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  1. #1

    Default Adult/professional education classes/certificates

    So, I am thinking to make use of my new found time now that DD5 is in school, that I should do some of the professional development I have always planned to do. I either plan to do a copy editing certificate to consolidate my skills and have something to show for them (even though the course would not actually teach me much because I have 10 years of copy editing experience), or a technical writing or indexing course to expand what sort of work I can do.

    Anyway, a lot of the places that run these things are US based. The likes of UC Berkeley Extension, UC San Diego extension, and the University of Chicago Graham school. The alternative is a graduate certificate at a NZ based university.

    I get work from all over the world, so I am not concerned about having something from a NZ education provider to attract NZ clients, but does anyone know how these professional development courses from these university extensions are viewed in the US? Are they like well regarded (for a professional development certificate) or are they just a money making thing for the uni's and would not be worth much to the student?
    New Zealand-based. DD 10 (year 5 [NZ system]) homeschooled, and DD 5 (year 0 [NZ system]) who is currently trying out public school.

    Freelance copyeditor, specializing in scientific text, who will make mistakes in my posts (I don't self-edit).

  2. T4L In Forum Dec18
  3. #2

    Default

    The universities you list are all well-respected, long-running colleges. However, I know nothing about their individual programs.

    Is there an US or world-wide association/group for technical writing/editing? Sometimes they may list programs and reviews.

    I'm assuming you are afraid of sham programs? You could contact each school separately, ask for materials about the program, but also ask if you could be contacted by current and former students of the program. Ask about the graduation rate. While I'm sure students happy with the program will be selected, they might give you more insight than the administrators of the program.
    Carol

    Homeschooled two kids for 11 years, now trying to pay it forward

    Daughter (22), a University of Iowa senior triple majoring in English with Creative Writing, Journalism, and Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies

    Son (21), a Purdue University junior majoring in Computer Science, minoring in math, geology, anthropology, and history

  4. #3

    Default

    Thanks

    Yes I know the universities are well respected. But these professional development arms are not really the universities. I did some courses through the UC San Diego Extension one when we lived there, and I found them very lacking. The courses were just taught by "industry professionals" and they did not have a lot of knowledge or very good teaching skills. So I already know that the teaching and information is going to be pretty lacklustre.

    If I do a copyediting course, that does not really matter as I won't be doing it to learn anything. I will just be doing it to have something to put on my CV to show clients that I know what I am doing. Its a bit weird in the field of editing I am in; you are expected to have a specialist degree (e.g., science PhD in my case) but then they all get a bit iffy if you "only" have on the job experience and no English/Journalism/Communication degree. So it's more a client reassurance that I am after in that case.

    Yes there are lots of professional organizations that I am member of and I have looked at all their advice on what to do (it varies widely from don't bother to yes its worthwhile).

    More, I was wanting to find out, for the average American (where many of my clients are from), if you had say written a math book that you wanted to contract a freelance editor to edit, and I had a professional development certificate from one of those places on my CV, would that be something you regarded as good?

    I know if I do the NZ one, then the university name will not be recognizable to clients in the US (and probably Asia as well), but I don't want to take one of the US ones if the recognizability does not translate to increased reassurance of my skills because they are a bit harder to fit in with the differences in semesters/breaks and time zones.
    Last edited by NZ_Mama; 12-03-2018 at 04:47 PM.
    New Zealand-based. DD 10 (year 5 [NZ system]) homeschooled, and DD 5 (year 0 [NZ system]) who is currently trying out public school.

    Freelance copyeditor, specializing in scientific text, who will make mistakes in my posts (I don't self-edit).

  5. #4

    Default

    As an average American customer, I would consider first the person who had a background in the subject that I was writing about, and then secondarily, your copy editing skills. If it's math, I want the person to be comfortable with math, its logic and symbols; otherwise some pretty silly mistakes can be made. What would sell me most is previous experience in my subject and samples of your work.

    Anyone can get into an extension class, even if it's with a reputable university, so I'd only do it if I needed to brush up on the skills.
    Homeschooling an only, DS9

  6. #5

    Default

    Thanks Vicsmom

    That does help. I am very on the fence about it. I kind of think it would be more worthwhile to do something that gives me skills I don't currently have (like indexing) or to brush up on skills I have not used in ages (like writing, which I used to be good at but terrifies me now as I spend all my time molding other people's words) to expand my client base.

    And yes, lots of mistakes to be had if you don't have the specialist knowledge. I had a rather strong disagreement with an editor with a non-science/English degree background, who was meant to be mentoring me for a position, after she said I should not have changed a symbol from a circle with a vertical slash to one with a diagonal slash through it for the diameter. When it was meant to be the diameter, and the diameter symbol has a diagonal slash. She told me it was the "clients choice" if they wanted to use a vertical slash symbol. Um no, it is so not and it could be interpreted as something else.
    New Zealand-based. DD 10 (year 5 [NZ system]) homeschooled, and DD 5 (year 0 [NZ system]) who is currently trying out public school.

    Freelance copyeditor, specializing in scientific text, who will make mistakes in my posts (I don't self-edit).

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Adult/professional education classes/certificates