Undergrad Coaches & English 402
How does someone become an undergraduate writing coach at the Writing Center?
Undergraduate coaches must successfully complete English 402 (offered each spring semester). They are then eligible to apply for one of our coaching positions. The application has both a written and an interview portion. Students who are hired receive additional training at the start of the fall semester and work 6-12 hours a week.
What is English 402 all about?
English 402 invites a small group of students (25 or fewer) to learn about writing center and composition theory, practice skills for supporting writers as peer writing coaches, and examine their own writing styles and histories.
What are the major assignments?
Major assignments include composing your personal writing history, interviewing and observing current writing coaches, conducting an extensive analysis of your writing style, participating actively in a discussion board, writing an annotated bibliography and a final research paper on a topic of your choice (related to teaching writing), and presenting your research to your classmates and instructors.
What kinds of homework will we have?
You’ll have regular readings posted on our Sakai site. You’ll sign up to be coached at the Writing Center and to observe coaching sessions; you’ll also practice coaching your classmates, conduct research, and participate in our discussion board.
What will happen during class?
Classes will be a mix of discussion and activities. Activities will include things like practicing active listening skills, trying out strategies for various stages of the writing process (like brainstorming and proofreading), watching videos, and visiting the library to learn advanced database search techniques for your research project.
Who might benefit from taking English 402?
English 402 will be useful for aspiring peer coaches, teachers, and writers. The one-on-one teaching skills you will learn about and practice may also be useful to students who are interested in advising, mentoring, or counseling. Note that there will be an emphasis on academic writing, though learning about the writing process will also be helpful for creative writers.
Who are the instructors?
English 402 will be taught by Dr. Gigi Taylor, a Writing Center staff member, with occasional guest speakers. The instructors have taught composition in the English department, as well as other classes.