Getting Help     

booksHow do students get tutorial help?

Tutorial assistance is provided on a drop-in basis, first come, first served. Appointments are not available. Just come to Room 4301 on the third floor of the SCC Library and write your name on the daily "Sign-Up Sheet" sheet posted in the studio. As soon as a Studio assistant is free, s/he will call your name. Sometimes you don't have to wait at all for assistance or only for a few minutes. At other times the studio can be busy, and wait times are 30 or more minutes. (Get some homework done while waiting!)


When several students are waiting for assistance, tutoring is limited to 30 minutes for one session. However, you may sign up again for assistance the same day, and when other students aren't waiting, you are welcome to a second session.


What kinds of things can students get help with?

  • WRITING: Essay and paragraph assignments, sentence and grammar skills, research papers, summaries, reports, speech preparation, letters of application for college and employment, resumes
  • READING: literal and critical reading comprehension, vocabulary development, reading for pleasure
  • STUDY SKILLS: note-taking, textbook-reading, test-taking, concentration and memory, time management
  • PREPARING FOR TESTS: test-taking strategies and opportunities to practice skills required in standardized tests such as the COMPASS, TOEFL, etc.

What should I expect in a writing tutorial?

Expect studio assistants (LA's) to ask you questions as you work with them. They do that to get information they need and to guide you toward deeper thinking. Expect the LA's to listen closely to you. This is a cooperative, collaborative process, with YOU in the driver's seat. They can help you get started on an assignment, figure out the next step, or identify needed skills. Think of writing tutorials as conversations with a skilled, interested listener.


A typical tutorial session lasts about 30 minutes. On the other hand, some students' questions take only a few minutes to answer. When the studio isn't busy, your session could last up to 50 minutes, if that would be useful. If your session involves an essay and you don't have particular questions, you should expect the LA to focus first on "global" concerns such as content and organization before discussing "local" concerns such as grammar and punctuation. However, it's common practice in college writing centers for assistants to discuss only one or two major issues in your writing during one tutoring session. You should not expect to cover all aspects of your paper in only one tutoring session.


How many students use TWLS?

For-Credit Students: 60-70 students typically register for credit each quarter in the personalized lab courses, ENGL 089 and ENGL 098. For each credit earned, students are required to spend 17 hours in the studio working on their lab assignments. If you want to be a tutor in the studio and you're a Shoreline student, you should talk with the studio director.  You would be required to take her tutor education course, EDULA 199, to prepare you for working in the studio. 


Walk-in (non-credit) students: 425 - 475 students typically use TWLS each quarter on a walk-in/non-credit basis for writing and reading assistance, student success workshops, handouts, reading assessment, advising, and other resources. While the studio serves students in a variety of courses across disciplines, the majority of requests for assistance are made by students in English 101. Other courses that typically represent the most requests for assistance in TWLS are ENGL 102, ENGL 099, and EAP 099.


Who staffs TWLS?

One full-time English faculty member, Grace Rhodes, is director of TWLS and professor of ENGL 089, ENGL 098, and EDULA 199. During most service hours the studio is also staffed with three learning assistants (LA). Learning assistants have a range of education and experience, the majority having a bachelor's or master's degree, while others might be SCC students working toward their degrees. Learning assistants are hourly employees with a top wage of $11.44 per hour.


To find out more specific information about the current staff, click on "Staff" in the left-column menu and read what the staff members wrote about themselves.


What do students say about the value of The Writing & Learning Studio?


(written here verbatim)


English 089 and English 098 Students (for credit):

"This is my first quarter at Shoreline and it has helped a lot with my study skills. I have test anxiety, and Grace did a great job in helping me with math. Thank you!"


"They are able to get down to my level of understanding" it was very helpful in me passing my course. The whole staff was very friendly and understanding to my special needs."


"Very intuitive at creating a course just for me--has been incredibly helpful to me personally with areas I needed improvement on that I didn't know I had" This class was very important for me."


"Since I started coming here my essay has improved and it gets better every time I write an essay."


"This course has sparked my interest in how people learn. I hope to go to TWLS next quarter to further my knowledge of the learning process."


"I am so glad that we have the opportunity to have a writing and reading lab that helps people understand how to write and to get help from other people."


"Studio assistants are like big sisters. They all worked with you and told how you can improve instead of saying negative criticism."


Walk-in Students (non-credit):

"Everyone here listens to my confusion and they find a way to make it more clear in my mind. They are very friendly." (English 080 student)


"I can ask questions about assignments in here when I don't have chance to ask in class." (ESL 098 student)


"I gained different perspectives on my work which aided me in improvement." (English 101 student)


"I have been a student in this college for a long time, but did not use this writing center". One of my non-native English students told me how they studied their writing here. Since then, I came here to ask tutors to look over my paper work. I truly appreciate your support to guide me how to write. As a non-native English speaker, writing in English is hardest. Without your support, we will not be able to deliver our writing skills". This center is very important not only for completing my classes but also improving my writing skills. Thank you!" (Intra-American Studies 103 student)