ECE 3005/3006 FAQ

The Basics

What are the new junior-level communication requirements?

The NEW junior-level communication requirements are simple. Every student will complete a minimum of three (3) "Communication Units" (CUs):

  • 1 technical writing assignment (5-7 pages)
  • 1 presentation (10 minutes)
  • 1 "elective" communication activity (presentation or writing task with shorter deliverables)

When do the new requirements take effect?

Starting in summer 2012, students will be able to choose how they receive technical writing and presentation help at the junior level, and they will be able to choose what type of communication tasks they want to work on.Regardless of which curriculum you are following, you must complete the new junior-level communication requirements unless you have completed both ECE 3041 and ECE 3042.

How do I get started?

It's easy. First, you have to pass (or receive transfer credit for) ECE 2031. Now you have to decide how you want to satisfy the junior-level communication requirements.

If you want to take ECE 3005, all you have to do is enroll through OSCAR.

If you want to participate in ECE 3006, you need to schedule an appointment with Christina Bourgeois as soon as you pass ECE 2031. You'll also need to be currently involved in an ECE-related co-curricular activity or project.

Why did ECE change the way technical communication is taught?

Curricular changes to both the EE and CmpE undergraduate degree programs provided the opportunity to reexamine the technical communication component and to explore ways to innovate and improve the instruction and resources offered by ECE's Undergraduate Professional Communication Program (UPCP).

What's so great about the new model of teaching technical communication?

The new model means more flexibility, more options, and highly relevant, individualized communication instruction for ECE's undergrads. Students will be able to choose how they receive technical writing and presentation help at the junior level, and they will be able to choose what type of communication tasks they want to work on.

It allows students to receive credit for a wide range of technical writing and presentation tasks that they are already producing in ECE classes and labs, on the job as interns and co-ops, in research positions, in co-curricular activities, in engineering competitions, and in preparation for job searching or applying to graduate school.

Who has to complete these new requirements?

Regardless of which curriculum you are following, you must complete the new junior-level communication requirements unless you have completed both ECE 3041 and ECE 3042.

Do I really have to take one of these courses?

Yes. You won't be able to take ECE 4011 (Culminating Design Project I) if you don't pass one of these courses. Students must either complete ECE 3005 by the semester prior to taking ECE 4011 or complete the requirements and register for ECE 3006 prior to registering for ECE 4011. No exceptions will be made.

Classroom Instruction vs. Self-directed Study

What's the difference between ECE 3005 and ECE 3006?

ECE 3005 is taught in a traditional classroom setting. Students taking ECE 3005 must be concurrently enrolled in at least one junior- or senior-level ECE course/lab (list course #s here). Technical content for all communication assignments will be derived from existing ECE course work or approved co-curricular activities.

ECE 3006 is not an actual course, but it will appear on your transcript to document your completion of the junior-level communication requirement. It is a way for students to meet the requirements by getting credit for writing and presenting that they are already doing, while working one-on-one with UPCP faculty. ECE 3006 offers maximum flexibility and nearly unlimited options for completing the three required CUs. Students who choose this option will satisfy the junior-level communication requirements and earn CUs by working one-on-one with UPCP faculty to complete deliverables associated with approved workshops, seminars, research projects, co-op or internships, and co-curricular activities. The UPCP faculty will offer individualized instruction and review of papers, posters, and presentations for ECE undergraduates currently participating in GT-supported organizations, research groups, and competitions, all of which count toward the required CUs. Students can also earn CUs by working with UPCP faculty on their resumes, graduate school essays, and scholarship and fellowship application essays.

How do I choose between ECE 3005 and ECE 3006?

If you're a transfer student who received credit for ECE 20x2 instead of ECE 2031 at Georgia Tech, the choice is easy: you must enroll in ECE 3005.

If you prefer to take a traditional classroom course to get your communication requirements out of the way, then ECE 3005 is for you.

If you are involved in co-curricular activities such as VIP, ORS, UROP, Solar Jackets, Wreck Racing, Robo Jackets, or if you are co-oping or interning, then ECE 3006 could be a good choice for you. You can get credit for writing and presentations that you're already doing-all you have to do is work with UPCP faculty on current deliverables.

What's the process for participating in ECE 3006?

  1. Once you pass (or have received transfer credit for) ECE 2031, set up an appointment with Christina Bourgeois. christina.bourgeois@ece.gatech.edu, Van Leer E268, 404-894-9597
  2. You'll need to be involved with at least one ECE-related co-curricular project or activity.
  3. At your initial meeting with Christina Bourgeois, you will identify future writing tasks and presentations associated with the projects and activities in which you are already involved.  These future deliverables will count toward your CUs.  You can also choose to earn your CUs by participating in UPCP workshops.
  4. 4. Work one-on-one with designated UPCP faculty on the three deliverables (one writing task, one presentation, one elective activity) to fulfill the junior-level communication requirements. To earn CUs, you must get instruction and feedback on ECE-related documents and presentations that you are currently preparing. Papers, reports, posters, and presentations from previous semesters will not count toward your CUs.
  5. Upon completion of the three deliverables, students will be issued a permit to register for ECE 3006 and part of their schedule for the next semester..
  6. Students will not be able to register for ECE 4011 (Culminating Design Project I) until they have registered for ECE 3006.  Therefore, you should plan to complete your three CUs prior to early registration during the term when you plan to register for ECE 4011.

