Pearce Center for Professional Communication

Client Based Program

“Let Clemson Students Work for You.”

The Client-Based Program, created by the late Dr. Summer Smith Taylor, matches Clemson classes with local clients who need communication deliverables. Students in the classes work in teams to create the deliverables needed by the clients. Entire classes work with the same client on similar documents. The clients (non-profit agencies, public schools, corporations, and university departments) publish and distribute the deliverables written by students to meet needs in their operations.

Since 2003, over 167 classes, 4,361 students, 30 faculty and 176 clients have been a part of the program. Students have produced over 1,006 deliverables, ranging from white papers and research reports to fact sheets and brochures, from poster presentations and instruction manuals to web sites, multimedia presentations, and radio, TV, and print advertisements.

The program is designed to help students learn communication skills that will transfer to the workplace. Students are exposed to the complexities of actual audiences and actual needs, and they learn to solve problems through writing. The projects, and the enthusiastic involvement of the clients, demonstrate to students the value placed on communication in the workplace.

If you are interested in participating as a teacher or client, please contact Ashley Cowden Fisk, Client-Based Program Director.

Client with deliverablesTestimonials from clients


"The students took over this marketing project completely, thus leaving Clean Start's volunteers free to focus on their clients.  The services...were done on a professional level and because of the students' efforts to ensure Clean Start's recognition in the community, we have received two substantial donations."
  Pati Brosche, Treasurer, Clean Start

"The students developed a variety of creative ideas that help the Red Cross market our training in the communities we serve...One of these methods was utilized for our CPR Saturday initiative in March and helped us reach 420 individuals in one day with our lifesaving training...The role this program has played in supporting our mission has been significant and will have far-reaching effects on the Upstate."
  — Ann Wright, Chief Executive Officer, Upstate South Carolina Red Cross

"We have been able to have students work with us developing a policy and procedures handbook, staff and volunteer job descriptions, promotional literature, and a wonderful website.  Without the assistance of these students, we would not have had the exposure in our community we have now."
— Kathryn Fedele, Volunteer Coordinator, Anderson Free Clinic


"When students work with the leaders of nonprofits in the community or make a presentation to a board, they see their work making a real difference and they get enthused and focused. They consistently perform above expectations." 
— Phil Randall, Lecturer, English Department, Clemson University

"For some students these projects are their first opportunity to see how writing happens at the workplace and how essential writing skills are.  This program gives students the ability to feel confident with their writing skills and to feel that they could jump into any job situation and be able to produce great writing." 
  — Ashley Cowden, Lecturer and Coordinator of Client-Based Program, English Department, Clemson University

"In the long run I think it does a really good job of helping prepare them [the students] for writing in the workplace and for professional writing."
— Angelina Oberdan, Lecturer

"Non-client based students lose the experience and understanding of what it means to work with a client, as well as how writing can be collaborative."
 — Sean Morey, Assistant Professor                        


Undergraduates in the Pearce Center, Clemson University, Clemson South Carolina"In the midst of learning business writing, I was also able to be a part of something really special.  The project allowed us to utilize the skills we learned in the class but allowed us to expand on them so much more by working in a group towards a cause." 
— Gabriela Carvalhal

"By completing a project that would be used daily in a real organization, I found value in my work which compelled me to add an extra level of attention and perfection...The project taught me a great deal about collaborative scholarship and teamwork...The project showed me that I could make an impact with my school learning in my community and abroad."
— Brittany Moree