The final draft: Writing Center going strong

The final draft: Writing Center going strong

Everyone learns in different ways, and the Writing Center at Pierce was started to help accommodate those looking for assistance in their writing. 

Center for Academic Success (CAS) Director Crystal Kiekel said the Writing Center now provides computer access to tutors and students beyond their 30-minute sessions.

“When your 30-minute appointment is up, it’s no longer ‘Okay, bye-bye, leave,’ right?” Kiekel said. “It’s like, ‘Okay, your 30-minute appointment is up. I’m going to go and help somebody else for 30 minutes, but you can sit here and continue to work on your paper and somebody will circulate and answer questions.”

Kennedy Uche, a tutor, said he doesn’t just help students with their English essays, he also helps students with essays for other classes, such as political science, psychology, sociology and anthropology.

“There’ll be times where students go up to the front desk and tell them that I was really helpful or I really helped them understand something and in my mind, I didn’t know I had that impact on people,” Uche said.

English Professor Christopher Corning explained that going to professors’ office hours and visiting the Center of Academic Success help students make the best out of their education.

“The people who do these things are going to get a whole lot more out of their classes and out of their overall education experience than anybody else,” Corning said.

According to Kiekel however, it’s unclear whether students who use the learning assistance programs are better prepared to succeed. 

“The challenge with the data has traditionally in all tutoring environments been what’s known as a self-selection bias,” Kiekel. “So in other words, any college can prove that the students who come in to seek tutoring have higher core success rates.”

To effectively evaluate student performance, Kiekel said her team will do a comparison study by the end of Spring 2020 between students who went to the writing center and students who did not.

Corning said that since the writing center opened, he has seen an increase in performance from his students who are seeking resources from course-embedded tutors. 

“I can always tell the difference between a student who is not seeking resources because they’re not really showing up to class as much as students who are showing up to class asking me questions,” Corning said. 

The Writing Center is currently open three times per week. Kiekel explained that it will open four times per week in the spring semester Monday through Thursday from 12:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. with Wednesdays lasting until 7:00 p.m.