The UCLA Writing Success Program, which offers peer assistance to undergraduate students to help them improve their writing, recently appointed its new director Denise Pacheco, who graduated from UCLA in spring 2011, with a doctorate degree in education.
She said she plans to increase the program’s visibility on campus as part of her new role.
The writing program is funded by student fees from the PLEDGE referendum of 2009, which increased student fees by $12.75 per student per year to support a coalition of seven student groups, including the UCLA Communications Board ““ the publisher of the Daily Bruin ““ and the UCLA Marching Band.
Last year, about 330 undergraduate students used the program throughout the school year, Pacheco said.
Among these students, many were North Campus students who tend to have more essay assignments, she said.
Kim Davis, the Undergraduate Students Association Council academic affairs commissioner, said she worked closely with Pacheco this summer to find ways to partner with other programs on campus and to inform more students about the program.
Though she has not yet devised a clear plan for the year, Pacheco said one of her goals is to reach out to students with South Campus majors to help them improve their writing styles. Another goal is to create more free workshops and senior seminars for students planning to go to graduate school as well.
The events would be facilitated by Pacheco and her staff, which is composed of six undergraduate students, Pacheco said.
“I plan to continue outreach … (to try) to get as much visibility as we can with our program and services so that the students know we are here for them,” she said.
She said she also plans to host writing-related events with other entities on campus such as the Dashew Center for International Students and Scholars, and USAC.
Although many students said they did not know about the program, others said they seek out and appreciate the help.
Saraiyah Hatter, a first-year architectural studies student, strolled out of the writing program’s office where she had just received help on her paper for Introduction to Fiction.
“My counselor helped me get my ideas down on paper ““ ideas that I didn’t know that I had,” said Hatter, who said she was using the service for the first time.
With midterm season in full swing, Pacheco said more students are coming in for help with their papers than in the past.
Students interested in receiving writing help can visit the Writing Success Program in the Student Activities Center.
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