Student Writing Workshops
As we create and distribute materials for our student writing workshops, you will be able to find them available for download below.
As part of the Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institution (AANAPISI) program, the San José State University Writing Center received a grant from the U.S. Department of Education. The funds of this grant, according to the U.S. Department of Education website, can be used to “support leadership development, student retention and graduation, collection and analysis of AAPI student data, [and] faculty training and curriculum development.” While the faculty workshops designed and led by Director Dr. Linda C. Mitchell and Associate Director Michelle Hager concentrate on enriching faculty and curriculum by creating strong classroom leaders, the workshops developed and delivered by Graduate Assistant Crystle Bruno are designed to enhance the retention and graduation rates of these student populations. Additionally, the research aspect of Crystle’s project – demographic surveys and pre- and post-assessments of grammar/writing knowledge – will facilitate the analysis of these student populations, specifically in regards to comparable student groups.
In order to target and assess the populations outlined by the grant, Crystle will present her workshops in three different courses: English 100A, English 1B, and English 7. English 100A has been the main focus of these workshops and this research because not only do these courses largely contain the demographics being targeted by the grant but they also represent a population who is in desperate need of extra writing instruction. English 100A was designed to help students who have repeatedly failed the WST exam and therefore cannot move on to their upper division writing classes and other coursework. Since the relationship between writing proficiency and retention and graduation is of major interest to the grant work, Crystle’s workshops will focus on the major errors prevalent in the English 100A population. Each workshop will present one or two grammar or writing concepts with which English 100A students are struggling, and each English 100A course will receive a series of three workshops. At the beginning of the series, a grammar pre-test, which assess students’ knowledge of the grammar concepts to be taught, will be administered and a demographic form will be completed. At the end of the series, a grammar post-test, which now assess the students’ knowledge of the grammar concepts that have been taught, will be administered.
In order to generate data from comparable populations, Crystle will also teach similar, if not the same, workshops to English 1B and English 7 courses. English 1B students are of interest for comparison because, in theory, these students should be at least a semester behind English 100A students who have passed English 1A and 1B and have attempted the WST. English 7 also poses an interesting comparison because this course, as part of general education requirements, sees a demographic far more varied in terms of age – like English 100A courses. Hopefully, in examining the data from all of these courses, Crystle will make some well-informed conclusions about the effectiveness of English 1A and 1B courses at community colleges and at SJSU, the academic proficiency of students of various ages, and the wide range of needs present in English 100A populations.