Technical Communications (Optional Co-op)

About the Program

Technical communicators are vital to companies that employ exceptional writers, editors, researchers, and information designers to make technical information accessible. This Ontario College Graduate Certificate will provide you with the skills to design, create, illustrate, and produce content while using authoring tools to manage technical documents on multiple platforms. You will have access to cutting-edge software, and you will study at Conestoga's newly renovated Waterloo campus in the heart of what CBRE (Coldwell Banker Richard Ellis) research has identified as Canada's fastest-growing tech sector. The optional co-op stream includes one co-op work term.

Program Information

Length: One-year Ontario College Graduate Certificate program
Delivery Sequence: Waterloo - September/2020 - Fall | Winter
Location: Waterloo
Start: September
First-Year Capacity: 30

Admission Requirements

Note re: Admission Requirements

Applying to the Co-op Stream

Co-op Information

Admission Procedures

Program Requirements

Tuition & Fees

Domestic fees are currently unavailable; please check back at a later time.

Co-op Program Fees

Domestic fees are currently unavailable; please check back at a later time.

Financial Assistance

The Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) is a needs-based program designed to help Ontario students cover the cost of post-secondary education. Funded by the federal and provincial governments, OSAP is intended to promote equality of opportunity for post-secondary studies through direct financial assistance for educational costs and living expenses. These interest-free loans are intended to supplement your financial resources and those of your family. The majority of students apply for loan assistance via the OSAP website. Students can also print the application booklet through the OSAP website.

For more information, please visit Financial Services/Awards.

Graduate Opportunities

Graduates will be well-prepared for careers as technical writers, content marketing writers, editorial and proposal document officers, and facilitators/trainers in a variety of sectors including government, health, manufacturing, information technology, engineering, and finance. Job opportunities are available in professional, scientific, and technical services; computer and electronic manufacturing; educational services; government and public administration; administrative and support services; and publishing industries.

For more details on related occupations, job market information and career opportunities, see the Government of Canada website: https://www.jobbank.gc.ca/home

Pathways & Credit Transfer

Conestoga pathways enable students to build on their academic achievements in order to earn a degree or additional credential. Pathways are formed through agreements between Conestoga programs or partner institutions.

Often applicants have earned credits from another college or university that may allow a student to be granted advanced standing or exemption. Learn more about credit transfer opportunities at Conestoga.

Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR)

Conestoga recognizes prior learning of skills, knowledge or competencies that have been acquired through employment, formal and informal education, non-formal learning or other life experiences. Prior learning must be measurable at the required academic level and meet Conestoga standards of achievement for current courses. Challenge exams and portfolio development are the primary methods of assessment. Other methods of assessment may be available depending upon the nature of the course objectives. Successful completion of the assessment results in an official course credit that will be recorded on the student's Conestoga transcript. PLAR cannot be used by registered Conestoga students for the clearance of academic deficiencies, to improve grades or to obtain admission into a program.

Learn more about PLAR.

Program Courses

Non Co-op Course Details (1495)
Course Code Course Title and Description
Level 1
COMM8300 Technical Communications I

Description: This course will introduce students to fundamental skills required for successful technical communication. Students will differentiate between various technical communications genres and create technical documents that inform, persuade, and instruct. Emphasis will be placed on technical context, message, audience, and purpose.
Hours: 42
Credits: 3
Pre-Requisites:
CoRequisites:

COMM8310 Document Design and Illustration

Description: In this course, students will develop knowledge and skills for designing and illustrating technical documents. They will study principles and theories of document design and illustration and apply them in a variety of technical communication situations. .
Hours: 42
Credits: 3
Pre-Requisites:
CoRequisites:

COMM8320 User Experience

Description: In this course, students will apply principles of user-centred communication and design to improve the usability of documents, products, and systems. They will perform user research, test usability, and analyze data to produce technical documentation that meets end-user needs and expectations.
Hours: 42
Credits: 3
Pre-Requisites:
CoRequisites:

COMM8330 Authoring Tools in Technical Communications

Description: In this course, students will learn to use authoring tools in technical communication that are currently popular in leading industry. Students will apply this knowledge in different documentation projects.
Hours: 42
Credits: 3
Pre-Requisites:
CoRequisites:

COMM8340 Editing and Publications in Technical Communications

Description: In this course, students will enhance knowledge of grammar, tone, and word choice to a publication standard. Students will learn to adapt writing to various styles and conventions while writing and editing documents to adhere to field-specific guidelines, levels of technicality, and levels of formality.
Hours: 42
Credits: 3
Pre-Requisites:
CoRequisites:

MGMT8690 Major Project I

Description: Under faculty mentorship, student work teams will design a research-intensive technical communications project. Students will study and begin to apply principles of project management.
Hours: 56
Credits: 4
Pre-Requisites:
CoRequisites:

