview of Academic Certificates in Technical and Professional Communication in the United States

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Purpose: This paper provides a current overview of graduate and undergraduate academic certificates in the U.S. It details information about the current number of certificates, requirements, and courses, both required and elective.

Method: The study employed qualitative inquiry methods based primarily on textual analysis and the deployment of codes to assign a summative attribute for course types.

Results: The field presently offers 110 certificates, which represents a growth rate of 186% for graduate certificates and a growth rate of 191% for undergraduate certificates.

Conclusion: Certificate curricular data show that, unlike other degree programs, there is still no consensus on what a certificate should be and what courses should be required. Questions are offered to help the field start conversations about certificates.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 2012

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  • Technical Communication, the Society's journal, publishes articles about the practical application of technical communication theory and serves as a common arena for discussion by practitioners. Technical Communication includes both quantitative and qualitative research while showcasing the work of some of the field's most noteworthy writers. Among its most popular features are the helpful book reviews. Technical Communication is published quarterly and is free with membership.
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