Knight Institute Summer Training Program

“Students notice whether consultants match intellectual challenge and excitement, revealing an understanding of intellectual engagement as a two-way street. Student-writers describe this engagement as centered not only in the writing, but also in the conversation and the individual writer and learner.”

Pamela Bromley, Eliana Schonberg and Kara Northway “Student Perceptions of Intellectual Engagement in the Writing Center”


Training Overview (2024)

The 2024 Knight Institute Summer Training Program involves two main components: tutoring and pedagogical reflection. Throughout the program (6-week summer session that starts the last week of June), participants tutor in the Summer Writing Center. The tutoring will involve working one-on-one with students in FWSes, pre-freshman summer programs, and any other students at Cornell (either physically on campus or taking courses virtually) for the 6-week summer session who seek out help for their writing. The Summer WC is open Sundays-Thursdays, 7-10pm and will most likely involve both in-person and synchronous virtual tutoring for summer 2024. Participants will tutor 1-2 shifts (nights) a week. Additionally, we meet once a week as a group to learn and engage in reflective practice strategies (day and time to be determined).

The Knight training experience seeks to foster experience with and reflection on:

  • Conferencing with students

  • Responding to student writing

  • Working with multilingual writers

  • Understanding a variety of writing assignment learning objectives and prompts

  • Developing & enacting pedagogical values through tutoring practices

  • Assessing and responding (using a variety of practices) to individual student learning and writing needs

  • Connections between tutoring and teaching writing

Participant Expectations

Knight participants will engage in the following types of activities totaling no more than 8 hours per week:

  • attend weekly staff meetings, pedagogy workshops, and master classes lead by writing specialists
  • tutor in the Summer Writing Center
  • compose reflective writing assignments
  • observe FWS classes

The Knight Institute Summer Training program offers an opportunity to have an immersive experience working directly with students and their writing. The benefits of tutoring include developing a deep awareness of writing and writing issues specific to Cornell students as well as practicing responding to student writing in ways that are pedagogical (which often includes practices that may feel counterintuitive, such as focusing on one higher order issue and avoiding over-commenting).

Participant Tutoring Work

Trainees will tutor during the Summer Writing Center's 7-10pm ET evening shifts. We will collectively determine the summer schedule, which may change from week to week. 

Summer Tutoring 2024 Schedule: June 24-August 6

Summer Writing Center Promotional Blurb

The Cornell Summer Writing Center (WC) provides support for individuals at any stage of the writing process. It is a free resource available to everyone on campus—faculty, staff, graduate and undergraduate students—for nearly any kind of writing project: applications, presentations, lab reports, essays, papers, and more. Tutors (trained graduate students) serve as responsive listeners and readers who can address questions about the writing process or about particular pieces of writing. They can also consider questions of confidence, critical reading, analytic thought, and imagination. All tutors have experience working with English language learners, and we have two tutors who specialize in helping multilingual writers at the sentence-level.

This summer, the WC is offering tutoring Sundays-Thursdays, 7:00-10:00pm in person and online. You can schedule an appointment here:

Participant Pedagogical Work 

Staff Meetings

In mid-June, participants are  expected to attend an initial 2-3 hour tutoring orientation that covers basic tutoring pedagogy, practice, and tutoring expectations. In addition to this initial orientation, we will meet weekly for 90 minutes to reflect on best practices, pedagogy, and specific writing genres, as well as to discuss specific issues that arose during tutoring once a week. The goal of the weekly meetings is to both deepen understandings of different aspects of tutoring writing as well as to help participants make connections between tutoring and teaching, so as to better apply tutoring experience to FWS instruction and design. Participants may be asked to bring some writing, assignments, etc. to each meeting, depending on the topic.

Meetings: Mondays, 1:00-2:30pm (*subject to change each summer) 

Discussion Board

Each week, participants will need to respond to a discussion board prompt. The goal of the discussion board is to reflect on the specific issues that come up during weekly shifts, pedagogical interests or concerns, tutoring practice, or any interesting overlaps between 7100 and tutoring. 

Logistics and Applying to the Training Program

Summer Support

The summer training program is a paid educational opportunity. Selected trainees will receive $6,846.00 for summer support. *If you are receiving summer support from any other source, your stipend will be decreased accordingly.*

Who Should Apply 

We prioritize applications from TAs who will simultaneously be taking WRIT 7100 in the summer, and thus, teaching an FWS for the first time the next academic year. However, we often have 1-2 positions available for an advanced tutor that includes administrative work, a role in which we hope to place graduate students who have some previous experiences tutoring writing. 

How to Apply

Application must be obtained from and signed by your department's Director of Graduate Studies. Submit completed forms to Dr. David Faulkner.