PROG8530 Web Design and Applications

Description: In this course, students will learn the fundamentals of effective online technical communication. They will produce web-based documentation with software used across the technical communications industry. Students will build and manage websites with attention to user needs.
Hours: 42
Credits: 3
Pre-Requisites:
CoRequisites:

Level 2
CDEV8130 Career Management

Description: This course focuses on career management skills needed to navigate the evolving workplace. Students will evaluate their skills, attitudes, and expectations within their chosen careers and explore emerging trends in the workplace. Students will refine their networking strategies and create marketing documents to position them for success. Mock interviews will provide the opportunity for practice, feedback, and reflection as students prepare for future interviews. Students will explore communication strategies that support workplace success and advancement. By the end of this course, students will have created a personalized career management plan.
Hours: 28
Credits: 2
Pre-Requisites:
CoRequisites:

COMM8350 Technical Communications II

Description: In this course, students will apply skills obtained in level one courses to create larger technical documents for a variety of purposes and audiences. Students will enhance skills in collaboration on technical documentation and the oral presentation of technical material.
Hours: 42
Credits: 3
Pre-Requisites:
CoRequisites:

COMM8360 Technical Training and Tutorials

Description: In this course, students will build on knowledge of UX to develop skills related to creating accessible teaching material. Such skills include choosing content based on needs analysis, structuring information, developing usability tests, and maximizing multiple formats and online platforms.
Hours: 42
Credits: 3
Pre-Requisites:
CoRequisites:

COMM8370 Document Management and Production

Description: In this course, students will identify and apply practices of managing and producing technical documentation projects. Students will study project management principles and models, planned interactions, and document production for the digital age. They will apply their knowledge of authoring tools to the management of several complimentary forms of documentation in a project cycle.
Hours: 42
Credits: 3
Pre-Requisites:
CoRequisites:

MGMT8700 Major Project II

Description: Building on the work completed in Major Project I, students will complete a research-intensive technical communications project that will form the basis of a professional portfolio to show prospective employers.
Hours: 84
Credits: 6
Pre-Requisites:
CoRequisites:

RSCH8070 Research and Information Design

Description: In this course, students will develop primary and secondary research skills necessary for technical communications. Students will also learn to organize complex information using a variety of modalities depending on purpose and audience. The delivery of this course may involve problem/project-based learning with the creation of final portfolio in collaboration with industry partners.
Hours: 42
Credits: 3
Pre-Requisites:
CoRequisites:

Optional Co-op Course Details (1495C)
Course Code Course Title and Description
Level 1
COMM8300 Technical Communications I

Description: This course will introduce students to fundamental skills required for successful technical communication. Students will differentiate between various technical communications genres and create technical documents that inform, persuade, and instruct. Emphasis will be placed on technical context, message, audience, and purpose.
Hours: 42
Credits: 3
Pre-Requisites:
CoRequisites:

COMM8310 Document Design and Illustration

Description: In this course, students will develop knowledge and skills for designing and illustrating technical documents. They will study principles and theories of document design and illustration and apply them in a variety of technical communication situations. .
Hours: 42
Credits: 3
Pre-Requisites:
CoRequisites:

COMM8320 User Experience

Description: In this course, students will apply principles of user-centred communication and design to improve the usability of documents, products, and systems. They will perform user research, test usability, and analyze data to produce technical documentation that meets end-user needs and expectations.
Hours: 42
Credits: 3
Pre-Requisites:
CoRequisites:

COMM8330 Authoring Tools in Technical Communications

Description: In this course, students will learn to use authoring tools in technical communication that are currently popular in leading industry. Students will apply this knowledge in different documentation projects.
Hours: 42
Credits: 3
Pre-Requisites:
CoRequisites:

COMM8340 Editing and Publications in Technical Communications

Description: In this course, students will enhance knowledge of grammar, tone, and word choice to a publication standard. Students will learn to adapt writing to various styles and conventions while writing and editing documents to adhere to field-specific guidelines, levels of technicality, and levels of formality.
Hours: 42
Credits: 3
Pre-Requisites:
CoRequisites:

MGMT8690 Major Project I

Description: Under faculty mentorship, student work teams will design a research-intensive technical communications project. Students will study and begin to apply principles of project management.
Hours: 56
Credits: 4
Pre-Requisites:
CoRequisites:

PROG8530 Web Design and Applications

Description: In this course, students will learn the fundamentals of effective online technical communication. They will produce web-based documentation with software used across the technical communications industry. Students will build and manage websites with attention to user needs.
Hours: 42
Credits: 3
Pre-Requisites:
CoRequisites:

Level 2
CEPR8200 Co-op and Career Preparation

Description: This series of modules will prepare graduate certificate students for job searching for their co-op work terms and for their future careers. Students will familiarize themselves with the co-operative education policies and procedures and will learn the expectations, rules, and regulations that apply in the workplace regarding social, organizational, ethical, and safety issues while deepening their awareness of self-reflective practices. Students will critically reflect on their skills, attitudes, and expectations and evaluate available opportunities in the workplace. Successful completion of this course is a requirement for co-op eligibility.
Hours: 14
Credits: 1
Pre-Requisites:
CoRequisites:

