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Expanding Community Through University Writing Center Collaborations. Lisa Bernstein University of Maryland University College 11 th Annual Sloan-C International Conference on Asynchronous Learning Networks November 2005. Writing Centers & Community. Diverse roles within the institution

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Expanding community through university writing center collaborations

Expanding Community Through University Writing CenterCollaborations

Lisa Bernstein

University of Maryland University College

11th Annual Sloan-C International Conference on Asynchronous Learning Networks

November 2005


Writing centers community
Writing Centers & Community

  • Diverse roles within the institution

  • Multiple constituencies

  • Cross-institutional collaboration

  • Model for institutional transformation


Role of writing center i support to institution
Role of Writing CenterI: Support to Institution

  • Serve diverse populations

  • Manage a set of services & resources

  • Support student writing in all classes

  • Assist faculty and administrators


Role of writing center ii support to community
Role of Writing CenterII: Support to Community

  • Stewards to a community of writers

  • Alliances and collaboration

  • Ever-shifting boundaries

  • Shared resources, knowledge, & strategies


Role of writing center iii inter institutional collaboration
Role of Writing CenterIII: Inter-Institutional Collaboration

  • Cross-disciplinary space

  • Intersections of departments

  • Academic affairs & student services

  • Interdisciplinary, multi-institutional knowledge communities


Writing center challenges
Writing Center Challenges

  • Isolation of WC administrators on their campuses

  • Lack of collaboration across institutions

  • Need for exchange of strategies, ideas, & resources


Diverse institutions
Diverse Institutions

  • UMCP - research I: well-established WC

  • UMUC - open-access online: online WC

  • MC - community college: under-staffed WC transitioning from a learning center/study skills model


Diverse student populations
Diverse Student Populations

  • UMCP: traditional, diverse students; high-achieving ESL students

  • UMUC: geographically dispersed, non-traditional returning, working, and military students

  • MC: predominantly ESL and EFL students with lack of English proficiency


Diverse tutor pools
Diverse Tutor Pools

  • UMCP: undergraduate & graduate students; retired volunteers

  • UMUC: undergraduate & graduate students; professional

  • MC: faculty, professional



Shared writing center philosophy
Shared Writing Center Philosophy

  • To engage students with their writing processes so that, through ongoing reflection and revision, they can improve writing and critical thinking skills and practices.


Collaborative ventures
Collaborative Ventures

  • Historical: informal connections have grown organically

  • Present: formal practices being institutionalized

  • Future: collaborative practices will become part of the institution, self-perpetuating & self-reproducing


Collaborative activities
Collaborative Activities

  • Recruiting & hiring advisors

  • Training new advisors

  • Students transferring from MC to UMCP & UMUC

  • Regional WC Administrators’ Meeting


Umuc writing center
UMUC Writing Center

  • Open access – uneven preparation

  • All academic disciplines & levels

  • Culturally and geographically diverse

  • United States, Europe, and Asia Divisions

  • Non-traditional: U.S. military, returning, working, primarily transfer

  • Online, asynchronous tutoring

  • Volume of student requests


Future collaborations
Future Collaborations

  • Personal, professional, & pedagogical alliances

  • Connections to other institutional units

  • Coordination of services & resources

  • Student access & retention

  • New ideas for expanding community


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