English majors, minors, and graduate students may take advantage of several unique hands-on learning opportunities, including serving as as academic apprentice or mentor in an English or writing course, or as a writing assistant in the Center for Writing Excellence. Graduate students also may be eligible for paid research assistant-ships in the English Department or in other offices on campus, like the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs. These positions vary in structure and may be paid, taken for credit, and/or fulfill service-learning hours.
Few experiences at UWEC were as rewarding as working with Dr. Rex in my academic apprenticeship for ENGL 150. It gave me invaluable real-life experience that prepared me for my current job in Russia, as a teacher of English as a second language. I learned teaching techniques, how to work with both individuals and groups of students, the best methods of preparing students for exams, and how to give critical feedback in a constructive way. I would highly recommend this wonderful opportunity to anyone, in any field of study!
Student academic apprenticeships
English majors, minors, and graduate students can also apprentice in an English or Writing course. Student apprentices assist the professor in teaching the course by, for example, helping with in-class activities, leading small-group discussions, designing assignments, mentoring students, and more. If you particularly enjoyed a class and would be interested in assisting the professor in future offerings, talk with the professor to see if they are interested in having a teaching apprentice. Through a teaching apprenticeship (ENGL 394), you can work closely with a professor, gain valuable leadership experience, improve your interpersonal skills, and fulfill your service-learning requirement. If you decide that an academic apprenticeship is right for you, fill out this online application form to get started.
Center for Writing Excellence writing assistants
It's no big secret that English majors tend to be excellent writers, so it's no surprise that many of the writing assistants in the Center for Writing Excellence (CWE) are English majors, minors, and graduate students. These experiences provide great opportunities to build leadership skills, interpersonal and communication skills, and problem-solving skills. Writing assistants and fellows receive intensive training in both theory and techniques for tutoring, peer mentoring, writing, and research in ENGL 397 Writing Center Theory and Practice, which prepares them to work with students on everything from getting started on an assignment to connecting to their audience to effectively supporting their points to putting the finishing touches on a project.
Writing is required by students in all majors across campus, and many students could use some help honing their writing and research skills, especially when a major project is at stake. Even the most scientific research projects rely on clear and effective writing to serve their purpose.
See the Center for Writing Excellence for more detail about how you can become a writing assistant. In addition to providing a valuable service that benefits students and faculty alike, this opportunity allows the writing assistants and fellows to gain teaching/tutoring experience, improve interpersonal skills, and further develop their own writing.