COMM8350 Technical Communications II

Description: In this course, students will apply skills obtained in level one courses to create larger technical documents for a variety of purposes and audiences. Students will enhance skills in collaboration on technical documentation and the oral presentation of technical material.
Hours: 42
Credits: 3
Pre-Requisites:
CoRequisites:

COMM8360 Technical Training and Tutorials

Description: In this course, students will build on knowledge of UX to develop skills related to creating accessible teaching material. Such skills include choosing content based on needs analysis, structuring information, developing usability tests, and maximizing multiple formats and online platforms.
Hours: 42
Credits: 3
Pre-Requisites:
CoRequisites:

COMM8370 Document Management and Production

Description: In this course, students will identify and apply practices of managing and producing technical documentation projects. Students will study project management principles and models, planned interactions, and document production for the digital age. They will apply their knowledge of authoring tools to the management of several complimentary forms of documentation in a project cycle.
Hours: 42
Credits: 3
Pre-Requisites:
CoRequisites:

MGMT8700 Major Project II

Description: Building on the work completed in Major Project I, students will complete a research-intensive technical communications project that will form the basis of a professional portfolio to show prospective employers.
Hours: 84
Credits: 6
Pre-Requisites:
CoRequisites:

OHS1320 Safety in the Workplace

Description: This course focuses on developing awareness and skills for the student to safely manage and conduct him or herself within a variety of employment settings. Through the units of the course, participants will have the opportunity to enhance their understanding and knowledge of general Health and Safety guidelines, including WHMIS, Fire Safety and Workplace Violence. The unit on Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act will instruct the student on the requirements for Accessible Customer Service and Integrated Accessibility Standard Regulations. General information on Safe Driving, Privacy of Information and Hand Washing will be addressed as well. The course also provides participants with critical information regarding their insurance coverage (WSIB or other) while employed. As well as guidelines to follow in the event of an injury. Participants will receive a printable Record of Completion upon successful conclusion of this course, in order to demonstrate awareness of safe working practices to their employers.
Hours: 14
Credits: 1
Pre-Requisites:
CoRequisites:

RSCH8070 Research and Information Design

Description: In this course, students will develop primary and secondary research skills necessary for technical communications. Students will also learn to organize complex information using a variety of modalities depending on purpose and audience. The delivery of this course may involve problem/project-based learning with the creation of final portfolio in collaboration with industry partners.
Hours: 42
Credits: 3
Pre-Requisites:
CoRequisites:

Level 3
COOP8190 Co-op Work Term (Technical Communications)

Description: This co-op work term will provide students with college-approved work experience in an authentic, professionally relevant work environment. Students will be provided the opportunity to connect theory and practice by leveraging their academic knowledge to develop specialized vocational skills. The practical applications of this work term will promote students' awareness of key concepts and terminology in their field, improve their competencies in problem-solving and decision-making, further their application of professional judgement, hone their leadership skills (independently or as part of team), and enhance their capacity to critically analyze and reflect on their demonstrated abilities in the workplace.
Hours: 420
Credits: 14
Pre-Requisites: CEPR8200
CoRequisites:

Program Outcomes

Program Advisory Committees

The College appoints Program Advisory Committee members for diploma, degree, certificate and apprenticeship programs. Committees are composed of employers, practitioners and recent program graduates. College representatives (students, faculty, and administrators) are resource persons. Each committee advises the Board on the development of new programs, the monitoring of existing programs and community acceptance of programs.

Apply Now

Domestic students should apply online at www.ontariocolleges.ca or by phone at 1-888-892-2228.

ONTARIOCOLLEGES.CA
60 Corporate Court
Guelph, Ontario
Canada N1G 5J3

Detailed steps on the application process may help you to apply.

International students should apply online using the Ontario Colleges.ca International applicant portal. Please note that not all programs are open to international students; check the list of open programs on our International Student Programs web page before applying.
For additional program information, call the Information Centre at 519-748-5220 ext 3656.

Disclaimer

The College reserves the right to alter information including requirements and fees and to cancel at any time a program, course, or program major or option; to change the location and/or term in which a program or course is offered; to change the program curriculum as necessary to meet current competencies in the job market or for budgetary reasons; or to withdraw an offer of admission both prior to and after its acceptance by an applicant or student because of insufficient applications or registrations, over-acceptance of offers of admission, budgetary constraints, or for other such reasons. In the event the College exercises such a right, the College’s sole liability will be the return of monies paid by the applicant or student to the College.

Students actively registered in cohort delivered programs who take longer than the designed program length of time to complete their studies are accountable for completing any new or additional courses that may result due to changes in the program of study. Unless otherwise stated, students registered in non-cohort delivered programs must complete the program of study within seven years of being admitted to the program.

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