Professionalization, Tutor Training, and Service Learning in the Writing Center
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In “The Professionalization of Tutor Training,” Judy Gill defines professionalization as “introducing prospective tutors to the professional conversation” (1), which includes instruction in writing center theory featured in the surveyed courses in the form of collections of essays that introduce students to “the larger institutional, theoretical, and historical context in which [the practice of] tutoring takes place” (3). In this article, we discuss two important components of tutor training that seemingly do not fall within the scope of professionalization Gill mentions in her article: 1) the use of tutors’ field-specific expertise during their training and 2) tutors’ preparation for administrative positions and responsibilities. In our experience with one of the undergraduate tutoring practicum courses offered by The Writing Lab at Purdue, these two components helped our tutors-in-training professionalize as both professional writing (PW) majors and prospective tutors entering the writing center field. Hence, in our attempt to reconcile our experience at Purdue with the definition Gill provides, we pose this question: Is there more than one form of professionalization that students develop in our tutor-training courses?