A Writing and Learning Commons (WaLC) writing tutor is a peer consultant who provides individual collaborative help with writing, including brainstorming, rough drafts, research skills, documentation, and final drafts. A writing tutor challenges clients to become stronger writers, not only for their papers but also for their academic and professional success. Clients include first-year through graduate-level students from across the disciplines. A tutor's signature on the Employment Application indicates his/her agreement to carry out these responsibilities, and noncompliance with any of these may result in termination of employment. To find out more about what you can expect to learn from the tutoring experience, review our learning outcomes for tutors.Categories of Writing Tutors:
- Hourly Writing Tutor (graduate or undergraduate)
- Writing Fellows
- Graduate Assistant Writing Tutor (recommended by graduate program directors)
Writing Tutor Responsibilities
- Encourage students to do most of the talking and writing in your tutoring sessions; give students an opportunity to articulate what they know, to explain concepts to you, and to formulate questions about the material.
- Offer effective organization and writing strategies and refer students to an Academic Skills Consultant if they need additional help with note taking, reading comprehension, time management, or study skills.
- Help students to identify resources and to develop problem-solving strategies they can apply to other writing situations.
- Some writing tutors may be requested by WCU faculty members or selected by the WaLC director and associate director to act as a Writing Fellow. Writing Fellows are carefully selected and trained peer tutors who address undergraduate writing needs by providing focused support in classes where faculty assign at least two academic papers.
Act as a Liaison between Students and Instructors
- Familiarize yourself with the assignment rubric and expectations for students.
- Encourage students to communicate with their instructors outside of class about their progress and any questions they have about the material; if necessary, help students formulate a list of questions to take to the professor.
- Record detailed, objective summaries of your tutoring sessions in TutorTrac by 6:00 pm every Friday. Each Friday, instructors receive a TutorTrac-generated summary of their students' visits for the week, including tutors' notes.
- Additional duties include classroom visits, staff meetings, and regular meetings with the assigned faculty member.
Demonstrate Professional and Ethical Behavior
- Act in accordance with the WaLC's Code of Ethics.
- Comply with and enforce the WaLC's Policies for Students.
- Report to tutoring sessions on time and avoid canceling appointments. Notify the WaLC (828-227-2274) immediately if you will be late or unable to keep a scheduled appointment with a student. In the case of cancelations, attempt to contact the students and to reschedule their appointments.
- Provide at least two weeks' notice if you intend to terminate your employment. Communicate with course instructors and other successful students to recruit new tutors to fill your position.
- Maintain a consistent number of tutoring hours for the duration of the semester. Do not make drastic changes to your schedule without first consulting with your supervisor.
- Establish appropriate physical, emotional, and social boundaries with the students you serve. Notify your supervisor immediately if you are unable to do so.
- Respond to students within the limits of your training, position, and expertise. Tutors are not expected to re-lecture course material, to complete students' homework for them, to suggest a grade for an assignment discussed in the tutoring session, or to engage in negative talk about an instructor's teaching methods, grading policies, assignments, or personality.
- Model successful student behavior when questions arise that you are not able to answer. Help students identify other resources (the course instructor, textbook, citation guides, other students or tutors) for more information about the topic.
- Respond within 24 hours to emails or phone calls from the WaLC.
- Clean up your area at the conclusion of each tutoring session: wipe down whiteboards and tables, throw away trash, and return any borrowed WaLC materials to their appropriate places.
Participate in Tutor Training
- Read the WaLC Writing Tutor Manual and complete additional training activities as assigned.
- Participate in professional development opportunities provided by WaLC staff during the semester.
- Attend regular WaLC Writing Tutor staff meetings.
- Attend meetings with your mentor one to two times per semester to receive training and updates, to establish your tutoring schedule for the next semester, and to provide feedback.
- Review documents in the WaLC Blackboard course (located under "My Organizations") and refer to them as needed.
- Enroll in Engl 220 and Engl 221 (for Undergraduate Writing Tutors and Writing Fellows).
Fulfill Administrative Responsibilities
- Submit hiring form to Career Services (non-work study positions) or Financial Aid (work study positions) prior to your first day of work.
- Complete direct deposit paperwork (available from the Career Services or Financial Aid offices). All student employees are required to enroll in the direct deposit program.
- Record your hours on your timesheet every Friday in MyCat and submit your timesheet every other Friday. Failure to submit your completed timesheet by the end of the bi-weekly pay period may result in late payment.
- Check your Catamount email regularly for appointment confirmations and updates from the WaLC.
- Use TutorTrac to maintain up-to-date contact information (cell phone and home phone numbers); establish and maintain a tutoring schedule with up to 20 hours/week of tutoring time; and create accurate records of your actual tutoring time (log in for 15 minutes for no-shows).
Writing Tutor Qualifications
To be eligible for a tutoring position in the WaLC, you must:
- Maintain a cumulative 3.0 GPA.
- Provide at least two recommendation forms from faculty members at WCU (see application for details).
- Possess excellent communication skills.
- Demonstrate enthusiasm for helping students to improve their writing skills and to develop effective study habits.
- Be eligible for on-campus student employment by reviewing the requirements listed on the work-study and/or non-work study student employment websites.