Hartford Conference SIGs

The NEWCA SIGS met on April 5th to share and discuss ideas for the future. Here are brief reports from the SIGs:

In chairing the SIG “So You’re Thinking about Grad School” I met with traditional and non-traditional undergraduate students from Mount Holyoke College, Fairfield University, University of Maine, Orono, and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst to discuss topics and issues central to pursuing graduate work.  Participants, all tutors in the writing center community, shared their interest(s) in a wide range of programs and research areas including library science, broadcast writing, film studies, law, romance languages, technical and professional writing, journalism, publishing and editing, and creative writing.  We explored pragmatic concerns such as financing graduate school, time management and organizational strategies during the application process, writing a personal statement, how to secure influential recommendation letters, and many wanted to knowjust how tough IS the GRE, GMAT, and LSAT, or, perhaps more importantly, do schools still privilege these scores?  How to compare programs and institutions, how to evaluate cutting-edge specializations and online learning environments, locations, and regions….so many choices! Talking to faculty and students at your current and future institutions and seeking input from professionals in your desired field is certainly a good place to begin. Ultimately, the students have taken an important step toward finding the right graduate program for them by networking at NEWCA.
– Kathryn Nielsen-Dube

The Tutoring Strategies SIG was attended by tutors from Mt. Holyoke, SUNY-Duchess Community College, and University of Maine-Orono. We started by brainstorming questions for one another about strategies we use in a variety of tutoring situations and settings. Our topics of choice included: greeting students, working with reticent/uncooperative students, approaching grammar issues with English language learners, reading aloud, and offering commentary on student writing. We shared best practices, and discussed the dilemmas and ethical challenges that arise in our writing centers.The Tutoring Strategies SIG was attended by tutors from Mt. Holyoke, SUNY-Duchess Community College, and University of Maine-Orono. We started by brainstorming questions for one another about strategies we use in a variety of tutoring situations and settings. Our topics of choice included: greeting students, working with reticent/uncooperative students, approaching grammar issues with English language learners, reading aloud, and offering commentary on student writing. We shared best practices, and discussed the dilemmas and ethical challenges that arise in our writing centers.
– Stephanie Carter, Tutoring Strategies SIG Chair.

My technology SIG ended up being pretty illuminating. I was lucky enough
to get such luminaries as Harvey Kail, Jennifer Jefferson, Tom Denton,
Nick Carbone, and some Uconn undergrads at the technology roundtables I
hosted. One of the main conversations we landed on was whether and how
WC’s work with students who show up with new media projects or websites
that they want to work on. Not that we answered those question in our
short time together, but we left with some new perspectives. One of the
undergrads in the second session mentioned that he’ll work with students
on coding (html and otherwise) from time to time in the Writing Center.
As a final note, there was some agreement that a SIG entirely devoted to
scheduling tools (WCOnline, TutorTrac) would be welcome in Boston.
– Christopher Leary, Technology SIG Chair

If you attended a SIG meeting, please share your thoughts with us!

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