Writing Support at York
WAC Writing Fellows
The CUNY Writing Fellows (WFs) are an indispensable element in the effort to build a University-wide WAC program. Writing Fellows are assigned to each campus, where they spend two-year terms assisting in the implementation and expansion of WAC efforts. Advanced graduate students in a wide range of disciplines, the WFs are trained in a CUNY WF Institute before coming to the College, and once here, meet in weekly seminars with the WAC Coordinators to further develop their skills as WAC consultants. Often the Writing Fellows have been adjunct faculty members and they are almost always prospective college instructors.
The WFs are the emissaries of the WAC program, working with faculty members on an individual basis to design effective writing activities appropriate to the instructor’s discipline and approach. In General Education courses, the WFs’ responsibility is to work with faculty members on an ad hoc basis, offering services as needed. In Writing Intensive (WI) courses, a WF is generally assigned to work with a faculty partner throughout the semester. Fellows might attend classes, meet with professors to develop exercises and materials, offer support to students working on high-stakes assignments, or become an additional resource in the classroom by offering a mini-lecture or workshop on writing within the context of the course.
WFs have also worked with the Director of York’s Writing Center to develop the Center’s program, and to deliver orientation sessions for students who are taking the CPE. They assist with WAC evaluation and analysis and in the development of proposals, reports, assessment, and materials for students. WFs participate in all WAC Steering Committee activities and CUNY-wide conferences and institutes.
The WFs are well prepared to assist faculty members who are interested in learning more about WAC approaches and how they can adopt these in their courses and programs. A listing of some recent WF activities provides an example of the scope of the Fellows’ services:
• Working with individual faculty members one-on-one
• Helping run the WAC Faculty Seminar for faculty members
preparing to teach WI courses
• Helping run specialized workshops
• Offering orientation sessions for students planning to take
the CPE and LAST
• Participating in department meetings
• Providing time, where appropriate, to work one-on-one
If you’re interested in consulting with a WF, or just want to learn more, contact Professor Jonathan Hall, the Writing Fellows Coordinator.
The Writing Center
York’s Writing Center is also a key component of ongoing WAC activities. Located in AC-1C18, the Center is open five to six days (depending on demand) a week. It provides support for students in all aspects of the writing process: generating ideas, doing research, drafting, revising, documenting sources, and using the conventions of written English. Its goal is to assist students in their development as writers, not to guarantee a specific outcome on a course assignment. Tutors provide support for writers as the writers develop and express their ideas. They do not proofread and edit student papers.
To help the Center support your students most effectively, all teachers of Writing Intensive (WI) courses are asked to do two things:
At the beginning of the semester, distribute copies of the Student Information flier to your students and urge them to make use of the Center. You’ll be supplied with multiple copies at the beginning of the semester; call the Writing Center at 718-262-2494 if you need more.
Refer students in difficulty to the Writing Center, for weekly tutoring. Since every WI course requires 10 to 12 pages of formal writing submitted in cycles of feedback and revision, it is imperative that foundational writing problems are addressed early in the semester. In this way, students can be given the opportunity for growth.
Beginning Fall 2003, instructors will receive a report from the Writing Center each time a student visits the Center for assistance.