As part of its committed effort to improve students' success in the classroom and beyond, The University of Texas-Pan American officially opened the University Writing Center Jan. 30.
Located in the northeast corner of the University Library, the University Writing Center is designed to support and enhance writing proficiency, and its layout supports individualized, small group and specialized instruction in writing.
The 30-station computer laboratory provides computer-assisted instruction in a writing workshop format. The laboratory is also for training faculty members wanting to incorporate writing into their disciplines and needing writing-related support.
"The reason I had the center funded and developed was because of the tremendous need the students have for improving their writing skills," said Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Rodolfo Arevalo.
In addition, the 10-station "walk-in" computer work area offers individualized instruction in writing for students from all disciplines. A designated tutorial area enables the institution to fulfill state-mandated support for students working toward achieving a passing score on the state's basic skills writing exam, the Texas Academic Skills Program (TASP).
Assistance was provided by the Learning Assistance Center, the Department of English and the University Library.
"The University Writing Center took many months of planning and hard work," said Dr. Kichoon Yang, Assistant Vice President for Undergraduate Studies. "We've overcome a lot of obstacles, and without Dr. Arevalo's determination and vision, I don't think we'd be here today."
Arevalo strongly believes the writing center will help both students and faculty.
"If a faculty member doesn't have the time to help students, the center can go over their draft, edit their work and help them produce a better grade," he said. "Hopefully, they'll also learn more about the writing process."
The University Writing Center promotes institutional efforts to implement writing across the curriculum, improve pass rates on the state teacher certification exam (ExCET), train graduate students in disciplines related to literacy and integrate technology into the teaching of writing in all disciplines.
"We're very excited, and we hope to complete our move here (from the Student Services Building) in two or three weeks," said Gail Guenthner, LAC Writing Lab senior supervisor.
"This will allow us to expand and be more visible with more traffic in a centralized location. This also is going to be a great resource for everyone, from students to staff."