Carnegie Mellon University

Student Academic Success Center

Office of the Vice Provost for Education

All of our programs are currently delivered using Zoom Video Conferencing. We will return to conducting in-person sessions on campus in the future, in alignment with CMU’s posture on Covid-19.

Become a Communication Support Consultant

Communication Support is an innovative program within the Student Academic Success Center that supports written, oral, and visual communication for all CMU students.

Consultants in Communication Support offer one-on-one communication tutoring and workshops to undergraduate and graduate students at CMU. Advice is based on communication research and scholarship while focused on learnable principles: knowledge and skills that are useful outside of an individual consultation. Training for a consultant position includes registration in 76-702, an intensive, hands-on practicum that teaches consultants to apply research and theory on communication pedagogy, communication across the disciplines, visual communication, and other topics. Being a consultant is an opportunity to deepen teaching experience and the ability to work with genres in the humanities and STEM. Consultants typically work 5 - 10 hours per week.

What does a Communication Support Consultant do?

In one-on-one work with communication experts, consultants focus on teaching strategies for communicating research, proposals, presentations, essays, and applications. They work with all CMU students, from first-year undergraduates through Ph.D. students publishing papers and dissertations.

Additional opportunities

Communication Support Consultants also learn about specific, research-backed communication strategies, ranging from writing effective emails to presenting data effectively to communicating successfully in a team. Some consultants also develop materials such as handouts or videos to enhance face-to-face instruction. Further, some consultants develop or present workshops based on student, college, or university needs or requests.

The benefits of being a Communication Support Consultant

Being part of Communication Support offers a valuable opportunity to gain marketable skills that are attractive to both academic and industry employers. Communication Support consultants will receive training not just on written genres, including STEM reports, journal articles, dissertations and application materials, but also on verbal and visual projects including PowerPoint slides, data visualization, research posters, and more. You will also gain teaching skills and experience with communication pedagogy, Writing in the Disciplines, and Teaching English as a Second Language.

Qualifications

Qualified candidates will possess:

  • Excellent written communication skills 
  • Ability to diagnose and revise problems in texts, such as logic, structure, and clarity 
  • Clear oral communication skills: able to effectively convey writing instruction to students unfamiliar with writing concepts
  • Strong interpersonal skills: able to confidently build rapport with and suggest revisions to a diverse range of students
  • Adaptability: willingness to acquire new genre knowledge, especially in scientific and technical disciplines 
  • Visual communication or design skills are a strong plus

Training

Training for a consultant position includes registration in 76-702, an intensive, hands-on practicum that teaches consultants to apply research and theory on communication pedagogy, communication across the disciplines, visual communication, and other topics.

Application Process

All applicants will need to submit a
  • résumé
  • one-page statement of interest (this statement should demonstrate your qualifications for this position as well as how this experience fits into your future academic and/or professional goals)
  • sample writing (10 pages maximum, any academic genre, preferably from a recent course experience)

The application cycle for Spring 2021 is now closed.