Policies and Procedures

When you make an appointment, you agree to the following policies. If you have questions or concerns about any of these policies, please contact us or set up an appointment to speak with our Director. 

Our Policies

Please review the following policies, all of which support our mission and further your continued learning. We reserve the right to end or cancel your appointment if these expectations are not met.  

1. Eligibility: You must be currently registered and enrolled at SJSU to use Writing Center services.

2. Preparedness: You must be prepared for tutoring by bringing specific writing-related questions as well as all necessary materials, including your writing, outlines, research, and/or prompts/assignment sheets. If you have already worked on an essay with a tutor, bring a new/updated copy of your revised draft to your next session, demonstrating that you have attempted to apply what you have learned. 

Students engaging in online tutoring are responsible for having an internet connection and their own equipment (laptop, webcam, microphone) in working order. We ask that students use Microsoft Word documents or Google Docs. Students must have the “track changes” option turned on. The Writing Center is not responsible for any lost work. Students are responsible for saving their own work. Students must be in a quiet location where they can speak without interruption. Audio must be used at all times in the session. We recommend that students turn their video on unless internet connectivity issues are present. Tablet usage is strongly discouraged.

For online sessions, if tutors report repeated tech issues with the same student, you may be blocked from making additional online tutoring appointments until you come in for a tech review meeting with one of our staff members.

3. Code of Conduct: The Writing Center is a distraction-free environment. Cell phones should be kept away during tutoring sessions. Food is not permitted. Please do not bring any guests with you to your appointment. During your session, be engaged in the process and be respectful of your peers and all Writing Center employees.

If you are belligerent, uncooperative, or disrespectful of our employees, you will be referred to the Writing Center Director. We reserve the right to end tutoring sessions early and refuse service; we will not tolerate any harassment or inappropriate behavior. Please respect the privacy of our tutors and do not contact them directly outside of your tutoring sessions.

For online tutoring, do not interrupt other students' tutoring sessions. If a student is found sharing a video or screen shot of an online appointment on their social media or via any other electronic means, they will be asked to remove the video, and they will be banned from scheduling tutoring sessions at the Writing Center for the remainder of the semester. The incident will also be reported to SJSU’s Office of Student Conduct and Ethical Development.

Students must be appropriate in the language, dress, and content of their online sessions. If a tutor is made to feel uncomfortable during a session, they will have the right to turn off the video, terminate the session, and/or report the tutee to the university. Depending on the severity of the offense, students may be banned from the Writing Center.

4. Lateness: As a part of our distraction-free environment (and as a basic standard of professionalism), the Writing Center does not tolerate lateness. If you are more than five minutes late for a tutoring session, you will be marked as a no-show for that appointment, and the tutor you were scheduled to work with will move on to another task. If you arrive late for a workshop, you will not be admitted into the workshop room.

5. Frequency of Appointments: For in-person tutoring, you can schedule one 30-minute tutoring appointment per day, with a maximum of two in-person appointments made in advance per week. Hour-long appointments are available if you have accommodations for extended tutoring time from the AEC or if you are a graduate-level student working on a large project.

For online tutoring, you can schedule one 45-minute tutoring appointment per day, with a maximum of two appointments made in advance per week. Students may cancel a session up until the appointment start time; students can schedule appointments up to one hour before the appointment start time. If you are a graduate student working on a large project or are an AEC student who needs the accommodation of extra tutoring time, please send an email to writingcenter@sjsu.edu. We can schedule one additional (third) tutoring session for you each week.

If you cannot make your scheduled appointment, you must cancel before the appointment is scheduled to begin. If you miss two appointments in one semester without cancelling in advance, you will be blocked from the online scheduling system. You will then be limited to using only our drop-in services for the rest of the semester (either at our in-person drop-in location in Clark Hall 126 or through our online "Ask a Tutor" live chat service). Note that drop-in sessions cannot be made in advance and may not always be available, especially during peak hours. Every student is limited to one in-person drop-in session per day. 

Our Procedures

1. The Writing Center is not an editing or proofreading service. Writing tutors will not write your papers for you or perform line-by-line editing. You cannot leave a paper to be corrected by a tutor. You must be present and prepared to learn--tutoring is a collaborative process.

2. Writing tutors will not discuss a grade you have received or anticipate a grade you may receive. Professors assign grades--not Writing Center tutors. Tutors also will not offer commentary on a professor’s written feedback.

3. Writing tutors have the right to refuse to work on a paper that is due the same day or multiple papers during one tutoring session. The goal of the Writing Center is to help you learn writing skills. It will be difficult for you to learn concepts and make meaningful revisions to your work when you are rushing to do more or to meet an imminent deadline. Writing is a process!  

4. The Writing Center services are supplemental to in-class instruction. We will still adhere to our mission even if you are visiting the Writing Center for the sole purpose of receiving extra credit or fulfilling a class assignment. Writing tutors will not act as peer reviewers to make up work that you missed in class.

5. Group essays, projects, or assignments will be handled at the discretion of the writing tutor. All of our regular expectations and procedures still apply.

6. Please visit the Accessible Education Center (AEC) if you need accommodations. Once you have your accommodation letter, email it to us or bring a copy to the Writing Center.