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Business Communication

This curriculum provides the tools and training to be able to communicate persuasively and critically in the workplace. These self-paced, online courses are designed for students looking to enhance their business writing and public speaking skills.

Students may either choose to take one or more individual classes, or they may choose to pursue the Business Communication Certificate, which is comprised of two courses, Effective Business Writing and Effective Presentations. Other courses offered are Effective Public Speaking; Effective Emails, Memos, and Letters; and Communication Collaboratively.

Upon successful completion, you can download a printable certificate of completion for the certificate and the individual courses. These courses have no textbooks or prerequisites. Students have access to each individual course for 30 days. Students enrolled in the Business Communication Certificate have access to their coursework for 60 days.

Each 4 to 6 hour, self-paced course offers an assortment of interactive exercises, videos, selected readings, case studies, and self-assessments that engage you and structure your learning about organizational finance.

Please see Curriculum and Course Details for information about PDU and IACET CEU units for each course.

 

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Curriculum & Course Details

For each of the courses below, students are taught the following learning objectives and, upon successful completion, earn the following PDU and IACET CEUs:

Effective Business Writing (5 PDUs—0.5 Leadership, 4.5 Technical; and .5 IACET CEUs)

  • Recognize the difference between ineffective and effective writing
  • List and define the four major factors of effective writing (clarity, tone, organization, and delivery)
  • Recognize the role of the audience in effective communication and the importance of understanding an audience's needs
  • Employ formal and informal outlining techniques
  • List and recognize techniques for overcoming writer's block
  • Recognize the importance and dangers of writing quickly
  • Revise for wordiness, unnecessary phrases, redundancy, and jargon
  • Write more effective emails and recognize the appropriate use of email in an organizational setting
  • Employ checklists for organizing, writing, and revising

Effective Presentations (5 PDUs—0.75 Leadership, 4 Technical, .25 Strategic & Business Mgmt; and .5 IACET CEUs)

  • Describe the seven stages of giving a speech or presentation
  • Discuss the elements of establishing your purpose for speaking (Stage One)
  • Recognize the need to consider your audience (Stage Two)
  • Describe how to develop your central message (Stage Three)
  • Explain how to employ evidence in supporting your main points (Stage Four)
  • Discuss how to craft your speech (Stage Five)
  •  Explain how to rehearse for your speech (Stage Six)
  • Describe techniques for delivering your speech (Stage Seven)
  • Recognize best practices for employing slides in your presentation
  • Describe key techniques for dealing with speech anxiety
  • Discuss how to handle difficult questions
  • Describe effective responses when things go wrong

Effective Emails, Memos, and Letters (5 PDUs—4 Leadership, 1 Technical; and .5 IACET CEUs)

  • Recognize when it's appropriate to use an email, a memo, or a letter
  • Explain the parts of an email, a memo, and a letter, and format each so that the communication is effective
  • Consider primary and secondary uses for the email, memo, or letter
  • Explain how to facilitate both primary and secondary uses
  • Create a sample email, memo, and letter employing best practices

Communicating Collaboratively (5 PDUs—3.5 Leadership, 1.5 Strategic & Business Mgmt; and .5 IACET CEUs)

  • Identify the factors in interpersonal communication
  • Modify communication strategies to be successful in small and large groups
  •  Devise a strategy for working effectively in remote settings, including in telework settings
  • Explain the purpose of various types of meetings and explain the outcomes expected
  • Attend a meeting and perform the role of an effective communicator in the meeting
  • Prepare for, moderate, and follow up after a meeting to ensure effective use of organizational resources
  • Document a meeting and distribute minutes or a meeting summary as appropriate

Each of these self-paced courses offers an assortment of interactive exercises, selected readings, quizzes and self-assessments.

Each course has an "Ask the Expert" feature, which submits your questions directly to an expert in the field you are studying. Questions are answered within 3 business days.

These courses require no textbooks or prerequisites. Students have access to each course for 30 days, or 60 days for the Business Communication Certificate.  

