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Cieltia Adams new coordinator for Writing Center

Center to collaborate with English on plans to change developmental ENG110 into ENG111A

By Brinisha Hamilton
On March 31, 2022

Aretha McKinney/Courtbouillon
Cieltia Adams

NEW ORLEANS (March 30, 2022) – The Writing Center, with its new coordinator, is expected to have a more prominent presence on campus as it partners with English in a plan to change ENG110 from a developmental class into ENG111A, which is in the curriculum core.

Cieltia Adams, the new coordinator of the Writing Center, has hosted two workshops per month to help with basic English skills such as grammar reviews, writing an essay, etc. April’s workshops will cover MLA and APA formatting. The center also offered workshops to prep for the ENG199 Writing Proficiency exam.

Meanwhile, Dr. Nancy Dixon, program coordinator for the English program, is looking forward to additional collaboration with the Writing Center as English seeks to replace ENG110, a development course, with ENG111A.

She said that, pending approval from the University Curriculum Committee this semester, ENG111A could be available starting next semester. Instead of spending an extra semester in a developmental course, students who need extra help in the mechanics of grammar will have a lab co-requisite in the new ENG111A using software to individually address their deficiencies.

Instead of spending an extra semester taking ENG110, these students will be able to keep up with their peers by taking ENG111A, a move expected to improve retention and graduating on time. A similar setup was implemented in the previous academic year in math, which replaced MAT110 (developmental) with MAT111A.

The Writing Center, located in 101Z PSB, would come into the plan because students in ENG111A would have to meet with their professors or in the Writing Center for one hour a week in addition to the coursework.

Dixon said, “I think [the center is] going to be more utilized in the future than it has been… Ms. Adams has put a great job into resurrecting it and making it really useful and valid for students.”

Adams has worked in higher education for 18 years. Before coming to Dillard, she was a full-time English instructor for 10 years collectively at two universities and a community college. For the last eight years, she moved from faculty to staff positions. In addition, Adams has been a director and an associate registrar. Although this is her first full-time position overseeing a writing lab, she has worked as a faculty tutor in a lab.

The Writing Center is help and need-based place for students to work on writing projects and improve their writing skills. Any student is welcome to work there on writing assignments for any course even if they don’t need tutoring.

Eight computers are available for student use. In addition, a row of tables on one side of the center and a group of tables in the middle of the room are set up for one-on-one and small-group tutoring sessions.

The Writing Center is open on Wednesdays for an extra hour (9 a.m. to 6 p.m.) and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on other weekdays. Students also may email for an appointment.

Seven peer tutoring consultants work various shifts throughout the week. Dixon said “the best of Dillard’s English majors” are among the center’s tutors, and she encouraged freshmen especially to avail themselves to the help being offered.

“I think it is especially important for our freshperson writers at Dillard to avail themselves to the writing center,” Dixon said.

DarLinda Wright, a senior English major from Memphis, Tennessee, is a student worker in the Writing Center. According to her, a mixture of all classifications drop by to receive help, and she was surprised to see more upper-level students utilizing the center’s resources.

Students go to the Writing Center for various reasons. Some students go there because a professor advised them to go, and others either need advice or to use the computers.

Wright called the center “underrated gem” more students need to use.

“A lot of people that struggle with papers don’t realize that they have a huge resource right there.”

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