Edison College Debuts New Writing Center

Sep 15, 2006

Edison College opens its new Writing Center on Monday, September 18, at the Lee County Campus. Professionals in the writing center offer one-on-one sessions designed to improve a student’s writing skills, but the level of expertise goes far beyond mere proofreading and editing.

The one-on-one coaching sessions will focus on helping students learn such skills as how to approach and understand language, how to conceptualize, and how to improve technical skills like grammar, punctuation, and formatting. The goal of the new service is to create a relationship with each student and work collaboratively to improve writing skills, whether the student is a beginning writer or an advanced one.

"We have courses that now require a written paper that never had that requirement before, and many students in these classes have never taken a course in composition," says Professor Marty Ambrose, lead faculty member in the Communications Department. "Our goal at Edison is to do everything we can to support student success, and the new Writing Center is a unique approach to doing that."

The center will be staffed by Edison’s new Writing Center Technician, Darren Penn. He has a Bachelor’s degree in English and Creative Writing from Brandeis University. His research interests are in the essay form, poetry, and the history of poetics. Brandeis University awarded Penn the American Poets Honorary Prize in 2004. In addition, he has specialized training in the methods of teaching writing to others.

"Some college students have never read a good essay before, and yet they are expected to write one," Penn says. "We want the students to come for at least three coaching sessions so we can develop their writing skills in new ways."

The Writing Center is located in the Humanities Hall, Building L, room L-119C. Coaching sessions are by appointment only. Students must stop by the Writing Center to schedule an appointment; the center will be open Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.