The Business and Technical Communications Certificate offered through the UW-Milwaukee College of Letters & Science provides a curriculum that will enable students to develop exceptionally strong writing and communication skills. In today’s economy, it is more important than ever for workers to be multi-skilled and flexible in their professional areas. The Business and Technical Communications Certificate combines an innovative approach with practical skills in writing, research, communication, and technologies that will enable students to improve their skills for working in a broad range of contexts.
The UW Flexible Option is especially designed for self-motivated nontraditional students who want to use their previous schooling, work skills, and prior knowledge as a foundation for a degree or certificate. The competency-based and self-paced format of the UW Flexible Option fits the schedules of students who must balance work and family responsibilities with educational goals.
Who Should Apply
This program is ideally suited for:
- Individuals who wish to develop strong written communication skills
- Students who seek professional training and education to advance their careers
- Motivated, disciplined self-starters who can work independently
- Anyone who desires the prestige and value of a University of Wisconsin education
The Business & Technical Communications Certificate is subject to gainful employment regulations. Go to https://flex.wisconsin.edu/BusinessandTechnicalCommunicationsCertificate/Gedt for Gainful Employment Certificate Disclosure Information related to this program.
About the UW-Milwaukee English Department
The competencies and assessments for this certificate were developed by the English department at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee which offers programs emphasizing outstanding research scholarship and innovative pedagogy in Literature and Cultural Theory; Rhetoric and Composition; Creative Writing; Professional Writing; and Media, Cinema and Digital Studies.
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges & Schools.
Students will develop competencies in communication that are critical to a wide range of contemporary jobs and organizations:
- Business and technical communication
- Strategic writing skills
- Organizational leadership skills
- Information design
- Project management
ENGLISH 206X—INTRO TO BUSINESS AND TECHNICAL COMMUNICATION
Assess and address rhetorical situations
- Research and assess audience, purpose, and context, using local, organizational, national, cross-cultural, and global perspectives
- Select appropriate communication channels and media
- Select appropriate logical and rhetorical strategies (e.g., arguments of fact, policy, worth, expediency)
Write clearly for audience, purpose, and context
- Write with effective style, demonstrating knowledge of plain, passive, and persuasive approaches and good use of tone, word choice, vocabulary, and level of information
- Maintain mechanical and grammatical correctness
- Demonstrate ability to write effectively for international audiences, ESL audiences, and translation
Demonstrate effective self-presentation skills
- Understand the role, possibilities and norms of speech, including examples of digital orality (e.g., IM, SMS, social media) in public face to face and online interactions
- Able to take an ethically defensible, dialogic stance
- Able to deliver an effective presentation online and F2F
Master professional and technical genres
- Demonstrate understanding of genres (e.g., letters, memos, social media posts, technical descriptions, instructions, proposals, multiple kinds of reports), including rhetorical purpose, common traits, and organization
- Format and effectively structure documents using appropriate professional tools
- Conduct effective research and make effective and ethical use of sources and documentation (APA, MLA, etc.)
ENGLISH 428X—STRATEGIC WRITING FOR ORGANIZATIONS
Understanding crisis communication
- Demonstrate understanding of systems perspective on communication
- Analyze crisis situations in terms of pre-crisis, crisis event and post-crisis
- Evaluate responses to crisis situations, by organizations and individuals
Apply theories of strategic communication planning
- Identify and explain theories of strategic communication
- Analyze possible applications of relevant communication theories
- Compare and contrast various communication theories for their usefulness in message development
Manage stakeholders and organizational issues
- Understanding stakeholder groups relative to specific organizations and issues
- Analyze relationship between specific crises and stakeholders
- Create responses to specific crises relative to relevant and appropriate stakeholders (for organizations, issues and individuals)
Develop communications plans for organizations
- Identify the components of an organizational communication plan
- Analyze and evaluate examples of organizational communication plans
- Creating functional organizational communication plans for organizations
ENGLISH 429X—TECHNICAL COMMUNICATIONS AND ORGANIZATIONAL LEADERSHIP
Analyze group processes from the perspective of a member and a leader
- Assess a given situation and determine appropriate leadership strategies, taking into consideration the charge and the modality (ex. FTF, Skype, e-mail)
- Understand the functions of different group member roles and how they enhance group process
- Justify choices about role-taking and communication strategies in the group setting
Demonstrate understanding of specific audiences and message design choices
- Apply knowledge of communication norms to a variety of professional situations
- Make reasoned decisions about communication choices
- Demonstrate knowledge about the importance of communicating appropriately, effectively, and ethically
Describe effective and efficient collaboration relative to writing projects
- Effectively and efficiently delegate responsibilities to other group members in a computer-mediated context and face-to-face when assigned a leadership role
- Manage others in the process of revising and editing group work
- Effectively use online collaborative tools (e.g., Google Docs)
Explain how conflict resolution strategies apply to the technical communication process
- Analyze conflict situations in workplace projects and identify possible management strategies
- Identify potential strategies for de-escalating conflict among members of a group working on a project
- Analyze how feedback is used in order to respond productively to conflict that arises in task groups
ENGLISH 435X—ADVANCED BUSINESS AND TECHNICAL COMMUNICATION
Master all phases of document life cycles
- Self-reflectively manage drafting and revising
- Conduct and manage multiple levels and types of editing
- Manage documents, including cycling, tagging, storing, and retrieving
Demonstrate skill in researching business cases
- Define research subjects and formulate questions/hypotheses
- Develop research methodology and triangulate data collection
- Evaluate, synthesize, and compile information from multiple text and online sources
Master document testing
- Define metrics that will indicate the success of documents
