This entry is not exactly about peer writing tutoring in that I am in attendance at the TYCA-West conference in Park City, Utah. My colleague Tiffany Rousculp (of the Salt Lake Community College Community Writing Center) and I will be conducting a roundtable discussion tomorrow about writing center and writing center work. I want to emphasize the importance of having peer writing tutors work in a community college. There are difficulties that peer tutoring staffs present to community college writing center directors, but the benefits far outweigh the deficiences. For example, some might argue that the high turnover rate of peer tutors at community college writing centers is a problem. I used to worry about the turn over rate myself, but have since come to a seperate peace with it. I prefer now to see the turn over rate as invigorating in that many new students get involved in the center over time and I have the opportunity to conduct a continual staff education program.
One troubling attitude about peer tutors at community colleges I wish to address as well is that CC students are not able to work as peer writing tutors. I have keep myself from becoming angry when I encounter such beliefs. When I do I usually spend time talking about the benefits of peer tutoring, the theory behind it as well as how having peer tutors is not "education on the cheap" but represent sound pedagogical practice. I also use the opportunity to emphasize that students who have the opportunity to work in the writing center learn quite a lot themselves.
It should be a good session and I'm really interested in hearing from other 2 year college wrting center folks and learning from their practice.