Technical Writer


Algonquin College’s Technical Writer graduate certificate program prepares students for a career in technical communication through a combination of technical writing/documentation course work and an on-site placement.

ALSO AVAILABLE FULL-TIME ONLINE

Mobile DeviceBring Your Own Device (BYOD): As a student in this on-campus program, you will require a mobile computing device that meets the specifications outlined by your program at http://algonquincollege.com/byod

(Please note this was previously referred to as a Mobile Learning Program)

Another Mobile Device ImageeTextbooks: As a student in a program that has adopted etextbooks, your required texts and digital resources will be provided to you at the beginning of each term (with the exception of general education electives). For more information and associated fees, go to http://www.algonquincollege.com/etextbooks/

Ontario College Graduate Certificate
1 Year(s)

Program Code: 1182X01FWO
Academic Year: 2015/2016


Our Program

This one-year Ontario College Graduate Certificate program prepares students for careers as technical communicators. Students learn to create a variety of documents found in the workplace such as proposals, white papers, user guides, training material and instruction sets. Through real-world applications and assignments, students become proficient at research, analysis and organization. Students participate in group projects and collaborative learning activities within the program and across technology platforms.

Technical communicators represent the bridge between a user and a product, information or service. They work for an organization but at the same time they advocate for the user by creating usable documentation that lets the user act on the information. Technical communicators are experts at understanding a product and analyzing different ways the product can be used by a target group. They develop many different types of documentation used in the workplace to help users enjoy all the features of a product. To fulfill these tasks, technical communicators have an aptitude for language, analytical thinking, technical understanding and project management. Well-trained technical communicators can find work in all sectors of the economy including manufacturing, health and medicine, government, high-tech and private training institutions.

This program offers one cooperative education (Co-op) Work Term(s) option. Qualified students with a minimum GPA of 2.7, have the opportunity to apply for paid co-op employment to gain valuable work experience and networks within industry. *See Additional Information for more details.

Graduates may seek employment writing or drafting technical communications in a variety of technical fields, including the high-tech, engineering, aeronautics, robotics, finance, consumer electronics, biotechnology and government sectors.

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD): Students are expected to have and use a laptop or mobile computing device when registered in this on-campus program. Hardware and software specifications required by your program are outlined at http://algonquincollege.com/byod. Mobile devices/laptops and supplies can be purchased directly from Algonquin`s New Technology Store at educational rates. When purchasing a computer, a PC with the latest Windows operating system is strongly recommended.

SUCCESS FACTORS

This program is well-suited for students who:

  • Possess advanced written and oral communication abilities.
  • Enjoy designing, developing, writing and refining online and print material.
  • Possess interpersonal skills for collaboration with colleagues.
  • Enjoy researching, collecting, analyzing and organizing technical information.
  • Function in a self-directed manner in a team environment.
  • Organize their work and pay attention to detail.
  • Enjoy using software tools to create documents and websites.

Your Career

Graduates may be successful in finding work as writers, editors and documentation specialists. Canadian and international demand is high for qualified technical communicators in both the private and the public sectors. While most graduates may work as employees in large organizations, some choose self-employment in the field.

