Faculty Guide

The purpose of the ARC is to facilitate learning.

We work with students at any stage of the writing process to help them communicate their messages clearly and coherently; we focus on the long term by trying to develop better writers, not just better papers; and we help students learn to help themselves by using a facilitative, non-evaluative approach to tutoring.

Additionally, we coordinate subject tutoring across the disciplines. Subject mentors, chosen by their academic programs, support classroom instruction in one-on-one and small group tutorials. We also offer guidance in time management, organization and study skills, and we maintain style manuals, dictionaries and thesauruses.

We do not evaluate student work, create expectations for grades, or act as a drop-off proofreading service.


The ARC is staffed by Dr. Tony Ryals, director of student success and accessibility services. Student writing and subject tutors can be scheduled for appointments online. A flyer listing ARC tutors’ contact information is available outside the ARC, located on the lower level of Mary Helen Cochran Library. Their services are available seven days a week.


The ARC is located on the lower level of Mary Helen Cochran Library.


ARC Hours vary according to the tutor’s schedule. Click here for detailed availability information.

Appointments with ARC Tutors

To schedule an appointment with an ARC tutor, please click here.

Encouraging Student Use

Faculty can encourage students to use the ARC by:

  • Requiring ARC visits for writing assignments or offering extra credit;
  • Emphasizing that all writers benefit from dialogue about their work and encouraging strong writers, as well as those who are struggling, to use the ARC;
  • Encouraging students to “shop” for tutors with whom they work well;
  • Reminding students to make appointments ahead of time when possible;
  • Sharing with students that the ARC provides services to academic programs with subject tutors, workshops in note-taking, test-taking, time management and stress management; and
  • Including the following paragraph in syllabi:The Academic Resource Center: All students are encouraged to utilize this free service. The ARC works with students to address their individual writing needs and to help them become more effective and confident writers. The ARC is for writers of all skill levels and at all stages of the writing process. In one-on-one conferences lasting from 15 to 60 minutes, a trained student tutor or faculty/staff volunteer engages the student in facilitative, non-evaluative dialogue about the student’s work. A visit to the ARC does not guarantee that a paper will be free of all problems or errors; instead, a visit helps a student to improve what she has. In addition to writing tutoring, the ARC coordinates subject tutoring; offers guidance in time management, organization and study skills; and maintains style manuals, dictionaries and thesauruses.

Faculty can enhance students’ experience in the ARC by:

  • Recommending discipline-specific style guides that can be purchased for student and tutor use;
  • Encouraging students (from all disciplines) who are strong writers, have a solid work ethic and are interested in the theory and practice of peer tutoring to apply early in the spring semester for a position as a tutor in the following year; and
  • Arranging subject tutors with the ARC coordinator early in the semester.

Specialized workshops can be created to address students’ specific needs. We will conduct workshops in the classroom or in the ARC. Topics include, but are not limited to, avoiding unintentional plagiarism, employing pre-writing techniques to generate ideas, conducting effective and efficient revision, and making student writing more concise.

Presentations by student tutors can be arranged. They will visit classes to explain ARC services, present a workshop on a particular topic and answer students’ questions.

A free service: The ARC is available at no cost to all students attending Sweet Briar College.