ENGRC 3341 Information

ENGRC 3341 is a 1-credit opportunity that allows an undergraduate to complete field-specific communication work with a Cornell Engineering faculty mentor. Generally speaking, 3341 is created for engineering instructors who want to provide an opportunity for specific, identified students and specialized projects. ENGRC 3341 course is not designed for students to enroll in like regular courses; it is designed to be an avenue for instructors to provide opportunity within their specific fields.

The Engineering Communications Requirement and ENGRC 3341

  • All 3341 paperwork MUST be submitted by the last Wednesday in August for Fall semester consideration.
  • All 3341 paperwork MUST be submitted by the last Wednesday in January for Spring semester consideration.
  • Students who are approved will enroll in a 1cr graded course using a PIN provided by the ECP Director. 

Using the ENGRC 3341 option, Engineering instructors in the majors can provide guided communication-intensive projects and communication instruction for select students, enabling those students to fulfill the Engineering Communications Requirement (ECR). The instructor of record will be the  Director of the Engineering Communications Program (ECP), who will record the final grade provided by the Engineering instructor.

Note about policy change:  As of Fall 2024, ENGRC 3341 cannot be used to provide teaching assistants with their Engineering Communications Requirement. This is for all TAs (paid, for-credit, or volunteers). As well, work for project teams will not be considered for ENGRC 3341.

As a student, if you are interested in ENGRC 3341, please request the 3341 Information Packet by sending an email to engrcomm_info@cornell.edu with the subject line stating "3341 request."

For Faculty: ENGRC 3341 Considerations and Process

Generally speaking, ENGRC 3341 can be initiated by a Cornell Engineering instructor in a major program or by an affiliated Engineering student in collaboration with an Engineering instructor. If you are an instructor and you have identified a project that deserves more attention OR if you would like to provide targeted, intensive communication projects for a subset of your enrolled undergraduate students, 3341 may be a great opportunity for selected students that you are mentoring.

For Faculty: Considerations

In general, the student workload should be equivalent to any additional workload for a 1cr course in the College of Engineering (around 37.5 hours). All parties (instructors and students alike) should understand that this additional workload during the semester is expected for graded letter credit (not pass/fail), which should include not only a project set but feedback and revision cycles.

Project sets are the collection of materials to be graded; their contents are determined by the Engineering faculty, not ECP. Such student work for engineering communication credit might be any or all of the following or other substantial project work deemed appropriate for communication learning outcomes (below). The best 3341 projects have a variety of deliverables, not just writing. Items such as these have worked well in the past for other participating faculty, where writing and also other genres are mixed for a strong final portfolio:

  • A long research paper (10+ pages) with both primary and secondary sources properly cited. Such papers should include not only writing but also visual communication pieces (figures: graphs, charts, visuals, drawing, code snippets, etc.). It is expected that all figures have full caption work. The work should demonstrate a revision (one or more) after the instructor has reviewed it and commented.
  • A 15-20 minute final presentation. Slides are created and they contain legacy/archival quality full notes in the notes pane. The work should demonstrate a revision (one or more) after the instructor has reviewed it and commented. A live or recorded presentation is completed and reviewed by the engineering instructor.
  • A scientific poster. The work should demonstrate a revision (one or more) after the instructor has reviewed it and commented.
  • Another genre or project that provides substantial engineering communication.

Unacceptable types of project examples include those listed below. Any applications that have as their work outcomes as these will be declined.

  • A set or subset of course/teaching materials, including review notes, lecture notes, slides, grading guides, problem sets, and the like. No work associated with being a TA (paid, for credit, or volunteer) is admissible. 
  • Work that has its home inside of CE’s project teams.
  • A series of blog posts or other social media artifacts.
  • A podcast.
  • Past work from an internship or co-op.
  • Past work from another course already completed, including further writing, rewriting, editing, and refining of communication pieces from a prior semester.

For Faculty: Recommended Process

  1. Negotiate the work with the students. The Engineering instructor within the major should have a conversation with the student about the proposed project, the work, and revision/completion cycles.
  2. Assist the student filling out the application. If the project is promising, the student and mentoring professor create the application, provided in this document. This is for the protection and understanding between the student and the Engineering faculty member.
  3. Submit a grading rubric (required for the application). Part of the faculty’s responsibility is to submit a rubric with this application that will guide final grading at the end of the semester. There is a sample ABET-style grading rubric at the end of the information packet that you are welcome to use or alter to your needs.
  4. Sign the application (required). The 3341 application form needs to be filled out by the student and signed off on by you. The student should then deliver the completed form to ECP by uploading to Cornell Box or by emailing it to engrcomm_info@cornell.edu (mailto:engrcomm_info@cornell.edu) . After receiving the form, the Director of the Engineering Communications Program will convene the CCGB Subcommittee on Engineering Communication to review all applications. Participants in this process can expect requests for clarification and rewriting from the CCGB Subcommittee.
  5. Grade the work (required). Semester grades will be determined by the mentoring faculty member, according to their grading rubric. At the end of the semester, the ECP Director will reach out to the Engineering faculty member for the final grade. Grades should be available for recording by December 21 (fall semesters) and May 20 (spring semesters). We do not give A+ grades for ENGRC 3341; the letter grade of “A” is the highest honor.
  6. Archive documents. The Engineering faculty should archive any student materials needed for future use, including ABET; there is an example ABET rubric in the Information Packet that will be sent to  your student and you.

