Michigan Writing Centers
The MiWCA was started by a graduate student, Jill Johnson (Reglin), when she was working in the Michigan State University Writing Center. Because she wanted to know more about the writing support offered to students in other colleges and universities throughout the state, she contacted those institutions, developed a list of writing center professionals working in Michigan, and organized an all-day special interest group meeting at the 1994 Michigan Council of Teachers of English conference. At this meeting, the Michigan Writing Centers Project was initiated. During the 1994-1995 school year, two other general meetings were held—one at the MSU Writing Center and one at the Spring Conference on English Language Arts (a.k.a. "Bright Ideas"), a conference sponsored by the MSU English Department and held at MSU every spring.
During the 1994-95 academic year, Jill also worked with Patti Stock, Director of the MSU Writing Center, and Sharon Thomas, Associate Director, to procure a grant from Michigan State University to fund the first Michigan Writing Centers Project Summer Invitational Institute. This institute, based on the National Writing Project model, was designed to bring together faculty, staff, and students who provided writing workshop support in the colleges and universities across the state of Michigan. Fourteen applicants were chosen for the two-week long institute, which offered a $750.00 stipend or up to three graduate credits. Many of the participants of that first institute are still active members of the MiWCA. During the institute, the Michigan Writing Centers Project formed a Steering Committee.
The goals of the MiWCA have remained largely the same since its inception. They are as follows:
To hold one Ideas Exchange per year (for both faculty and tutors/consultants) on different campuses around the state
To continue to encourage people to join our listserves
To coordinate proposals for writing center sessions at state, regional, and national conferences and use those conferences for convening our own special interest group
To support one another’s ongoing praxis-oriented research projects aimed at improving writing center practices
To consult with one another as we develop and refine writing workshop support programs across the state of Michigan
To provide mentoring for new writing center colleagues
To liaison with regional, national, and international writing centers organizations
We strive to make our online resources useful in fostering these goals. If you would like more information about the organization, please feel free to send us an email under the "Contact" tab.
(Some of the text on this page was borrowed from Sharon Thomas’ article, “The Michigan Writing Centers Association,” which appeared in the October 1995 issue of The Writing Lab Newsletter).