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 primarily 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, communicate with SJSU faculty, participate in outreach activities, and create original resources for the Writing Center every semester. 

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.

General Qualifications

To be an Assistant Writing Specialist, you must

  • be a currently enrolled student at SJSU with a "clear" academic standing.
  • have a minimum overall GPA of 3.2.
  • have completed a first-year writing course (e.g., English 1A).
  • be at the sophomore level or higher.  
  • have excellent interpersonal and communication skills.
  • have superior writing skills, knowledge of grammar, and knowledge of the writing process.

Hiring Criteria

To be hired, 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 with a student’s grade level. The starting rate for sophomores is $12.50/hour.

Application Procedure

Applicants should submit a completed application form (see below), a cover letter stating their reasons for applying, a resume, an unofficial transcript, two graded essays with comments from the instructor(s), and two letters of recommendation (preferably from SJSU faculty) to 

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

Download the Assistant Writing Specialist Application.