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Applying Accreditation Standards to Help Define A Writing Center’s Programming and Its On-Campus Relationships Crystal Bickford, Ph.D. Southern New Hampshire University. Learning Assistance Association of New England Annual Conference October 28, 2011. Accreditation Agencies.

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Applying Accreditation Standards to Help Define A Writing Center’s Programming and Its On-Campus RelationshipsCrystal Bickford, Ph.D.Southern New Hampshire University

Learning Assistance Association of New England

Annual Conference

October 28, 2011


Accreditation agencies
Accreditation Agencies Center’s Programming and Its On-Campus Relationships

  • New England Schools & Colleges (NEASC)

  • Middle States Association of Colleges & Schools (MSACS)

  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS)


Benefits of aligning standards
Benefits of Aligning Standards Center’s Programming and Its On-Campus Relationships

  • Align with administrative purposes

  • Build administrative relationships

  • Help programming efforts

  • Improve student initiatives

  • Increase center support

  • Recognize varying populations

    • Traditional day students

    • Non-traditional evening students

    • On-line students


Marginalization vs autonomy
Marginalization vs. Autonomy Center’s Programming and Its On-Campus Relationships

  • Research of Marginalization

    • Carino, 1995

    • Harris, 1992

    • Kinkead, 1996


Working towards collaboration
Working Towards Collaboration Center’s Programming and Its On-Campus Relationships

  • Lunsford, 1991, “Collaboration, Control, and the Idea of a Writing Center”

    • Collaboration can foster problem finding and problem solving, participating in interdisciplinary thinking, having a “deeper understanding of others,” promoting excellence, and advancing active learning.

  • For us: the key word was relationships


Fostering relationships
Fostering Relationships Center’s Programming and Its On-Campus Relationships

  • By encouraging writing center directors to participate in this process, writing centers may gain the ability to develop autonomy and control over their own programming…

    • Staffing

    • Budgeting

    • Site limitations

    • Types of programming

  • Center creates its own identity as a result of broadening its internal relationships


Our writing center
Our Writing Center Center’s Programming and Its On-Campus Relationships

  • School population: 1,100

  • Center’s individual sessions: 1,000 annually

  • Center’s contacts: 3,500 annually

  • As numbers , so did

    • Visibility

    • Credibility

    • Financial stability


Role of accreditation process step 1 self examination
Role of Accreditation Process Center’s Programming and Its On-Campus RelationshipsStep 1: Self-Examination

  • Review accomplishments to date& existing relationships

    • Usage statistics

    • Programming attendance (other than 1-1 sessions)

    • Staffing

    • Faculty inquiries

    • Narratives of successful students

    • Overall growth


Role of accreditation process step 2 peer review
Role of Accreditation Process Center’s Programming and Its On-Campus RelationshipsStep 2: Peer Review

  • Director should work with faculty & administration in order to provide information for the written report

  • Share documents on a common portal

  • Write your own section but review others to make sure that small details aren’t lost in the translation


Role of accreditation process step 3 accreditation site visit
Role of Accreditation Process Center’s Programming and Its On-Campus RelationshipsStep 3: Accreditation Site Visit

  • Discuss both strengths & weaknesses

  • Discuss a “wish list”

  • Explain how the center can tie into the curriculum


Role of accreditation process step 4 respond to neasc s report
Role of Accreditation Process Center’s Programming and Its On-Campus RelationshipsStep 4: Respond to NEASC’s Report


Determining success
Determining Success Center’s Programming and Its On-Campus Relationships

To document and make visible what the center does!


Role of accreditation process step 5 implementation
Role of Accreditation Process Center’s Programming and Its On-Campus RelationshipsStep 5: Implementation

Using these conversations…start planning and implementing.


Boquet lerner 2008
Boquet Center’s Programming and Its On-Campus Relationships & Lerner (2008)

  • “It will take all of us who are invested in literacy education, in all of our settings, to maximize the potential of these exciting new opportunities. Our field can no longer afford, if it ever could, to have forged a separate peace between classroom and non-classroom teaching. There is no separate but equal” (p. 186).


Neasc report results
NEASC Report Results Center’s Programming and Its On-Campus Relationships

  • Increase office relationships

  • Increase writing presence

  • Decrease separated populations (on-line, traditional, non-traditional, etc.)


Mission statement
Mission Statement Center’s Programming and Its On-Campus Relationships

  • Gives each department a direction so that they look for ways to compliment one another while meeting their own objectives

  • Common institutional bond


Neasc standards
NEASC Standards Center’s Programming and Its On-Campus Relationships

  • Standard 4.1

    • “The institution’s programs are consistent with and serve to fulfill its mission and purposes (NEASC, 2005, p. 7).

  • Standard 5.1

    • “Faculty categories…are clearly defined by the institution as is the role of each category in fulfilling the institution’s mission and purposes” (p. 14).