Quizzes and Testing

There are quizzes and tests within each course, and each contains exercises and scenarios for students to answer and self-assess their learning. Students are required to complete all content elements in each course and earn at least a 70% average test score to earn their certificate.

As a non-credit program, students earn a complete/incomplete status.  Letter grades are not issued, nor recorded by Duke Continuing Studies.

 

Courses

Course Tuition Status
Business Communication CE Course PackageThis online certificate is designed for the adult professional seeking to enhance their writing style, format and grammar in the business environment. The student will learn to communicate clearly and concisely from a curriculum...
$250.00 Available
Communicating CollaborativelyCommunicating effectively with team members and groups has become more important as organizations have relied on collaborative work to advance their goals. This course, Communicating Collaboratively, will help you improve your...
$145.00 Available
Effective Business WritingThe ability to write clearly and directly is highly prized in organizations. This course focuses on improving business writing. The ideas, techniques, and checklists in this course apply to all forms of business writing: memos,...
$145.00 Available
Effective Emails, Memos, and LettersCommunicating clearly and concisely in written formats like email, memos, and letters is very important in a workplace setting. This course, Effective Emails, Memos, and Letters, will help you improve your use of these common...
$145.00 Available
Effective PresentationsThe ability to communicate clearly and effectively is increasingly important in organziational settings. This course helps learners organize, structure, and create effective presentations. Since many organizations use PowerPoint as...
$145.00 Available
Effective Public SpeakingConfidence is a key to delivering an effective speech or presentation. This two-module course, Effective Public Speaking, helps you to develop the skills you'll need to become an outstanding and confident public speaker. It reviews...
$145.00 Available
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Requirements

Eligibility

All registrants must meet the following requirements:

  • Be at least 18 years of age.
  • Possess word processing and internet skills.
  • Be fluent in the English language (including reading and writing).
  • Be familiar with how online programs work and be comfortable using them.
  • Be computer literate, have reliable internet access and a valid email account.  (Please note personal email accounts are preferred as they are less likely to be blocked by fire walls and spam filters).
  • Meet the computer technical requirements specifications.

Admission is discretionary. The office of Duke Continuing Studies, Professional Certificate Programs, requires students be a least 18 years of age and meet minimum suitability standards. Students are not matriculated Duke University students and university student privileges do not apply to Continuing Studies students.

Duke Continuing Studies reserves the exclusive right, at its sole and absolute discretion, to withhold registration or require withdrawal from the program of any student or applicant.

Certificate requirements

In order to earn the Business Communications Certificate or an individual certificate of completion from Duke Continuing Studies, students must successfully:

  • Pay tuition in full (upon registration)
  •   Complete all assignments and tests with a minimum score of 70% (Students have three attempts at all graded assignments and tests).
  • Complete the course work within the required time frame (30 days for a course, 60 days for the Business Comm. Certificate)

 

Technical requirements

Students must have PowerPoint on their computers to complete the courses.

Operating System

  • Windows XP SP2 or newer
  • Mac OS 10.4.11 or higher
  • Linux/Unix (any recent version)

Hardware

  • 1 Ghz or faster CPU
  • 512 MB RAM
  • video card
  • sound card and headphones or speakers (some assignments have audio components)

Software

  • Microsoft Office 97 (or newer) or comparable office suite such as Open Office (free download available at openoffice.org)
  • Adobe Flash Player 9 or greater (free download available at adobe.com)
  • Adobe Reader/Acrobat Reader 7.0 or greater (free download available at adobe.com)

Web Browser

  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 7 or greater
  • Firefox 3.6 or greater (free download available)
  • Netscape, Safari, Opera, Chrome, and other web browsers may work, however may not render all features of the course(s)
  • Cookies must be enabled
  • JavaScript must be enabled

Internet

  • Reliable internet connection
  • E-mail account (to be able to register and to receive e-mail from the system regarding registration, course status, etc.)
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Schedule & Registration

Registration

Note: Students pursuing the Business Communication Certificate must enroll in the Business Communication CE Course Package.  Enrolling in Effective Business Writing and Effective Presentations as separate courses will not qualify the student for the Certificate.

