As I started my internship these were just a few of the questions I had at the end of my first week. Shena, the writing center staff member on 2nd Ave. campus, was kind enough to answer the following questions:
How are the students
referred to the writing center for services?
Various ways – orientation sessions, via lecturers, peer tutors but probably mostly word of mouth from friends.
Is there ever any interaction between the writing center and the instructors?
By instructors do you mean lecturers? If so, yes we aim to agree a writing development strategy for the year with lecturers before working with a class
Are the writing center services open to any student at the university?
In theory yes, but since we are now concentrating on getting lecturers to include writing development practices in their curricula, we discourage drop ins. This is only in the last year and it’s awkward as we don’t like to turn students away. What I do with drops ins is to help the student but I also contact the lecturer to plan a strategy for the rest of the class.
Is there a limit for how often students can come?
No set rule as some students need more help than others but much depends on our capacity in the moment and how effectively the student is implementing our suggestions. It also depends on whether we are working with a specific strategy for the class or not.
How are the respondents chosen?
We advertise, check CVs and references and interview. We try to appoint post-grads who work in specific disciplines. Often candidates approach us.
How many hours per week do they work?
Usually 5 hours a week. Currently, 2nd Ave. Campus has 3 writing respondents at 2 hours/week each and South Campus has 2 respondents at 5 hours/week.
Do they only work with students electronically?
No not only – we include them in classroom work whenever we can, especially when we are working in big classes.
Upcoming posts on the Writing Center…will include information about the reorganization and writing respondent training! Stay tuned 🙂