Collaborative Assessment of an Academic Library and Writing Center Partnership: Embedded Writing and Research Tutors for First-Year Students

Maglen Epstein, Bridget Draxler

Abstract

This article reports on collaborative research that assessed the impact of a joint library and writing center initiative: the Writing and Research Tutor program. This program provided an integrated model of academic support to underrepresented first-year students who were paired with a tutor trained in both writing and research support. The St. Olaf Libraries and the Center for Advising and Academic Support partnered with the Office of Institutional Effectiveness and Assessment to ask: How can our services—and our data collection and assessment practices—align to foster student success? How can we collaboratively contribute to institutional efforts to improve student success? In answering these questions, we chose a small-scale pilot program and created mixed-methods assessments including self-efficacy surveys, written reflections, focus groups, and interviews with former tutors. The assessments provided opportunities for student reflection and metacognition and explicitly connected the results of our study to both national and local measures of success.

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