The Balancing Act: Creating New Academic Support in Writing While Honoring the Old

Jennifer Good, Susan Barganier


At many universities, the WAC program organizationally falls within Academic Affairs whereas Learning Centers often fall within Student Services or an English Department, causing political and practical difficulties in collaboration that impede the creation of effective support in writing throughout students’ academic careers. To combat these distinctions and divisions, the chief administrators of a WAC program and Learning Center (LC), the university's writing center, collaborated to bridge the divide between the student and professional tutors funded through each program.

When the WID intern program, managed through WAC, was in its embryonic stages of development, the WAC and LC administrators recognized the strength and power of connecting the two areas of academic support through deliberate and thoughtful collaboration. For instance, in contrast to the WID intern program that is philosophically aligned with theories of supplemental instruction, the LC tutors have extensive experience and training in tutoring pedagogy. Capitalizing on the strengths of each philosophical tenet and encouraging collaboration between tutors and interns became imperative to each program’s health and growth.

The interactions between administrators when considering WAC program development, the use and allocation of budget and resources (space) to support the LC or WID interns when necessary, the involvement of LC tutors in WAC faculty training and WID intern training are shared, demonstrating how rich collaboration that thwarts competition can promote effective academic support in writing.


Writing Center Administration; Writing Across the Curriculum


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