Writing Center Banner

History of the Writing Center

March 23, 1966 The Writing Clinic is established in North Hall to supplement composition courses taught by the Department of English.
1972 The Writing Clinic moves to the English Annex, only 100 yards away from the Department of English main office and classrooms.
1974 First study of writing clinic efficiency conducted by Chad Manis, an undergraduate tutor with a university undergraduate research grant. He found that 48 percent of students who attended the Writing Clinic in Winter 1973-1974 had a one letter grade improvement from the beginning to the end of their courses. Thirty percent of students reported an improvement of two letter grades or more. 
1978 The Writing Clinic moves to its own facility. Students with any major can apply to be a tutor, but 80 percent of the tutors are English majors or minors. The Writing Clinic also publishes its own tutoring handbook. 
1981-1982 The Writing Clinic changes its name to the Writing Center. A standard tutor application and tutor evaluation form are adopted. An ongoing tutor training program is established (Practicum in Peer Tutoring EN 301).
Fall 1984 The Writing Center moves to Robert Bell, room 291, its current home. 
1984–1985 Grammar Crisis Line added to the Writing Center through the work of Jane Haynes and the writing across the curriculum project.
1986 The Writing Center adds weekly workshops (placed on tapes), starts a conversation hour for nonnative speakers of English, begins walk-in hours, stays open in the summer, and begins advertising with brochures.
1993 The Writing Center hosts the East Central Writing Center Association conference with keynote speakers Jeanne Simpson and James Berlin.
1995 The Writing Center hosts the National Conference on Peer Tutoring in Writing.
1996 The tutors begin tutor journals where they communicate with each other and share tutorial stories.
Late 1990s The Writing Center is given computers.
Fall 2003 First tenure-line faculty director is hired.
2004–2005 WCOnline scheduling program begins to be used by the Writing Center.
2005 Tutor of the Year award and Retired Tutor Hall of Fame are started.
Spring 2006 Walk-in tutoring at the library begins and tutoring through AIM begins.
Spring 2007 Online tutoring becomes available at the Writing Center.
Spring 2008 The Carol S. Chalk Memorial Scholarship for Writing Center Tutors is created. Writing Center tutors publish a tutor training guide: To Whom It Concerns: A Handbook for Writing Center Tutors.


The Writing Center
Robert Bell Building (RB), Room 291
Ball State University
Muncie, IN 47306

RB 291: 10 a.m. - 8 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Friday & ONLINE: 10 a.m. - 11 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Friday; 1 p.m. - 5 p.m. Saturday; 8 p.m. - 11 p.m. Sunday
Phone: 765-285-8387
View E-mail Address