"The desire to write grows with writing." – Erasmus
"A lot of people come to the Writing Center concerned that they are not good writers, but I have had no cases where this is true. They just need someone to push them past that little bit of self-doubt and change the way that they see themselves as writers. I’m happy that I get to be that person."
"No day at the writing center is ever the same. I am always meeting and working with new people and improving my writing in the process."
Sociology and Communication Studies
"Working at the Writing Center is a constant learning experience! Every session is different, and I love when writers leave feeling more confident in their writing."
Accounting and Finance
"I love being able to help other writers find their unique voice and style in their writing."
Biology and English
"I love being a tutor because the writing center is such a great work environment. It's a space that encourages pensive thought, collaborative learning, and reflection."
"I love reading the work of students who come in for help and learning about different topics. As I've read through papers, I've learned information in fields from psychology to nursing to statistics."
"It’s always great when a student walks away from a tutoring session noticeably more relieved and cheerful than when they came in. It shows that they’re getting it, that they’re beginning to understand the organization, structure, logic, and intricacies of the writing process. From the tutor’s perspective, observing this makes my job feel substantially more meaningful."
We look for students who enjoy writing and helping others. While strong writing and communication skills are essential, you don't have to be a grammar whiz or someone for whom writing has always come easily, even now. We're also an inclusive space, welcoming writers of different races, cultures, ages, religions, sexual orientations, socioeconomic backgrounds, and social identities and life experiences. It is important for us that our staff reflect, and respect, those differences, too.
We are also looking for students with some familiarity already with the Writing Center. Before you apply, you should have used the Writing Center at least once during your time at St. Joe's so you have a basic understand of how our operation works and so you demonstrate your willingness to engage as a writer with other writers. If you've not yet been to the Writing Center, it's not too late. Make an appointment! You can always work with someone on your application to the Writing Center course.
Yes, any undergraduate student who works in the Writing Center must first successfully complete ENG 345: Tutor Practicum, Writing Center Theory & Practice, a course that is offered each fall (and only in the fall). The course fulfills an Area I requirement of the English major/minor as well as a Writing-Intensive requirement for the GEP. That semester-long course will build the foundation for you, training you to work with an array of writers, including ESL writers and writers on the spectrum. (And if you are an ESL writer or a writer on the spectrum, apply to be a tutor!)
Beyond the course, the tutoring you do, the conversations you have with fellow staff members, and monthly staff trainings all will continue to help you learn and grow as a tutor during your time in the Writing Center.
You'll meet one-on-one with writers, either face-to-face or online. While we help writers at any stage of the writing process, the bulk of our work is with rough drafts. But there are other opportunities in addition to tutoring. You might help manage our social media, edit our SJU Writes blog, work at our annual used book sale, pitch the Writing Center to classes or other groups on campus, attend trainings, tutor at one of our Writing Center pop-ups, or travel to a national writing center conference. The Writing Center, while directed by two faculty members, is student-driven, and many of our initiatives are inspired by our staff members.
No! While English majors or minors make up about half of our staff, we welcome all majors from all three schools. We aim for a diverse staff of peer tutors with an array of interests and expertise, identities and life experiences, and home languages.
Besides the fact that it's a paid gig in one of the best places to work on campus? Truly, a lot of things that we can't put a price on. Like fellow staff members who become good friends. Or the chance to get to know other professors, and students, on campus. Or the professional experience you can add to your resume. There's the opportunity to make a difference, in the lives of the writers you work with in the Writing Center, the high school students you might encounter during one of our college essay workshop events , or the local teens who attend our summer creative writing workshop at the Wynnefield public library.
The number of hours you will work depends on your own schedule. Some of our tutors work as little as two hours per week (especially our staff members who are athletes or are student teaching) and others might work up to 10. We also have (paid!) staff meetings once a month, late on Friday afternoons.
Great! Fill out the application by 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, March 28. The application includes some basic information about you as well as several short essay prompts that will help us get to know you better and hear why you'd like to work in the Writing Center. We also need the names of two faculty members who know you/your work well enough to recommend you. If you are a first-year student who has yet to develop a strong relationship with a faculty member who can speak to your strengths, you may give us the name and e-mail address of a high school teacher. Once you submit your application, those faculty members will be sent a short form to fill out and return to us. Both the application and the recommendation forms are all submitted electronically. However, if you would like to complete a paper application or require some other accommodation, please contact Dr. Jenny Spinner, director, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We will notify you by April 5, ahead of the spring registration period, which begins for seniors on April 6. Please note that the process is competitive. We often have far more applications than spots available in the course. But don't let that deter you! We'd love to hear from you.