Our Mission and Our Values:
As part of the Department of Retention and Student Success, University Writing Services is committed to the campus-wide improvement of student writing through one-on-one peer consultation, the administration of workshops, and the facilitation of writing groups. We want to help improve the culture of writing on SLU's campus and to help undergraduate and graduate students identify themselves as writers within their respective disciplines.
We welcome all undergraduate and graduate SLU students to our four locations on campus. Open 7 days a week during the fall and spring semesters, we are here to help at any point in the writing process. If a student wants to brainstorm an idea into an outline, we welcome the opportunity. If a student wants help formatting the final chapter of a dissertation, we would be more than happy to work with them as well. We want writers to come to us for any reason; we want those same writers to leave with a greater sense of confidence and purpose.
We especially want to reach students in formative and critical stages of academic writing, like students making the transition to college writing, students making the transitions to graduate writing, students in the First Year Writing Program, students writing in English as their second language, transfer students, students applying for scholarships and jobs, and students needing additional support to continue in college. Our ability to help students transfer skills into new stages of their lives is grounded in the individualized plans for success we can help them craft. We believe our service to these populations helps the SLU community become stronger.
As part of the Student Success Center, we provide intentional, developmentally appropriate opportunities for reflection and discovery. We help students develop ongoing plans for their writing, and their future success. By offering feedback very intentionally, we hope to help students reflect upon their writing and their own writing practices. Individualized services allow us to meet students within their zone of proximal development. In the end, a writing consultation is a structured model of experiential learning.
We seek not only to help student writers, but to create an excellent educational experience for our consultants. In our training courses, English 4930: Consulting Writing in a Multimedia World and Honors 4820, consultants are expected to advance as academic writers, communicators, and professionals. Additionally, our mentoring program pairs experienced consultants with new consultants so that they can share methods and strategies.
Who We Are
Our consultants are graduate and undergraduate SLU students, or instructors here at SLU, who are dedicated to serving their fellow students and learning more about writing. Consultants apply and are trained before they become consultants. They learn about best practices in writing consultation, the different ways people write, and how to talk about writing with others respectfully and productively.
When it comes to peer consulting, the consultant and the writer play different, but equally important roles. Peer consulting is special in that it gives you, the student, an opportunity to voice your priorities, ideas, and concerns. It can be a time to think aloud, organize thoughts, and ask questions. There is not always time to ask these kinds of questions in a classroom and our consultants are here because they are good listeners as well as good writers.
University Writing Services faculty help train new consultants and offer our returning staff consultants opportunities for further professional development. When we look for new faculty we look for instructors dedicated to the improvement of writing and the instruction of writing. Our Director, Alex Wulff, teaches the consultant training courses, English 493 and Honors 482. It is our job to look for ways we can continually improve our service to the SLU community.