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Become a Writing Colleague

The Writing Colleague Program (WCP) has two application cycles–one per semester. Below you will find answers to commonly asked questions about the WCP.

What does a Writing Colleague actually do?

Writing Colleagues are assigned to a specific course (a placement) and provide writing support to the students in that course. This generally means meeting one-on-one with every student in the class at various stages of the writing process. It might also mean helping the professor design writing assignments or in-class workshops. Writing Colleagues are required to attend every class period in their placement and complete all the assigned reading; however, they do not complete the writing assignments or take exams.

What do you look for in a Writing Colleague? 

We are seeking strong writers who also possess solid time management and interpersonal skills, a willingness to take initiative in and out of the classroom, strong leadership skills, and experience writing in multiple genres.

I’m not a Writing and Rhetoric major. Can I still be a Writing Colleague? 

Yes!! In fact, we try to have as much disciplinary diversity in the writing program as possible because Writing Colleagues can be placed in courses from any discipline.

How do I prepare to be a Writing Colleague? 

All students accepted to the Writing Colleagues Program are required to enroll in WRRH 335, a course that prepares students for work as a Writing Colleague through practicum experience, readings about working with different types of writers, challenging essay assignments, and lots of drafting.

How much time does a placement take up? 

When you’re in your placement, you should plan on a ten-hour a week commitment, though, some weeks might be more and others less. In addition to attending class, reading, meeting with students, and meeting with the professor, you will also meet with a faculty mentor, write weekly journals about your experience, attend monthly professional development meetings, and contribute to Writing Colleagues resources. All of this enables you to earn a full course credit for your work as a Writing Colleague.

Why should I be a Writing Colleague? 

Research shows that being a Writing Colleague significantly improves your own writing. It will also help you develop interpersonal skills, time management skills, revision skills, and patience. You will be exposed to new and different kinds of writing and courses. Employers and graduate schools also strongly value Writing Colleague experience because it demonstrates that you are a strong writer and reviser, can collaborate with others, and have strong leadership skills. Writing Colleagues are also eligible to apply for a paid position as a Writing Fellow in the Center for Teaching and Learning upon completion of two placements.

How is a Writing Colleague different from a Writing Fellow in CTL? 

The CTL Writing Fellows are Writing Colleagues who have generally completed two field placements. The Writing Fellows meet one-on-one with students from a range of classes and majors and are not associated with any particular course. CTL Writing Fellows are also paid for their work and do not receive course credit like Writing Colleagues do.

How do I fit being a Writing Colleague into my already full schedule? 

This can be tricky for some students. Your placement does count as a course, so a Writing Colleague placement can be integrated into your academic plan. You can also choose which semesters to have a placement, which gives you freedom to be a Writing Colleague only when it works for your schedule. Most Writing Colleagues compete two placements; though, some complete only one, while others complete as many as four.

Do I have to minor in Writing Colleagues in order to be a Writing Colleague? 

No. If you’d like to complete a minor in Writing Colleagues, the Seminar course (WRRH 335) and your two placements will count towards that minor, and then you will take three other courses to complete the minor. However, you will still be a Writing Colleague and will still have a rich and fulfilling experience if you do not complete the minor.

How do I apply? 

The Writing Colleagues Program has gone paperless! To apply, email Amy Green (green@hws.edu) for a link to the online application site in Canvas. We look forward to hearing from you!