CPTSC 2017 Call For Proposals

Conference Theme: User-centered program design

When we think of programmatic issues, we often think about our program’s identity from an administrative perspective and focus on how institutional, governmental, social, economic, and situational forces influence and shape our programs. But as programs in technical, professional, and scientific communication, where we place a high value on user-centered design and user advocacy, we should also be thinking about our users. The primary users for our programs are, of course, students. For this year’s conference, we focus on how responding to student needs shapes our programs, according to three main areas: recruitment, retention & engagement, and graduation (career advancement).


Student recruitment is critical to the sustainability and life of any program. In examining recruitment, we seek to raise and answer questions about what factors contribute to students choosing technical and professional communication programs.

  • What are the demographics and characteristics of students who select our programs, and how do we address this target audience when we recruit?
  • How can we market our programs, both on our campus and in our communities, to attract a diverse range of students?
  • How can we use the service course to recruit students?
  • What are the needs of students from diverse populations, and how can we address these


  • What stakeholders, venues, and locations can we reach out to in order to recruit students?
  • In what ways can we develop our faculty, curriculum, and infrastructure to attract students?
  • What are other effective strategies for recruiting students to our programs?
  • What are other effective strategies for building program identity and marketing programs to


Retention and Engagement

Engaging and retaining students is critical to program sustainability. In examining retention and engagement, we will explore both pedagogical and administrative practices.

  • What pedagogical practices contribute to retention and meeting student needs and how effective are these practices?
  • How does service learning, community engagement, and other experiential practices contribute to retention and engagement?
  • How do internships and other practices that prepare students to be successful in the job market or in their careers contribute to retention and engagement?
  • How can we use other practices such as advising, mentoring, extracurricular and sponsored activities to improve retention and engagement? What do these practices look like?
  • How does the use of technology serve students’ needs and contribute to retention? For example, do millennials use and learn technologies differently and what does this mean for our programs in terms of resource investment and curriculum? How do programs balance student needs and technology cost?
  • How do specific delivery modes (online, hybrid, and f2f) serve students’ needs and contribute to retention and engagement?
  • What can we learn from our students while they are still in our programs to help us better retain future students and meet their needs? What types of data from current students can help us both recruit students and prepare them for their future careers?


Our relationship with students does not end when they graduate. In examining graduation, we explore how we have prepared students for their life beyond the program and how we can continue to cultivate that relationship to strengthen our program.

  • How do we meet students’ needs for the future not only in terms of career but also for their role as responsible, ethical global citizens?
  • How do we prepare students to meet current industry demands? What specific practices are programs doing to maintain currency?
  • How do we build international connections for programs (and should we)?
  • How do we prepare students to incorporate social justice issues in their work and life?
  • How can we collect and incorporate graduation data into program assessment?
  • How can we build relationships with program alumni and what benefits can they bring to our


About the CPTSC Conference

The CPTSC conference emphasizes discussion of programmatic issues. The audience includes people from new, as well as established, programs and anyone with programmatic interests in technical, professional, and scientific communication programs. We welcome participants— administrators, faculty, and graduate students—from secondary, community college, or university levels, as well as representatives of industry.

Submission Guidelines

Presentation Formats

Proposals may be submitted for the following kinds of presentations:

  • Individual Presentation: 5-7 minute presentation given by an individual speaker
  • Panel Presentation: A session in which 3-6 individuals spend 20-30 minutes examining a

    central topic or theme

  • Poster Presentation: Posters will be on display throughout the conference, and poster

    creators will present and discuss their posters at a dedicated session during the conference

Individual and Poster Presentations

A 500-word summary (not including citations) of the proposed presentation

Panel Presentations

A two-part, 500-word (total and not including citations) proposal to consist of

  1. A 150-200 word overview framing the focus of the panel in the context of the conference theme
  2. A 300-350 summary (total) of the topic each presenter will cover within the context of the panel

All proposals should provide the following information:

  • The name, affiliation, and contact email for presenter(s)
  • The kind of presentation (i.e., individual presentation, panel presentation, or poster presentation)
  • The title of the proposed presentation
  • The connection between the proposed presentation to the conference theme
  • A summary of the approach or research method used to examine the proposed topic
  • A summary of what attendees can “take away” from the presentation to apply to or use within

    the context of their own organizations or programs

All proposals should be submitted as .docx or .pdf files attached to an email message sent to conference2017@cptsc.org. The subject line of the related email should read “CPTSC 2017 Conference Proposal.” All proposals will be peer reviewed.

Proposals are due by 5:00pm Eastern Standard Time, May 1, 2017.


For conference site questions, please contact Local Chair, Joanna Schreiber, at jschreiber@georgiasouthern.edu.

For program questions, please contact Program Chairs, Teena Carnegie and Han Yu, at conference2017@cptsc.org.