This presentation will examine the differences between writing centers and traditional academic skills labs in the community college setting. Gaston College will be highlighted as a case study in assessing the need for a writing center, and a successful process for implementing a new center will be modeled. The presentation will also demonstrate the value of writing centers to student learning, persistence, and retention, as well as connections to campus- and system-wide initiatives. Finally, the first year of service in the Gaston College Writing Center will be discussed in order to provide a list of best practices and lessons learned from the overall implementation process.
1. Provide a history of the development and implementation of a writing center at Gaston College.
2. Explain a writing center’s impact on student persistence and retention as well as student learning. A secondary focus will be on Writing Across the Curriculum programs.
3. Analyze the first year of service in the GCWC and compile a list of best practices and lessons learned.
About the Presenter
Born in rural southwestern Virginia, Stephanie Tolliver Osborne has always had a passion for reading and writing. She holds a Master of Arts degree in English from The University of Richmond and serves as the Director of the Writing Center at Gaston College in Dallas, North Carolina. She has led professional development workshops on improving online instruction, student motivation, women’s leadership, and assessing student learning outcomes. Osborne was named the Gaston College Instructor of the Year for 2010-2011, and the Arts & Sciences Division Instructor of the Year for 2010-2011. In 2012, Osborne received the North Carolina Community College System’s highest faculty honor: The R.J. Reynolds Excellence in Teaching Award.
When she’s not teaching writing, Osborne enjoys spending time with her four-year old daughter, Harper, who is named after the author of her favorite novel, To Kill a Mockingbird. She is working on her first novel, and in her spare time, works as an educational consultant, pianist, and ghostwriter. Previously, she has been published in Luminarum, The Jimson Weed, The McGuffey Writer, and The Messenger.