Courses

Programs at Algonquin College are delivered using a variety of instruction modes. Courses may be offered in the classroom or lab, entirely online, or in a hybrid mode which combines classroom sessions with online learning activities. Upon registration, each full-time student is provided an Algonquin email account which is used to communicate important information about program or course events.
Level: 01 Hours
TWR2000 Technical communicators must craft documents that inform, instruct and persuade. Students learn how to communicate technical information by profiling audiences and structuring documents to meet the needs of busy readers at work. In addition to communicating technical information in written form, students communicate orally through the delivery of presentations. Through the use of writing assignments and activities, students develop their abilities to work individually and collaboratively as members of a group. Technical Writing I Technical communicators must craft documents that inform, instruct and persuade. Students learn how to communicate technical information by profiling audiences and structuring documents to meet the needs of busy readers at work. In addition to communicating technical information in written form, students communicate orally through the delivery of presentations. Through the use of writing assignments and activities, students develop their abilities to work individually and collaboratively as members of a group. 60.0
TWR2002 Technical communicators must be proficient with publication tools that help write and edit large and complex documents. Students learn the major features of a leading publication tool preferred by technical communicators to achieve consistency in documentation. Through guided learning activities, students produce large publications that focus on visual layout, and emphasize automatic formatting features that create structured documents. Desktop Publishing Technical communicators must be proficient with publication tools that help write and edit large and complex documents. Students learn the major features of a leading publication tool preferred by technical communicators to achieve consistency in documentation. Through guided learning activities, students produce large publications that focus on visual layout, and emphasize automatic formatting features that create structured documents. 45.0
TWR2009 Significant changes in the workplace are the result of new and advanced technologies. Students are introduced to emerging trends in the field of technical communication, and are shown possible career options in a number of different sectors of local industry. Selected Topics I Significant changes in the workplace are the result of new and advanced technologies. Students are introduced to emerging trends in the field of technical communication, and are shown possible career options in a number of different sectors of local industry. 30.0
TWR2010 Technical communicators must ensure that written content is supported by visual elements. Students learn the principles of designing effective visual information including the textual, spatial and graphic elements that support the rhetorical situation. Through analysis and assignments, students learn to maximize communication impact through the assessment and redesign of online and print elements. Designing VIsual Information Technical communicators must ensure that written content is supported by visual elements. Students learn the principles of designing effective visual information including the textual, spatial and graphic elements that support the rhetorical situation. Through analysis and assignments, students learn to maximize communication impact through the assessment and redesign of online and print elements. 30.0
TWR2014 Content is generated by organizations to support their products, services and processes. Students take a unified content strategy approach as they produce project plans, content specifications, estimates, and proposals. Through their involvement in collaborative projects, students practise skills in planning, designing, managing, and controlling online and print content, with an emphasis on their relationship to other team members in information development. Information Planning and Management Content is generated by organizations to support their products, services and processes. Students take a unified content strategy approach as they produce project plans, content specifications, estimates, and proposals. Through their involvement in collaborative projects, students practise skills in planning, designing, managing, and controlling online and print content, with an emphasis on their relationship to other team members in information development. 45.0
TWR2015 Technical communicators often act as editors. Students formalize their abilities to edit written work at the copyediting and proofreading levels in a variety of media. Students develop an understanding of the roles and responsibilities of an editor. Emphasis is on reviewing and applying the basic rules of grammar, mechanics, spelling, punctuation, and usage to passages and documents for improvements in clarity, conciseness and precision.

Co-requisites: TWR2000
Editing I Technical communicators often act as editors. Students formalize their abilities to edit written work at the copyediting and proofreading levels in a variety of media. Students develop an understanding of the roles and responsibilities of an editor. Emphasis is on reviewing and applying the basic rules of grammar, mechanics, spelling, punctuation, and usage to passages and documents for improvements in clarity, conciseness and precision.

Co-requisites: TWR2000
30.0
Level: 02 Hours
TWR2003 Technical communicators must be proficient at creating online help systems. Students are provided with a strong foundation with a leading help authoring tool that can publish to multiple channels. Through guided learning and laboratory activities, students learn how to improve the quality, visual appeal, presentation and the functionality of help systems.

Prerequisites: TWR2000 and TWR2010
Online Documentation Technical communicators must be proficient at creating online help systems. Students are provided with a strong foundation with a leading help authoring tool that can publish to multiple channels. Through guided learning and laboratory activities, students learn how to improve the quality, visual appeal, presentation and the functionality of help systems.

Prerequisites: TWR2000 and TWR2010
45.0
TWR2004 Technical communicators must get information from subject matter experts and translate their knowledge into useable documentation. Students research a product, information, or service in order to refine their communication skills. Through collaboration with clients, users, experts, and other group members, students develop a variety of task oriented documents that allow them to work effectively as a member of a team.

