OUR TOWN: Daytona State students help peers in new writing program
Ormond Beach residents from Daytona State College are going the extra mile to help their peers become better writers.
Though students Charlie Strickhouser and Rebecca Roberts are traveling down vastly different paths on their way to earning associate of arts degrees at Daytona State College, they're both trying to hone their writing skills.
These two Ormond Beach residents are among the first participants in the college’s Writing Fellows program, an offshoot of Daytona State’s Writing Across the Curriculum and Writing in the Discipline initiative. Started last year, the Writing Fellows program teams trained students with faculty to support all students in the class with writing assignments and guidance.
With Florida legislative changes on developmental education, more supplemental instruction and tutoring services are needed, according to Writing Fellows Coordinator Chris Gebhardt. “A Writing Fellow can either be a student of the faculty member’s choice who has already taken their course, or any qualified student who is fully trained to be a Writing Fellow.”
He noted up to 15 paid work-study positions are available each semester to cover all campuses.
“Each student is different,” said Strickhouser, who is a fellow in two of Professor Shana Deyo’s business writing courses, in a press release. “I get some, for instance, who just want me to read their essay over to check their work, and others who come to me saying they have no idea what they are doing or where to start.”
Deyo said Strickhouser has been a great asset. In addition to meeting one-on-one with students to review assignments and offer suggestions, he also makes connections through email and a discussion board set up for the classes.
“I've already had very favorable feedback with students who have contacted him,” she said. “The students say he’s a wealth of information and really knows his stuff.”
Students can join the Writing Fellows through a referral by a faculty member. Upon completing 11 hours of training and workshops, fellows spend up to three hours per week working with students and serving as a resource for their assigned faculty member. Fellows also conduct a weekly lab for each class and are available in the DSC-UCF Writing Center six hours per week for one-on-one tutoring by appointment.