Haskell writing center is creating a flow of students in its doors but is still lacking full potential says workers. They share how the writing lab helps students and how they plan to bring in more in the future.
Haskell opened a new writing center in the library this semester to help with literacy skills here on campus. “When I first got here in August 2015, I was told that we didn’t have one and that there was a need for one”, Dr. Love states. Adding that in teaching his English classes, he got a firsthand look at students and getting a true analysis of what they need and used the writing center as a start to getting English scores and grades up. “It’s great resource to have and when I learned that there wasn’t one here I was excited to help get that off the ground.”
Some of the students who help in the writing center proof reading other students work get college credit for their time spent in the center. Dr. Love said that there are about five students who work in the English department who get credit hours for their time there. There are also other students who work in the center as well who are employed by the Student Success Center.
Carmen Morgan, a junior here at Haskell, is one of the students earning credit hours by working in the writing center and she shared with me how it feels to be about to help her peers by working with them to improve their writing skills. “Helping other students makes me feel more productive and valuable as a student and as a member of the Haskell student body. I feel good after I help a fellow student with a paper.”
Both Morgan and Dr. Love both want more students to feel encouraged enough to visit the writing center and get their work checked over. When asked about why they think students aren’t using the center to its fullest capacity, both answered along the lines of students not fully knowing how truly help the writing center could be for students.
Dr. Bond wants to get the center more publicity and have it be included more in future Haskell Visit Days and new student orientation. “We want to do more promotional things that will encourage more people to come.” The center recently teamed up with the Tommaney Hall library and showcased its student workers and the staff that help run it during an event that the library held.
Morgan said that she feels the hardest part about getting students in the door to visit is them feeling that the writing center staff are either going to be too judgmental on a student’s work or the student already feels like they have a solid paper. “Dr. Love, our director, once said that all great writers are just good at rewriting. Let us help with that. We can help out in the beginning when you are just trying to brainstorm ideas, plan out the direction, and help organize your thoughts too. We can help in the middle when you’re not sure about the flow, or if your ideas are clear, or if your thesis is strong enough. And of course, we can help at the end when you’re checking your citations too.”
With the semester wrapping up, Dr. Love has noticed the rise in student numbers visiting the center but notes that it’s mostly because of finals coming up, but the staff are still glad to help. “In the future, we plan to have events that are writing center specific, like talks and presentations that are of interest to students. I think that will help too.”