Missouri University of Science and Technology has recently partnered with Adobe Systems Inc. to provide students and faculty in the technical communication program with hands-on access to industry-standard software. Courtesy of its University Outreach Program, Adobe Systems Inc. has provided Missouri S&T with a free license for its Technical Communication Suite 5 collection of software programs, each of which technical communication students are likely to encounter in their future jobs as technical writers and communicators.
The Adobe Tech Com Suite contains full versions of the company’s award-winning software, including FrameMaker, RoboHelp, Captivate, Presenter and Acrobat. The software licensing agreement is valued at $52,000, and includes access to free online training materials, including seminars, videos and whitepapers.
The partnership between Adobe and Missouri S&T began in early 2015, in time to allow students enrolled in the Spring 2015 semester to begin using the software suite.
“The Adobe Technical Communication Suite has been a great help for our students,” says Dr. David Wright, associate professor of English and technical communication at Missouri S&T. “We have been able to give remote access to students through virtual desktop licenses, which allows them to use the software from any location. As faculty, we have been able use the software to enhance multiple courses and enjoy knowing that our students are training with the tools that are industry standards.
“I can say that the students had a wonderful experience with the Adobe tools this semester,” added Wright. “Students used RoboHelp to construct an online help system for university software, and used other tools to create our department newsletter. Next semester we will be using the Adobe Tech Com Suite in five separate technical communication courses.”
Students in the Missouri S&T technical communication program have been enthusiastic about the partnership.
“Thanks to Adobe, I was able to use Robohelp 11 in my Help Authoring class,” says Ellie Biswell, a graduate student in the program. “This provided me with the valuable experience of learning to use an actual piece of production-grade software.”
“Proficiency in many Adobe programs is absolutely vital to successful technical communication,” says Amy Ketterer, an undergraduate student in the program. “The Tech Com Suite has given our department a huge advantage in educating communicators who recognize that the method of delivery is just as important as the message. Having access to these programs greatly enriched my education by allowing me to add practice to theory.”
Mike Slusar, undergraduate student and president of the Missouri S&T chapter of the Society for Technical Communication, was also impressed by the software.
“The Adobe Tech Com suite has been great at helping me in the work force during my summer internship,” Slusar says. “Being exposed to the software not only allowed me to be more prepared for the types of tasks I am doing, but it also made me more confident in working as a technical communicator. While learning how to use the Tech Com suite, my professors were able to apply real-world case scenarios to our courses, which made learning the software easy and fun. Because of my exposure to the software at Missouri S&T, I found that I required far less assistance from other employees when I began my internship.”
Missouri S&T offers bachelor of science and master of science degrees in technical communication, as well as both undergraduate and graduate certificate programs. For more information visit english.mst.edu/department/techcom/.