By Christa Tiernan and Kelly Wenig
Christa Tiernan has directed the Writing and Media Center at Iowa State University since June 2015. Before then, she worked at the writing centers at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire (2013-2015), the University of Wisconsin-Madison (2007-2013), and the University of Virginia (2004-2006). Christa holds a PhD in English: Literary Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (2014), an MA in English Literature from the University of Virginia (2006), and a BA in English Literature and Creative Writing from the University of California, San Diego (2003).
Kelly Wenig has served as the Intercultural Learning Specialist at the Writing and Media Center at Iowa State University since May 2017. In 2016-2017, he served as the center’s research assistant. Kelly holds a PhD in History from Iowa State University (2017), an MA in History from the University of Cincinnati (2008), and a BA in History from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay (2006).
The recent upsurge in international student enrollment in American public research universities has prompted us to think about the adaptability of writing centers during periods of changing university demographics. How do writing centers respond to enrollment trends?
Let there be no mistake: the demographics of American public research universities are changing. As state appropriations for these institutions are being reduced further and further, international students are being recruited in larger and larger numbers, their tuition being perceived as a partial solution to shortfalls in funding (Redden). Since 2011-2012, the United States has witnessed a sharp increase in international student enrollment. According to the Institute of International Education, in 2014-2015, international student enrollment in American institutions of higher education increased 10%, and in 2015-2016, there were over one million international students in the United States. Continue reading