Call for Proposals

SSWCA 2018: Process and Progress
A Conference for Peer Tutors, Program Directors, and School Administrators
November 9-10, 2018
George Mason University, Arlington, VA


The Call for Proposals is available now!

Call For Proposals

The Secondary School Writing Centers Association (formerly CAPTA) is thrilled to announce our first national conference for secondary school writing and peer tutoring centers, directors, and administrators at George Mason University in Arlington, Virginia. Building on the success of our previous conferences and in keeping with our core values of student leadership and a peer learning model, we invite tutors –individuals, pairs, or small groups– to propose presentations for our upcoming conference. In keeping with our goal of supporting the needs of and building community among secondary school writing and peer tutoring centers nationwide, we also invite directors and administrators to propose presentations that address the work done in leadership roles.  Conference presentations are intended to examine tutoring practices, to draw upon writing and peer tutoring center research and theory, and to imagine possibilities as a way to build scholarship in the field and to promote effective practice.

The Secondary School Writing Centers Association (SSWCA) grew out of a cohort of secondary school writing and peer tutoring centers in the greater Washington, DC, area. Our first conference in 2012 hosted 135 tutors from 20 schools in the immediate Washington, DC, area. Since then, the need for a national organization and an annual conference for SSWCs has become abundantly clear. CAPTA 2017, our sixth annual conference, hosted nearly 500 tutors, directors, and administrators from 52 middle schools, high schools, and universities from 11 states. SSWCA, a teacher-directed organization dedicated to building community among and promoting advocacy for SSWCs, is now home to over 50 member centers from 16 states, each with its own unique program designed to best serve its student population. As the secondary school peer tutoring movement has grown, the purpose, the approaches to tutoring, the methods of implementation, the variety of students served, and the focus of these centers has evolved.

This year, we invite you to consider the many different connotations of the words in this year’s conference theme: Process and Progress. In what ways can you offer ideas, insights, or strategies that relate to the writing, tutoring, and outreach processes you have implemented in your center? How have you promoted progress and growth in your center, among your tutors and clients, and within your school community?

We invite tutors, directors, and administrators to submit proposals to present at SSWCA 2018. No matter the format, your proposal should be grounded in sound research and theory, rather than just your experience. The most successful presentations are interactive (rather than lecture), ask participants to engage in some sort of activity, and include a visual component, such as a Prezi, PowerPoint, GoogleSlides, or a handout. Consider what would engage you as an audience member. Please make sure your presentation will fit within the allocated time frame. If your proposal is accepted, you must plan to fill your given time slot.

In addition to our traditional full-day conference on Friday, we are pleased to offer optional Saturday morning workshops for directors, administrators, and tutors this year. Details will be shared as they become available.

Please submit your proposal no later than midnight EST on Friday, April 13, 2018. We will notify you of the status of your proposal via the email address you have provided by Tuesday, May 15, 2018. You will be asked to confirm your intent to present and commit to attending SSWCA 2018 no later than Friday, June 1, 2018.

Conference Session Formats

This year’s conference presentation formats include:

  1. Snapshot Session (for middle school presenters only) (10 minutes; 1-2 presenters): One individual or a pair of presenters share(s) strategies or information about a specific topic related to middle school writing centers for 10 minutes as part of a 45-minute session designed specifically for an audience of middle school tutors and directors. Just as with a Feature Presentation, your presentation should offer a clear perspective on a specific topic or offer an approach to addressing a question or challenge encountered by your center.
  2. Feature Presentation (20 minutes; 1-2 presenters): One individual or a pair of presenters deliver(s) a 20-minute presentation that offers a clear perspective on a specific topic or offers an approach to addressing a question or challenge encountered by your center. Presentations will be paired with another presentation with a similar focus to offer audience members varying viewpoints on a topic as part of a longer, 45-minute session.
  3. Panel Presentation (45 minutes; 2-4 presenters): A group of presenters collaborates to offer various perspectives on the same general topic or different approaches to addressing a question or challenge. Successful panels engage the audience in collaborative exercises and provide time for small-group and whole-group discussions at various points throughout the presentation.   You are encouraged to collaborate with tutors from other schools!
  4. Workshop (45 minutes; 2-4 presenters): Session leaders guide participants through an examination of an essential question or a challenge many centers may face in an interactive workshop-style format. Successful workshops involve activities wherein participants create a plan or a product to bring back to and implement in their center.

