The University of New Mexico’s English Department is offering a Graduate Certificate in Technical and Professional Communication (GCERT TPC) this semester to community members and existing graduate students who already possess a degree but wish to improve their communication skills for their current occupations or to transition to new careers.

The certificate program has a rolling admission and students can apply online at any time. Classes start at the beginning of each semester.

The GCERT is designed to prepare community members who already possess undergraduate or graduate degrees with a specific writing- and communication-related credential to help them improve their communication skills, said Julianne Newmark, Technical and Professional Communication Program director and principal lecturer in the UNM Department of English Language and Literature. Other skills taught include proposal and grant writing, usability and user-centered design, ethics in technical and professional communication, persuasive skills, and visual skills for rich media content like videos, annual reports with images, and data presentations − “Elements that aren’t just words on the page, like colors and images,” Newmark said.

“We are very excited to serve New Mexicans who want to improve their writing, their visual communication skills, and their confidence as persuasive, audience-oriented communicators,” Newmark said. “I regularly receive emails from mid-career professionals in the Albuquerque community who want to enroll in our undergraduate TPC classes or to complete our undergraduate TPC certificate. But that’s not an option for those who already hold a degree. This GCERT allows us to fill a real need in our community and beyond.  And, the classes that comprise the Cert are available in fully online formats, which makes the Cert broadly accessible.”

A wide range of people in many fields have taken or are taking the courses that comprise the certificate, Newmark said.

New applicants can begin the 15-credit certificate program for Fall 2023. The 16-week classes are offered online.

The 15-credit Certificate has two tracks, the general track and the proposal and grant-writing track. Both tracks include five classes, two of which are required courses for the General GCERT: a Foundations course and an Ethics course. There are five required in the proposal and grant-writing track. Many courses from the English Department’s Rhetoric and Writing Program serve as electives, ranging from Visual Rhetoric to Editing.

“This GCERT is available to students who are brand new to our campus, virtually or in-person, as well as to existing graduate students from across UNM,” says Newmark, adding “To be able to enhance our fellow New Mexicans’ skills in ethical technical communication is a goal we’ve long had as faculty members in our Rhetoric and Writing Program. We can’t wait to grow this program and serve our community through it.

Newmark emphasized that faculty and staff at UNM have the opportunity to use their tuition remission benefit to take GCERT classes. Those admitted to the program are able to apply for financial aid.

Those interested in the GCERT TPC can also contact Newmark for more details. Apply for admission online for Fall or Spring enrollment.

The UNM English Department is home to an undergraduate English major, minor, and certificate, as well as an MA, MFA, and Ph.D.—plus the new GCERT. With nearly 40 Ph.D.- or MFA-holding full-time faculty, the department is equipped to offer cutting-edge online and face-to-face learning in technical and professional communication, creative writing, and literary studies.