Are the humanities for engineers too? A tech com perspective

When one thinks of an engineering student they often associate them with math problems and scientific research, not reading or writing. However, all students are required to take multiple Social Sciences & Humanities courses to fulfill their General Education Requirements. What possibly could a humanities course teach an engineer? Turns out, the answer to that is a lot!

A course that comes up over and over again when engineering students are asked about a humanities course they have taken is Technical Communication. This fall the course is being taught by HAC professors Dr. Sarah Young, Dr. Timothy Hopp and Amy Nicholls. Technical Communication puts an emphasis on written and oral communication, especially for use in technical fields. Students taking this course are in groups that will concentrate on the development of technical documents.

Kent Hollingsworth, a junior majoring in design engineering technology, said, “High school writing wasn’t entirely serious, so I think it got me adjusted to the level of writing that we’d be doing in college.” He also noted that the presentation done in the course was, “beneficial because it was a professional presentation as opposed to one where you just stand up and ramble on.”

Erika Kasen, a junior majoring in biomedical engineering and Kyle Munger, a junior majoring in mechanical engineering both agreed with Kent that upon receiving the instructions for Technical Communication they were really overwhelmed by the amount of work they had to do. Despite that, they all also agreed that the benefit far outweighed the difficulty. Kyle voiced that it helped him a lot in learning how to cite, but also how to communicate with upper management at his summer internship.

Contrary to popular belief, humanities courses can teach a lot to more than just the students in the HAC department. They are essential for every student, no matter their major or concentration and the HAC department strives to enrich the education of every student on Trine’s campus.