Northern Michigan University Writing Center – Featured Writing Center

Northern Michigan University Writing Center

Northern Michigan University

Marquette, MI

Describe your institutional context.

The NMU writing Center is an extension of the Department of English at Northern Michigan University. We offer tutoring services to all members of the NMU community, including undergraduate students, graduate students, faculty, and staff. The NMU writing center is located in the lower level of the Learning Resources Center. In addition to our in-person tutoring sessions, we offer online tutoring.

What are your hours during the academic year?

Sunday, 1-6 p.m.  Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and 6-9 p.m.

Friday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.  Closed for holidays, school breaks and the last week of each semester

If you have a mission statement, what is it?

Members of the Writing Center work with English Department faculty to promote clear writing and communication. We help members of the NMU community improve their writing skills through free, one-on-one consultations and online tutorials. Our student writers/tutors have experience working with all forms of college writing and all stages of the writing process.

Tell us about how your writing center is staffed.

The NMU Writing Center staff is made up of undergraduate and graduate students from a varying background of academic writing experiences. We currently have 18 undergraduate tutors as well as an undergraduate intern. On the administrative team, we have a graduate student who serves as the assistant director, a graduate student who volunteers his time serving any of the writing center’s unmet needs, and a full-time faculty member who fulfills the role of writing center director.

Tell us how your tutors are trained.

During their first semester, tutors are required to take a 2-credit course focused on pedagogical theory and best teaching practices. Tutors also participate in training days throughout their time in the writing center.

Tell us about the writers you work with.

Northern Michigan University is unique because it functions as both a liberal arts state university and a regional community college. This means that the writing center serves a variety of writing needs. Our student body includes folks with a range of life experiences and educational backgrounds. Some are non-traditional students coming back after several years in the workforce and some are right out of high school. Some come from families who are knowledgeable about academic life and many are first generation students. Some students speak English as their primary language and others are continuing to study English as a second language while they work toward their degrees. The tutors at the NMU Writing Center foster a safe learning environment for students and staff at all levels of writing. We encourage students to find their individual voice on the page and we support diverse learning styles and ways of understanding the world.

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

The tutors at the writing center are required to work with students from EN 090 and EN 109, which are courses designed for students who do not yet meet the writing standards required for EN 111, the standard freshman composition course.

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

Tutors are actively engaged in student organizations and campus programs outside of the NMU Writing Center.

Tutors specialize in a diverse range of academic disciplines. They participate in professional development by attending and presenting at conferences throughout the academic year.

Whom should I contact if I want to know more about this writing center?

Z.Z Lehmberg, Writing Center Director,  zlehmber@nmu.edu