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A growing number of colleges and universities are preparing programs to educate students for careers as technical and scientific communicators. The educators who design these new programs have three major resources to help them determine what their program should look like: descriptions of existing programs; published articles that discuss program design in a general way; and advice from practicing professionals. These resources do not provide a satisfactory basis for designing programs. A more satisfactory resource is a model of what the profession does. This model consists of (1) a definition of the common professional aim of all practicing technical and scientific communicators, (2) an abstract, and idealized, description of the general activities that practicing communicators perform as they pursue that aim, and (3) a catalog of the major features of the contexts within which these communicators pursue their common aim. The model is presented and its application to program design is illustrated.