Writing Center photo

GHC Writing Center: On average, students see at least one letter grade improvement after utilizing free resource

The Writing Center at Georgia Highlands College is free and open to all students. On average, the Writing Center reports that students see their grades elevate after using the resource, especially on repeat visits.

Humanities Chair and English Professor Danielle Steele said the Writing Center allows students to get the assistance they need to do well on any writing assignment.

“Once a student meets with one of the well-trained faculty members who serve as writing assistants, they quickly realize how useful the Center is in every part of the writing process, from brainstorming to finalizing a draft,” she said.

Because of this, the Writing Center has a lot of returning users, with most students scheduling four or more appointments to get support with their writing.

“As an instructor, I typically see at least a letter grade improvement in grades on essays, and it is even higher for those students who continue to use the center,” Steele said.

In addition to one-on-one tutoring at most campuses and online, the Writing Center also hosts workshops on a variety of topics, including thesis statements and research.

To help students reach their full potential, the Writing Center is facilitated by highly trained GHC faculty who have a vested interest in their success. For example, Writing Center Director Shannan Harrington serves as the advisor for the Creative Writing Club, and instructor Tori Banks is the advisor for the Gaming Club, which has over 100 members. In addition to a master’s degree, instructor Paula Guy holds a specialist degree in Teaching Speakers of Other Languages and is a member of the Board of Directors on Georgia Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, which allows her to better serve a diverse student population.

To help Writing Center instructors prepare to work with students outside of their area of study, Harrington developed a required training module. The module includes reading “The Bedford Guide for Writing Tutors,” which helps direct writing assistants in meeting the needs of different learning styles and writers and assisting across the curriculum.

“For each chapter, there is a discussion post asking instructors how they would respond to various tutoring scenarios now that they have completed the reading, so they must think through the situation and draw on their knowledge for their response,” Harrington said. “I review the responses and provide feedback and guidance.”

In addition, all assistants may access copies of the “St. Martin’s Sourcebook for Writing Tutors,” which has been a standard in writing center pedagogy for years.

“Many of the Writing Center assistants also served as assistants in previous positions and have coursework directly related to this area of composition,” Steele said.

Student Levi McCrary visits the Writing Center whenever he has an important paper due.

“The Writing Center has really helped me structure my assignments and draft better-written papers,” McCrary said.

He said he appreciates how accommodating the Writing Center can be when seeking a fresh perspective on his work.

“It’s helpful to have an extra little push when writing an important assignment, correct any minor grammar mistakes or offer alternative ways of forming a sentence,” McCrary said. “But I mainly appreciate the support from the Writing Center to help the writer finish on time and get a good grade out of it.”

Click here to learn more about the Writing Center and to schedule an appointment today.