Writing Center hopes to expand tutoring services

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    An experimental project in Tom Brown/Pete Wright could signal future growth for a Writing Center initiative.

    Director of the Writing Center, Dr. Steve Sherwood, said he is hoping to put tutors in more residence halls so students have direct access to help.

    “The hope would be to have them in the lobbies or some area of the residence hall,” Sherwood said. “We’re working with housing. David Cooper and I started talking about placing tutors in the dorms last year, and we did it in Carter.”

    David Cooper, the associate director of housing and residence life, said the idea went well in 2013.

    “We did it last year in Carter Tech as a trial run, and the numbers were through the roof,” Cooper said. “Carter Tech is now the Help Desk, so we moved that idea over to Tom Brown/Pete Wright.”

    The demand for services at Tom Brown/Pete Wright will determine what happens next.

    “We left it as, ‘let’s touch base again in October, see how the demand is, how is everything going, and if you need more space, we’ll talk then,'” Cooper said. “The plan could be as simple as we pick a building and put them there, or we pick them all, or we pick a couple, that’s what Dr. Sherwood and I are trying to figure out.”

    Cooper said space and budget are the biggest constraints with expansion.

    “Adding new tutors could be costly, because of training and payroll,” Sherwood said. “However, the students being trained would benefit as well as the students being tutored by learning writing and communicating skills.”

    Josh Toulouse, who graduated from the Brite Divinity School in May with a Master of Divinity and a Master of Theology, said that working as a tutor at the Writing Center improved his skills.

    “I think writing is something that you’re always learning,” Toulouse said. “I’ve learned something to make my writing better every day that I’ve worked here. Writing is important in almost every profession.”

    First-year student Emily Alton said she liked the idea of a tutor in her residence hall.

    “It would be very convenient,” Allton said.