- Design and conduct evaluations that will test documents against those metrics
- Synthesize, analyze, present, and implement test results
Demonstrate advanced writing and presenting skills
- Articulate and apply knowledge and importance of copyright, trademarks, patents, privacy, and proprietary information
- Employ rhetorical strategies for effective visual and document design
- Reflect on and justify composing processes and rhetorical decisions
ENGLISH 437X—PROJECT MANAGEMENT
Master project definition and analysis
- Define project phases and project manager roles
- Identify project audiences, purposes, and goals
- Plan for project requirements and constraints
Master project scheduling
- Determine tasks and time frames
- Delegate work
- Create planning charts
Master strategies for project control
- Monitor project quality and progress
- Manage project risk and change
- Resolve project difficulties
Master leadership and team management
- Develop skill in project leadership
- Learn effective strategies for team management
- Monitor team communication and collaboration
ENGLISH 439X—INFORMATION DESIGN
Analyze and critique information designs
- Analyze design situations, relying on research from rhetoric, cognitive psychology, and graphic design
- Employ framework of principles (such as Williams’s contrast, repetition, alignment, and proximity) to evaluate paper and electronic designs
- Use common design terminology related to layout, typography, information architecture, and graphic elements
Design effective graphics, tables, and other visuals
- Identify and appropriately utilize tools and methods for design and publishing
- Plan and implement usable design solutions to information problems
- Test and evaluate design effectiveness
Design effective interfaces and documents
- Identify and use appropriate tools and methods for design and publishing
- Research and develop solutions for design problem
- Design layouts, typography, and graphic elements needed for implementation
Design effective information architectures
- Identify and use appropriate tools and methods for design and publishing
- Research and develop solution for structure/architectural problem
- Design layout, architecture, metadata, and other elements required for implementation
The UW Flexible Option offers working adults like you a more affordable way to earn a certificate. Instead of paying by course or by credit, you pay a flat rate for a three-month subscription period. If you already know the material, you may be able to pass assessments more quickly and potentially accelerate your time to graduation.
Subscription periods begin on the second day of every month. You can choose from two subscription options, each with a different tuition, depending on the number of courses you wish to attempt during the subscription period.
- All-You-Can-Learn Option: Choosing this option allows you to enroll in two or more courses. You may enroll in as many courses as you have time for within a three-month period for a flat tuition rate of $2,250. You can add additional courses in your 3 month term if you finish others early. This option is ideal for learners who would like to earn their certificate more quickly.
- Single Course Option: If you would like to study at a slower pace during a three-month subscription period, you may enroll in a single course. The tuition for this option $900 through June, 2020. Starting in July 2020, it will be $1,125. Students who are enrolled in the Single Course Option are not eligible to add additional courses during their subscription period. In this case, you must wait until your next subscription period to add additional courses.
|Subscription Option||Courses You Can Take||Tuition|
|All-You-Can-Learn||2 or more||$2,250|
|Single Option||1||$900 (through June, 2020)|
|Single Option||1||$1,125 (starting July, 2020)|
Additional Fees: Tuition does not include any textbook or special course material costs. There are no segregated fees in the UW Flexible Option, which saves you hundreds of dollars per credit hour.
To be considered for admission to the Business & Technical Communications Certificate Program , complete the following action items:
- Submit the e-application and the $50 application fee* apply.wisconsin.edu
- Send official college transcripts from all institutions attended (see section below)
- Send high school transcript or GED/HSED scores (not required if earned bachelor’s degree)
- Due to COVID-19, many high school staff are working remotely. It is recommended to request that an electronic transcript be sent, (if the option available through your high school), as physical (mailed) requests may experience delays.
- Complete Holistic Student Profile & Orientation Part 1 (sent after e-application is received)
*No app fee required if previously enrolled in a Flex degree program, UW-Milwaukee or UW Colleges
You may apply up to five months in advance of your desired start date. All application materials must be received at least one month in advance of your start date.
- To pursue the Business & Technical Communications Certificate Program, you must have successfully completed a second-level college English composition course or satisfy this through placement exam following admission, or CLEP (College-Level Examination Program)—equivalent to English 102 or College Writing II.
Schedule an advising call at 877-895-3276 or contact us at email@example.com to learn more about our certificate programs.
Official transcripts must be sent from each institution attended in a sealed envelope, or sent electronically through a secure document sending service of the institution (i.e. Parchment/Credentials Solutions or the National Student Clearinghouse).
Due to COVID-19, many institutions have transitioned to remote operations. When ordering transcripts, it is recommended to order e-transcripts only, as physical (mailed) copies may not be available in a timely manner.
When ordering PDF transcripts from your prior institution(s):
- Select the University of Wisconsin Flexible Option as the recipient institution
- If your order requires an email address, use firstname.lastname@example.org
- DO NOT send your transcripts to UW-Milwaukee
If sending official transcripts by mail, use the following mailing address:
University of Wisconsin Flexible Option
5602 Research Park Blvd., Suite 303
Madison, WI 53719
If you were previously enrolled in Flex and now wish to return, discover your next steps.
Holistic Admissions Review
Our admission process considers many factors when assessing your application for admission to a UW Flexible Option program. Your high school records, strength of prior college coursework, rigor of curriculum and academic readiness, test scores, grade point average, academic goals, relevant work experience, and your potential for success will all be considered.
The UW Flexible Option is only admitting domestic students at this time. A domestic student is someone who is either a U.S. Citizen, a U.S. Permanent Resident, or holds Refugee, Asylee, or Jay Treaty status. All applicants whose native language is not English are required to submit Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores or similar proof of English proficiency.
Still have questions? Check out our Admission FAQ page.