Writing Specialist Jobs

job application

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; most of us are earning advanced degrees or training in both academic and professional writing.

The high standard to which Writing Specialists are held is reflected in the payscale, which starts where most programs end, and escalates to the maximum rate allowed by the University.

Job Description

Writing Specialists will assist students ten to twenty hours a week in addition to attending a training session on the first Friday of each month. Specialists will work with writers of all levels and disciplines on a variety of assignments and projects, such as creative writing, lab reports, research papers, theses, resumes and job search correspondence, proposals, and freshman compositions. They will also maintain tutoring records, develop and present workshops, and mentor newer specialists.

General Qualifications

  • Current enrollment as a SJSU student with a "clear" academic standing
  • Minimum overall GPA of 3.4
  • B's and above in writing intensive courses
  • B+ or higher in 100W courses
  • Passing score on the WST
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills
  • Superior writing skills
  • Superior knowledge of grammar
  • Class standing of junior or higher

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 Michelle.Hager@sjsu.edu 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.


The pay rates for Writing Specialists are $13.50/hr for juniors, $14.50/hr for seniors, and $15.50/hr for graduate-level students. Your exact pay rate will depend upon your grade level and experience.

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 Writing Specialist Application [pdf]