The Writing Center at College of San Mateo - Faculty Instructions for English 100, 101, 110, or 165
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The Writing Center
Faculty Instructions for English 100, 102, 110, or 165

What is the To Be Arranged (TBA) requirement?

The TBA is a requirement for successful completion of your students' English course. The TBA should translate into approximately sixteen hours of work for students each semester. It provides the opportunity to enrich their learning beyond the classroom, through a number of activities and materials that you choose for them. As part of their TBA, It is essential that your students come into the Writing Center for an orientation early in the semester.

How strictly must I enforce the TBA requirement?
All English faculty must enforce the TBA requirement for every student, or we will lose funding for the center! For this reason, in your syllabus, you must stress the importance of coming to the center AT LEAST ONCE for an orientation, an essay conference with an instructor, or another activity that you choose. Because it is critical that faculty adhere to the state regulations in Title 5, the Dean of Language Arts will address this issue with any instructors who do not send their students to the Writing Center. Remember that syllabi are reviewed as part of the faculty evaluation procedure.

What activities should I assign for the TBA?
As the classroom instructor, you will determine which activities will satisfy the one hour by arrangement and fill out a yellow reporting form for each student, which lists those activities. Based on your students' writing skills and the goals for the course, you will decide how your students should fulfill this requirement and will give each of them a yellow reporting form that tells them what activities they should complete during the semester. Based on the individual strengths and weaknesses in your students' early writing or diagnostic essays, some of the activities that you assign will be different for each student.

How can your students use the center?
  • With an appointment, English instructors can help your students with essays and editing and proofreading strategies. Students are limited to three essay conferences per essay.
  • Critical Thinking Skills Supplementary Exercises are available for English 110 and 165 students. They are available both in hard copies in the center and on the web for work at home.
  • Tutorials and Podcasts on specific writing skills are available on the web for work at home. Hard copies of the tutorials are also found in the center.
  • Students can learn about writing and literature as well as writers and their cultures by using our books and instructional materials or by viewing DVDs and VHS tapes.
  • Your students can use the computers in the Quiet Room to research, write, and print their essays, with English instructors available to answer quick questions when they get stuck. In the Quiet Room and from home, they can also access the online library tutorials on research and documentation.
  • Two-hour ESL Grammar Workshops can help with your students' editing and proofreading skills if English is their second language.
How do I use the reporting form?
The form will be in your mailbox the first day of the semester. During the first week of class, please explain to your students how you want them to fulfill the To Be Arranged requirement and how it will affect their course grades. This TBA requirement should translate into approximately sixteen hours of work for students each semester.

You don't need to list many activities initially; you can add activities and due dates to the reporting forms throughout the semester.

The reporting form serves as a communication between students, classroom teachers, and the Writing Center. Students will keep their own yellow reporting forms throughout the semester so that you can collect them periodically if you wish. At the end of the semester, you need to collect the yellow reporting forms to determine what TBA activities your students have done. When you are finished with them, please remember to deposit them in the designated box in the Language Arts Division office. Information on these forms may be used to help assess the SLOs for the Writing Center. All data are anonymous, and no student or instructor names are noted.

How will I know the amount of time that my students have spent on their TBA requirement?
Remember that it is essential that your students come into the Writing Center at least once early in the semester. You should consider bringing your students into the Writing Center for a brief orientation during the first weeks of the semester. Please call the center at (650) 574-6436 to schedule an orientation for your class.

Whenever they come into the Writing Center, your students will be checking in and out on our Accudemia attendance program, which is on the computer at the front desk.

To receive a total of each of your students' hours, please contact an instructional aide in the Writing Center at (650) 574-6436.

How do distance-learning students complete the TBA requirement?
If you are teaching a distance-learning class, you should consider bringing your students into the Writing Center for a brief orientation during one of your initial on-campus meetings. Please call the Writing Center at (650) 574-6436 to schedule an orientation. Your distance-learning students can complete TBA activities at home and record their hours with our remote log-in system.

Can my students get help with writing for other classes in the Writing Center?
Your students can always sign up for an appointment with a Writing Center instructor to get help with any essay, either for their English class or another course they are taking.

What should my students bring to their essay conferences?
  • their online reporting forms
  • the essays that they want to work on
  • their essay assignment sheets
What can my students expect from a conference with a Writing Center instructor?
The Writing Center instructor will spend about twenty minutes discussing their essays, homework or tutorials. They should come prepared with questions or specific areas that they need help with. The center instructor's goal is to help them to become independent editors of their own writing.

How much should the TBA affect my students' course grades?
As the classroom teacher, you will determine how the one hour by arrangement will affect your students' course grades. However, remember how important it is to enforce the TBA requirement for every student.

How can the Writing Center help my students with residual ESL errors?
  • Each student can make regular appointments with the same ESL instructor for writing conferences throughout the semester.
  • The Writing Center has ESL tutorials (e.g., articles, verb forms, verb tenses) and other resources available.
  • The center also offers two-hour ESL Grammar Workshops, which can help with your students' editing and proofreading skills.
Call 574-6436, or stop by the Writing Center for more information on ESL workshops or tutorials.