UAH-Adobe partnership enables students to access cutting-edge software for free


The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) is continuing its partnership with Adobe Systems Inc. to give UAH technical communication students a seriously competitive edge.

The company is once again providing free licenses for the fall semester to their newest version of Adobe Technical Communication Suite (TCS), which includes industry-standard products like FrameMaker, RoboHelp, Captivate, and Acrobat. Students in UAH’s Graduate Certificate in Technical Communication program and those who are minoring in technical writing will be able to access this software for free in library labs and temporarily install it on their home computers.

Dr. Ryan Weber, UAH’s Director of Business and Technical Writing, says that the agreement this semester continues a longstanding partnership with Adobe through the company’s university outreach program.

"We have been partnering with Adobe since 2013 to bring their software into the classroom, where students can get hands-on experience," Dr. Weber says. "This opportunity gives students an incredible competitive advantage. Adobe is one of the premier software companies in the world, and the software in Adobe TCS is used by technical communicators across the globe every day."

Under the current agreement, the licenses will be available in the library’s Lab 206 for students taking the Theory and Practice in Technical Communication class and the Research and Practice in Technical Communication class. The students will be able to use Adobe Captivate 9 to produce short user help tutorials that can then be published to YouTube. These screen-capture videos are similar to the tutorials created by companies like Facebook and Apple to help users troubleshoot their products.

"Tutorial videos are a huge part of technical communication now," says Dr. Weber. "Now that students will have access to Adobe Captivate 9, they will be able to easily create the kind of help videos users rely on to learn new software programs or solve technical problems."

For its part, the Adobe team is "excited to partner with UAH" by offering students access to the cutting-edge technology. "UAH is doing a commendable job of preparing the next generation of technical communicators," says Saibal Bhattacharjee, senior product marketing manager for Adobe’s Technical Communication line of products. "Hopefully, this will be a competitive advantage for UAH graduates as they enter their professional careers and will make them well-versed in industry-standard tools."

Given the success of the partnership this far, future plans include expanding access to students pursuing UAH’s newly launched Bachelor of Arts degree in writing. "By being able to access Adobe TCS for free, our students can get the kind of hands-on experience that employers value most long before graduation day," says Dr. Weber. "That gives them an enviable leg up as they launch their professional writing careers."



Ryan Weber