Prerequisites: TWR2000 and TWR2010
Technical Writing II Technical communicators must get information from subject matter experts and translate their knowledge into useable documentation. Students research a product, information, or service in order to refine their communication skills. Through collaboration with clients, users, experts, and other group members, students develop a variety of task oriented documents that allow them to work effectively as a member of a team.

Prerequisites: TWR2000 and TWR2010
60.0
TWR2011 User experience (UX) plays a critical role in making our physical and digital lives frictionless and enjoyable. Students integrate principles of information architecture, content strategy, and visual design with components of usability and interaction design to understand UX design fundamentals. Through task analysis, user interface prototype design, and website usability analysis, students learn to characterize, describe and improve UX. Usability and Ux User experience (UX) plays a critical role in making our physical and digital lives frictionless and enjoyable. Students integrate principles of information architecture, content strategy, and visual design with components of usability and interaction design to understand UX design fundamentals. Through task analysis, user interface prototype design, and website usability analysis, students learn to characterize, describe and improve UX. 30.0
TWR2012 Technical communicators must be aware of the latest tools in order to be effective in the workplace. Students learn current tools and technologies used in industry to create web-based documents. Through the use of assigned readings, projects, and computer-based instruction, students build and manage websites, design screencasts, and create PDF documents used for online review. Students receive guided practical training on various software applications.

Prerequisites: TWR2000 and TWR2010
Web-Based Documentation Technical communicators must be aware of the latest tools in order to be effective in the workplace. Students learn current tools and technologies used in industry to create web-based documents. Through the use of assigned readings, projects, and computer-based instruction, students build and manage websites, design screencasts, and create PDF documents used for online review. Students receive guided practical training on various software applications.

Prerequisites: TWR2000 and TWR2010
45.0
TWR2016 Advanced editing skills are required by technical communicators. Students enhance their abilities to edit written work at the copyediting and comprehensive levels in a variety of media. Through the use of assigned readings, exercises, and collaborative assignments, they refine their abilities to apply advanced rules of grammar and usage, style, and organization to documents, such as technical reports for improvements in clarity, conciseness, precision, correctness, accuracy and readability.

Prerequisites: TWR2000 and TWR2015
Editing II Advanced editing skills are required by technical communicators. Students enhance their abilities to edit written work at the copyediting and comprehensive levels in a variety of media. Through the use of assigned readings, exercises, and collaborative assignments, they refine their abilities to apply advanced rules of grammar and usage, style, and organization to documents, such as technical reports for improvements in clarity, conciseness, precision, correctness, accuracy and readability.

Prerequisites: TWR2000 and TWR2015
30.0
TWR2201 The job of a technical communicator often involves creating training materials. Students learn how to analyze, design, develop, implement and evaluate instructional material that can be used to train adult learners. Through a variety of learning activities, students learn to conduct training sessions, embrace emerging technologies and build a career portfolio.

Prerequisites: TWR2009
Selected Topics II The job of a technical communicator often involves creating training materials. Students learn how to analyze, design, develop, implement and evaluate instructional material that can be used to train adult learners. Through a variety of learning activities, students learn to conduct training sessions, embrace emerging technologies and build a career portfolio.

Prerequisites: TWR2009
30.0
Level: 03 Hours
WKT2000 Students participate in an unpaid work placement after they have completed their course work. This opportunity allows them to apply their skills to actual writing projects in an on-the-job setting. Most projects are completed in cooperation with local organizations. Students work with an advisor.

Prerequisites: TWR2000 and TWR2002 and TWR2003 and TWR2004 and TWR2009 and TWR2010 and TWR2011 and TWR2012 and TWR2014 and TWR2015 and TWR2016 and TWR2201
Project Students participate in an unpaid work placement after they have completed their course work. This opportunity allows them to apply their skills to actual writing projects in an on-the-job setting. Most projects are completed in cooperation with local organizations. Students work with an advisor.

