Strategic Plan * Student Publication Center, SLCC

Background of the Publication Center.

The idea for SLCC’s Publication Center came from an AWP session on publication in the curriculum—University of North Carolina at Wilmington at the time had a Publication Center. Our Publication Center is modeled on theirs. The English Department gave its support to a proposal for such a center, which was funded by the School of Humanities and Social Sciences. In the spring and summer of 2008, we acquired equipment: two printers, a binder, and a document cutter. We located this equipment in AD 226, a networked classroom, which made it a multi-function space, in which classes were scheduled but workshops and free production time were offered in the off hours. In Fall semester 2010, we offered the first full slate of workshops and sponsored the first chapbook competition.

We have sponsored three chapbook competitions in three genres. We have run the Publication Studies class successfully three times. We have sponsored workshops on digital and print forms of publication for students and faculty.

Mission of the Publication Center.

The mission of the Publication Center is to enhance student learning about writing, visual rhetoric, publication, and circulation of print and digital documents of all kinds.

To fulfill this mission, the English Department will use the multi-function space of the Publication Center to

  • Host open workshops for students on publication-oriented topics
  • Publish open lab times, so that students can bring their publication projects to the Center, and get aid from faculty mentors and peer tutors
  • Be a resource for students, with books, ephemera, software, equipment and tutorials in its physical and virtual spaces
  • Sponsor ongoing publication projects, such as student book competitions and the Write 500 Words project (examples only)
  • Assist faculty in becoming familiar/adept with publication processes and skills, including layout and design, so that these considerations can be infused broadly into the curriculum
  • Host speakers on publication-related topics

Needs for the future.

As the Publication Center finds its new home in the Instruction and Administration Building, new and ongoing needs become apparent. We will need to facilitate:

  • Occasional use, on an as-needs basis, for class-sized groups (for publication-specific topics/activities)
  • Small group and individual project tutoring/assistance
  • Drop-in use by students
  • Workshops for student and faculty groups

We will also need to acquire:

  • Supplies to allow for various student projects (paper of various sizes and weights; printing supplies; bookmaking supplies and tools; etc.)

We also need to conceptualize:

  • Personnel to staff the Center so that it can remain open and available
  • A scheduling protocol, which will make it easy for faculty to move in and out of the Center for class-sized and small-group projects
  • Personnel to aid and assist students and faculty on publication projects
  • A regular maintenance schedule for large pieces of equipment
  • A budget that will enable all of the above.

New Plans and Goals.

The Publication Center has accomplished many things in its initial phase of inception, opening, and development. Its new space in the Instruction and Administration Building invites new plans.

  • Faculty development in the specific technologies available in the Publication Center should be a major focus of our efforts. We need to identify faculty interests to use in planning workshops and training. The English Department should also decide if it wants to prioritize this kind of training in its faculty development. We can organize small faculty learning cohorts made up of both full- and part-time faculty.
  • We should, as a Department, plan and execute department-wide writing and publishing ventures, such as broadside, short essay, and digital story/essay projects, inviting students across our curriculum to participate.
  • We should identify and develop faculty peer mentors, so that peer-to-peer learning takes place. We might think of at least a few of these faculty peer mentors as having the specific charge and role of training and assisting their peers in developing the knowledge to implement publication-centered activities in their classrooms.
  • We should develop and publish departmental protocols for common publishing projects, such as the production of semester-end chapbooks or anthologies.
  • As a department, we should specifically decide what faculty development goals we have for the Publication Center and its related practices. We should, therefore, identify faculty needs, which will drive the planning of training and workshops. We should identify department-wide initiatives that can involve all our students in writing/publishing ventures, so that the practice of writing-to-make-public can extend beyond local instances (i.e., class by class).
  • We should work toward easily adopted curricular elements–publishing or multimodal projects that can enhance the learning already going on in existing classes.
  • We should identify courses that already create opportunities for student publication, and work with those faculty and the students in those courses to support those assignments.
  • We should identify, as a department, what new, or improved, ways we want to serve students through the writing and learning activities of the Publication Center. Specifically: in what ways can we support students’ projects, in and outside their classes? What workshops or mentoring would aid in this support?
  • We should work specifically with Writing Certificate students to develop their expertise in publication practices and create formal internships so that they can aid other students.

Call to Action:

We, as the Publication Center Steering Committee, propose that the department take up these questions, and we seek the department’s input and guidance as we move forward.

We believe that the following items are necessary to improve the Center’s functionality and to extend its scope:

1. A specific, dedicated budget line under the English department to address

  • Materials
  • Equipment maintenance
  • Equipment acquisition
  • Personnel and a personnel budget to staff the Center

2. An identified faculty leader to direct or oversee the development of the Center, with some sort of compensation to account for the time and effort required to do so.

3. Identified faculty facilitators, with some accounting in terms of compensation for their time and effort.

4. A protocol for identifying, training, and deploying student interns to offer peer-to-peer assistance in the Publication Center (particularly students associated with the WCC program).