Presentation/Proposal Title

Learning to Fly: Student Leadership and Sustainable Growth in the Writing Center

Presenter Information

Melissa HenryFollow

Type of Presentation/Proposal

Individual Presentation or Paper

Start Date

5-4-2019 3:15 PM

End Date

5-4-2019 4:15 PM

Keywords

Leadership, Student Leadership, Management, Growth, Turnover

Description

Writing Center leadership often revolves around one beloved professor or director, to whom everyone turns for advice and professional development. This model quickly becomes unsustainable as the center grows and the complexity of challenges increase. When the Kent State University Writing Commons faced growth beyond the capacity of our leadership structure, writing center literature was scant. We looked to business management and higher education literature to answer questions such as: What should our organizational structure look like? How do we prepare student leaders for these new roles? How do we make this structure sustainable with the constant turnover characteristic of student employment? By blending the literature of other fields with the unique and collaborative culture of writing centers, we created a model that not only promotes student leadership as a vital element of management, but also allows for sustainable growth despite employee turnover. Our new leadership model has allowed the Kent State University Writing Commons to fly steady during turbulence and teach students leadership skills that will help them soar into future careers.

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Apr 5th, 3:15 PM Apr 5th, 4:15 PM

Learning to Fly: Student Leadership and Sustainable Growth in the Writing Center

Deeds Boardroom

Writing Center leadership often revolves around one beloved professor or director, to whom everyone turns for advice and professional development. This model quickly becomes unsustainable as the center grows and the complexity of challenges increase. When the Kent State University Writing Commons faced growth beyond the capacity of our leadership structure, writing center literature was scant. We looked to business management and higher education literature to answer questions such as: What should our organizational structure look like? How do we prepare student leaders for these new roles? How do we make this structure sustainable with the constant turnover characteristic of student employment? By blending the literature of other fields with the unique and collaborative culture of writing centers, we created a model that not only promotes student leadership as a vital element of management, but also allows for sustainable growth despite employee turnover. Our new leadership model has allowed the Kent State University Writing Commons to fly steady during turbulence and teach students leadership skills that will help them soar into future careers.