Registration is ongoing; therefore students can begin the program when it is convenient for them!

Registration is not available June 24 - June 30 anually due to the close of the fiscal year for the university.

Note: our enrollment system is a separate system from that used for your online training, and therefore, access to the online training is not an automated process upon your registration. Please be aware that there may be a time delay of up to 5 business days before you receive the email with your access to the online program. This delay will not affect your allotted completion time for the program. Please check your spam/junk folder because sometimes the access emails end up there.

Enrollment steps

  • Register for course, courses, or package using the links provided above.
  • Receive an email within five business days from our program partner MindEdge containing details about how to access the program’s web portal.
  • Log-in and begin coursework.

Registration Methods

  1. Register Online using a credit card with our secure, real-time registration system. Add the course to your shopping cart and follow the instructions for checking out.
  2. Register by Phone at 919-684-6259 or 1-866-edu-Duke during our business hours (Monday through Friday, 8:00am to 5:00pm EST) to register.  
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Frequently Asked Questions

Is this program affiliated with any other office at Duke University?

This program is not affiliated with any other Duke office. It is offered exclusively through Duke Continuing Studies in a collaboration with MindEdge.

Does Duke faculty serve as instructors/mentors/subject matter experts in the program?

For programs that include such features (not all do) we have chosen as instructors to use individuals who practice, and in many cases are certified, in the subject matter area being taught to enrich the professional working adult learning experience.

Is this program offered online only?

Yes, this program is exclusively offered online and is self-paced.  No classroom Business Communication CE programs are currently available.

Who should take this course?

This course is designed for adult learners with a foundational knowledge of grammar, writing, and basic understanding of PowerPoint. 

Do I have to log on a certain times on certain days?

No, these courses are completely self-paced so students may schedule their coursework as they so desire within the allotted access time.

When is registration open?

Students may register between July 1 and June 23 each year.  Registration is not available from June 24 - June 30 annually due to the close of the fiscal year for the university.

After registering, when will students receive additional program details?

Within 5 business days of enrollment (excluding Duke holidays), students will receive an email from our program partner MindEdge with web access information.  

Is access to a computer required during this program?

This is an exclusively online program and access to a reliable computer is required for the duration of the program. 

How long do students have access to each online course?

Students will have access to each individual course for 30 days from the date they receive an email with their passcode.  Students who register for the Business Communication Certificate CE Course Package will have access to the entire package for 60 days.

How long does each course take to complete?

Each individual course is estimated to take between 4 and 6 hours to complete.  The entire package of courses is estimated to take between 10 and 20 hours to complete. Completion time will vary by student.

Are extensions granted to students who request them?

No.  Sufficient time to complete coursework has been given, and therefore no extensions will be granted.  If a course is not finished and a student wants to re-enroll to complete it, he or she will have to purchase the course/package again and restart the training from the beginning of the course. 

How do students access the PowerPoint Slides?

The slides can be printed by the learner from the learner’s browser. They could also print the slides as a screen shot.

What are the technical requirements for this program?

See the Requirements section above.

How do students ask questions?

Each course has an "Ask the Expert" feature, which submits your questions directly to an expert in the field you are studying. Questions are answered within 3 business days.

What do students do if there are technical issues while completing the course?

Students should contact the Program Manager via email to troubleshoot technical issues. Students will receive a response within 3 business days.

How do students earn a certificate of completion from Duke Continuing Studies? 

Students who complete all assignments with a average minimum score of 70% within the given time frame and pay tuition in full (upon registration) will receive a certificate of completion from Duke Continuing Studies. The certificate is downloadable after the course is completed. Students will be able to download the certificate for up to six months after completing the course.

Will these courses count for credits or degrees?

