Beth Towle, a graduate student in the Department of English, works with Chirag Patel, a senior in the College of Science.
Photo by Chris Voeglein.
Near the end of the semester, the student came in
to thank Osman for the help—and let her know the
scholarship came through. But Osman says she also
benefits from the partnership spurred by the Purdue
Writing Lab, getting as much out of each tutoring session
as the students she works with. “They’re teaching me as
I’m teaching them,” Osman says.
That’s part of the magic of the three-room operation
inside Heavilon Hall. Celebrating its 40th year, the Purdue
Writing Lab is known as the gold standard for writing
labs, says Director Harry Denny, an associate professor
And recent studies by Purdue’s Office of Institutional
Research, Assessment, and Effectiveness (OIRAE) back
up that claim. The OIRAE examined data on Writing Lab
users from 2008 to 2015, and the results were impressive.
“Students who come in and work with us have almost a half
grade or 0.4 [points of GPA] improvement in their semester
coursework,” Denny said.
The data are now being studied to measure the impact
of the Writing Lab on retention and persistence in students
through college. Denny expects to see significant results,
much like those he saw at St. John’s University in New York,
where he taught before coming to Purdue in 2015. “Students