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Writing centers (WCs) can promote WC research by strengthening relationships with a number of institutional stakeholders, especially course professors and institutional effectiveness (IE) staff, who …
Writing centers (WCs) can promote WC research by strengthening relationships with a number of institutional stakeholders, especially course professors and institutional effectiveness (IE) staff, who are not often directly involved in WC processes. Intentional collaboration between WCs, IE staff, and course professors would broaden the influence of WCs on college campuses. Collaboration with a broader institutional constituency would encourage students and WC consultants alike to think on an interdisciplinary level through writing-center-hosted workshops conducted by professors from diverse areas of study. These workshops would introduce students and consultants to different methods for discipline-specific research, which would broaden students’ perspectives on the potentials for research projects afforded by thinking across disciplines. Collaboration would benefit course professors by helping their students adapt more proficiently to requisite research methods and writing conventions in their disciplines. Collaboration with IE staff would facilitate program assessment of institutional core competencies by setting the WC at the locus of interdisciplinary and administrative dialogue. IE staff should thus be able to use WC data to gauge larger trends in student growth to change and improve larger institutional processes. Overall, promoting research through collaboration between institutional stakeholders achieves three specific outcomes: 1) it engages professors, WC consultants, and student-writers in a deliberately different research perspectives; 2) it encourages higher-order thinking during individual consultations by getting students and consultants to think on a more interdisciplinary level; and 3) it involves the WC on an institutional level with respect to the school’s core competencies.