No. These courses are not applicable to a degree.

Upon completion of one or more courses how do students get verification of their PDA and IACET CEU credits?

Students download their certificate of completion from the Learning Management System.  The certificate will include PDU and IACET CEU credits earned.

What is the refund policy for these courses? 

There are no refunds given for online courses.

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Tuition & Funding Sources

Tuition

$145 per course, $250 for package

Duke Employee Discount

• $25 off the fee of $250
Duke employee pays fee of $225
• Student must register and pay tuition in full prior to receiving program access
• Questions:  Contact Program Manager at 919-684-3379 

Discount must be requested and applied during the registration process and cannot be applied in addition to any other discount that may be offered. You may be asked to verify your status as a Duke employee.

​Group Discount

Do you have a group (Duke or non-Duke entity) interested in training?

Contact the Program Manager for details.

Funding Sources

Our Professional Certificate programs are non-credit (not degree applicable); therefore, they are NOT eligible for federal education loans. DO NOT SUBMIT FAFSA FORMS for these programs. Please note that we do not offer a payment plan for this program.

No loans (Wells Fargo Graduate loan, Sallie Mae Smart Option Undergraduate loan, etc.) can be construed to imply any degree-seeking status for students of Duke Continuing studies. Duke Continuing Studies courses are non-credit.

Duke Continuing Studies (DCS) will not certify (approve) loan amounts greater than the amount of the tuition regardless of the amount approved by the lending agency. DCS reserves the right to reject any loan which exceeds the tuition amount. DCS will not be responsible for refunding monies in excess of the tuition. Students needing to secure loan funding for books or other items in relation to the program are responsible for making separate loan arrangements with the funding agency. No loan funds will be refunded to the student.

Should a student choose to borrow less than the tuition amount, the balance must be paid prior to the close of the registration period.

Loan Options

Your local bank may offer other options for loans or a "line of credit" service. Contact your bank for more information on financing choices.

Other Funding Sources

The funding options listed below may not be applicable to all programs at this time. Please contact the organization offering the funding to see if you qualify and if the funds can be used for the program in which you are interested.

Duke Hospital Employees

Duke University Hospital employees may be eligible for support from the Employee Development Initiative (EDI), which helps employees pay for short-term career-related programs, workshops, and seminars. For more information, visit the Employee Development Initiative site or call Duke Hospital Human Resources at (919) 668-2170.

Workforce Investment Act

The WIA provides professional and basic skills training services to those who have been unable to find employment. Please keep in mind that this process can be lengthy, so plan to apply well in advance of the program start date.  For more information on eligibility, the application process, or to find your local Workforce Development Board, visit the NC JobLink Career Center website.

AmeriCorps

AmeriCorps Education Awards are available only for AmeriCorps volunteers and can be used for educational expenses for non-degree courses, such as Continuing Education courses offered by qualified schools. For more information on qualified schools and programs, contact the National Service Trust at 1-800-942-2677, or visit the FAQ page of the AmeriCorps website.

MyCAA

The Military Spouse Career Advancement Accounts (MyCAA) program provides up to $4,000 (over 2 years) of Financial Assistance for military spouses who are pursuing a license, certification, or Associates degree in a portable career field and occupation. For more information, please visit the MyCAA website.

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Policies & Procedures

Refunds for Online Courses

There are no refunds or cancellations for online courses.

Extensions

No extensions will be granted. Students who require additional time to complete the course(s) they registered for will be responsible for re-registering and paying for the course in full for a second time.

Tax Deductions

Course fees and expenses are sometimes tax deductible. Please consult an accountant concerning this matter. Non-credit programs at Duke Continuing Studies do not generate 1098-T forms, in accordance with the following IRS guideline:

Instructions for Forms 1098-E and 1098-T published by the Department of the Treasury, Internal Revenue Service, states “You do not have to file Form 1098-T or furnish a statement for: Courses for which no academic credit is offered, even if the student is otherwise enrolled in a degree program…”

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