My experience with both writing program administration and writing across the curriculum comes from directing the Writing Center at Syracuse for six years (2005-2011). During my time in that position I maintained and designed new programming for multiple audiences across campus including freshmen, international students, honors students, contingent faculty, administrative staff, community members, and more. What follows is a brief summary of that work.
Professional development. Each semester I worked with our team of WPAs to design workshops and mini-seminars for The Writing Program’s consultants, instructors, and graduate students and, less frequently, for faculty and staff in other departments and programs. Initially these took the form of mini-seminars whose topics ranged from helping students with invention, developing strategies for second language learners, improving our pedagogy online, and considering alternative models for consulting. Attendees would often read current theory and practice and participate activities that would get us talking and applying the ideas in our Center. In later years, this model shifted to a more consultant-centered approach, where topics and activities were directed by part-time faculty and graduate students. You can see a complete list of these seminars on my CV or by clicking here.
Writing Center Committee. In 2007, I petitioned The Writing Program’s full-time faculty to create a standing committee that would allow the Center to have more governance within the Program. At first, this took the form of a Task Force, which was charged with developing a three-year strategic plan. This plan’s primary concern was being more proactive about programming and assessment, including revising the Center’s website, creating an attractive logo, developing multiple online services (which were non existent at that time), offering workshops with students, and assessing the overall effectiveness of our mission. Within the next three years we made good on that plan and through a partnership with the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment, found that both new and returning students were overwhelmingly satisfied with our services.
Workshops for students. As part of our outreach, the Writing Center Committee developed partnerships with other units on campus, offering workshops for students that addressed common and growing concerns. For example, we partnered with Career Services to offer workshops on applying for jobs and graduate school and with our International Center to offer workshops for ESL students. We also partnered with The Writing Program’s TA coordinator to provide instructors with consultants’ perspectives on how their students were taking up assignments on the common syllabus. You can see a list of these workshops on my CV or by clicking here.