When our Writing Center staked its reputation and perhaps its survival on a proposal to change our first-year curriculum, we entered territory that would have been unthinkable to those in our field a few decades ago. Writing center directors and peer tutors may not like it, but the climate now is very different from the salad days of the 1980s, when scholars such as Tilly and John Warnock argued “it is probably a mistake for centers to seek integration into the established institution” (22). In both the United States and EU nations, we face curricular change driven by emerging technologies, administrative fiat, austerity programs at the national level, American state-house “quality assurance,” local institutional assessment, and even outsourcing to private firms. In today’s universities, focused on measurable outcomes and fiscal solvency, unless one has an ongoing and secure source of funding, it would be foolhardy not to seek such integration.
Copyright © 2014 The Writing Lab Newsletter. This article first appeared in The Writing Lab Newsletter 38:7-8 (2014), 1-5.
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Essid, Joe. "Extending An Alternative: Writing Centers and Curricular Change." The Writing Lab Newsletter 38, no. 7-8 (March/April 2014): 1-5.