Posted January 18, 2012 Atlanta, GA
Graduate students make up nearly a third of the Institute’s student population, but some leave campus after numerous years in science and technology studies feeling they lack skills in one area: communication.
After a few years of planning among the graduate Student Government Association (SGA), Communication Center and Library, the group has devised a way to equip graduate students with enhanced communication skills through a new Graduate Communication Certificate program.
“With Georgia Tech being an extremely technically minded school, a really important skill students need to have when they graduate is to be able to effectively communicate their technical ideas,” said James Black, president of the graduate SGA. While certain degree programs provide some of these skills, Black said that currently there is not a way to show a potential employer that a student has received communication training.
“We wanted to coalesce all the programs offered around campus into one program so students can get the training that is desired when they get into industry or academia,” he added
Staff from the Library, Communication Center, Career Services, the Center for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning and Communications and Marketing will teach courses on topics such as ethics, oral presentations, grant writing, web design, publishing research and visual representation of data. The certificate does not merit a degree designation, though the long-term goal of the program is to offer something accredited. For now, students receive a certificate of completion and can add the attainment to their resumes; the Library will track students’ progress and can verify completion.
Earning the Graduate Communication Certificate requires that students complete 13 workshops, each an hour to hour and a half in length, along with a capstone project or activity. There is no time limit for students to complete the program, so participants may work at their own pace while pursuing degrees.
There is no GPA or academic requirement for the program, aside from it being open to only graduate students enrolled at the Institute. Since the program opened at the start of the spring semester, 25 students have already signed up to participate. Graduate students may view all course offerings and sign up for the program at gradcommcert.gatech.edu.