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Thu, September 21, 2023 7:58 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

Teaching English in the Two-Year College invites proposals for a special issue on writing centers in two-year colleges, guest-edited by Clint Gardner of Salt Lake Community College and Sarah Z. Johnson of Madison College.

Nearly twenty years ago TYCA published its Position Statement on Two-Year College Writing Centers.  The position statement was a collaborative effort of writing center professionals who attended the Two-year College Writing Center Special Interest Group at the International Writing Centers Association Conference. It was later adopted as well by IWCA (International Writing Centers Association), the only position statement adopted jointly by both organizations. At the time, these guidelines were greatly anticipated, as many two-year college writing center administrators (who sometimes were simply English faculty who’d been told “go start a writing center”) recognized that two-year contexts presented a unique set of parameters and opportunities. The document held up well over the years, giving helpful advice to both experienced administrators and tutors, and presenting newcomers to the field a theoretical and practical framework to build their programs.

However, the world has changed a lot in the intervening years—booms and busts in enrollment, various funding crises, and of course, a global pandemic. Through it all, writing centers remain essential to the success of many two-year writing programs and the students they serve. Yet the precarity remains as well.  

As TYCA revises its Position Statement on Writing Centers in Two-Year Colleges to reflect this new-but-same reality, we invite proposals that explore the contexts and labor of two-year college writing centers. What insights do these programs bring to the field of writing center studies, and what perspective can they provide to all teachers of English in the first two years of college?

Possible themes and topics of research include but are not limited to

  • Staffing structures
    o   What are the implications, advantages, and disadvantages of mixed-staffing models?
    o   Peer tutoring (making it more available and possible)
    o   Providing training and ongoing support for peer and/or professional tutors
    o   Embedded tutoring
  •  Peer tutor experience

o   Nontraditional “peers”

o   Writing Fellows in two-year colleges

o   Inter-institutional transfer and peer tutors 

  • Labor issues

o   Gendered nature of the field

o   How are 2YC WCs administered?  What is their institutional location?

  •  How the WC is utilized in new models of basic writing
  •  History of community college writing centers
  • Demographic studies (of both users and staff)
  • Equity work of TYC writing centers (linguistic, racial, cultural, sexual and gender identity)
  • Impact of enrollment declines on 2YC WCs
  • Assessment, advocacy, and institutional recognition 

We encourage proposers to share stories of both success and disappointment. Any writing center administrator can tell you stories of imposed reorganizations, budget cuts, and other disasters. We learn from it all, and though it isn’t as common in the literature, we invite colleagues to share the hard-won wisdom that comes from failure.

Proposal Guidelines

  • Proposals should (a) be grounded in relevant theory and recent scholarship and (b) have a practical application for tutoring, teaching, tutor-training, or program design and administration.
     Proposals should include a works-cited list that illustrates the types of scholarship that the finished piece will draw from.
  • The audience for proposals and finished articles should be instructors and program administrators who teach English in the first two college years at institutions that serve a broad range of learners from diverse social, cultural, and linguistic backgrounds.
  • For full-length articles (~4000 words) proposals should be no more than 500 words long, not including the works-cited list.
  • TETYC has long published Instructional Notes and for this issue, we invite undergraduate peer and professional tutors to propose short pieces exploring evidence-based, research-situated discussions of innovative tutoring practices and approaches.

Special Issue Timeline

 1. Authors should submit proposals to the TETYC Editorial Manager submission system by November 15, 2023. TETYC’s general submission guidelines are available here.

 2. Proposals will be selected in January 2024.

 3. Authors with accepted proposals must submit complete manuscripts to the TETYC Editorial Manager submission system by July 1, 2024.

