High School Outreach

UConn’s Tenth Annual Conference for Secondary School Writing Centers will take place on Friday, September 29, 2017 from 8:30am to 12:30pm in UConn’s Student Union Theater on the Storrs Campus. (Directions and Parking) .

Registration is currently closed due to overwhelming interest in this year’s conference.

Our conference is designed for middle and high school teachers and students who are interested in starting or maintaining peer-based writing centers in their schools. We will feature presentations by schools that have successfully developed peer writing centers and interactive workshops for students and teachers. The conference is free and includes a complimentary breakfast, but you should arrange your own transportation. The agenda will follow as the event gets closer. We hope you will take advantage of this exciting opportunity to discuss peer based writing centers in secondary schools across Connecticut.

Enrollment is limited, and we expect to reach capacity, so RSVPs will be granted on a first-come, first-served basis. Typically, schools bring 1 or 2 teachers and 3-8 student tutors. If demand for enrollment is great, we reserve the right to limit the number of participants from each school.”



  • full theater
    Students gather in the Student Union Theater


What do you have to say about Writing Centers?

Here’s what our 2016 Conference attendees are saying.


Our Work with Connecticut Middle and High Schools

Part of the reason that public land grant universities like UConn were founded was to serve their state and regional communities. The University Writing Center carries on that spirit of service through our collaborations with Connecticut middle and high schools.

In partnership with the Connecticut Writing Projecthttp://www.cwp.uconn.edu/and several area schools, we work to launch and sustain writing centers that value writing across the curriculum, focus on each writer’s development, recognize the benefits of peer-to-peer tutoring, and understand writing as a complex, interactive process. The writing centers we envision do not work on a deficit model of remedial education but instead enrich a school culture where writing and revision are valued.


How to Get Involved

If interested in learning more about peer-run writing centers, we invite you to attend our annual October Secondary School Writing Centers Conference, which is open to all who are involved in our growing network or who want to learn more about it. The conference features presentations and workshops by secondary school students and teachers who have started or are in the process of starting their own writing centers.

Another opportunity to consider when looking to learn more about peer tutoring and our growing network is participating in the Connecticut Writing Project’s Summer Institute: http://cwp.uconn.edu/summer-institute/.

Attending the Summer Institute is not a prerequisite for involvement, but we have found that teachers who attend this paid summer professional development program are usually are in a better position to start and sustain a writing center.

Read how Woodstock Academy tutors spent the morning at our 2015 conference.


Students in a breakout session during our annual conference discuss tutoring strategies.
Students in a breakout session during our annual conference discuss tutoring strategies.


Outreach Partnerships

The University Writing Center works intensively with one or two schools each year. Our directors and outreach coordinator meet with prospective partners to plan and set the groundwork for establishing a peer-run center. During the academic year, graduate and undergraduate tutors from UConn’s Writing Center visit the partner school weekly to mentor high school students in how to conduct peer tutoring. The UConn weekly visits end when students are ready to tutor on their own, but we invite our partner schools to stay involved with us, and each other, through participation in the Secondary School Writing Centers Conference at Storrs each October. This conference offers an opportunity for sharing strategies, struggles, and successes.

If interested in learning more or getting involved, please contact us: writingcenter@uconn.edu.


Our History

Our first community outreach work was initiated, appropriately enough, by an undergraduate tutor who wanted to bring one-on-one tutoring in academic and creative writing to her own former high school, Hartford Public.

Starting in 2007 we shifted our emphasis from having UConn students deliver tutoring to HPHS to working with schools to assist them in founding their own faculty-led but peer-driven writing centers. At that time the Connecticut Writing Project (CWP)http://www.cwp.uconn.edu/became a partner in the project.

As part of our partnership program, we are currently working with Sports Medical and Sciences Academy to open their writing center.

In recent years we have worked with:


Connecticut teachers gather at the Secondary School Writing Centers Conference hosted by UConn each October to talk about planning and implementing peer tutoring.
Connecticut teachers gather at the Secondary School Writing Centers Conference hosted by UConn each October to talk about planning and implementing peer tutoring.

Visiting Our Writing Center

We extend an invitation to any school that wishes to visit our campus Writing Center. See our space, observe a session, and speak with our tutors!

Learning More

If you want to learn more about student-staffed writing centers, here are some places to start:

Richard Kent’s writing center portal page:http://guest.portaportal.com/wcenters

High School Writing Centers: http://www.wcenters.com

National Writing Project/Writing Center Resources: http://www.nwp.org/cs/public/print/resource/3584

Capital Area Peer Tutoring Association: http://captawritingcenters.org/