Mission & Goals
The Writing Center at Loyola University Chicago believes that good writing is good thinking, and our work is an extension and elaboration of that motto. Our Center promotes writing as a means of reflecting and learning, and as a means for communicating and participating in the many communities of which we are a part. As such, we regard writing as a non-linear, recursive, and ongoing process that allows us to shape and re-shape our ideas continuously. At the Writing Center, we support our clients at every level, from every discipline, and at any stage in the writing process. We are committed to promoting the diversity of voices and perspectives that are the hallmark of our Loyola community.
Goals and Strategic Plan
Inspired by Loyola University Chicago’s Plan 2020 to “build a more just, sustainable, and humane world,” we embrace our institution’s priorities of accessibility, development, social justice, and partnerships.
At its core, the Writing Center’s Strategic Plan is designed to ensure client access, success, and satisfaction through the leveraging of Writing Center resources, the implementation of standardized tutoring practices, outreach to the campus community, and ongoing assessment and improvement cycles.
To achieve our goals, we have determined a range of action steps that are to be implemented during Phase I (AY 2018-2019), Phase II (AYs 2019-2021), and Phase III (AY 2021-2022). They are as follows:
Phase I Action Steps — Completed
- Develop and update the handbook to include descriptions of staff positions, tutoring methods, and general expectations, policies, procedures, and forms.
- Design and hold a one-day graduate tutor training orientation at the beginning of each academic year.
- Launch Written Feedback and extend partnerships with SAC & SDMA.
- Install new signs at LSC and WTC and add a voicemail system.
- Encourage WTC tutor visits.
- Incorporate faculty resources on the website.
- Introduce a consistent Writing Workshop series led by the Community Outreach Subcommittee.
- Attend and present at the Midwest Writing Center Association Conference 2018 and collaborate with other Chicago Writing Centers, including DePaul University and Northwestern University.
Phase II Action Steps — Completed
- Continue an ongoing review of the Strategic Plan and update it accordingly.
- Continue regular performance reviews of all Undergraduate, Graduate, and Lead Tutors.
- Implement an anonymous, online client survey that Tutors will distribute via their Client Report Forms; use a Starbucks gift card raffle drawing during midterms and finals to garner client interest; expand the survey by requesting permission from clients to use their feedback for advertising purposes.
- Initiate the Holy Grail assessment project for the embedded tutors/Writing Fellows program as well as launch a trial-run in Fall 2020.
- Design a new framework that streamlines the process for the skills-based workshops requested by faculty members by providing a set list of workshop topics that faculty may select from; develop the required materials such as an agenda, handout, PowerPoint presentation, etc.
- Create advertisement flyers to distribute in the Undergraduate and Graduate newsletters every semester as well as publish on the Writing Center’s website; emphasize client feedback and promote our social media accounts.
- Revise WCOnline’s appointment form by expanding the “Course by Discipline” and “Type of Writing Project” drop-down menus; simplify the appointment form to make it more user-friendly for clients.
- Expand the Handbook to include expectations for training sessions, tutoring shifts, classroom visits, and professional development workshops. Insert sections regarding FERPA and clients’ rights, procedures for a missed appointment, client report forms, and post-appointment feedback.
- Revamp our procedures for conducting formal observations and audits of Tutors and Tutors-in-Training; refocus the Lead Tutor position toward mentorship.
- Create detailed protocol sheets in the Handbook that details the administrative team’s expectations for Writing Fellows, the Mentorship Coordinator, Lead Tutors, Shift Managers, Subcommittee Co-Chairs and Members, and ENGL 220 Tutors-in-Training.
- Expand the mentorship program to include shadowing opportunities for ENGL 220s and develop an anonymous Lead Tutor and ENGL 220 feedback survey that will be distributed at the end of every semester.
Phase III Action Steps — Ongoing
- Deploy regular tutor feedback surveys at the end of each semester.
- Consider the implementation of asynchronous video feedback sessions.
- Launch a “Social Justice in Writing” series led by the Social Justice Subcommittee with the aim of distributing the SJS Handbook to our community.
- Collaborate with HSC and Arrupe Fellows about ways to further expand the Writing Center’s services to their campuses and students.
- Expand LSC and WTC space.
- Schedule regular department visits.
- Expand research and networking in the field of Writing Studies to build reputation and create a system of continuous improvement through iterative benchmarking, such as publishing in WC journals and relevant blogs as well as presenting at conferences.
- Research for a Writing Center Administration Certification curriculum modeled after St. Cloud State University or other institutions.
- Research and develop strategies to equip tutors when working with clients who have learning disabilities.
- Revamp and develop content for “Student Resources” on the WC website.