Rhetoric and Composition

Community-Based Writing Program

Community-Based Writing Program

The Community-Based Writing Program provides one-on-one and small group writing assistance to a broad spectrum of Lorain County residents. In 2003-04, trained Oberlin College writing tutors offered individual writing instruction at four separate sites: Oberlin High School (OHS), the Adult Basic Literacy Education Program at the Joint Vocational School (ABLE/JVS), ACCESS Lorain County, and Grafton Correctional Institution.

The Community-Based Writing Program (CBWP) is housed within the College’s Writing Associates Program, which provides individual writing assistance to Oberlin College students at the drop-in Writing Center and in classes that emphasize writing skills. Oberlin offers a course in writing theory and pedagogy every semester (“Teaching and Tutoring Across the Curriculum”). Any advanced undergraduate with strong writing skills and an interest in becoming an educator may apply to enroll in the course. Those selected concurrently enroll in “Teaching and tutoring Writing” and work at the Writing Center or assist instructors in classes emphasizing writing. Each semester approximately 25 to 45 tutors participate in the program; of these, four to six tutors are selected to work in the CBWP.

The Community-Based Writing Program was piloted in Spring 2003 with the assistance of a grant from SCALE/LAN (Student Coalition for Action in Literacy Education/Literacy Action Network), sponsored by the Corporation for National Service. Since then, with the assistance of Oberlin College’s Presidents’ Office, the program has expanded to include four sites. At Oberlin High School we offer in-class, one-on-one assistance in remedial, regular and advanced English courses. At ABLE/JVS we offer individual and small group assistance to students studying for the GED Exam. With ACCESS Lorain County, we provide workshops to help high school students with college entrance exams and scholarship and application essays. At Grafton Correctional Institution, we help lead writing workshops for inmates. In Spring, 2004, we will offer after hours writing assistance to any interested Oberlin High School students.

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