Earlier in July, four of our tutors had the pleasure of meeting with Ana Trujillo, Director of the Writing Center at the University of Santiago De Cali (USC) in Cali, Valle, Colombia. It served as a powerful reminder as to how writing centers are slowly changing the world. Dr. Trujillo had a lot of information to offer, and we learned so much from one another.
The Writing Center at USC differs from our Writing Center here at UIC in many ways. Known as el Centro de Escritura, Lectura y Oralidad Académica, USC’s Writing Center places a heavy emphasis on writing, reading, and academic speech. When students first register for appointments at the USC Writing Center, they must fill out an informational questionnaire depicting their interests and academic background. They must also complete a reading background check to establish their level of comfort in reading comprehension. Once they have gone through their reading background check, they are ready to move on to the writing process. Finally, they work on academic speech, as higher education in Colombia highlights the importance of entering into the academic conversation.
A major overlap between USC’s Writing Center and our own is that we both strive to be a powerful resource for students. We are here to help inspire creativity and to give students the tools that they need to become independent writers.
At our Writing Center, students are welcome at any stage of the writing process, whether it’s beginning an assignment, or reviewing papers for finishing touches. We also recognize that reading and writing go hand-in-hand and have discussed reading strategies that we can share with our peer student writers. For students who would like to practice their academic speech, they are welcome to join us for Conversation Hour (time and days TBA) where they can practice the English language with fellow peers.
From one Writing Center to another, we would like to stress that we are here to help with any writing assignments in any field. We kindly thank Dr. Trujillo for taking the time to meet with us, and for sharing her experiences.