What do we look for in a writing consultant?
The Writing Center is staffed by twenty-seven undergraduate and three graduate consultants. They come from a variety of disciplines, such as philosophy, business, education, art, linguistics, history, and English. Consultants are carefully chosen through a multi-step interview process and must meet satisfactory academic requirements and demonstrate aptitude for academic writing. The Writing Center recruits consultants with diverse backgrounds, identities, and points of view. Ideal consultants also love to talk about writing and are friendly and compassionate individuals.
Each fall, new consultants explore the interconnectedness of theory and practice in a semester-long course, The Theory and Practice of Tutoring Writing, taught by the Director and Assistant Director of the Writing Center. Future consultants also participate in direct on-the-job training by completing a single-credit internship in the Writing Center, where they observe and learn from veteran consultants.
Even after completing their training, all consultants continue to learn and grow on the job. Usually, consultants pick an area of interest on which to focus during their time at the Writing Center, and every year they present their Writing Center related research at regional and national conferences. Regular staff meetings and pre-semester orientations provide a forum for brainstorming projects and sharing insights.
How to become one
Being a consultant at the Writing Center is one of the most rewarding experiences available to students at Boise State. To work with other writers not only contributes to their learning, but to your own. It’s an incredibly satisfying feeling to be part of a productive consultation and a group of people who love writing. But, being a consultant is also incredibly demanding. Good consultants are good writers, yes, but also good listeners, and they must be flexible enough to adapt to the needs of different writers and different writing situations. Of course, we don’t expect everyone to be immediately ready to consult (nor do we ever envision a point where a consultant stops learning), so before anyone comes to work in the Center, he or she enrolls in the English 303 course, Theory and Practice of Tutoring Writing. A concurrent, one-credit internship at the Writing Center for on-the-job training is also required.
Before being considered for the job, a current student must do the following:
- Fill out Consultant Application.
- Submit a research-based writing sample of about 7-12 pages that is written in either APA, MLA, or Chicago style.
- Provide a brief Statement of Interest. The Statement of Interest should address the following prompt in no more than 500 words: Why are you interested in participating in this community, and how would you reach your life and educational goals by working in the Writing Center? Additionally, please describe any experiences you have that you feel are relevant for working in the Writing Center.
- Interview with one of the Center’s consultants.
- Interview with the Directors of the Center.
Is this a lot to ask? Yes. But we pride ourselves on our work, and we think the rewarding experience of working with writers at Boise State is worth the effort. We begin accepting applications in March for enrollment in the consulting course the following fall. The job announcement will be posted on BroncoJobs, and on our website. Again, enrollment in the course is limited. We usually have 10–12 students each year. Decisions on enrollment are made once a year before the end of the spring semester.
The application deadline for the fall 2018 semester is Friday, April 6th.
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