Marquette's new CET ("course-embedded tutor") program
What are Course-Embedded Tutors (or CETs)?
CETs are experienced undergraduate peer tutors of writing who work with the faculty and students in a designated course to promote thoughtful and significant revision. This program is modeled on course-embedded tutor (also known as "writing fellows") programs across the country and Raynor Library’s Embedded Librarian program.
What’s the philosophy behind the CET program? What are its goals?
As instructors, we know that most students need encouragement and scaffolding to develop the skill of undertaking significant revision. The students who usually come to the Ott are self-selected, making appointments on their own initiative. But lots of students need to develop the skill of revision—so, in partnership with faculty across campus—we bring the writing center to them. We believe that
- Every writer can benefit from a conversational partner for their writing in progress—not just anxious or underprepared writers. (This means every single writer in a CET course is required to participate in the CET program.)
- Revision—of thoughts and texts—is a “threshold concept” and an important part of a transformational Marquette education.
- Experienced peers can model deep engagement in the writing and revision process.
What do CETs do?
- Meet with the course instructor (to learn more about the assignment goals and students' common difficulties)
- Work with writers by
- Collecting drafts of student papers two weeks before the final version is due
- Reading and making comments on those drafts (and returning them to the writers)
- Conferencing with writers to help them make revisions based on those comments
- Repeat that process for a second round
- What do CETs not do? Eliminate all grammatical errors or guarantee a stack full of A papers.
What courses are a good fit for CETs?
- Courses with 35 students or fewer
- Courses that include 2 or more writing assignments of a manageable length (3-7 pages is ideal, but longer is possible as well).
- Courses that might also benefit from an embedded librarian. (Our CETs can work closely with embedded librarians to underline the interactive process of researching and writing)
What commitments would I need to make as a CET instructor?
The benefits of working with a CET are many, but it involves a commitment of time as well. CET instructors commit to
- Developing a series of assignments. They must be written down and include assessment criteria.
- Making time to meet with your CETs several times during the semester
- before the semester begins—to discuss your assignment and expectations
- several times during the semester—to help CETs calibrate their comments with your expectations (and perhaps provide informal feedback on what seems to confuse or challenge writers)
- at the close of the semester—to assess how the program has worked for this course
- Making time in your course
- For CETs to briefly introduce themselves at the start of the semester
- For CETs to briefly remind writers to schedule appointments and for CETs to collect and return drafts
- For you to discuss your assignments and expectations
- Emphasizing at various points throughout the semester the value of the CET program for helping every single writer—regardless of GPA or confidence level—learn to further develop their skills of revision.
Which courses have used CETs in the past?
- ANTH 2101 (Fall 2016)
- BIOL 3202 (Spring 2017)
- CHEM 1001h (Fall 2016)
- CRLS 3050 (Spring 2016, Fall 2016)
- CRLS 4997 (Spring 2017)
- ENGL 1301 (Fall 2016)
- ENGL 1302 (Spring 2016, Spring 2017)
- ENGL 2010 (Spring 2017)
- ENGL 4482 (Spring 2016)
- FINA 4081 (Spring 2017)
- HOPR 3955 (Spring 2015)
- MANA 4101 (Spring 2015)
- PHIL 1001h (Fall 2016)
- POSC 4361 (Fall 2015)
- POSC 4931 (Fall 2015, Fall 2016)
- PSYC 4310 (F15, S16, S17)
- SOCI 2500 (Spring 2017)
- THEO 1001h (Spring 2016)
- THEO 2310 (Fall 2016)
Are you interested in requesting a CET for your course? Contact us to schedule a follow-up conference.