What Peer Writing/Speaking Tutors Do
Peer tutors are trained to work with students during any stage of the writing process and to help with all kinds of writing tasks. Some tutors volunteer for additional training so that they can help with public speaking.
Tutors work 6-8 hours per week, are well paid, and gain valuable experience. During their scheduled hours at the Writing Center, tutors meet one-on-one with peers for 60-minute conferences. Tutors are expected to submit reports and timesheets on time and participate in professional development activities or special projects while on shift. Mandatory training workshops take place at the beginning of each semester, and ongoing training occurs during weekly staff meetings.
Strong candidates exhibit excellent interpersonal and critical thinking skills. They are acute readers, able to analyze the structure and content of a written or spoken text, and good at carrying on conversations about complex ideas. You don't have to be a perfect writer to work at the Writing Center--a love of writing, intellectual curiosity, and eagerness to learn are what matters. We hire students from all majors, and students who are pre-med, natural science majors, or fluent in foreign languages are encouraged to apply.
Writing Center Peer Tutor is a Level II position. Tutors are hired for one academic year and receive preference during the next year's hiring cycle. Students who are rehired for a second or third year or who take on leadership positions are eligible for pay increases.
The Hiring Process
Hiring occurs once per year, in the second half of the spring semester.
Step 1: Email Dr. Callaghan to notify her of your intention to apply and include your class year and major(s).
Step 2: Fill out an application form and prepare a writing sample. Email it to Dr. Callaghan or leave it in her mailbox at English House by noon on Friday, March 27.
Step 3: Ask an instructor, advisor, or campus staff member to complete a recommendation form by noon on Friday, March 27.
Step 4: Have a conference at the Writing Center with a senior to discuss a current assignment by Friday, April 10. You can either make an appointment by logging on the online schedule or stop by the Writing Center during tutoring hours to ask a tutor to set it up for you. Remember to indicate that you're a job applicant in the "What do you want to work on?" box and alert the tutor at the beginning of the conference.
Step 5: Finalists will be invited to interview between April 13-May 1.
Job offers are extended during finals. The applicant pool is competitive; only a small number of new staff members are hired each year, and there are always more qualified applicants than openings. If openings arise mid-year, a qualified applicant from a past hiring cycle is invited to fill it.
Suggestions for Interested Students
Use the Writing Center. The best way to gain an understanding of the work that we do is to experience it first-hand. Try bringing in assignments at different points in the writing process, and work with more than one tutor so that you get a sense of different tutoring styles.
Hone your writing and oral communication skills. Take advantage of your instructors' office hours and seek advice about which aspects of your writing could be improved. Take courses with frequent writing assignments and with professors who provide detailed feedback on writing.
Gain experience tutoring or teaching. Take the English department's writing pedagogy course, an Education course, or a creative writing workshop. Work as a content tutor or teaching assistant. Swap drafts with friends and classmates.