Editing and Technical Communication (Professional Certificate)

Award: Professional Certificate
Program of Study: Editing and Technical Communication
Program Code: 1720

About This Program . . .

The Editing and Technical Communication certificate offers students a valuable and focused skill set that combines copy editing, expertise in producing technical documents, and common technology used in the field. Every occupation requires individuals who can write and speak well, solve problems, learn new information quickly, and work well with others on a team. More specifically, many fields and occupations require quantitative analysis, but they also need to produce correct, well-written, and audience-appropriate documents. A certificate in Editing and Technical Communication prepares students to support and produce these documents.

Who would hire someone with a certificate in Editing and Technical Communication? First, any organization that produces documents to read, from every conceivable kind of publisher to individuals and groups that produce online content. Second, technical fields—e.g. engineering, science, health sciences, computer software, etc.—are constantly producing documents and presentations, and these forms of communication need editors, writers, and presenters.

For more information on what you can do with this major visit Career Services’ What to Do with a Major? resource.

All CMU certificate graduates are expected to demonstrate proficiency in critical thinking, communication fluency, quantitative fluency, and specialized knowledge/applied learning. In addition to these campus‐wide student learning outcomes, graduates of this major will be able to:

  1. Use "common industry standard" writing and design software programs (Specialized Knowledge)
  2. Produce and edit a range of technical documents using a variety of style guides and programs (Applied Knowledge)
  3. Apply standard written conventions of English grammar and punctuation ​(Specialized Knowledge)
  4. Navigate ethical dilemmas within the field of Editing and Technical Communication (Ethical Problem Solving)
  5. Communicate findings, expectations, and questions through drafts and final products to a variety of stakeholders in written and oral means (Communication Fluency)
  6. Apply knowledge of the writing process to professional communication genres (i.e. proposals, grant project, etc.), rhetorical situations, and audiences (Critical Thinking).
  7. Identify and improve documents written by others under appropriate constraints (i.e. large volumes of text, limited time) (Critical Thinking)

Each section below contains details about the requirements for this program. Select a header to expand the information/requirements for that particular section of the program's requirements. 

To print or save an overview of this program's information, including the program description, learning outcomes, requirements, suggested course sequencing (if applicable), and advising and graduation information, scroll to the bottom of the left-hand navigation menu and select "Print Options." This will give you the options to either "Send Page to Printer" or "Download PDF of This Page." The "Download PDF of This Page" option prepares a much more concise presentation of all program information. The PDF is also printable and may be preferable due to its brevity. 

Institutional Certificate Requirements

The following institutional requirements apply to all CMU Professional Certificates. Specific programs may have different requirements that must be met in addition to institutional requirements.

  • Consists of 5-59 semester hours.
  • Primarily 300-400 level courses.
  • At least fifty percent of the credit hours must be taken at CMU.
  • 2.00 cumulative GPA or higher in all CMU coursework.
  • A grade lower than “C” in the program of study will not be counted toward meeting the certificate’s requirements.
  • A course may only be used to fulfill one requirement for each degree/certificate.
  • Pre-collegiate courses (usually numbered below 100) cannot be used for graduation.
  • Capstone exit assessment/projects (e.g., Major Field Achievement Test) requirements are identified under Program-Specific Certificate Requirements.
  • The Catalog Year determines which program sheet and certificate requirements a student must fulfill in order to graduate. Visit with your advisor or academic department to determine which catalog year and program requirements you should follow.
  • See “Requirements for Undergraduate Degrees and Certificates” in the catalog for a complete list of graduation requirements. 

Program Specific Certificate Requirements

(18 semester hours)

ENGL 392Introduction to Copy Editing 13
ENGL 499Internship3
Select three of the following:9
Introduction to Professional Writing-GTCO3 1
Report and Proposal Writing 1
Writing for Engineers
Technical and Professional Writing 1
Scientific Writing 1
Select one of the following:3
Digital Layout
Adobe InDesign 2
Web Page Design I
Print Design and Production for Editors 3
Total Semester Credit Hours18
Plan of Study Grid
Third Year
Fall SemesterSemester Credit Hours
ENGL 392 Introduction to Copy Editing 3
 Semester Credit Hours3
Spring Semester
Writing Courses 6
 Semester Credit Hours6
Fourth Year
Fall Semester
Writing Course 3
Technology Course 3
 Semester Credit Hours6
Spring Semester
ENGL 499 Internship 3
 Semester Credit Hours3
 Total Semester Credit Hours18

Advising Process and DegreeWorks

Documentation on the pages related to this program is intended for informational purposes to help determine what courses and associated requirements are needed to earn a certificate. Some courses are critical to complete in specific semesters while others may be moved around. Meeting with an academic advisor is essential in planning courses and discussing the suggested course sequencing. It is ultimately the student’s responsibility to understand and fulfill the requirements for her/his intended certificate.

DegreeWorks is an online degree audit tool available in MAVzone. It is the official record used by the Registrar’s Office to evaluate progress towards a certificate and determine eligibility for graduation. Students are responsible for reviewing their DegreeWorks audit on a regular basis and should discuss questions or concerns with their advisor or academic department head. Discrepancies in requirements should be reported to the Registrar’s Office.

Graduation Process

Students must complete the following in the first two months of the semester prior to completing their certificate requirements (for one-semester certificates, complete in the first week of class):

  • Review their DegreeWorks audit and create a plan that outlines how unmet requirements will be met in the final semester.
  • Meet with their advisor and modify their plan as needed. The advisor must approve the final plan.
  • Submit the “Intent to Graduate” form to the Registrar’s Office to officially declare the intended graduation date and commencement ceremony plans.
  • Register for all needed courses and complete all requirements for each degree sought.

Submission deadlines and commencement details can be found at http://www.coloradomesa.edu/registrar/graduation.html.

If your petition for graduation is denied, it will be your responsibility to apply for graduation in a subsequent semester. Your “Intent to Graduate” does not automatically move to a later graduation date.