Prerequisites: TWR2000 and TWR2002 and TWR2003 and TWR2004 and TWR2009 and TWR2010 and TWR2011 and TWR2012 and TWR2014 and TWR2015 and TWR2016 and TWR2201
45.0

Fees & Expenses

Total Fees for the first year of the program:

Domestic tuition/ancillary fees: $8,831.56. *

International tuition/ancillary Fees: $16,781.56. *

* Amounts include tuition fee, program specific lab and material fees, applicable eText fees, Students` Association fees and compulsory ancillary fees. Fees are subject to change. For detailed fees information please visit http://www.algonquincollege.com/ro/pay/tuition-and-expenses

Note: For further information regarding your books, please visit http://www.algonquincollege.com/etexts

Books and supplies cost approximately $525 per term. Supplies can be purchased at the campus store. See www.algonquincollege.com/etextbooks  for more information about books.

Admission Requirements 

Program Eligibility

For the Technical Writer program, applicants should ideally satisfy one of the two following conditions:

  • Successful completion of a university degree, with a strong showing in the courses for which high standards of writing are demanded.
  • Successful completion of a three-year Ontario College Advanced Diploma, with a strong showing in the courses for which high standards of writing are demanded. However, applicants possessing the following background will also be considered: Successful completion of a two-year Ontario Community College Diploma, with a strong showing in the courses for which high standard of writing are demanded, paired with demonstration of significant experience in the workplace in the production of a variety of written communication products.
  • Applicants with International transcripts must provide proof of the subject specific requirements noted above along with proof of either:

    IELTS-International English Language Testing Service-Overall band of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each band.

    OR

    TOEFL-Internet-based (iBT)-overall 88, with the minimum of 22 in each component: Reading 22; Listening: 22 Speaking: 22, Writing: 22

Application Information

Applications to full-time day programs must be submitted with official transcripts showing completion of the academic admission requirements through:
ontariocolleges.ca
60 Corporate Court
Guelph, Ontario
N1G 5J3
1-888-892-2228

Applications are available online ontariocolleges.ca . A $95 fee applies.
Applications for Fall Term, Winter Term and Spring Term admission received by February 1 will be given equal consideration. Applications received after February 1 will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis as long as places are available.

International applicants applying from out-of-country can obtain the International Student Application Form at https://xweb.algonquincollege.com/FormIE/index.aspx or by contacting the Registrar`s Office.

For further information on the admissions process, contact:

Registrar`s Office
Algonquin College
1385 Woodroffe Ave, Room C150
Ottawa, ON K2G 1V8
Telephone: 613-727-0002
Toll-free: 1-800-565-4723
TTY: 613-727-7766
Fax: 613-727-7632
Email: AskUs@algonquincollege.com

Additional Information

*Co-op is a real-world job search process requiring students to apply, interview, and earn jobs rather than being placed by the College. In the term prior to the cooperative education (Co-op) Work Term, students are required to independently complete online modules that assist with résumé an cover letter writing, and interview technique preparation. Students must actively conduct a self-directed job search and are responsible to secure approved program related paid co-op employment. Students compete for co-op positions alongside students from Algonquin and other Canadian and international colleges and universities. Algonquin College`s Co-op Office provides assistance in developing co-op opportunities and facilitates the overall process but does not guarantee that a student will obtain employment in a cooperative education (Co-op) Work Term. Co-op employment opportunities requiring relocation may be considered, and are subject to departmental approval with the understanding that all associated expenses are incurred by students e.g., travel, work permits/visa applications, accommodation, etc.

Cooperative education (Co-op) Work Terms are typically four months in duration and are completed during a term when students are currently not studying on campus. For details on study-work progressions for specific programs, please visit http://www.algonquincollege.com/coop.

This program is also offered through the Centre for Continuing and Online Learning both on a part-time basis and full-time online. For more information regarding the online delivery, please visit www.algonquincollege.com/ccol .
In the full-time program students should expect to spend 6-10 hours per week outside of class working on projects.

For more information about the Technical Writer program, visit our website at www.algonquincollege.com/technicalwriter .

For more information about the field of technical communication, visit our international professional association, the Society for Technical
Communication (STC) at www.stc.org .
 
Every attempt is made to ensure the accuracy of the information in this publication. The College reserves the right to modify or cancel any course, program, fee, timetable, or campus location at any time