Writing Associates

Writing Associates (WAs) are enrolled students embedded within regular and hybrid courses for one semester to assist faculty and students in writing assignments that encourage engagement in the entire writing process, including feedback and revision. WAs are given training in tutoring writing, such as commenting and conferencing on writing, and writing pedagogy. The WA Program follows Writing Across the Curriculum principles and practices which view writing as a recursive process that requires awareness of audience, purpose, and genre, and that writing can be used as a pedagogical tool to help students learn and communicate content in any course in the college curriculum. Writing Associates support students by:

  • Establishing their role in the course for the semester with the instructor, which can include giving written feedback, presenting an in-class workshop, or developing learning materials for students, depending on students’ needs throughout the semester.
  • Scheduling and providing individual and/or group consultations with students in addressing global and local concerns of a writing assignment.
  • Serving as writing tutor during open hours at SCAA.
  • Meeting with the instructor regularly and attending the class throughout the semester.
  • Fully participating in regular meetings and training with SCAA Coordinator of the Writing Tutor Programs and fellow WAs, including online components such as Discussion Board posts every week.
  • Being a student thought-partner for the professor when it comes to designing writing assignments or responding to students' needs.  A great resource to start the conversation is Muriel Harris' "Assignments from Hell".
For any questions, please contact Sara Schupack at sara.schupack@csueastbay.edu, or leave a message at (510) 885-2304.
What types of courses most benefit from a WA?
Any writing intensive course or a course with a good amount of writing. That could include group work, non-graded writing, and graded papers and presentations.
Does the WA act as a TA?
Yes and No. The WA does not assess student work (i.e. grade) or serve a substitute teacher. The WA also does not run errands or carry out busy work for the professor. The WA can offer workshops and mini lessons and can give feedback on student writing.
How much planning must the faculty member do to prepare for a WA?
See attached information and request form:Click Here. Consider what role the WA will play in your course and how she/he will help students with their writing. This role may develop and evolve, based on your collaboration with the WA.
How long does the WA arrangement last?
One semester, although once you have engaged with a WA, you get top priority for continuing with the program. We highly recommend that you do continue. Many of the collaborations get stronger and more successful over subsequent semesters.
What if the Writing Associate does not possess content expertise?
That should not be a problem. As an outsider to your discipline, the WA can offer insight on the learner’s perspective. Her/His expertise in writing pedagogy will help the students understand and complete your writing assignments and can help you scaffold and clarify those assignments as needed.
Can the WA give written feedback online?
Yes. The WA can participate in your course Blackboard site and also respond to student emails, as long as her or his working hours align with policies and her/his other commitments.
Can the WA help with class activities or critical thinking?
Yes. The WA can assist with group work, discussions, critical thinking, and critical reading. Be explicit with the WA about your expectations and needs, and determine the WA’s particular areas of interest and skill.