AcComp track visual

A road map of AcComp Track's steps to success.

The Iowa State Graduate College Center for Communication Excellence, known as the CCE, has launched a new program for graduate students. The Academic Communication Practices Track program, or AcComP Track for short, is open to all Iowa State graduate students.

Elena Cotos, an associate professor with the Graduate College, said, “The goal is to provide graduate students with continuous and equitable opportunities for building capacity in the area of preparing high-quality dissertation, thesis, or creative component.”

To achieve this goal, the program is designed to support the written, oral and digital communication needs of students throughout their graduate program.

The AcComP Track maps the Center for Communication Excellence’s services to the requirements of the Graduate College. The program is also a professional development and certification program which means students who participate will earn a Certificate of Accomplishment that can be added to their CV or resume.

AcComP Track is divided into three stages. The first stage is the onboarding stage. Students in this stage are oriented towards the requirements of the Graduate College. They create a plan for their graduate career and provide a diagnostic writing sample to gauge which services offered by the center would be most beneficial.

“Students define steps and milestones based on the grad college specific deadliness,” Cotos said. “We connect those steps with the CCE communication support services.”

The second stage is the Continuous Degree-Specific Communication Support stage. It is also the longest stage. This stage is a tailored academic communication support process that is planned out to align with different stages of the student’s graduate program.

“It’s about making sure the students receive the communication support they need at that stage,” Cotos said.

The final stage is the Dissertation/Thesis/Creative Component Preparation Support stage. This stage focuses on helping students make improvements to their capstone manuscript and prepare for their final defense and submission.

The final stage is “customized specifically to the milestones of the process of not only writing the thesis, but also reviewing and format checking,” Cotos said.

AcComP Track works with students from their very first semester at the Graduate College until graduation. The program, along with the others offered by the CCE, is free to use.

“Our motto is ‘We are student’s partners in skill development, scholarly growth and professional success',”  Cotos said.

The center created the AcComP program to be a partnership between faculty and students in accordance with the center’s motto.

For more information about what the Center for Communication Excellence offers, visit their website at Center for Communication Excellence, Graduate College | Iowa State University (

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