As the new school year begins, many Writing Centers ponder: what is the most effective way to encourage students to attend? Another question many administrators struggle with is which student population to target and how to approach these students in the most efficient way.
These questions are not easy to answer, and result in different issues for each school. Traditionally, Fall advertising focuses on first year students who are new to the college setting. Many Writing Centers team up with the first year experience programs to reach out to this new group and to demonstrate the services offered. These promotions may include class visits and tours of the Writing Center as well as handing out fliers at school events.
Many schools continue to use the true and tried method of posting posters and fliers around the campus. But is this method too familiar to students? A closer look at campus boards shows that seemingly every department has some information posted on every available scrap of wall. The overcrowding of the bulletin spaces causes many messages to go unnoticed.
It seems that many upper level students may not receive the necessary information about the Writing Center services, especially the transfer population who might not have to take the first year experience orientations. These students, who might need Writing Center help, may not even know that where the Center is, or what it does. How can these students be reached? Some Writing Centers continue to partner with the faculty who often welcome writing demos for their students. Other Centers advertise their services on web pages or in their school’s newspaper. But there are a variety of ways to reach out to the students who might be new or nervous about attending Writing Center sessions.
Since technology has been more and more prevalent on college campuses, can Writing Centers tap into that resource and utilize it to both showcase services and reassure students?
Share your thoughts with us!