The Writing Center is not only a place to grow as a writer, but also a place to learn about writing education. We are a community of over 40 undergraduate and graduate tutors who believe writing matters and who are always pushing ourselves to learn more about writing and writing education. As a center for writing on campus, we seek to advance our understanding of social theories of writing, writing processes, linguistic and cultural differences that inform the practice of writing, and more.
WRITING TUTOR INTERN (Undergraduate)
To join us as a writing tutor intern, undergraduates need to apply for and complete a two-semester course sequence on writing pedagogy: ENGLISH 329H, Tutoring Writing: Theory & Practice, in the fall and ENGLISH 298H, Practicum: Tutoring in the Writing Center, in the spring. These courses are a rigorous introduction to social theories of writing and research on writing processes, disciplinary writing norms, and diverse cultural literacies. Mid-way through the fall, tutor interns work two hours per week in the Writing Center, and the spring practicum involves four hours of tutoring per week. Writing tutors are responsible for working with writers in 45-minute tutorial sessions, engaging in ongoing learning about writing and writing education, and assisting with campus outreach. Those who complete both courses with a grade of B or higher are then invited to continue on as paid writing tutors.
Enrollment in these courses is highly competitive. All majors are invited to apply to be tutors. To apply for a seat in English 329H, please send the following application materials to firstname.lastname@example.org:
- a letter of interest that discusses your interest in tutoring and your relevant experience;
- a resume;
- a writing sample showcases your facility with academic essays (at least 5 double-spaced pages); and
- the name and email address of a college instructor familiar with your academic writing and peer review abilities.
Priority Deadline: April 4, 2014. Applications received after this date will be considered depending on the number of available seats in 329H.
GRADUATE WRITING TUTORS, 2014-2015
The Writing Center is hiring graduate tutors for 2014-2015. Writing tutors work with writers in 45-minute tutorial sessions, engage in ongoing professional development about writing and writing education, and assist with campus outreach like faculty and instructor workshops. Graduate writing tutors can work up to five hours per week and must be able to work either a Sunday or evening shift.
Qualifications: Coursework and/or teacher-training in composition pedagogy; experience tutoring or teaching college student writers; and a desire to participate in tutor workshops on composition pedagogy. Preference will be given to those applicants who have taken a university course on composition and/or writing center pedagogy.
TO APPLY, please send a brief letter of interest about your interest in writing education and your relevant experience, a CV, and the contact information of a course director or professor who can speak to your potential as a writing tutor. Please send application to Rebecca Lorimer Leonard, Writing Center Director, at email@example.com. Application deadline: March 28, 2014. Select applicants will be invited to an interview in early April.
WRITING CENTER ASSISTANT DIRECTOR, 2014-15
The Writing Center is hiring for the position of Assistant Director for the 2014-2015 academic year (with possibility for renewal in 2015-2016). This position offers hands-on experience in writing program administration and is an opportunity to tutor student writers, provide support for a large staff of undergraduate and graduate student tutors, and participate in the Center’s ongoing development.
Tutor student writers in the Center (3-5 hours per week).
Mentor undergraduate and graduate student tutors. Encourage conversations about tutorial sessions; assess tutors through regular observations; co-coordinate staff meetings in September, December, January, and May; organize 2-5 professional development workshops; circulate research on writing and tutoring writing; and participate in the annual New England Writing Centers Association conference. Note: In the first-year, the new assistant director assists in English 329H in the fall and teaches English 298H in the spring. In the second year, the veteran assistant director organizes the workshop series and tutors more hours.
Coordinate the Center’s daily activities. Organize the tutors’ schedule and the WCOnline system; review tutors’ performance; manage day-to-day office duties; respond to university-wide inquiries about the Center; and write reports on the Center’s activities.
Maintain the Center’s materials. Revise tutors’ handbook yearly. Update or design publicity posters, flyers, and bookmarks. Maintain facebook page and website copy.
Engage in Outreach activities. Generate ideas for promoting the Center in the university community; collaborate with the Learning Commons leadership; potentially lead summer writing retreats; and assist the Director with faculty and instructor workshops and consultation.
Qualifications: Experience tutoring in a Writing Center is required; preference will be given to those who have experience tutoring in the UMass Writing Center. Also desired are
experience with and interest in learning more about the scholarship of writing centers, WPA work, and academic writing in the disciplines;
excellent teaching and tutoring skills, including the ability to model effective teaching strategies, facilitate discussions, and motivate other teachers;
excellent interpersonal and public-speaking skills, including the ability to listen carefully and offer appropriate advice about teaching and tutoring writing, as well as communicate about writing with university stakeholders;
the ability to collaborate effectively with the Writing Center director and assistant directors;
evidence that he or she is someone who is able to take on substantial responsibility, work independently, offer and take constructive advice, and anticipate and meet all deadlines.
The Assistant Director position is a full-time TO position, a 20-hour-per-week responsibility that requires at least one evening and Friday shifts, all of which take place during the Center’s open hours.
TO APPLY, send a letter that explains your qualifications, experience, and interest in writing centers; a CV; and contact information for a reference who can comment on your tutoring, teaching, and knowledge about writing education. Please send application to Rebecca Lorimer Leonard, Writing Center Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Application deadline: March 28, 2014.
More About the Work of Writing Tutors
The following are links to journals and databases that contain information on Writing Center studies and related fields.
Praxis - An online Writing Center journal.
Writing Center Journal Archives - Contains links to WCJ articles up to 2004
Writing Lab Newsletter Archives - Contains links to archived issues of the WLN from 1977 - 2011