Back in January of this year, during a visit to Pellissippi State Community College in Knoxville, Tennessee, President Obama announced a plan to provide two free years of community college attendance for eligible students, and earlier this month the U.S. Senate began to draft a bill intended to put the initiative into action. This follows intense lobbying that has made public and private HBCUs and minority-serving institutions part of the initiative, and the 90 billion-dollar plan is under intense scrutiny from all sides. The question this raises is why the existing challenges of community college students and scholars are not.Read More
Building off Mary’s metaphor, I can say that my time at the International Writing Center Association conference brought me in contact with different, equally fascinating writing center kingdoms.
One was the kingdom of writing center outreach to underserved high schools. In a session entitled “It’s a Small World: Creating Collaborative Communities,” Denise Stephenson spoke about the challenges involved in setting up effective collaborations across institutions. High schools have different structures than colleges, different professional jargon, different pressures on teachers (think mandated testing), and different points of entry. This last difference was particularly challenging for Denise, who found herself directed to talk to administrators instead of teachers about the kind of support her consultants could provide. The message got lost along the communication chain, and her first tutors found themselves underutilized—a situation she has since corrected by insisting on meeting with the teachers well before the start of the academic year.Read More
The 2014 IWCA conference, held this weekend at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort, Orlando Florida, was titled, appropriately enough, "The Wonderful World of Writing Centers." And much like DisneyWorld itself, it demonstrated that each kingdom contains its own sub-kingdoms, intersecting and connecting.Read More