by Jess K. & Amanda | Writing Center Consultants | April 25th, 2017
Choosing to visit the writing center is a personal decision that reflects the wishes and preferences of individual students. For the most part, students come because they want to. But much like all educational choices, the choice to visit the writing center is also much more than that. It is rooted in much deeper social factors that not everyone is equally likely to want to visit the writing center.
Salem (2016) found that women are more likely to use the writing center than men, and this is also true of our own center. Last academic year (2015-16), 61.1% of the writers we worked with were female. Based on information gathered about our own Writing Center, students who have higher GPAs are also more likely to use the Writing Center. On average, of students who visit the Writing Center, about 10% have a GPA above 3.9, 65% have a GPA above 3.0, and just 4% had a GPA below 2.0.
While we’re open to everyone on campus with any level of experience in any discipline, women with higher GPAs who really want to do well are the demographic most likely to visit the Writing Center.
Many people (ourselves included) are surprised to learn that students who visit the Writing Center tend to have higher GPAs. Does this mean that people who need the Writing Center the most are less likely to use it? How do we get those who need the writing center to want to use the Writing Center?
Salem, Lori. “Decisions… Decisions: Who Chooses to Use the Writing Center?” Writing Center Journal, vol. 37, no. 1/2, 2016, pp. 147-171.