Thinking about transferring to the UW? If you are, Transfer Thursday is your gateway to transfer information. At a Transfer Thursday session, you can speak to an admissions counselor who will tell you all about applying to the UW. You can also meet with an undergraduate academic advisor who will help you prepare for your intended UW major. Bring your questions and your unofficial transcript(s). It’s one-stop shopping for the prospective transfer student.
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Kathleen A. Elkins
Mary F. Lampe
The Transfer eNewsletter is a project of the UW Undergraduate Advising Gateway Center.
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By Kate Long, Assistant to the Chair, Department of Technical Communication
The Department of Technical Communication at the University of Washington (UWTC) is a small department in the College of Engineering that focuses on the design of communication. While other UW engineering departments design airplanes (Aeronautics and Astronautics) or design electrical circuits (Electrical Engineering) or design computer chips (Computer Science and Engineering), TC designs communication for users (for example, Web sites and software online help systems). TC is unique to the College of Engineering because it addresses diverse communication issues, yet is able to capitalize on all that the College of Engineering offers.
What is a technical communicator? Many new students ask this question and think that it is someone who writes and edits manuals all day long. While this can be true, the job of a technical communicator in this ever-changing technological world is much, much more! A technical communicator is a person who works individually or on a team to help bridge the gap between the user of a technology and the creator of a technology.
For example, have you ever used an ATM machine and asked yourself, “Why doesn’t this machine remember that I always ask for English, and generally want $20 from my checking account, with no receipt?” A technical communicator’s job in this situation would be to work with a programmer and engineer to define the users of the technology (the ATM machine) and implement changes that make the users’ lives easier. The technical communicator’s job might be:
As you can see, technical communicators work in many capacities to make technologies better and more useful. Our students may focus on computer technologies (Microsoft), science technologies (bio-tech firms), or aero-technologies (Boeing), depending on their area of interest. UWTC undergraduate Shirin Tabrizi writes:
As a senior in the Technical Communication department, I have learned a great deal about what technical communication really is and how I can incorporate it into my future goals. My main interests in the department include a variety of topics such as design, page layout, project management, web development, and recently, print production. Studying the many different aspects of technical communication has effectively allowed me to explore a number of career options. Also, learning from professionals who are either currently in the industry or have past industry experience has been incredibly valuable for me….
In June I will graduate and pursue a career that will not only utilize my technical communication skills, but also will allow me to make use of my creative side. Based on my internship experiences, I am confident that I am prepared to enter the work force and succeed.
UWTC welcomes transfer students. Many students don’t learn about TC until after they have been on campus for a while. TC majors enjoy the community aspect of a small department and are very successful in their job search upon graduation. Students interested in TC are encouraged to contact our undergraduate adviser, Jesse Knappenberger (email@example.com) for help putting together a transfer plan.
Transfer students can take all 38 prerequisite credits at their community college and submit their application to TC for the same quarter as they submit their application to the UW, or they may apply to UW and later apply to TC. TC accepts applicants in Spring (Feb. 1 deadline) or Fall (July 1 deadline). Classes that will fulfill UWTC prerequisites are listed on our website; transfer equivalencies are available on the UW transfer page. With appropriate planning, students transferring with 90 credits can expect to complete a TC degree in two years. Again, interested students should contact our adviser to help plan their program or answer further questions.
Technical Communication Quick Facts: