Aaron Colton's article “Who (According to Students) Uses the Writing Center: Acknowledging Impressions and Misimpressions of Writing Center Services and User Demographics” will be featured in the new issue of Praxis.
This article analyzes the results of a spring 2019 survey of Georgia Tech undergraduates on their understandings and impressions of the services that the Georgia Tech Communication Center provides and the students the center sees most frequently. By comparing such understandings across participants’ self-reported demographic and academic information—including race, gender, GPA, acquisition of English, first-generation status, transfer-student status, and center-user status—the article examines particular misimpressions within the Georgia Tech undergraduate community. In doing so, the article demonstrates how centers may consider students’ own impressions of writing centers and center users in advertising, outreach, and communications. Consequently, I suggest that as centers shift away from non-directive pedagogies and implement inclusive and anti-racist philosophies and practices, those transformations alone may not counteract pervasive misimpressions about which students writing centers tend to privilege. I therefore argue that changes in center policies and practices must be combined with outreach efforts tailored to institution- and demographic-specific misimpressions.