The Writing Assistants Program promotes and supports teaching with writing at FIU. Through this initiative, advanced undergraduate students trained by our center are embedded in course sections to provide feedback on student writing and to help facilitate in-class activities.
The goals of the program are to:
- Increase student engagement, persistence, and success in FIU courses through learner-centered teaching and peer mentoring
- Increase opportunities for students to improve as writers through practice and feedback
- Improve the quality of writing instruction through support for faculty and teaching assistants
- Recruit and prepare strong undergraduate students to work as writing mentors
- Assign writing, even in large courses
- Improve and scaffold writing projects
- Consult with experts on writing
- Increase student engagement
- Receive support with student outreach
- Receive more feedback on coursework
- Revise writing in response to feedback
- Develop effective writing processes
- Connect with peers in class
- See value in seeking help and resources
Writing Assistants can:
- Gain experience working as mentors
- Learn about writing research
- Develop relationships with FIU faculty
- Serve as mentors to other students
- Earn a stipend
About our Writing Assistants
Writing Assistants are nominated by FIU faculty and apply to work in the program. The screening process includes
When hired, assistants take a three-credit, upper-division course that trains them to provide feedback on student writing, hold effective one-to-one writing conferences, and assist in facilitating in-class activities that involve writing and/or critical thinking.
While they take the training course, they also begin to work in the undergraduate course to which they have been assigned. The assistant communicates weekly with the faculty member/TAs, and they meet regularly with Center for Excellence in Writing directors.
Partner with Writing Assistants
Interested in working with Writing Assistants? Partnering with the program will likely mean revising the design of your course, and you will have support as you plan. Here are the steps involved:
- Meet with program administrators to discuss working with writing assistants
- Design or revise the course to include multi-draft writing projects that are aligned with the learning objectives of the course, as well as in-class activities related to writing and/or critical thinking
- Meet weekly with Writing Assistants to discuss their role in improving student writing and supporting student success
- Provide feedback and course materials for Writing Assistants program assessment
"The [Writing Assistants] saved me some consulting time that I normally have to provide with a few of the more challenged students. The very fact that my requiring drafts within the context of the Assistants program made the assignment more significant to my students."
"My students have found the mentoring to be useful and it's clear they wrote better papers having been engaged in the project."
"Meeting with my [Writing Assistant] made me notice some mistakes that I would not have seen in my first draft. It helped me make writing a paper more of a process to achieve a more perfect, finished product instead of just another assignment.”
“[The program] has made me more aware that I should re-read my papers more often, as well as read them out-loud to make sure they sound the way I intend them to.”