2024 Conference Themes

CPTSC 2024
October 18–19, 2024
The University of Wisconsin-Stout, Menomonie, Wisconsin


Proposals for this year’s conference closed on Monday, May 6, 2024.

Image generated with Designer via Bing AI, January 31, 2024.

50 Years of CPTSC: Form, Structure, and Technology

At the first CPTSC conference, the organization’s inaugural president, Thomas E. Pearsall, emphasized that the purpose of the conference was “an exchange of information” about “what elements make up a successful TC program.” That 1974 meeting featured representatives of just nine of the country’s then-20 technical communication programs. On that meeting’s agenda: how to ensure their programs were responsive to the needs of both students and industry.

A half-century later, technical, professional, and scientific communication (TPSC) is comprised of over 300 academic programs. While our field has adapted to changes in the very nature of information and communication, CPTSC’s core concern for programmatic integrity has remained steady. As Virginia Book, the organization’s first woman president, remarked in 1982, “It is important that we keep in mind the reasons for which the council was organized, that we not stray too far afield and duplicate information available through other organizations.” Change, however, is inevitable and necessary, as evidenced by the growth of our field and the exigency of our mandate.

Thus, the 2024 CPTSC Conference invites proposals for presentations that address the following questions: How have educators and administrators in TPSC reckoned with change over the past 50 years while remaining committed to programmatic integrity? Specifically, what are the forms, structures, and technologies that have sustained our educational missions? How might we nurture or adapt those forms, structures, and technologies to shape our programs for the next generation of students?

Among the original conference attendees in 1974 was Morrell Solem, an English instructor and head of the Student Community Commission at the University of Wisconsin (UW)-Stout—a school that, ironically, was not included on the initial list of conference invitees. Since then, UW-Stout has established undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs in technical and professional communication, hosted prior conferences, and remained active in the organization. It seems fitting, then, that CPTSC’s golden anniversary will take place at a university whose growth in technical communication pedagogy has mirrored the growth of our field. We look forward to seeing you there.

The 2024 CPTSC Conference invites you to consider the following areas of focus:


  • How could new and existing genres—rhetorical, textual, or digital—support or innovate programmatic objectives and student learning?
  • What social or institutional conventions have been reformed, adapted, established, or confronted in creating or maintaining TPSC programs?


  • What assemblages, designs, and workflows have been­­––or will be––vital for student and programmatic success?
  • How can programs in TPSC foster collaboration with(in) organizations, communities, and institutions in ways that productively highlight issues of power, ethics, and identity?


  • How might technologies—mechanical, digital, discursive, or otherwise—support communication practices that prepare students for both industry and advocacy?
  • How might programs encourage students to use and to assess technology (e.g., artificial intelligence) critically and ethically?

Proposal Formats

Proposals are invited for the following types of presentations at the conference:

  • Individual Presentations 
  • Panel Presentations 
  • Posters 
  • Workshops 

Individuals may present in only ONE individual, panel, or poster presentation. Workshop hosts may present in one additional panel or poster presentation. 

Individual Presentations

Individual presentations are 5–7 minutes and should be designed to promote discussion during the second half of the session. Submit a proposal of no more than 250 words (not including citations) of the proposed presentation.  

Panel Presentations  

Panel presentations are 50 minutes and should include contributions from 3–5 individuals. Panels should be designed to promote discussion during the second half of the session. Submit a two-part proposal of no more than a total of 500 words (not including citations). The proposal should 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-word summary of the topics each presenter will address within the context of the panel.

Poster Presentations  

Poster presentations will be displayed during a time for open discussion. Submit a 250-word proposal (not including citations) of the proposed poster. 


Workshops are 75 minutes. Workshops should be interactive and focus on a professional development need related to TCP programs and curriculum.  

A proposal of no more than 800 words (not including citations) should consist of:  

  • A 200-300-word overview framing the focus of the workshop that includes a description of the audience for the workshop (new or potential technical communication program administrators, experienced administrators, early-career and graduate students, mid-career administrators, faculty, etc.).
  • A 300–500-word summary of the topic and activities the workshop will address.

Proposal Review Criteria 

  • Demonstrates a strong connection between the proposed presentation and the conference theme.
  • Presents an original or innovative approach, perspective, theory, or idea that would be of interest to CPTSC members.
  • Raises interesting issues or questions to stimulate discussion or notes what attendees can “take away” from the presentation to use within the context of their own organizations or programs.
  • Please include all references using APA 7th edition style.