The Writing and Communications Corner at Christian Brothers University has been recognized as a C.A.R.E.-Certified Center by the Southeastern Writing Center Association. (C.A.R.E is an acronym for “Center Acknowledgment and Recognition of Excellence”)
The Writing and Communications Corner (WCC) assists CBU students in every stage of the process of crafting any and all writing projects for students in all academic areas of the University — essays, research papers, technical reports, speeches, digital projects, lab reports, and presentations, as well as creative writing projects such as poetry, fiction, and dramatic writing.
The Southeastern Writing Center Association (SWCA) was founded in 1981 to advance literacy; to further the theoretical, practical, and political concerns of writing center professionals; and to serve as a forum for the writing concerns of students, faculty, staff, and writing professionals from both academic and nonacademic communities. Although its designated region is the southeastern portion of the United States (North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Kentucky, Puerto Rico, and the American Virgin Islands), its prestigious certification can be applied for by academic writing centers across the entire country.
The C.A.R.E. program was developed by as part of the association’s focus on using institutional and organizational research to provide enhanced resources and opportunities for members of the writing center community. “There is no other program like it in the country,” says Dr. Clayann Gilliam Panetta, Director of the WCC and a professor in the Department of Literature and Languages in the Rosa Deal School of Arts. “It is unique in that it focuses solely on writing center work, unlike other tutor certification programs that are watered down and do not address the specific and complex work we do in a place like the WCC.”
CBU is one of only 12 institutions of higher learning to receive the C.A.R.E. certification thus far, and one of only three that have been certified this year (the other two being Brigham Young University and Coker University). In its announcement of the WCC certification, SWCA stated: “Reviewers were impressed by your materials, which were thoughtful, thorough, and representative of both the current work being done within your center and its long-term growth over two decades.”
“The process took us about a year to complete,” Panetta explained. “And, as we enhanced the WCC to aid our certification application, we became a better center for CBU.”
Reviewers also found much to praise in the WCC’s student-centered, inclusive philosophy; its syllabi; its talking points for faculty; its inclusivity statement and policies, including descriptions of consultant training, which highlighted respect for students’ languages and the importance of Title IX and Safe Zone training; and letters of support from faculty, which demonstrated strong partnerships between the Writing and Communication Corner and other campus units.
The WCC also received innovation funds through the certification, which Panetta plans to use to promote professional development and continued enhancement of its initiatives.
“This certification is a tribute to the consultants who have over the years paved the path for this distinction,” Panetta added. “Their persistence toward excellence helped us grow to a place that is now recognized in the larger writing center world. I am fortunate to have worked with so many talented CBU students who contributed to this honor.”