Can I require my class to schedule a session with the University Writing Center (UWC) for a particular assignment?
The UWC welcomes instructors to encourage their students to incorporate the UWC into their learning process. Requiring students to have sessions can be arranged; however, requiring an entire class to create individual appointments without consulting with us first can create scheduling problems for the UWC and for your students. We have strategies to avoid these issues, and we ask that instructors please contact Assistant Director Julie Karaus by e-mail or at 262-3144 if you are planning to make a Writing Center session a requirement for an entire class.
Will I get feedback from the University Writing Center about my students who visit?
Consultants document each session via an electronic log that identifies the student, class and instructor; this session log summarizes what was addressed during the session. These logs are kept in each student’s UWC file. Per FERPA, student files are confidential unless confidentiality is waived by the student. If an instructor would like evidence that a student has visited the Writing Center, students may request a "proof of attendance" form that will document the date, time and length of the session for the instructor. Students may share this form with their instructor if they choose. Consultants are not permitted to sign or fill out any forms created by instructors.
Does the UWC offer specialized assistance to English Language Learners (ELLs)?
Our center serves a large number of English Language Learners each semester. ELL students are encouraged to make use of the University Writing Center. Consultants are familiar with the specific needs of ELL students and will help you work through the issues that stem from language barriers. Consultants also have access to a number of grammar texts and handouts designed to facilitate ELL sessions.
What can I do to make my students’ sessions most productive?
- Arrange a virtual class visit with the UWC using this form. A video orientation is posted here. If you would like to explore other synchronous options, contact Assistant Director Julie Karaus by e-mail or at 262–3144.
- Make assignment requirements clear on your assignment sheets. If you have specific documentation requirements, such as using footnotes vs. endnotes in Chicago style, make that distinction on the assignment sheet. This will avoid guesswork during a session.
- Be realistic when establishing expectations about a writing center session. A piece of writing will not be perfected during a single session, and a writing consultant is not a copy editor. Some students are under the impression that consultants edit papers for students or that a single session guarantees that a paper will be finished or perfect; you can help by explaining that this is not the case. Instead, the Writing Center helps writers learn how to improve on their own.
- Students can refer to this handout to find out how the University Writing Center works, what the typical stages of the writing process are, what we can help with, and how to visit us: When Should I Schedule an Appointment at the Writing Center?
- Schedule your own Writing Center session. The UWC is not just for students or struggling writers, and the best way to convince your students that our services will help them is to have first-hand experience with what we actually do and how we do it. Our faculty and non-faculty professional consultants are experienced writers and attentive readers; they are qualified to assist faculty with a variety of writing-related tasks.
To make an appointment, you will need to create an account at Trac Cloud. Please email the writing center scheduling desk at firstname.lastname@example.org for help. We will send you a form to create an account and some instructions on using Trac Cloud.