Training for High School Writing Centers


As the expectations of college freshmen continue to grow, the responsibility of enhancing individuals’ academic performance falls to faculty instructors at the high school level. Due to the limited amount of time spent in the composition classroom for individuals in grades nine through twelve, an extension to formal course instruction is needed. As research has shown, continued exposure to composition techniques and entering into a conversation about writing increases one’s skills in numerous ways. By providing a writing center for your high school, individuals can seek assistance with any and all aspects of the writing process. In addition, the collaborative efforts that are expected of higher-level students will be enforced from the beginning of each person’s high school education. Furthermore, attending sessions in the writing center gives people the opportunity to converse about their writing in a process-oriented rather than product-related process.

The Benefits of a High School Writing Center

Placing a writing center in your high school will positively impact the school community and overall student experience in addition to the writing instruction provided by faculty members in the classroom.

  • Additional opportunities for students to take on leadership roles, to volunteer, and to actively participate in the educational process – all of which are integral aspects of the complete education endorsed by any school.
  • Space where gifted juniors and seniors can assist their peers in an alternative setting to the classroom that is both non-threatening and non-competitive.
  • Tutoring others greatly enhances the communication skills of students and helps them achieve their future academic goals, empowering both tutor and client.
  • An outlet for students to form bonds and relationships by working collaboratively which enhances their interpersonal skills.

How the Bear CLAW at MSU can Help

The Bear CLAW (Center for Learning and Writing) at Missouri State University provides a free workshop designed to assist the educator in training student writing consultants.

The workshop can be held in the Bear CLAW, located in Meyer Library on the MSU campus or at your school. For more information, please e-mail Michael Frizell, MFA, Director of Student Learning Services, at

Proposed Training Session

Training sessions can be tailored to meet the needs of your students. The basic training takes about three hours:

  • Hour 1: An introduction to Writing Center theory and practice.
  • Hour 2: Higher-order versus lower-order concerns.
  • Hour 3: Working with special populations.

We'll also provide supporting materials, a free training manual, and ongoing support through Email Consultations for your students.