Assistant Writing Specialist Jobs

hand writing with a pen on paper

Thank you for your interest in working at the Writing Center. The Writing Center, like all student resources at SJSU, is committed to improving the quality of student life, both personally and academically. We strive to provide every student with thorough, high-quality assistance in specific writing issues and topics. Our goal is to guide students through improving their writing from the first thought to the final draft. Each of us specializes in a particular style, subject, or aspect of the writing process. We are all well-versed and experienced in student instruction, and each of us performs at the highest levels of achievement.

Job Description

The Assistant Writing Specialist program began in spring 2011, and it will continue to develop and expand. 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.

Assistant Writing Specialists (AWS) will tutor students approximately 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 creative writing, lab reports, research papers, and freshman compositions. Assistant Writing Specialists will also maintain tutoring records, correspond with instructors, receive training from Writing Specialists, and assist in the handling of daily student traffic through the Center. The Director at the Writing Center, Michelle Hager, will be the supervisor for all Assistant Writing Specialists.

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):

  • familiarize him or herself with the Writing Center tutoring policies and services.
  • send a query 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 the grammar rules for each answer.
  • complete a style exercise and explain the sentence revisions.
  • submit a complete application packet (see below).
  • observe a minimum of four tutoring sessions by experienced Writing Specialists.
  • participate in a 30-minute “Best Practices” discussion 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, following the Writing Center format for tutoring and writing follow-up e-mails to instructors after each session.
  • 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/hr.

To Apply

The applicant must submit (1) a cover letter stating his or her reasons for applying, (2) a résumé, (3) a completed application form, (4) an unofficial transcript, (5) copies of two graded essays with instructors' comments, and (6) two letters of recommendation from SJSU faculty (signed, on letterhead) to

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

Download the Assistant Writing Specialist Application [pdf]