History of the Writing Center

Since 1974, the Writing Center has been a successful service for students at YSU. Opened by the Department of English and the Office of Developmental Education, the original WC shared its space with English faculty mailboxes, and it has grown significantly in several different sites since then.

Nancy McCracken, the first full-time coordinator, started and ran the Center throughout the 1970s with the help of part-time instructor Anita Gorman. The WC at this time was concentrated in a small room inside the Wick Hotel, which served as the home for the English department as well.

After McCracken, three other full-time coordinators have been integral in the running and maintaining of the WC. Sherri Mertz followed McCracken in the early 1980s, leaving the Center to Erin Harvey, who preceded the WC's newest coordinator, Angela Messenger.

For every one new coordinator the Writing Center has seen over the years, it has seen at least two changes in location. From Wick Hotel to Kilcawley Center, to Moser, Bliss, Fedor, Coffelt and, finally, Maag Library, the Center has certainly made its rounds throughout the entire YSU campus.

Until recently, the latest building to house the WC was Coffelt Hall on University Plaza. This brick building, located near Fok Hall and Sweeney Welcome Center, was erected in the 1930s and served as an American Legion Hall. WC consultations were held on the second floor of the building, and an additional computer lab was used on the first.

During the summer of 2008, the Writing Center and its associated classrooms moved to their current location, the lower level of Maag Library, during a time of major reconstruction to the floor.

Housed in Room 171 of the building, the Writing Center now enjoys and offers students some of the newest facilities on campus.

In the fall of 2005, the Writing Center expanded beyond its main location on campus, establishing a satellite Writing Center in Stambaugh Stadium, Room 1097. In spring 2008, another satellite location was founded—this time at the Metro College at Southwoods—to offer evening and/or weekend tutoring. After the closing of the Metro location, the WC established satellite hours at the Veterans Resource Center. The WC now also boasts a cyber location as one of its latest offerings, where students can receive an online consultation with a WC employee from any computer or upload material that will then be reviewed within two business days.

The current Writing Center is operated by the Department of English to provide individualized and group instruction in writing skills for all YSU students. The Writing Center staff includes members of the English faculty, undergraduates, a full-time coordinator and, when available, graduate assistants or interns. Writing Center services are free of charge to all registered YSU students.