The Undergraduate Professional Communications Program (UPCP) is the in-house technical and professional communications program in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Georgia Tech. The UPCP was launched in 2000, and has since grown into the most robust degree-specific communications program at Georgia Tech. The UPCP is home to three dedicated technical communications faculty members in the School.
The UPCP student experience begins the moment our students set foot on campus. Through year-round workshops, professional and technical communications instruction embedded within various ECE courses (freshman- and sophomore-level) and also though dedicated, stand-alone communications courses (junior-level), the UPCP provides a scaffolded approach to building confidence and developing soft skills.
In all UPCP initiatives, we apply design-thinking to communication, replacing outmoded language of composition (audience, rough-draft) with the language of engineering and entrepreneurship (end-user, prototype). This innovative approach to communications instruction not only feels familiar to engineering students, but it also instills that communications deliverables should be developed through a defined process rather than being thought of a final step in a project.
The School’s overarching vision is to lead in the creation and development of intellectual and human capital in electrical and computer engineering and their applications, in order to foster the technological, economic, and social enrichment of the State of Georgia, the nation, and the world. The UPCP is essential in supporting this vision.
Far too often, engineering curricula focus solely on technical training, and students are just expected to inherently know how communicate their ideas effectively. Through the UPCP, the School deliberately focuses on the development of both soft skills and hard skills. This innovative approach to preparing our students for the real-world produces well-rounded, multidimensional engineers that are both technical experts and skilled communicators with the ability to translate their ideas for a variety of end-users.