Professional Development & Training

Professional Development Check-insProfessional Development Check-insThe Mentoring ProgramThe Mentoring Program
The Writing Center strives to promote learning, professional development, and reflection as much for you—our staff—as for the writers we work with. The training that takes place in the beginning of the year—particularly in WRD 395 or WRD 582—serves as the foundation of our work at the Writing Center.
We also design ongoing professional development opportunities to promote collaboration and reflection, build and advance knowledge, increase awareness of and appreciation for diversity, and provide a space where we can motivate and support each other as peer writing tutors.
The primary goal of Professional Development (PD) is to help tutors become better tutors. Through PD, tutors engage in improving their work within a supportive and collaborative learning community. Each PD session reflects specific learning outcomes, is grounded in theory, and is directly applicable to and actionable in our work in the Writing Center.

🧑‍🎓 Learning Outcomes

Through participation in Professional Development, peer writing tutors will
  1. reflect on their tutoring experiences
  1. add new strategies to their tutoring skills
  1. apply relevant research to their understanding of writing and their tutoring practices
  1. demonstrate an increased understanding of writers’ needs and perspectives about their work
  1. make decisions and solve problems that arise in tutoring sessions

🤟🏻 Who Facilitates?

Administrators, Coordinators, Student Managers, Workshops Team members, and Student Leaders are the primary facilitators of PD. Sometimes a PD workshop will be led by representatives from other departments at DePaul or from other writing centers.
Tutors who are interested in creating a professional development workshop or module must first apply to join the Workshops Team in order to gain relevant insights on best practices for facilitation alongside practical experience. Members of the Workshops Team have the opportunity to plan, research, prepare materials for, and facilitate a professional development workshop or module in collaboration with other team members. The PD Program and the Workshops Team provide support and consultation with facilitators as they develop PD.
Facilitators have the opportunity to gain skills in planning and executing effective professional development sessions or modules by
  1. applying relevant learning objectives to the planning and execution of their PD session
  1. applying relevant research to the content of their PD sessions in ways that are understandable and accessible to participants
  1. including rapport, exigence, agenda, methods, and next steps in their PD session
  1. developing PD content and materials that have relevant information for all tutors, new and returning
  1. offering specific and actionable take-aways that tutors can implement in their work in the Writing Center

💬 Tutor Talk

Tutor Talk provides a space for tutors to focus on tutoring pedagogy, practices, and strategies across appointment modalities. Facilitated by Student Managers, Tutor Talk gathers small groups of tutors together to build rapport and learn from each other, establishing a collaborative and supportive learning community where tutors share practical take-aways for appointments.
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During each Tutor Talk session, you will participate in discussions that help you reflect on the ways you provide feedback to writers. In addition to reflecting on your practices, you will collaborate with other tutors to develop new strategies you can apply to your work with writers.

📋 Tutor Talk Logistics

  • All staff members are required to attend two Tutor Talk sessions each quarter.
  • The sessions are scheduled during your regularly scheduled Writing Center shifts and you are blocked off in WCOnline to attend.
  • If your work schedule does not fully overlap with any of the session times, the PD team will be in touch with you to gather your availability and then schedule you to attend Tutor Talk accordingly. To balance your work hours and the Writing Center budget, we balance out any additional time added to your schedule for Tutor Talk by removing the same amount of time from elsewhere in your schedule in the same week and notify you of the schedule change.

🌀 PD Workshops & Modules

Professional development workshops or modules are focused on specific writing, tutoring, or employment-related topics. In consultation with the Writing Center’s PD Program and Workshops Team, PD facilitators will determine the modality and best practices for engaging participants. Workshops or modules may be synchronous or asynchronous; some will involve large or small group interactive elements while others will offer individual reflection opportunities.
When additional PD is required beyond Tutor Talk in a given quarter, the Writing Center will block off time during (a) work shift(s) for you to complete it. You can opt to participate in additional PD modules or other opportunities—announced to staff on Slack—as they are available.