Writing lab extends hours

The University’s Writing Resource Center will provide after-hours tutoring for students in Coleman Library, beginning today.

The sessions will be on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7 – 10 p.m.

The WRC’s goal is to enhance students’ writing abilities at the graduate and professional levels by using technology and advanced teaching methods. The center, funded by a Title III grant, also strives to provide an English resource environment to aid in academic and professional success.

Esther Spencer, a Florida A&M University history professor, will be the after-hours tutor during the pilot run. To measure the project’s progress, the WRC will offer these services until the end of the summer semester as a trial period. FAMU’s Teacher for a New Era Project will fund Spencer’s new position.

“I am very excited about it,” Spencer said. “This will give us an opportunity to assist students more and give students the proper resources for improvement.”

In the center’s effort to create a balanced learning environment, the extended-hours tutor will not provide the same in-depth tutoring the WRC offers during the day. The evening session will be a “quick help desk” for questions about homework and grammar.

Veronica Yon, director of the writing resources center, emphasized that the extended hours in the library are a positive step for FAMU as a whole.

“The library is a one-stop shopping place for students,” Yon said. “They can get resources, print papers and even get food.” The plan for additional hours was a dual effort between the library commons committee and the center, Yon said. Initially, the plan was to target freshmen and provide tutoring in the dorms.

But WRC administrators wanted to reach the larger student community.

“I think (the center) is very good for students to have,” said Hayley Miller, 21, a senior criminal justice student from Geneva.

“It’s very positive. I will come back when I need help.”Next fall the after-hours program will be evaluated for effectiveness.

Center administrators will also decide if more tutors are needed.

Aside from writing tutorials, the center assists students in test-taking strategies and preparation for the College Level Academic Skills Test and the Florida Teacher Certification Examination.

“The writing center was extremely helpful when I had to get ready for the CLAST,” said Miesha Williams, a senior economics student from Tallahassee. “They were friendly and they wanted to help me. It was my second time taking (the CLAST). I just needed a 295 to pass, and I got a 350.”

The WRC also offers free workshops from 2 – 3:15 p.m. throughout the week.

Among the most popular are sessions about punctuation, grammar basics, cover letters and resumes.

Although registration for workshops is not required, it is preferred.