NEWCA “WC Administration” SIG (Sunday, 13 April 2008)
Pat Morelli (U Hartford) and Jennifer Jefferson (EndicottCollege), co-facilitators
As part of NEWCA’s first (and successful!) experimentation with Special Interest Groups (SIGs) on the last day of the conference, the SIG on WC Administration began its informal conversation with Pat tossing out a few talking points that are of interest to her – and because she was curious about other administrators’ perspectives about those aspects of WC administration.Those were budgetary challenges; WC Image / Credibility (the public face of the WC); and, the quality of relationships with first-year writing faculty and other WAC/WID initiatives.Interestingly, the conversation immediately turned to issues associated with working with students who have learning and other disabilities and the kinds of staff development that help train tutors for such tutoring sessions.This part of the conversation took half of the allotted time period!
Other topics that were covered, pretty much in the order that they came up, were communication with faculty; reporting mechanisms (chains of command) and institutional support; how and to what extent our writing centers address WAC/WID issues; session notes – various methods of record keeping, how they’re used, tutor training re: session notes.It was difficult not to note how much all of these topics intersectedwith the other NEWCA SIGS, and how much all of our concerns overlap.
The folks who attended this SIG were Thomas Brady, WC Director at MountSaint VincentCollege, Bronx, NY; Sarah Blazer, Writing and Literacy Coordinator at LehmanCollege, CUNY, Katherine Stathis, Interim Director of the WritingCenter at Finger LakesCommunity College, and John Hall, Boston University Writing Center Director.We are interested in learning more about your thoughts about the topics that came up.To what degree has your WritingCenter trained its staff on working with students with disabilities?Have you developed effective strategies for communicating with faculty that you’d like to share?How have your record-keeping practices helped or interfered with the business of your writing center?We welcome responses to these or any other administrative topics.