In 1990 the English Department, under the leadership of Writing Program Coordinator and SLCC faculty, implemented the SLCC Writing Center to provide one-to-one feedback to SLCC student writers. The SLCC Student Writing Center opened as the SLCC Writing Center during winter quarter, 1991. Initially the Writing Center was staffed only by fulltime faculty from the English Department and coordinated by a temporary full-time faculty member. The need to expand the program was evident and the temporary faculty position was replaced by a part-time Writing Tutor Coordinator funded through the ample support of the then Division of Developmental Studies (which later became Developmental Education). The partnership with Developmental Education and the English Department has proved essential to the continuing existence of the Student Writing Center. Developmental Education provided exemplary leadership and insight in striving to provide funding for the Writing Tutor Coordinator and for peer writing tutors.
Initially the Writing Center was located in the English Computer Lab (AD 218) but soon relocated to a dedicated (but small) space in AD 222 and was staffed by the Coordinator, a part-time tutor with a degree in English, and by full time faculty members in English, Developmental Studies, and Business Communication.
In 1993 it was decided to add peer writing tutors to the staff of the Writing Center, and tutoring was implemented at South City Campus and the Sandy Center. The Tutor Coordinator developed a training program for the peer tutors to prepare them to give feedback to their fellow students. Online tutoring through E-mail was also introduced at this time, although usage was limited due to lack of access for student writers to the campus email network.
For the next 4 years the Writing Center continued to grow in usage and its positive reputation with SLCC students, faculty and staff was established. The peer tutoring program continued to expand and tutors from diverse backgrounds were added to the team. In 1994, the Online Writing Center was implemented at this time to take advantage of the World Wide Web, and online tutoring began to expand in usage. The staff of the SLCC Writing Center was on the leading edge of the development of online tutoring in writing and presented a various conferences on their efforts around the country.
In 1996 the Division of Developmental Education and the English Department stepped up their partnership in development of the Writing Center and created the full-time position of Writing Center Instructional Support Coordinator. The primary duties of this position were to supervise peer writing tutors, coordinate the faculty writing advisors, develop Writing Center programs, and to expand the online offerings of the Center.
Also in 1996 the SWC moved into its permanent home on Redwood Campus, AD 218. Previously, AD 218 was the English Department's computer lab. Seeing the importance of writing tutoring, the English Department found a new space for its computer lab and remodeled 218 for Writing Center purposes.
The next ten years showed remarkable growth and expansion of Writing Center services. In 2001 to lessen confusion with the newly created Community Writing Center, the SLCC Writing Center rebranded as the SLCC Student Writing Center. This name change also clearly identified the SWC as a student-centered service of the college. During this period, the SWC also partnered with the Student Media Council to support the literary magazine Folio.
In 2005, the Student Writing Center Coordinator began to study the impact on the lives of SLCC students who have worked as Peer Writing Advisors. These former employees have gone on to successful careers in writing, education, counseling, social work, business, and many other fields. The majority have gone on to successfully complete graduate school. Most credit their work in the SWC as highly influential on their later academic careers.
In 2012, with the dissolution of the Developmental Education Division at the College, the Student Writing Center came under the sole aegis of the English Department.
Since it began operations in 1990, an estimated 50,000 SLCC students have visited the SLCC Student Writing Center. Through satisfaction surveys and evaluations of their tutoring sessions, student writers indicated that they find significant value in their work in the SWC and, overall, believe that it is an invaluable resource for their improvement as writers and their success as students.