Re-Envisioning the Brown University Model: Embedding A Disciplinary Writing Consultant in an Introductory U.S History Course
MetadataShow full item record
College writers often wish for a sympathetic reader who can offer feedback on a draft or assist during the invention or revision process. Established in 1982, the Brown University’s Writing Fellows Program was the first to formally pair small cohorts of students with a writing tutor to receive individual assistance for the duration of a course. According to the university website, today the Writing Fellows Program is a student-driven initiative in its 32nd year, in which students “work in a spirit of collegiality, helping to extend intellectual discourse beyond the classroom.” Inspired by the success of Writing Fellows Programs that have emerged across the country, the Disciplinary Writing Consultant (DWC) Program at the University of Central Florida (UCF) was designed to offer individual support to student writers without mandating participation. Diverging from the Brown model, only one DWC was embedded in a course of approximately 50 students and offered voluntary writing assistance both in class and in writing center consultations. The goal was to bring the writing center into the classroom to encourage ongoing collaborations between students, instructor and the DWC. Building and maintaining such complex partnerships in higher education is a challenge. Condon and Rutz insist that “successful WAC requires a complex partnership among faculty, administrators, writing centers, [and] faculty development programs— an infrastructure that may well support general education or first year seminar goals” (359). This assertion outlines one of the driving questions at this major research university: How can a network of partnerships between faculty, administrators, and writing consultants benefit students and support their learning? Specifically, how can this work be done effectively at the second largest public university in the country?