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Writing Fellows

The WCU Writing Fellows Program—the first of its kind in the UNC system—provides focused, course-specific support for undergraduate writing. The Writing Fellows Program was started in 2007 and works with a variety of majors and departments.

Here’s how the program works:
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.

Writing Fellows are assigned to faculty members who have requested assistance with responding to student writing. Fellows work closely with 12-15 students, reading drafts of their papers; writing thorough end notes; and holding individual, thirty-minute conferences to discuss revision strategies. Fellows are expected to exercise discretion, good judgment, and professionalism when addressing the individual needs of each writer; Fellows treat their peers’ work with respect and confidentiality. Fellows also serve as peer mentors, demonstrating strong critical thinking and communication skills.

Additional duties include classroom visits, staff meetings, and regular meetings with the assigned faculty member. Fellows will collaborate with the Writing and Learning Commons' director, associate director, the assigned faculty member, and other Fellows.

Fellows are chosen in a highly competitive application process. Candidates must demonstrate exceptional oral and written communication skills, intellectual curiosity, attention to detail, mature judgment, and an interest in helping others become better writers. Fellows will be required to enroll each semester of the first year in a one-credit course on the theory and practice of peer tutoring. Fellows are hired based on available funding and demand.

What do I have to do? Does this require a lot of extra work from me?
No. If anything, your Writing Fellows make your life easier. You will have to make some room in your class schedule, meet with your Fellows occasionally, and follow program guidelines. Overall, faculty tell us that the benefits greatly outweigh the required effort.

Faculty who participate in the Writing Fellows program have the following responsibilities:

  • Prepare at least one meaningful, well-defined writing assignment
  • Include a brief description of the Fellows program in the course syllabus
  • Require all students in the class to participate in the program
  • Establish a "Fellows due date" approximately two weeks in advance of the final due date for each paper, and hold students to this deadline
  • Meet with Writing Fellows occasionally to clarify expectations and/or specialized requirements
  • Provide assigned Fellows with copies of the syllabus, assignment details, and due dates
  • Add assigned Fellows to Cavnas course page 
  • Complete a short assessment of the program at the end of the semester

Can I pick my own fellows?
Yes! We welcome any recommendations, particularly in courses that require technical or specialized knowledge. There is a place on the application form to recommend students; we try to honor faculty requests. If you have specific fellows in mind, it is best to apply as early as possible.

How to apply:
Course Instructors: Complete the Writing Fellows Application for Faculty by the following date(s):

      • December 1 for spring classes
      • April 24 for fall classes

For more information, contact:
Mattie Davenport, Associate Director
Belk 207

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