Become a Writing Consultant
Students who want to become writing consultants should have strong interpersonal communication skills and practice reflecting on their own writing in progress. We will train you for everything else! Writing consultants continue their professional development throughout their semesters of employment.
Are You a Reflective Writer?
Successful writing consultants are reflective and articulate about their own writing processes. They are able to explain these processes to others. Prospective writing consultants must be able to communicate with diverse audiences about writing.
Do You Have People Skills?
Writing consultants must be excellent listeners. They exhibit patience, persistence, and flexibility in order to meet the needs of Writing Commons users. Consultants who demonstrate teamwork, professionalism, and leadership succeed and advance in our highly collaborative work environment.
Are You Willing to Prepare?
Students who wish to become writing consultants train through coursework in the department of English at Kent State University, or successfully completed a comparable training course and work in another accredited college or university writing center. We offer several pathways to joining the tutoring staff.
Pathway 1 (Traditional) 3-Credit-Hour Upper Division English Course
Undergraduate students who want to become consultants complete a 3-credit-hour hybrid online course, ENG 41194, Tutoring of Writing, during or before their first semester of employment as trainees. This course may be taken for honors or regular credit. At the discretion of the instructor of the course (the Director of the Writing Commons), students may work in the Writing Commons while enrolled in the course. The course provides:
A complete introduction to Writing Center Studies and to consulting theory and history.
A complete guide to traditional writing consulting pedagogy.
Practical experience coaching writers across the curriculum.
Exposure to identity and power issues in writing center work.
Theory and practice with synchronous and asynchronous online consulting methods.
Introduction to coaching multimodal composers.
Asynchronous and synchronous online coaching.
Research methods in Writing Center Studies.
Current issues in Writing Center Studies.
Publication and presentation opportunities in the field.
Practice coaching new writing consultants.
Writing Center outreach methods.
This upper-division English course is an ideal choice for students in English, education, special education, language teaching or any of the helping professions. It is excellent preparation for graduate study. Registration is by permit through the director/instructor. Continued employment in the Writing Commons after the training semester requires a final grade of B+ or better in ENG 41194, as well as recommendations from the Writing Commons senior staff and the approval of the director. Select the button below labeled "Apply to Join the Training Course" to request a course permit.
ENG 41194 counts as an upper-division English elective, counts toward English major "writing and language study" requirements, and counts for the writing minor. It also counts toward experiential learning and diversity university requirements. It is a hybrid online course, combining hands-on practice with online course content modules.
Pathway 2 (Individual Investigation): English Course for 1 or 2 Credit Hours
Undergraduate students who wish to train to become writing consultants, but who may not feel ready for upper-division or honors coursework in Writing Center Studies may enroll, with permission from the director/instructor, in 1 or 2 credits of Individual Investigation to learn the basics of Writing Center practice. This method of introduction to the Writing Commons is ideal for students who for whatever reason may want to take a slower, more incremental approach to learning the field of writing center studies. It is also appropriate for undergraduates who have had coursework in writing pedagogy. It may be appropriate for students who have had some training in tutoring/teaching methods. The Individual Investigation method provides:
A basic introduction to in-person consulting methods.
Practical experience coaching writers in person across the curriculum.
Contact the Director Jeanne R. Smith at email@example.com to learn more about the Individual Investigation pathway to joining the Writing Commons.
Pathway 3 (Experienced Consultant): Positions for Previously-Trained Writing Center Writing Consultants
Undergraduates who have completed training at and worked in a writing center at an accredited college or university can apply to become consultants at the Writing Commons. This pathway is ideal for trained transfer students who have worked in a writing center at another accredited college or university campus. Select the button below labeled "Apply to Join Our Team as a Previously-Trained Writing Consultant" to be considered for this position.
Positions for Graduate Writing Consultants
Graduate Writing Consultants meet regularly with graduate students developing long-term projects such as theses, dissertations, articles, and presentations. They also facilitate feedback and accountability groups for graduate student writers. Writing Center consulting experience or experience teaching writing-intensive courses is strongly preferred for this position. Use the application below labeled "Apply to Become a Graduate Writing Consultant" to be considered for this position.
Opportunities for Professional Development as a Consultant
Once you become a writing consultant, you not only help your fellow students, you help yourself to on-the-job professional development, leadership training and opportunities to publish and make presentations. You won't find a job that offers more diverse ways to build your resume. Writing consultants are expected to develop themselves professionally throughout their semesters of employment through weekly staff meetings and in-service training days, continued coursework, presenting research at professional conferences, working on outreach projects and developing resources.
Ongoing Professional Development Courses
We offer individual investigations on several current writing center issues as well as a "build your own" option for writing consultants who want to develop their own course of study. Topics range from plagiarism prevention to advanced online tutoring, to ESL writers, research and conference preparation and more. The course, ENG 41096, is registration by permit only. Through the Department of English and the Honors College, Writing Commons writing consultants may participate in ongoing research projects as an assistant for course credit, or may initiate their own research projects for course credit.
Projects and Downtime Committee Work
Writing consultants have downtime projects and develop consulting resources for the Writing Commons based on their interests and expertise, and on the needs of the campus community. Past projects have included web design, public relations, mini-lessons, handouts, promotional materials, event planning and developing training materials.
Outreach and Community Service Projects
All writing consultants participate in Writing Commons Outreach as classroom Ambassadors or as Event Representatives. Writing consultants help develop and administer service projects in the community, such as assisting high school writing centers. Writing consultants facilitate class visits and tours, and help promote and develop the Writing Commons. Past projects include book discussion groups, display cases, posters, group services, satellite consulting locations, creative writing groups, classroom-based consulting, and more. Writing consultants may create and facilitate 50-minute writing workshops based on their individual areas of expertise. Past workshop topics include science writing, citation management, resumes and cover letters, paraphrasing, plagiarism, understanding assignments, giving feedback, outlining, commas, wordiness and organizing.
Conference Participation and Support
Writing consultants regularly make presentations at a number of professional conferences, including the Northeast Ohio Writing Centers Association, the East Central Writing Centers Association, the National Conference on Peer Tutoring in Writing and the International Writing Centers Association Conference. Writing Commons Donor Funding is available to support consultant conference participation.
Awards and Honors
Undergraduate writing consultants in good standing at the Writing Commons are eligible to be nominated for the John C. Tamplin Award for Writing Center Work each spring. Recipients receive an award stipend and are honored at the annual English Department Awards Ceremony.
On-the-Job Management Training
We offer paid professional development for writing consultants who want to become team leaders and student managers by training senior writing consultants and helping to manage our office.
Some people call it "the best job on campus," and you will see why when you join us!
Contact Writing Commons Director Jeanne R. Smith (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information on becoming a writing consultant or graduate consultant.