The panel discussion was “Telling Our Story: Developing a Writing Studio Program to Support Basic Writing.”
The CCCC acts as an advocate for language and literacy education nationally and internationally, supporting and promoting the teaching and study of writing. CCCC works to promote professional development, enhancing the conditions for learning and teaching college composition.
The writing studio program at Lee supports College Writing Workshop, an entry-level course for students with ACT English scores between 14 and 18 or SAT verbal scores between 370 and 429.
Ringer said of the program, “Our studio program has the support of my chair, dean, vice president for academics, and president. We also received funding to develop two rooms as writing studios, complete with conference tables, white boards, and document cameras. In many ways, Lee takes its basic writing students seriously.”
One focus of the panel discussion was the contract drafted by Burkett and Ramsey, aimed at explaining to students what they should expect from the writing studio. The studio contract is a document assisting Lee’s writing students in understanding course expectations.
Representatives from nationwide institutions like Seton Hall University, the University of Houston, and several others are asking for materials and guidance as they develop their own programs.
Rhonda Grego, author of “Teaching/Writing in Thirdspaces: The Studio Approach” and creator of the writing studio model, attended the panel discussion, calling it “one of the best.”
Grego told Ringer that based on the panel’s successful integration of undergraduates as facilitators, she now has the confidence to do the same.
Burkett said, “The conversations I had at CCCC were definitely encouraging in that I got to see that the work we have done with writing studios is applicable and helpful to studio programs at other colleges and universities. I hope to spend more time researching and writing about studio and my own studio experience.”
Ramsey shared his experiences as a studio facilitator and how his role developed over the two years with Lee’s studio program.
Ramsey said, “The 4C's conference was a fantastic opportunity. As someone who only recently graduated with my bachelor of arts in English, it was great to go to St. Louis and participate in a professional academic conference alongside tenured professors, grad students, and even some well-known writers and theorists.”
Yankie added, “What was encouraging about attending the CCCC's was getting to meet others who have sort of blazed the trail with this kind of pedagogy and realizing the interest that is beginning to be invested in writing studios. I felt like people appreciated our presentation most because it was a narrative of our own story.”
Ringer, Burkett, Ramsey and Yankie have been invited to contribute book chapters to an edited collection about writing studio practice, tentatively titled, “Innovative Developments in Writing Studio Practice.”
Ringer reiterated his pride in his students’ work and professionalism, “I heard from numerous faculty members about how impressed they were by our students. On several occasions, I heard something along the lines of, “Wow, you’re so blessed to have students like that.”