Mission | History | Personnel

Core Mission and Values

The Kathleen Jones White Writing Center recognizes the critical importance of writing and literacy skills to IUP students' academic, professional, social, and personal lives. Since its establishment in 1971 by Prof. Lorrie J. Bright, known then as the Composition Clinic, the Kathleen Jones White Writing Center's /mission has been to help students become better and more self-sufficient writers. As such, we are committed to student success through offering one-on-one tutorials, whole-class workshops, writing resources, writing groups, a comfortable place to write, and broader initiatives. Learning to write is a life-long process, and writers of any level can benefit from collaboration and conversation about their work. We support IUP's /mission through encouraging student success and student retention, preparing students for success in work and life, and providing innovative educational programming.

Our mission is reflected in our core practices and values.

One-on-One tutoring for all writers to support student success. Tutoring and conversations about writing are at the heart of what we do. Trained and compassionate undergraduate and graduate tutors offer individual consultation to all writers. We offer tutorials on all kinds of writing at any stage of the process, offering feedback, support, and encouragement. We support all student writers on campus, including international and multilingual, developmental, disciplinary, graduate, and first-year.

Supporting writers' processes and long-term learning. We recognize that effective writing requires knowledge of rhetorical situations (audience, context, purpose, genre) as well as effective engagement with a body of disciplinary knowledge. We also recognize that additional skills such as time management, goal setting, and emotional management are critical to writers' success; thus, our tutorials support students in these areas as well. We seek to provide tutoring that supports both the immediate writing assignments, but also, we tutor to cultivate long-term writing development and the transfer of writing skills to diverse contexts.

Access and equity for all students. The Writing Center is dedicated to creating a welcoming space and providing support to increase educational access for all students of all disciplines, backgrounds, and abilities.

Building writing knowledge and offering writing instruction. The Writing Center is dedicated to offering writing workshops and other initiatives to the campus community. Our workshops are tailored to meet the needs of specific courses and disciplines. At both the undergraduate and graduate level we offer initiatives to strengthen students writing processes, knowledge, and practices.

Research on Writing Pedagogy. The Writing Center has a 50-year history in producing research on writing, writing pedagogy, and writing centers. We encourage our graduate and undergraduate tutors to develop, present, and publish original research to support best practices in tutoring and build our research-supported best practices. We also serve as a site for research projects and dissertations focusing on writing and one-on-one interaction. Our graduates have gone on to publish books, direct writing centers, and support writing in a variety of contexts.

Community engagement. As part of IUP's /mission of public service, we recognize the importance of supporting community literacy locally and globally. Thus, we engage in regular initiatives to reach our local and broader communities, including offering free online resources and a community writing center.

Tutor professional development and long-term success. The Writing Center supports the ongoing professional development of tutors as part of IUP's /mission to engage students as learners and leaders with strong interpersonal and communication skills.

Evidence-based practices. The Writing Center is committed to engaging in research-supported best practices for tutoring and writing instruction and the regular assessment of our practices. We train our tutors regularly based on research and also engage in regular assessment to ensure the efficacy of our practices.


IUP Writing Center tutors come from a variety of disciplines and educational levels. They are students ranging from first-year undergraduates to doctoral students. While Writing Center tutors tend to major in English, applied linguistics, journalism, education, communications media, art, business, and psychology, students from all majors are encouraged to apply for a tutoring job.

Tutors are trained to help students with any stage of a writing assignment, including pre-writing, free-writing, outlining, organizing, drafting, and revising. They help writers with brainstorming topic ideas, adding in-text citations to a research paper, focusing and organizing ideas, and making ideas flow smoothly from one to the next. While tutors are not proofreaders and cannot correct students' papers to produce error-free drafts, they can help writers to find patterns of error and learn ways to proofread their own writing.

A list of current tutors is available on our Personnel page.

More Writing Help

The Kathleen Jones White Writing Center provides tutoring services, workshops, and writing resources.