BC Writing Center now open to alleviate students with prose problems

Patricia Rocha, Reporter

The new Writing Center in the Student Services building is open to all students looking to enhance their writing skills. The center’s goal is to provide students with the tools they need to empower them through their writing.

“It’s very exciting,” said Dean of Instruction Rebecca Flores, about the new center. “It’s something [Bakersfield College] has needed for a long time for students across campus.”

Writing Center project leader Kelli Michaud said that the center isn’t just for English majors, and is open to all students of any level who need help with any type of writing assignment.

“Regardless of your major, writing will be a part of your life,” says Michaud.

The hope is that the center will teach students that writing assignments shouldn’t be done last minute and don’t deserve their negative reputation.

“Writing doesn’t have to be scary if it’s viewed as a step by step process [that takes time]. Once we change the idea that it’s scary, you’ll be empowered,” Michaud said. “We are doing everything we can to raise student success.”

Grant Manager Rageshwar Goldberg hopes all types of students utilize the new center.

“I encourage STEM field students to come get help if they need it. They need to be able to write, too,” said Goldberg.

STEM is the Science Technology Engineering Mathematics program here at Bakersfield College.

“If you feel insecure about your writing, it’s OK, that’s what we’re here for,” said Michaud. “Once you learn the skills, that will allow you to be a much more successful student.”

Students will be able to schedule or walk in for 30-minute consultations with instructors who have gone through a training process to help students.

“We don’t want to proofread, we don’t want to do their papers for them, we want to help students craft their writing,” said Michaud.

The grant-funded center in room 133 in the SS building currently consists of 19 computers, two group areas, a reading room and common area that project leaders hope will become a place students feel comfortable to come in and use as often as they please.

Professor and English faculty chair Pamela Boyles shared that some of her colleagues regretted that it took so long for this type of center to be available.

The center is open to all students Monday through Thursday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Fridays from 8 a.m. to noon. Michaud expressed future interest in starting a web site for the center, as well as working with teachers to create a database of all school writing assignments, but for now is still accepting donations such as posters and decorations to make the center as warm and welcoming as possible.

“We’re still looking for fun artwork, and we still need a pink flamingo. We don’t have one of those yet,” Michaud said.