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Faculty Guide

The purpose of the ARC is to facilitate learning.

We work with students at any stage of the writing process to help them communicate their messages clearly and coherently; we focus on the long-term by trying to develop better writers, not just better papers; and we help students learn to help themselves by using a facilitative, non-evaluative approach to tutoring.

In addition, we coordinate subject tutoring across the disciplines. Subject tutors, chosen by their departments, support classroom instruction in one-to-one and small group tutorials. We also offer guidance in time management, organization, and study skills, and we maintain style manuals, dictionaries, thesauruses, and Kurzweil 3000™ and Dragon NaturallySpeaking® software (text to voice conversion) for student use.

We do not evaluate student work, create expectations for grades, or act as a drop-off proofreading service.

The ARC is staffed by the director of the Academic Resource Center, Dr. Seth Clabough, the ARC coordinator, MaryJo Upchurch, student tutors who are required to complete a course in tutoring pedagogy and receive ongoing training, and — by extension — the director of Academic Advising, Kelly Kraft-Meyer.

The ARC is located on the garden level of the chapel. Call 381-6278 or email arc@sbc.edu for an appointment. Hours are Monday-Thursday: 10 a.m.-noon, 1 p.m.-5 p.m., 7 p.m.-11 p.m.; Friday: 10 a.m.-noon, 1 p.m.-5 p.m.; Saturday: Closed; and Sunday: 7-11 p.m.  

Faculty can encourage students to use the ARC by:

  • Requiring ARC visits for writing assignments or offering extra credit.
  • Emphasizing that all writers benefit from dialogue about their work and encouraging strong writers as well as those who are struggling to use the ARC.
  • Encouraging students to “shop” for tutors with whom they work well.
    Reminding students to make appointments ahead of time when possible.
  • Sharing with students that the ARC provides services to Academic Departments with Subject Tutors, workshops in note taking, test taking, time management and stress management.
  • Including the following paragraph in syllabi:

    The Academic Resource Center
    All students are encouraged to utilize this free service. The ARC works with students to address their individual writing needs and to help them become more effective and confident writers. The ARC is for writers of all skill levels and at all stages of the writing process. In one-to-one conferences lasting 30 minutes, a trained student tutor or professional writing specialist engages the student in facilitative, non-evaluative dialogue about the student’s work. A visit to the ARC does not guarantee that a paper will be free of all problems or errors; instead, a visit helps a student to improve what she has. In addition to writing tutoring, the ARC coordinates subject tutoring; offers guidance in time management, organization, and study skills; and maintains style manuals, dictionaries, thesauruses, and the Kurzweil 3000™ and Dragon NaturallySpeaking® systems (text to voice and vice-versa software) for student use. Call 381-6278 or email arc@sbc.edu to schedule an appointment. The ARC is located on the garden level of the chapel.

Faculty can enhance students’ experience in the ARC by:

  • Sending electronic copies of syllabi and assignments to the Director of the ARC to be kept on file as a reference for tutors.
  • Recommending discipline-specific style guides that can be purchased for student and tutor use.
  • Encouraging students (from all disciplines) who are strong writers, have a solid work ethic, and are interested in the theory and practice of peer tutoring to apply early in the spring semester for a position as a tutor in the following year.
  • Arranging department subject tutors with the ARC Coordinator early in the semester.

Specialized workshops can be created to address students’ specific needs. The Faculty Writing Specialist will conduct workshops in the classroom or in the ARC.  Topics include but are not limited to: avoiding unintentional plagiarism, employing pre-writing techniques to generate ideas, conducting effective and efficient revision, and making student writing more concise.

Presentations by Student Tutors can be arranged. They will visit classes to explain ARC services, present a workshop on a particular topic, and answer students’ questions.

A free service--the ARC is available at no cost to all students attending Sweet Briar College.