 4. Authors will tentatively receive reviewer feedback by September 2024.

 5. Final manuscripts will be due to the TETYC Editorial Manager submission system by March 2025.

 6. Articles will be published in the December 2025 issue of TETYC.

For questions, please contact

 Relevant Scholarship

Aikens, K. (2019). "Prioritizing Antiracism in Writing Tutor Education." Johnson, K.G. & Roggenbuck, T. How We Teach Writing Tutors. Writing Lab News Letter.

Azima, R., Hixson-Bowles, K., & Simpkins, N. (2022). “Starting from Square One”: Results from the Racial Climate Survey of Writing Center Professional Gatherings. The Writing Center Journal, 40(1), 5–26.

Bennett, K. C. (2022). "Critiquing the Normative Discourse Circulated by Two-Year College Writing Center Websites through Critical Disability Studies and Technical and Professional Communication." Teaching English in the Two Year College, 49(3), 238-256.

Blazer, S. & Fallon, B. (2020). "Changing Conditions for Multilingual Writers: Writing centers for Destabilizing Standard Language Ideology." [Special Issue: Promoting Social Justice for Multilingual Writers on College Campuses]. Composition Forum 44.

Daniels, S., Babcock, R. D., & Daniels, D. (2015). “Writing Centers and Disability: Enabling Writers through an Inclusive Philosophy.” Praxis.

Efthymiou, A. (2021)."What Else Do They Take with Them?(And What Do They Leave Behind?): Understanding Writing Center Conferences as Opportunities for Tutor Transfer." WLN: A Journal of Writing Center Scholarship, 46(1-2), 10-18.

Herzl-Betz, R. & Virrueta, H. (2022). "Perdiendo Mi Persona: Negotiating Language And Identity At The Conference Door." [Special Section: Undergraduate Research Experiences]. Pedagogy 22.1 [Special Issue: Undergraduate Research as a Future of English Studies], 169-172. 

Missakian, I.L. (2015). Perceptions Of Writing Centers In The Community College:  Ways That Students, Tutors, And Instructors Concur And Diverge. (Doctor dissertation, University of California, Irvine). ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global, 3717093.

Munn, V.L. (2011). Moving Beyond Basic Skills In Community Colleges: The Beliefs And Practices Of Culturally Responsive Peer Mentors.  (Doctoral dissertation, University of California at Los Angeles).  ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global, 3483186.

Naydan, L.M. (2021). "What are You?: Rethinking Frames for Contingent Writing Center Work." Speaking Up, Speaking Out: Lived Experiences of Non-Tenure-Track Faculty in Writing Studies (pp. 59-69).

Pantoja, M.V. (2010) An Analysis Of Writing Tutoring Assessment In Four Community College Writing Centers. (Doctoral dissertation, University of Arizona). ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global, 3410759.

Perdue, S. W., & Driscoll, D. L. (2017). "Context Matters: Centering Writing Center Administrators’ Institutional Status and Scholarly Identity." The Writing Center Journal, 36(1), 185–214.

Sévère, R. (2019). "Black Male Bodies in the Center." Denny, H.; Mundy, R; Naydan, L.M.; Sévère, R. & Sicari, A. (Eds.), Out in the Center: Public Controversies and Private Struggles, Louisville, University Press of Colorado (pp. 43-50).

Valentine, K. and Torres, M.F. (2011). "Diversity As Topography: The Benefits And Challenges Of Cross Racial Interaction In The Writing Center".  Writing Centers And The New Racism: A Call For Sustainable Dialogue And Change. Ed. by Greenfield, L. and Rowan, K.  USU Press. 192-210

Valles, S.B., Babcock, R.D., & Jackson, K.K. (2017) “Writing Center Administrators and Diversity: A Survey.”  The Peer Review, 1.1. 

Vick, N., et al. (2015) "The Effectiveness Of Tutoring On Developmental English Grades." Community College Enterprise, 21(1), 11-26.

Wells, J. (2016). "Why We Resist 'Leading the Horse': Required Tutoring, RAD Research, and Our Writing Center Ideals." The Writing Center Journal, 35(2), 87–114.

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