Writing Center has room to help more students

Story By Zachary Whitley

Hey you, the one reading this. Go to the Writing Center.

If there’s one thing at CCC that’s underutilized, it’s the Writing Center — I say this as a tutor in the Writing Center. If you’ve never been before, we’re located in the Dye Learning Center, and we have a simple unspoken policy that no matter who you are or what class you’re in, we will help you, as long as it’s with writing. Sentences are sentences. The best part of the Writing Center is that it’s free, the next best thing  being that we take drop-in appointments. Additionally, you don’t even have to be a student to use our services.

When I say that we’ll help you with just about anything related to writing, I mean it. While most of our tutoring is usually for help in classes such as WR-121 or WR-122, we also help with lab reports, ESL, resumés, PowerPoints and formatting.

With all these benefits, you’d think that people would flock to the Writing Center, but that’s unfortunately not true; as of Week 5 of fall 2019, we’ve only seen an average of 10 people per day, and we have an average utilization rate of 41 percent. Simply put, this means that of our total available appointments, we only  meet with clients in 41 percent of the open spots, not including cancellations or no-shows.

The days we see the fewest number of people are Fridays and Saturdays, but that’s most likely due to the fact that the fewest number of students are on campus on those days. That said, we are slowly growing. So far this term, we have had over 158 new ‘unique’ clients, which is 32 clients away from the amount of new clients we had registered in Spring 2019.

Why do I care so much about people using the Writing Center?

If you find something great, wouldn’t you want to tell other people about it? I can promise you I’m not being paid to advertise this program. When people have access to as much help as they need with their writing, they could be using it to become more effective writers.

While we can’t exactly teach you, we can lead you to become a better writer by assisting you in just about any classwork, clarifying any confusion and encouraging you to keep trying.

If you’re embarrassed about seeing a tutor, take a deep breath and step back. Everybody needs help at some point and resources are there to be used. I don’t get paid to sit and stare, and if it makes you feel any better, tutors are legally obligated not to tell anybody else about what we work on.

If worse comes to worst, there’s nothing to lose from trying it out. As a client, you can schedule two back-to-back 30 minute appointments with one tutor each day, and if you still need more help, we can help you during our drop-in hours if no one is available.

It can’t hurt, right? Since writing is something that everyone uses in their daily life, why not get better at it? Strong and effective writing can help you in nearly all aspects of your life.

Already a good writer? Why not work for the Writing Center? We offer hourly positions and a peer mentor program that helps pay for 12 credits worth of your tuition, so keep an eye out for signs that indicate we’re hiring. Not only does this look great on a resumé, help pay tuition and give you a flexible job, but it’s fulfilling work.

Tutoring is some of the most feel-good work I’ve ever done, and I won’t stop doing it while I’m at CCC. Being able to help people improve their writing has helped me become a better person and a better writer, and I would recommend it to anybody who wants to feel the same way.