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University Writing Center Offers Expanded Services and Shares Space with CETL

RELEASED: Feb. 9, 2009

EAU CLAIRE — The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire's English Writing Center has moved to the new Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning in Room 1142 of the Old Library and is offering expanded services under its new name: the University Writing Center.

Once a composition lab offering help only to students struggling with writing assignments, the new University Writing Center has a broader mission: to help university students, faculty and staff with writing tasks for any purpose or discipline.

Dr. Karen Welch, director of the English Composition Program, is serving as interim director of the University Writing Center. She said she's excited that, with support from the English department and the UW-Eau Claire Centennial Plan Fund, the new writing center has the potential to help so many more people on campus.

"In addition to our usual tutoring services to undergraduate and graduate students, we now hope to encourage faculty and staff members, particularly new faculty, to come and talk with me about ideas for writing assignments, strategies for responding effectively and efficiently to student writing, ways to help students with writing and revision processes, or any other topics related to academic or professional writing," Welch said. "It's fitting that we now share space with CETL because the center encourages all faculty and staff members to take advantage of the opportunity to bounce ideas off colleagues from their own and other disciplines and to learn from others on campus."

Welch earned her doctoral degree in composition studies from the University of Minnesota, and her dissertation explored the ethical inclusion of social and political issues in first-year college writing curricula. Her other research interests include writing in the disciplines, responding to student writing, and using writing to break student silences. She has taught all levels of college writing, has chaired two Writing in the Disciplines Committees at UW-Eau Claire, and continues to actively encourage Writing Across the Curriculum initiatives on campus.

Students writing in any university course may seek assistance with papers, reports, proposals, applications or other academic writing tasks. Qualified graduate and undergraduate student tutors from a variety of disciplines take a two-credit course that trains them to help students reflect on their writing and encourage them toward effective revision strategies.

"The Writing Center isn't only for struggling writers," Welch said. "It is a place for all writers on this campus to discuss their drafts or writing tasks, to seek feedback from trained staff, and to use what they learn in those discussions to review and help strengthen their writing."

To seek assistance, students may drop in the University Writing Center to check on tutor availability, make appointments for a session or a series of sessions, or sign up for regular weekly sessions.

The center is open from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday-Thursday and from 9 a.m.-noon Friday.

The new center opened Feb. 2.

"In the first four days, we worked with 15 students and scheduled seven ongoing sessions to start the following week," Welch said of the center's first week. "Once we get word out that we're here, I expect lots more business."

For tutoring appointments, students can stop in OL 1142, e-mail the Writing Center at writingcenter@uwec.edu or call Dianne Lund at 715-836-2644.

For other information or to arrange for a writing workshop or class visit to introduce students to the University Writing Center, contact Welch at welchka@uwec.edu.

-30-

NW/JB

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