ERIC Number: ED226353
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-May
Reference Count: 0
Answering Industry's Needs: An Internship Training Program for Technical Writers.
Loeb, Helen M.
Northeastern University (Boston) offers an internship program to train technical writers for the computer industry. The program is designed for 20 individuals with bachelor's degrees and writing experience. Students attend classes at night, taking one computer science course and one graduate level writing course per academic quarter. The computer science courses are taught by faculty members of the math department and include basic computer languages and an internship. The sequence of writing courses includes writing operating instructions and a programing reference manual. Students in paid internships as technical writers or editors work 30 to 40 hours per week, while attending classes at night. Although the initial response to the program was positive, the majority of companies contacted expressed reservations about taking interns, citing among other reasons the time required to bring a new person "up to speed." Problems inherent to an internship program include (1) unqualified applicants; (2) the paradox that a quality intern may be hired full time, thus eliminating a future internship opening; and (3) industry's need for more practical training programs but its capacity to hire only a fraction of the resulting graduates. Careful selection of applicants, faculty and administrator liaisons to industry, and a firm industry commitment to the program can help eliminate possible problems and keep the internship concept sound. (HTH)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Computer Industry
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the International Technical Communication Conference (29th, Boston, MA, May 5-8, 1982).