Coe Writing Center – Featured Writing Center

This is the first entry in our Featured Writing Center series.  Kudos to the team of experienced Coe Writing Center Consultants–Alex Bartlett, Gibson Odderstol, and Anton Jones–who responded to the Call for Submissions only hours after it was sent out. Jane Nesmith, Coe Writing Center Director, suggested it was appropriate that her consultants respond to the prompts since they “are the true experts.”

The Coe Writing Center recently celebrated its 30th anniversary this fall and was founded by Dr. Bob Marrs, who has been a long time member and supporter of MWCA.

Coe Writing Center – Coe College – Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Describe your institutional context.

Coe is a small liberal arts college nestled between America’s heartland and downtown Cedar Rapids.

What are your hours during the academic year?

Mon-Thurs 8:00 AM-12:00 AM

Friday 8:00 AM-5:00 PM

Sunday 11:00 AM-12:00AM

If you have a mission statement, what is it?

Providing conversations about any writing project at any stage of the writing process.

Tell us about how your writing center is staffed.

By 60 undergraduate writing consultants who are awarded Writing Center fellowships through a competition process.

Tell us how your tutors are trained.

Consultants take three semesters of a staff development course and generally the first two are taken in their first year as a writing center consultant.

Tell us about the writers you work with.

We have some very loyal students who come in all the time and students that come in because their professors require it. There are also people who come in for personal writing, resumes, and pieces that are not strictly academic. We provide help with grammatical concepts, big picture ideas, brainstorming, and editing. Quite a few international students also frequent the writing center.

Tell us about some programs and/or collaborations your writing center participates in.

Writing Across the Curriculum and Writing Fellows: this is a program that pairs one or two writing consultants to a first-year class to assist the students with college level composition. Long Night Against Procrastination: this is a program that occurs once a semester that keeps the library open until 3AM, during this time Consultants offer consultations and workshops. Tuesday Tea: this is a weekly event hosted by the WC in which we invite a guest professor and any students who would like to attend for tea, snacks, and conversation. The Catherine McAuley Center: this is a Cedar Rapids NPO that offers free language courses to any individuals in the area who wish to improve their English language skills. Consultants volunteer with the Center and have the option to use this experience to count for one of their staff development courses.

Tell us two additional things you’d like people to know about your writing center.

  1. We have a jar full of jolly ranchers for our guests as well as free tea and pour over coffee for anyone who comes in to get a writing center conference.
  2. We are the mecca of random conversation.