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Skidmore College
The Philip Boshoff Writing Center

Becoming a Writing Center Tutor

Writing Center

The tutor-training course for the Writing Center, EN 303H, is full for Fall 2022. Please direct any questions to the WC director, Prof. Jorgensen. 

We seek tutors from across the curriculum, so that the Writing Center can reflect the range of disciplines in our liberal arts curriculum. Prospective tutors should be skilled, confident, and highly thoughtful readers and writers; they should be able to listen well and patiently, interact adaptively and productively with peers and instructors, maintain excellent work habits, and bring fresh ideas and approaches to their work.

Any student may apply to become a Writing Center tutor: simply fill out the application below.

A writing sample and a faculty recommendation are required for all applicants. (See “Important Notes” at the end of the application.)

Those selected as prospective tutors must register for the peer-tutor training course, EN 303H, The Peer Tutoring Project, taught by Writing Center Director L. Caitlin Jorgensen. Please note that the course is offered only in the fall. Here is the course description: 

EN 303H 01 Peer Tutoring Project
Prof. L. Caitlin Jorgensen
MWF 9:05 – 9:55
4 credits

“. . .it is not the English language that hurts me,” bell hooks says, “but what the oppressors do with it, how they shape it to become a territory that limits and defines, how they make it a weapon that can shame, humiliate, colonize” (“Teaching New Worlds / New Words”). hooks then quotes Adrienne Rich: “This is the oppressor’s language yet I need it to talk to you.” Justice-focused teaching and tutoring of English requires thoughtfulness. In EN 303H, Peer Tutoring Project, we learn a toolbox of strategies for tutoring, including ways to structure sessions and respond to tutees’ expressed concerns. We learn Standard Academic English, even as we acknowledge its racist and ableist foundations, and consider ways to negotiate the meanings and demands of “academic writing.”

Much of the course is devoted to experiential learning, first through shadowing experienced tutors and then through independently tutoring in the Writing Center. In our class meetings, we will consider the roles of writing centers; strategies for effective tutoring sessions, including techniques for supporting student writers whose first language is not English; the problematic position of Standard Written English; approaches to papers from various disciplines; and methods for explaining grammatical and punctuation guidelines. Some class sessions will be small-group meetings to assess progress, to debrief, and to plan. Coursework involves reading and discussion in Writing Center theory and practice, short reflective papers, a research paper, and four hours a week in the Writing Center. Once students begin independently tutoring (around Week 7 of the course), they will receive work-study pay for those hours. NOTE: This course is the required preparation for tutoring in the Writing Center.

We look forward to meeting you!


APPLICATION FOR PROSPECTIVE WRITING CENTER TUTORS

Please see Important Notes below!

Current class year
Have you used the Writing Center before?
 

 

IMPORTANT NOTES

  1. Please send a writing sample—an assigned essay that best represents your college writingto L. Caitlin Jorgensen.

  2. We require a faculty recommendation for all prospective Writing Center tutors. Please ask a faculty member whether they will support your application. If so, ask that faculty member to send a brief email explaining why you might make a strong tutor, to L. Caitlin Jorgensen.

  3. All materials and recommendations are due by March 24, 2022.