Transfer Students

Are transfer students required to take these courses?

Transfer students who received credit for ECE 20x2 instead of ECE 2031 are required to take ECE 3005. (ECE 20x2 is awarded to students who took a digital logic lab elsewhere that did not include a communications component comparable to that in ECE 2031.) Transfer students who take ECE 2031 at Georgia Tech (or receive transfer credit for ECE 2031) may choose either 3005 or 3006.

Earning CUs

What counts toward a CU?

Pretty much any and all writing tasks and presentations you are doing in ECE classes and labs, on the job as interns and co-ops, in research positions, in co-curricular activities, in engineering competitions, and in preparation for job searching or applying to graduate school. You just need to work with a UPCP faculty member on a document or presentation that you are currently preparing, and we'll apply it toward your CUs.

Can I earn CUs when I'm not enrolled?

Yes, as long as you are participating in ECE 3006, you can work with UPCP faculty on approved writing and presentation tasks. For example, if you are living at home for the summer, but you are working on your graduate school essays or fine-tuning your resume, you can earn CUs by having UPCP faculty help you with your documents. We employ a wide range of technology to accommodate distance learning.

Can I earn CUs while I'm studying abroad?

Yes, as long as you are participating in ECE 3006, you can work with UPCP faculty on approved writing and presentation tasks for ECE courses, projects, or activities in which you are involved while studying overseas. You can only earn CUs by having UPCP faculty help you with current documents or presentations. We employ a wide range of technology to accommodate distance learning.

Can I earn CUs while I'm co-oping or interning?

Yes, as long as you are participating in ECE 3006, you can earn CUs on-the-job by consulting with UPCP faculty on a wide range of work-related documents and presentations. Due to the proprietary nature of some information, students must have approval from their company to share documentation with UPCP faculty.

How often do I have to meet with UPCP faculty if I'm participating in ECE 3006?

It depends, but expect to have at least six face-to-face meetings, lasting approximately 30 minutes each, while you are completing the three required CUs. This equates to a minimum of two consultations per deliverable (three "assignments"). If you are earning CUs while studying abroad or while co-oping or interning, plan to have at least six interactions/consultations with UPCP faculty via email, phone calls, or video chat.

Can I use papers, reports, and presentations from non-ECE courses to earn CUs?

Probably not. The goal is to help you improve your technical communication skills by working on ECE-related documentation.

Will a report I wrote last semester count toward my CUs?

No. You can only earn CUs on documents and presentations that you are currently preparing, and you must work with a UPCP faculty member while you are in the documentation process.

Can I earn CUs before I take or while I am enrolled in ECE 2031?

No. Students are only eligible to earn CUs after they have completed ECE 2031.

What if I have already taken ECE 3041?

If you complete BOTH ECE 3041 and ECE 3042, those courses will satisfy the junior-level communications requirement and you do not have to complete ECE 3005 or ECE 3006. ECE 3042 will be offered for the last time in spring 2013.

Can I earn CUs while I'm taking ECE 4011 or ECE 4012 (Culminating Design Project I and II)?

No. You won’t be able to take ECE 4011 (Culminating Design Project I) if you don’t pass one of these courses. Students must either complete ECE 3005 the semester prior to taking ECE 4011 or complete the requirements and register for ECE 3006 prior to registering for ECE 4011

What if I will be taking ECE 4001/4007 instead of ECE 4011/4012?

Students who graduate prior to spring 2014 will complete the current senior design sequence (ECE 4001/4007) instead of the new sequence (4011/4012). You still must complete the junior communication requirement prior to taking ECE 4007. If you passed ECE 3041 and 3042, you have fulfilled your communication requirements, and you can take ECE 4007. If you have not taken BOTH ECE 3041 and 3042, you still need to earn CUs through either ECE 3005 or 3006. Although it is not recommended, you can take ECE 3005 and ECE 4001 in the same semester, or work on deliverables for ECE 3006 while you are taking ECE 4001. You will not be able to take ECE 4007 until you have completed your communication requirements. Students will not be allowed to take ECE 3005 or work on CUs as part of 3006 concurrently with ECE 4007. In general terms, all of the information on this website regarding ECE 3005 and ECE 3006 applies to you, substituting ECE 4001 for ECE 4011 in the text.

Help

How do I get answers to questions that are not in the FAQs?

Contact Christina Bourgeois, UPCP Director
christina.bourgeois@ece.gatech.edu
Van Leer, 268
404-894-9597