Hiring & Training Consultants
In order to work as a consultant, one must successfully complete a rigorous application and interview process. The Fred Meijer Center for Writing looks for a variety of qualities in potential hires.
Students have to provide information on the following academic areas:
- Class standing
- Relevant course work
- Major and Minor/Emphasis
They also need to submit the following:
- Two writing samples, one of which must include examples of citation formatting. We want consultants who work with the Center to be successful writers themselves, but also able to work well with their peers and to respond appropriately and helpfully to student writing in many situations.
- Professor recommendation
Consultants are chosen through an extensive application process, where they answer a series of questions related to past experiences, personality, and hypothetical scenarios common to the Writing Center work.
Students wishing to become consultants must fill out long written applications and perform well during an hour-long interview.
After hire, consultants receive extensive training.
- All consultants participate in an orientation held before fall classes begin.
- New consultants complete a one-credit academic course called WRT 306: Seminar for New Consultants. In this course, consultants continue to hone their tutoring skills & also read research and theory related to composing processes, responding to writing, and writing center pedagogy.
- New consultants meet in small mentoring groups twice monthly.
- All consultants attend a number of Professional Development workshops, seminars, or presentations throughout the academic year. Each event is focused on a specific tutoring situation or topic and are a way of helping consultants learn new and more effective ways of doing their work.
- New consultants are observed during their first semester of work so the Director and Lead Consultants can mentor them more effectively.
The WRT 306 Textbook
What do they learn to do?
Through this training process, we expect our consultants to be able to complete the staples of our service:
We offer three main ways in which we support writers at GVSU:
1. One-on One Support: writing consultants are trained to facilitate conversation about your writing ad any stage of the process, whether in person or online
2. Classroom Work: writing consultants are trained to be able to support writers in a classroom setting by being prepared to A) work one-on-one or B) facilitate small groups.
3. Group Facilitation: writing consultants are trained to facilitate small writing groups, which are made up of individuals writing group papers together, conducting peer review, or are working through brainstorming topics together
Additional Professional Development
Every consultant must learn the core of what we do at the Writing Center; some, however, are encouraged to exercise their personal ambition and achieve a higher-impact learning and professional experiences.
Consultants can pursue the following:
- Become a Lead consultant -- someone who is given additional responsibility to meet with Writing Center administration on a regular basis, who often oversees a personal project related to writing center work, who manages and facilitates the two-day orientation even for new consultants, who facilitates the small new-consultant mentor group meetings, and who manages and models best practices at all of our physical locations.
- Attend and/or Present at a Conference -- the Fred Meijer Center for Writing and Michigan Authors values the conference experience. We actively encourage our staff to attend at least one conference per year (we fund their attendance to the MiWCA conference), and we try to assist our consultants' efforts in presenting as often as they can.
- Create Writing Center Resources -- each year, our staff is a new diverse ecosystem of specialties, strategies, disciplines, and personalities. We encourage our staff to immortalize these qualities in teaching or reference resources to be publish in the Writing Center.
- Complete Individual Research Project -- though not all consultants are required to do so, when taking WRT 306, many consultants are encouraged to investigate one area of Writing Center research of interest and produce a personal project on the matter.