Mission statement office of the president
Mission Statement = Office of the President Center’s Programming and Its On-Campus Relationships

  • Engages internal constituents

    • Faculty

    • Staff

    • Administrative offices

  • Engages external constituents

    • Board of Trustees

    • Alumni Association

    • Families of students


Office of the president mission statement strategies
Office of the President & Mission Statement: Strategies Center’s Programming and Its On-Campus Relationships

  • Consistent school-wide e-mails from the center

  • Weekly e-mails from the dean’s office

  • Informal end-of-semester faculty meetings at the President’s house

  • Short articles in the school’s newspaper

  • Center wrote dovetailing mission statement


Office of the president mission statement outcomes
Office of the President & Mission Statement: Center’s Programming and Its On-Campus RelationshipsOutcomes

  • Capitalized on “welcoming environment” where students “learn and grow”

    • Consultant for furniture layout and design

    • Maximized technology

  • Increased budget

  • Increased control of the budget


Office of the vice president for academic affairs and dean
Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean Center’s Programming and Its On-Campus Relationships

  • Representative at President’s Council & immediate supervisor of director

    • Approves…

      • new program ideas

      • funding

    • Publically supports new initiatives

    • Focuses on collaboration

    • Acts as faculty liaison


V p dean
V.P. & Dean Center’s Programming and Its On-Campus Relationships

  • Standard 4.3

    • “Each educational program demonstrates coherence through its goals, structure, and content; policies and procedures for admission and retention; instructional methods and procedures; and the nature, quality, and extend of student learning and achievement” (p. 7)


V p dean strategies
V.P. & Dean: Strategies Center’s Programming and Its On-Campus Relationships

  • Designed and implemented a Writing Consultants Program

  • Increased tutor professional development at conferences (including faculty/student presentations)

  • Increased in-class workshops, curriculum-based tutoring, review sessions, independent workshops, etc.


V p dean outcomes
V.P. & Dean Outcomes Center’s Programming and Its On-Campus Relationships

  • Increased funding

    • 7.5% budget increase is in place that corresponds with the school’s increasing enrollments

  • Increased/combined resources with other offices

    • Writing tutors help literary magazine with marketing, editing, & design

    • Office help works in the center to aid in conferences or external committee work (NEPTA, LAANE)


The office of the chief enrollment officer
The Office of the Chief Enrollment Officer Center’s Programming and Its On-Campus Relationships

  • Issues linked to recruitment & retention

  • Standard 6.7

    • “The institution systematically identifies the characteristics and learning needs of its student population and then makes provision for responding to them” (p. 18).

  • Standard 6.8

    • “In all cases, the institution provides academic support services appropriate to the student body…and provides available and responsive information resources and services” (p. 18).


Enrollment officer strategies
Enrollment Officer Strategies Center’s Programming and Its On-Campus Relationships

  • Center educates admissions officers and ambassadors about the center’s services

  • Shared staffing – crossover between “student ambassador” and “student tutor”


Enrollment officer outcomes
Enrollment Officer Outcomes Center’s Programming and Its On-Campus Relationships

  • Budget for academic preparation workshops (initiated by the tutors)

    • Workshops later expanded into other areas of the college

  • Budget for an “Academic Preparation Tutor”


Office of the chief student affairs
Office of the Chief Student Affairs Center’s Programming and Its On-Campus Relationships

  • Responsible for student activities

  • Standard 6.12

    • “As appropriate, the institution supports opportunities for student leadership and participation in campus organization and governance” (p. 18).

  • Justifies tutors as student leaders

  • Encourages alignment of the center as a student-organized, student-developed, and student-focused entity


Student affairs strategies
Student Affairs Strategies Center’s Programming and Its On-Campus Relationships

  • Giving tutors authority through…

    • Meetings

    • Suggestion boxes

    • E-mail communication “windows”

    • Contests (posters, logos, etc.)

  • Curriculum-based tutoring (& writing consultants)

  • Tutor-led workshops

  • Teaching Assistants (in first-year transition class)

  • Classes conducted in the Center

  • Tutors visit classes


Student affairs outcomes
Student Affairs Outcomes Center’s Programming and Its On-Campus Relationships

  • Increased professional status for tutors (resumes, etc.)

  • Increased communication among transition course instructors, career services


Graduate and professional studies gps
Graduate and Professional Studies (GPS) Center’s Programming and Its On-Campus Relationships

  • A student is a student is a student…

  • Standards 6.7 and 6.8

    • Addresses the need to “identify the characteristics and learning needs of its student population and then …[make]…provision for responding to them […and] in all cases, the institution provides academic support services appropriate to the student body” (p. 18)


Gps strategies
GPS Strategies Center’s Programming and Its On-Campus Relationships

  • Implemented an on-line tutoring program

  • Implemented an on-campus testing center


Gps outcomes
GPS Outcomes Center’s Programming and Its On-Campus Relationships

  • Addition of an assistant director

  • Addition of additional space

  • Addition of funding to oversee additional summer hours for the on-line tutoring


Ultimate question
Ultimate Question Center’s Programming and Its On-Campus Relationships

How do we create and define a writing center that holds institutional influence?

  • Relationships

  • Awareness

  • Innovators

  • Balancing autonomy and collaboration


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