The Reading and Writing Center (RWC) is located in CG 409, and it is run by the Reading and Writing Center Instructor. The goals of the Center are to provide tutoring (small group and one-on-one), house specialized software, host instructional workshops, and foster reading and writing-related initiatives across disciplines at the Annandale Campus.
The Writing Center's mission is to facilitate student success through improved studying, reading, and writing skills. Our tutors assist students in all subjects and disciplines with every aspect of the reading and writing processes. Regardless of ability level, we can and will help students improve their reading and writing abilities. View the Presentation below and read our Philosophy of Tutoring for more information on our tutors' qualifications and training.
Philosophy of Tutoring
Tutoring is most effective when it is an individualized, collaborative interaction among peers. Voluntary tutoring is ideal, but our tutors foster positive experiences for students seeking tutoring for extra-credit or as a requirement. If you wish to require students to receive tutoring, please contact the Writing Center Director to schedule an orientation or class visit so that your students can receive an introduction to the Writing Center and its services. Tutoring sessions have better outcomes when students know what to expect. When helping students with writing assignments, the tutors do not write, revise, edit, or proofread for students. Rather, they help the students with writing, revising, editing, and proofreading strategies. Tutors use both non-directive and directive pedagogies as necessary, depending on each student's unique needs. Non-directive strategies include acting as a "sounding-board" for ideas, providing encouragement, and asking clarifying, open, and leading questions. Directive strategies consist of providing explicit feedback, explaining unfamiliar expectations or conventions, and modeling examples of revision, editing, and proofreading strategies. Each tutor is trained in both non-directive and directive pedagogy.
Tutor Requirements and Training
The tutors are current NOVA students, part-time employees studying at nearby universities or working locally, and community volunteers. All tutors must have a record of academic success, including excellent grades in writing courses. They must also demonstrate advanced understanding of the writing process and superior communication skills. Virtually all applicants come highly recommended by English faculty, yet the interview-and-hiring process is highly selective. Less than half of applicants are offered positions. After being hired, tutors undergo a rigorous training program: attending presentations, textbook reading, small group discussion, and observations of experienced tutors. Their training covers non-directive and directive pedagogy, distinguishing between higher-order and lower-order concerns, and the unique needs of NOVA's student populations. They receive instruction for responding to all levels of student writing, from developmental to honors. Once they begin tutoring, they are regularly evaluated and trained through observations, reflective discussions, and special training sessions. The Writing Center tutors also attend professional conferences such as the International Writing Center Association Conference (IWCA) and the Mid-Atlantic Writing Center Association Conference (MAWCA).
Faculty may refer students to the Writing Center through verbal instruction or a referral form. The form provides faculty with an easy, convenient method of giving students specific guidance for their tutorials. When students and tutors know what instructors want students to work on, the tutorial can be much more effective. Simply complete and give the form to the student, who will then give the form to the Writing Center. It is the student's responsibility to submit the form. The Writing Center Director will update the faculty on the student's progress upon request.
The Writing Center offers instructional workshops [link "workshops" to our Workshops page] for students on a regular basis. A faculty member may request a special presentation of any of these workshops, and the Writing Center Director will schedule a mutually convenient time during which to offer the workshop for that instructor's students.
If you have any questions not answered on this website, please do not hesitate to contact Emily Miller, the Writing Center Director, at 703-323-3341 or firstname.lastname@example.org.