PROPOSAL SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS

For Feature Presentations, Panel Presentations, and Workshops:

  • A title that clearly reflects the content of your presentation
  • The format your presentation will take
  • The general topic of your presentation
  • A summary of the content of your presentation (200 words)
  • A description of the research upon which your presentation is based and of how you will incorporate the research into your presentation.  (100-200 words)
  • A detailed outline of how time will be allocated in your presentation
  • An abstract to appear in the the conference program (50 words)

For Snapshot Sessions (middle school presenters only*):

  • A title that clearly reflects the content of your presentation
  • The format your presentation will take
  • The general topic of your presentation
  • A description of the content of your presentation. What information will you share? What research or experiences is your presentation based on?  (100 words)
  • A clear outline of how time will be allocated in your presentation
  • An abstract to appear in the conference program (50 words)

*Note: Middle school presenters are not limited to proposing Snapshot Sessions.

Guiding Questions
Consider the many connotations of “process” and “progress” and how they relate to peer tutoring and writing center work.

Process

  • Tutoring Process
  • Writing/Revision Process
  • Recruiting Process
  • Advertising Process
  • Training Process
  • Process of Growing Up

Progress

  • Improvement
  • Development
  • Evolution
  • Movement
  • Forward
  • Change

Questions to consider when choosing a focus for your presentation include:

Process

  • What strategies have you and your fellow tutors developed to help your tutees/clients through the revision process?
  • What tutoring strategies have you found to be most successful when helping struggling writers to better understand their own writing process?
  • How does your center help writers to better process their own ideas and knowledge through writing?
  • What process does your center use to build relationships among tutors, between tutors and clients, or between your center and your school community? How might other centers transfer this process to their own centers?
  • What strategies have you implemented in the tutor recruitment process?
  • What techniques do you find most effective for tutor training?
  • How does the mission or vision of your center embody both the processes and progress that take place?
  • For newer centers: what challenges have you faced in the process of implementing your center?

Progress

  • How has your center worked with other stakeholders in your school community to define or redefine the steps needed for progress?
  • What steps and progress has your program taken to connect with specific populations and programs, such as English Language Learners, AP/IB/DE, AVID, special education and students with disabilities, etc.? What progress have these specific populations made as a result of working with your center?
  • What outreach strategies have you implemented to promote your center and help it progress in number of tutees/clients, teacher support, increased funding, etc.?
  • How does your center share the progress being made? (Monthly newsletters? Blog posts? Social media?) How might other centers implement effective promotional strategies in their center?
  • What progress has your center made toward creating a space that is both inviting and functional?
  • What progress has your center made toward better meeting the needs of students, teachers, and administrators in your school? What strategies made these changes successful?
  • What challenges have you faced as your center has grown? How have you refined your center’s practices to accommodate changes in your center and in your school community?

Proposal Submission Guidelines & Instructions

AVAILABLE RESOURCES: For more information about how to write a proposal, to learn more about how to incorporate research into your proposal, to review our proposal evaluation rubric, and to see examples of effective proposals from past years, visit www.sswca.org.

DEADLINE: Please submit your proposal no later than midnight EST on Friday, April 13, 2018.

  • We will notify you of the status of your proposal via the email address you have provided by Tuesday, May 15, 2018.
  • You will be asked to confirm your acceptance and commit to attending the SSWCA Conference no later than Friday, June 1, 2018.

TO SUBMIT A PROPOSAL:

NOTE: Submitting a proposal indicates that, if accepted, you plan to attend and present at SSWCA 2018.

CONTACT: Please email SSWCA.board@gmail.com with any questions.