For Students: Request the Information Packet for ENGRC 3341

As a student, if you are interested in ENGRC 3341, please request the 3341 Information Packet by sending an email to engrcomm_info@cornell.edu with the subject line stating "3341 request."

You will be sent two documents: 1) the Information Packet as a PDF, and 2) a fillable Word document for the actual application. 

Students must complete parts A, B, C, and D of the application form. The information below is a high-level overview; more details will be in the Information Packet. Mentoring CE faculty must upload an applicable grading rubric the Cornell Box provided to each specific student for the application to be considered. As well, feel free to should upload any other supporting materials.

A. Student declaration of project type. You will indicate if you will be working on a project associated with one of these options: Undergraduate Research, Independent Study, Honors Project, or Other (explain in document, Part D)

B. Proposed date of completion Date. We recommend that students will submit a portfolio of final work to the CE professor/instructor by the last teaching day (or before) of the semester they wish to graduate.

C. Student and faculty contact information and signatures.

D. This section requires an application essay (which has three sections), and the essay should be carefully crafted. These are baseline expectations, below. Applications that do not meet these basic requirements will be immediately denied and will not be reconsidered. All essay applications must be uniquely crafted by the student.

  • Create a title.
  • Include your name and NetID at the top of the essay page.
  • Use headings and subheadings.
  • Write with more than one paragraph per section.
  • Show evidence of careful crafting, drafting, writing, and editing.

Section One: A detailed description of the project intended to fulfill the requirement. The reviewing committee will need to understand the aim of the project, the process for realizing that aim, and who will be involved. Note that the content of the project, and the faculty member supervising it, must both represent either the College of Engineering program or Computer Science. Any exceptions require approval by the student's faculty advisor in the form of a comment or notation on the application. (200-300 words)

Section Two: A detailed description of the genre and/or genres, i.e., kinds of communication work that the student will produce. Students are strongly encouraged to include multiple genres of communication. (e.g., research papers, articles, memos, training materials, presentations, posters, data and non-data visuals, and videos); and to include multiple communication modalities, e.g., written, oral, visual, and digital. (200-500 words)

  • If the application essay describes written components that will include figures, the student must include a sample figure in the essay as a demonstration that they understand how figures and full sets of caption work operate. Students should begin by reviewing this resource and then applying the concepts therein to the sample image.
  • Any set of work that includes a poster presentation should list which on-campus events (CURB, CHESS, or departmental events) that the student will apply for, as well as any conferences.
  • All essays should address how their work will be accessible for people using assistive technology to access information. This means that the student will be taking into consideration—at a minimum—the use of color for colorblind users and all practices relevant to users that have screen readers. Include details about how images will have alt text, how the document will be make accessible in its chose form (PDF, Word, LaTeX, slides, other), how equations will be made available, and more.
  • All essays should address how outside sources will be cited and what citation system will be used (IEEE, CSE, APA, other).
  • If the student’s project is to write a piece that will be publication-ready, the student should include the target publication and outline how they will conform to its publication rules and guidelines. Include hotlinks. For example, if the student is targeting the journal titled Physical Review B, then they would address how to incorporate those publishing rules . If the student was aiming for the IEEE Transactions on Artificial Intelligence, they would refer to the IEEE Author Center Guidelines.

Section Three: A schedule table and detailed description of the teaching/learning process. Include the following:

  • How and when the student will meet with the faculty supervisor. Include specific dates and times, agreed upon by the student and the faculty mentor, for proposal reviews, drafts, rewriting, second drafts, and final version. Total time for student commitment and work should be around 37.5 hours.
  • The frequency and type of feedback that the faculty supervisor will provide to support revisions of the student’s work.
  • Any roles of other persons who will provide feedback to the student, e.g., graduate students, peers, or external collaborators also involved in the project.

IMPORTANT NOTE: For any Cornell Engineering undergraduate degree, all ABET and/or other assessment responsibility falls to the Engineering instructor within the major for records keeping and tracking, including PI rubrics. The Engineering Communications Program does not validate or invalidate any ABET documentation for Engineering programs or majors. All ENGRC 3023 student work should be substantiated and documented within the engineering faculty’s own program. ECP is happy to help with short-form rubric development for these purposes.