New class debuts on East Campus

Beginning in the spring 2015 semester, the Amarillo College East Campus will provide a new Technical Communication class that will be mandatory for all technical education students.
The class was added as a requirement to the core technical curriculum after AC polled several industry leaders on what skills they look for in graduates.
The responses overwhelmingly stated that individuals in the work force need to be able to fill out paperwork common to the industry and know how to communicate effectively verbally as well as in writing.
Employers are searching for workers who understand how to perform tasks as simple as showing up to work on time or how to shake hands while looking another person in the eye, the responses show.
The addition of the class will benefit students by covering topics from resume writing and interview skills to ways to handle work place grievances and disputes.
“This class also covers daily strategies for staying employed and getting ahead,” said marketing consultant M.J. Coats. “Topics covered include the meaning and practice of excellent customer service, written and oral communication skills and general communication standards in a shop setting.”
As one of the first assignments for the new class, students will be required to build their own digital portfolio that they will be able to refine throughout the semester.
Pictures or videos can be taken of students demonstrating the skills they learn in class, which then can be uploaded to their online portfolios.
“This will give our graduating students an advantage over others that are competing for the same job,” said technical coordinator Jerry Terry. “Where one applicant will submit a resume that indicates they possess certain skills, our students can include a link to their digital portfolio that will provide evidence that they can perform the desired skills.”
The portfolios will be created using a website called Work Hands. Students’ portfolios can be used in every technical course on AC’s East Campus. For the final exam, students will be graded on their presentation of their online portfolio.
“We want local industry to hire our graduates because they are the best qualified candidates in the labor market,” Coats said. “Teaching essential soft skills in the Technical Communication class is one of the ways Amarillo College prepares our students to succeed in today’s competitive work place.”

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