Writing Center goes 24/7

Magdelana Carr has a multitude of things to say but sometimes can’t find the words to express them. As a pre-engineering major, she doesn’t feel as confident with the written word. Thankfully for Carr and others, there is a growing center on campus that proves writing doesn’t need to be a looming, dark cloud.

The Writing Center at the University of Colorado Denver and Anschutz Medical Campus has expanded to offer support in academic, personal and professional writing at six locations and online. But until the beginning of Fall 2015, the center had difficulty meeting the demand of students.

“Across all locations, we run (on average) at 96 percent of capacity,” said Justin Bain, director of The Writing Center at CU Denver and CU Anschutz. “And on average, we turned away approximately 2,000 students per semester because we simply didn’t have the capacity to assist them.”

In response to the growing need, The Writing Center recently added three locations and offers around-the-clock online support. In addition to the locations at the North Classroom at CU Denver, the Health Sciences Library at CU Anschutz, and Campus Village at Auraria, the Writing Center offers in-person support at the following new locations:

Lobby of the CU Denver Business School on Lawrence Street

Professional Writing Consultants at this location are specially-trained in business writing. This is also a convenient location for students attending the College of Architecture and Planning and School of Public Affairs.

Lobby of the Liniger Building at CU South Denver

Writing consultants at this location are trained in business writing and science/medical writing. This location is convenient for students in the Business School and CU Anschutz students attending classes at CU South Denver.

The Auraria Library

This popular spot is a tri-institutional collaboration with the writing centers of CU Denver, the Community College of Denver and Metropolitan State University Denver.

For additional information on each location, along with an hourly schedule, visit the Writing Center website here.

Between the physical locations and the online chatroom support, students are able to get one-on-one help between 8 a.m. and midnight. Past midnight, students can send their writing (up to 10 pages) to the After Hours Drop Box and have it returned with a summary letter and in-text commentary within 24 hours.

“To my knowledge, no other writing center in the country offers the breadth of support that we do — specifically, some form of writing assistance available 24/7 and across so many physical locations and online platforms,” said Drew Bixby, assistant director of The Writing Center.

Since Fall 2015, The Writing Center has hired eight staff members to join their dynamic team of faculty with MAs, graduate students, and advanced undergraduates, all of which receive ongoing training. Student employees find the culture of mutual support and continual growth to be a cornerstone of the Writing Center.

“I get a lot of my education from working here,” said Chris Doxtator, master’s student of rhetoric in the English department. “Everything we are doing here is a lot of professional development. If you need to do writing for your degree, regardless of what your degree is, you learn a lot while you’re here. And convenience-wise, the location is hard to beat.”

Doxtator is one of the Professional Writing Consultants who works at the center. Additionally, he teaches a couple English courses, along with many workshops that are offered through the center.

For a list of workshops, click here.

In the future, The Writing Center will continue to develop its satellite locations and further integrate them into the respective academic programs they serve.

“I also have tentative plans to pilot some high school writing centers in Denver Public Schools in the coming year,” Bain said. “We see this as an opportunity to support our local students and school district while providing outreach to students who may want to attend CU Denver after high school.”

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