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I must say I have had good experiences with combined services as well. Some
content areas (I'm in math) suffer more of a 'failures only' stigma than the
writing program can have, which means that more people are willing to come
into the combined center. Writing is more accepted as an area that everyone
can improve in.

That being said, you asked for reasons to avoid combining.

* If they plan on reducing professional staff because of the new efficiency,
that's a reason to stay apart. Actual contact with staff is important in
making sure the students continue on their path of learning in many cases.

* Is the space getting smaller? Shoving twice as much programming into a
space may reduce the ability to provide services to all who need it. You
don't want people turned away for space reasons.

* Though (personal opinion) most tutor training is the same between writing
and content area, there are some aspects that must be different, so you are
separating their training anyway.

I guess most of my answers to the "why not combine" question would be that
you won't see a great improvement, and such a change is necessarily
expensive. A fraction of the money would be better spent on making sure the
two centers are working cooperatively.

Dave

On Fri, Jan 9, 2009 at 8:28 AM, Mark Smith <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Here at Frostburg State University, we recently merged content tutoring
> services and writing center services.  After one semester, the success
> of the operation, and the number of tutors we have been able to train
> and retain, has proven fruitful.  The number of students who received
> services did not decrease; although, there was not a great spike in
> numbers either.
>
> The idea of one place where students can go to get assistance for
> selected 100 and 200-level courses, as well as writing assistance for
> any course level, has created a sense of centrality and camaraderie
> among tutors across multiple disciplines.  Math tutors can now "talk
> shop" with writing tutors, and they can also work in the same space.
> This has proven beneficial for students, tutors, and the Director
> because we are all working together with similar methods in order to
> achieve the same goal. It also gives the tutors a central work and
> training place, which gives them a sense identity and place in the
> academic setting.
>
> I thought I would give you some reasons why the merging of a Tutoring
> and Writing Center can be beneficial.  I do understand the reasoning and
> importance of the different centers maintaining individual autonomy, but
> at FSU the merger has reaped some wonderful benefits.
>
> Best,
>
> Mark E. Smith, M.A.
> Director of the Tutoring Center
> Frostburg State University
> 151 Pullen Hall
> (301)-687-4066
> We're on the Web: http://www.frostburg.edu/clife/tutor/index.htm
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Open Forum for Learning Assistance Professionals
> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Masuda, Howard
> Sent: Thursday, January 08, 2009 7:43 PM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Reasons Against Merging of Tutoring Center and Writing Center
>
> Hi Everyone,
>
>            Happy New Year!
>
>            I am hoping I might get some reasons or arguments for not
> merging our University Writing Center (in existence about 15 years) and
> our University Tutorial Center (in existence for 30 years).  We are both
> located in separate rooms on the first and second floors in the Library.
> The Provost would like to bring the Writing Center down to the first
> floor and possibly consolidate the two Centers.  Both Centers have been
> functioning effectively and efficiently separately for all of these
> years.  If you need any more information to respond to this inquiry,
> please let me know.
>
> Thanks,
>
> Howard Masuda
>
>
>
> Dr. Howard Masuda
>
> Director, University Tutorial Center
>
> California State University, Los Angeles
>
> Library Palmer Wing 1062A
>
> (323) 343-3972
>
>
>
>
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-- 
Dave Ehren
Director, Math Counselor
Macalester Academic Excellence (MAX) Center
651-696-6120
[log in to unmask]

I am doing some of the many right things to do.

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