About the School

The Ron and Jane Graham School of Professional Development in the College of Engineering is unique in Canada, offering professional development opportunities in both communication and engineering entrepreneurship. Since its establishment in 2012, the Graham School has provided hundreds of students with a strong foundation in the skills underlying engaged and effective professional citizenship.  The Graham School was founded on the principle that “softer” skills such as communication, entrepreneurship, and project management are crucial platforms for superior performance in the technical professions. The Graham School team are dedicated professionals with a wide range of expertise who deliver top-notch education and training to both students and working professionals.

The Graham School’s Certificate in Professional Communication is a stand-alone certificate of proficiency that focuses on developing a student’s prowess in communication. Faculty have developed a suite of courses to enhance students’ performance as both industry leaders and as scholars. The Graham School teaches students the art of persuasion and public speaking, both rooted in rhetorical theories of audience and purpose. Writing courses focus on supporting students so that they can develop technical communication skills, learn to write for the public, and cultivate document editing skills. Additionally, the School’s focus on enriching students’ leadership skills is manifested through leadership, interpersonal, and negotiation courses.

The Graham School’s Engineering Entrepreneurship Option (EEO) allows engineering students to cap their experience in the College with a suite of skills and knowledge that help them assess, and then develop, their interests and abilities in starting their own business.  Students learn the basics of establishing and running a business at the Edwards School of Business, as well as more advanced marketing and entrepreneurship skills, culminating in a project that brings them back to engineering where they put it all together.  By the end of the EEO, students have a good sense of whether the entrepreneurial life is for them, and how they might engage in it.


 The Graham School of Professional Development understands the importance of small class sizes so that students receive meaningful and personal attention and feedback. Students learn in a classroom that encourages discussion and focuses attention on practical skills that readily transfer to professional and/or academic environments. All classes incorporate elements of practice in their curriculum so that students use what they learn to hone their skills.


Undergraduate Studies

Rhetorical Communication (RCM) 300: Effective Professional Communication

This course prepares students to negotiate the rhetorical, political, ethical, and interpersonal challenges of communicating in a professional environment. Instruction in the practical aspects of writing technical correspondence and reports occurs within the course’s primary emphasis on the development of the student’s communicative judgement.

Students are asked to assess and respond appropriately to a variety of case studies and to present their analyses in acceptable oral and written formats of the kind they will encounter in the workplace. This course is also intended to provide a foundation for further study in communication through the Certificate in Professional Communication (CPC). 


*RCM 300 Override Requests

We are not automatically signing override requests for RCM 300 at this time. If you have an override request, please download the override form from the University website. Look under “Forms”. Once you have completed the form, please attach a signed and completed pdf of the form and email it to the appropriate person:

Until July 31st, send the form to Debora Rolfes at debora.rolfes@usask.ca

After July, please send Corey Owen at corey.owen@usask.ca

 In your email, please provide the following information:

  • Your College and Program
  • Year in program
  • If you are not able to get into your chosen section, other times (or terms) that may be acceptable
  • If you need RCM 300 as a pre-requisite or a co-requisite for this academic year, or if you expect to graduate this year, please let us know.

We will do our best to accommodate all requests. However, if RCM 300 we will prioritize requests from students with the most pressing need.

RCM 400-Series Courses

The upper-level courses in Rhetorical Communication build on the theoretical foundation established in RCM 300 and explore the persuasive dimensions of a range of professional communication practices.  Current courses include:

RCM 400 (Rhetorical Theory and Practice of Persuasion)

RCM 401 (Oral Rhetoric/Public Speaking)

RCM 402 (Interpersonal Communication and Rhetoric)

RCM 404 (Leadership as Communication)

RCM 406 (Studies in Communication Series)

RCM 407 (Rhetorical Editing)

RCM 408 (Rhetorical Composition: Writing for the Public)

RCM 409 (Negotiation as Rhetorical Practice)

RCM 410 (Rhetoric of Science and Technology)

RCM 495 (Rhetorical Peer Mentorship)

RCM 498 (Special Topics)

Students who have completed RCM 300 or equivalent may take any of these courses (except 495) as humanities or general studies electives (consult your department), or complete 6 courses (18 credit units) which must include RCM 400, RCM 401, and RCM 495 to complete the Certificate in Professional Communication (CPC).

Certificate in Professional Communication (CPC)

The Certificate in Professional Communication (CPC) is a certificate of proficiency program that prepares students for a professional career by cultivating sound communicative judgment in professional practice. The program consists of six courses (18 credit units). All courses within the program have a rhetorical foundation and are delivered by faculty of the Ron and Jane Graham School of Professional Development, College of Engineering.

The CPC is open to students who are enrolled in or who have graduated from any other college. In addition, engineering students can begin the certificate while working towards their degree and then complete it on a part-time basis after graduation.

Technological Innovation Certificate (TIC)

The Technological Innovation Certificate (TIC) program introduces students to business fundamentals and to the processes necessary to design and commercialize technologically-innovative solutions. Students who complete the program will have the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to identify good problems involving tech innovation opportunities, to design solutions to those problems, and to commercialize their innovations.

News and Events

Professional Development Opportunities

Ron and Jane Graham School of Professional Development offers professional development opporutnities to the community. Our offerings include professional communiction, leadership, design and creativity, and entrepreneurship. Please conduct us for further information. 

Working professionals can also attend or audit the following classes to further their knowledge in certain areas.

GE 450.3 - Technology Innovation Management

GE 451.1 - Intellectual Property Fundamentals

GE 490.1- Guest Speaker Seminar     Current Speakers.

Please see here for the past speakers. 


We also offer Communication workshops available on demand. Please contact the general office for more details. 

Communication Skills for Professionals


The Ron and Jan Graham School of Professional Development no longer administers the Maintenance Management Professional (MMP) Program. However, if you attended courses through the SoPD, requests for transcripts should be made to Shirley Maruk (sdm509@mail.usask.ca) at Registrarial Services. 

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Ron & Jane Graham School of Professional Development