The Writing Colleagues Program prepares students who enjoy writing and working with peers to facilitate the improvement of student writing through nontraditional tutoring methods.

As the name suggests, a Writing Colleague is a partner in learning through writing. A Colleague is not a tutor, editor, proofreader or evaluator. He or she lends support and acts as a sounding board for ideas. Writing Colleagues embark on an academic adventure with students and professors. Together, they are involved in a group project.

If you would like more information on the Writing Colleagues Program, please contact the Coordinator at (315) 781-3807.

From Colleague to Writing Colleagues Program

The program is built on the idea that there is a community of colleagues working as bridges between students and faculty. The program itself has several goals:

  • Help undergraduates become independent leaders through strengthening their ability to read, write and think about complex ideas and texts.
  • Improve faculty efficiency and communication between professors and students.
  • Help develop a strong academic climate.

The ways Colleagues and professors attain these goals vary from course to course, depending on how the professors and Colleagues decided what is best for the class. One-on-one conferences are always written into the course syllabi because writing and rewriting are such attention-intensive activities. For paper assignments, each student in the class composes two viable drafts. The students meet with their colleague to discuss the thematic and structural elements of the first draft and then rewrite the paper before turning it in to the professor.

Why Colleague? Why not tutor?

A Writing Colleague is not a tutor. Students themselves, Writing Colleagues are peers of the students in the class. Yet through teaching reading and writing, they are also colleagues of professors. A Colleague acts as an academic bridge between students and professors and, particularly for first-year students, provides an intellectual connection to college life.

Unlike tutors, a colleague’s main concern is the creative process of writing/redrafting, rethinking, reflecting. They act as sounding boards for students who look critically at their own writing.

Because the program focuses on students becoming independent learners, Colleagues do not correct, proofread, or judge papers. Colleague-esque questions encourage students to develop ideas more clearly and to identify their own structural problems and solutions.


Hannah Dickinson
Writing Colleagues Program
213 Smith Hall
(315) 781-3352

Alexandria Janney
Writing Colleagues Coordinator
209 Smith Hall
(315) 781-3807


The Sounding Board is a newsletter for Writing Colleagues and the HWS faculty. It is published three times a semester and provides writing tips and information to help Colleagues better serve the students they work with.


Preparing Students to Lead Lives of Consequence.