A university’s primary goal is to provide higher education to its students. I believe that a large part of higher education is to develop a sense of constant improvement in students. Writing centers provide students that may lack certain writing skills with the means to improve their work and self-confidence in their writing and in doing so adds value to the existence of the centers. I know that the writing center here at Penn State is quite effective in this regard because I have seen many cases of increased writing skills in several of my classmates after visits to the center. Another function of a writing center is to add to each student’s self-improvement by making good writers better. However, my experience here at Penn State has shown me that many students only visit the writing center when they are either told to or feel unconfident enough to do so. I have been guilty of this myself. I believe that whether it is over-confidence in their own writing or a sense of pride, or perhaps a combination of both, these factors can over-shadow improvement in their writing skills.
How can the writing center and the university community improve in bringing good writers to the center? I’m sure that we have all seen fliers posted across our respective campuses advertising the writing center. A suggestion to improve the amount of good writers coming to the center is to apply additional ads targeting these writers by emphasizing the need of exceptional writing skills needed beyond the university. Another option would be to target strong writers in the classroom and to encourage them to continue to improve their skills. This would be similar to how weaker writers are also directed to seek help with their writing skills.