Philosophy and Mission

Peer Tutors in Writing: Our Philosophy

The Peer Writing Tutor program is a collaborative service that aims to promote engaging conversations about writing for undergraduate students at Penn State. Through a variety of in-person and virtual options, peer writing tutors serve as facilitators, guides, and trained scholars who meet with undergraduate students interested in working on their writing. We use a rhetorical approach to explore writing as a process, while focusing on strategic choices involving genre, purpose, and audience.

The goals of the peer tutoring program are twofold:

  1. To create spaces across the University for students to talk about and work on their writing in a productive, challenging, and creative environment.
  2. To provide student writers with an opportunity for professional development and paid employment as writing tutors and scholars.


The Writing Center @ Penn State Learning seeks to support writers beyond the boundaries of the classroom, encouraging them to think critically about writing as an extension of their choices, thoughts, and identity. In addition, we aim to assist instructors in research and practice in supporting the development of confident writers. As such, we value diversity in student voices, experiences, and perspectives, along with the linguistic differences they bring to their writing. We aspire, through theory and practice, to make the collaborative practice of writing accessible and free of discrimination.

Our goals include:

  1. Creating spaces across campus where students can engage in productive conversations about writing.
  2. Hiring students from diverse and underrepresented backgrounds to work as peer writing tutors and peer writing tutor coordinators.
  3. Providing continued mentorship and professional development opportunities for peer tutors.
  4. Engaging with and serving the Penn State campus and local communities in efforts surrounding writing, literacy, and communication.
  5. Continually aligning tutoring practices with current research for best practices in writing instruction.
  6. Promoting a culture where writing functions as a means of expression toward social action and the dissemination of scholarly knowledge.

Many of our goals align with the Penn State Learning Mission and Vision, including the strategic priorities for 2020-2025.