Assistant Writing Specialist Jobs

hand writing with a pen on paper

Job Description

Assistant Writing Specialists (AWS) will tutor students seven to twenty hours per week and will attend a staff meeting/training session on the first Friday of each month. An Assistant Writing Specialist will work with lower-division students on a variety of writing assignments and projects, including proposals, lab reports, research papers, and freshman composition essays. Assistant Writing Specialists will also maintain tutoring records, create original "Homegrown Handouts," receive training from Writing Specialists, and participate in outreach activities including tabling events. 

Assistant Writing Specialists differ from full Writing Specialists in that they have not yet (1) taken the WST, (2) completed their 100W course, and (3) achieved junior-level class standing. However, in order to apply for an Assistant Writing Specialist position, the applicant must have successfully completed English 1A and English 1B with grades of "B+" or higher.

General Qualifications

  • Current enrollment as a SJSU student with a "clear" academic standing
  • Minimum overall GPA of 3.4
  • B+ or higher in both English 1A and 1B
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills
  • Superior writing skills
  • Superior knowledge of grammar

Hiring Criteria

The applicant must complete the following steps (in order):

  • send an email to stating his or her interest in the position and qualifications for the job.
  • participate in an oral interview with the Writing Center Director.
  • pass a grammar test, which includes the pedagogy of explaining grammar concepts.
  • pass a style test, which includes the pedagogy of explaining style concepts.
  • participate in an exercise that addresses essay organization and content development.
  • observe a minimum of three tutoring sessions by experienced Writing Specialists.
  • participate in a tutoring session as the student, bringing in a piece of his or her own work.
  • discuss best practices with an experienced tutor.
  • participate in a one-hour trial run for a mock tutoring session.
  • conduct a minimum of four mock tutoring sessions with experienced Writing Specialists (two focusing on grammar and two focusing on content), following the Writing Center format for tutoring and writing follow-up e-mails to instructors after each session.
  • submit a complete application packet.
  • upon conditional hiring, be shadowed and evaluated by experienced Writing Specialists for three tutoring sessions.


Pay rates increase commensurate with experience and the Assistant Writing Specialist's ability to meet the job requirements. The starting rate for sophomores is $12.50/hour.

To Apply

Applicants should submit a completed application form, a cover letter stating their reasons for applying, a resume, an unofficial transcript, two graded essays with instructor's comments, and two recommendations from SJSU faculty (signed, on letterhead) to the Director:

Michelle Hager, Director
Writing Center
San José State University
One Washington Square
San José, CA 95192-0172

Download the Assistant Writing Specialist Application.