In July 2008, Sweetland sponsored Instructor Paul Barron and staff member Carrie Luke to visit South Africa. While there, they visited writing centers at the University of Cape Town, University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), University of the Western Cape, and met with the administrator of the Johannesburg Writing Centre, with the mission of learning how:
- cultural context shapes what each writing centres does or is allowed to do;
- bilingualism shapes writing center practice;
- various institutions engage with community organizations.
Paul and Carrie also assisted in the facilitation of the Isithunzi Writing Workshop in Johannesburg - a collaborative effort between Artist Proof Studio, Wits University, and the UM - that teaches young printmakers to write artist's statements and art reviews. They found that the Isithunzi project was perhaps the most successful model for engagement between writing centers and community cultural organizations, and they hope to emulate it in their own teaching and program administration. For more information about the Isithunzi project, contact Julie Ellison (email@example.com), Professor of American Culture and one of the principle researchers of the project.
In the Fall of 2006, Sweetland's Associate Director and several Peer Tutors teamed with 826michigan to train their volunteer tutors on how to:
- create a report with a student;
- create realistic goals for a tutoring session;
- give good oral feedback;
- negotiate authority when working one-on-one;
- discuss various tutoring strategies.
In 1984, Sweetland (then the English Composition Board) joined forces with the Detroit Public Schools/U-M Collaboration Committee in an effort to establish a writing curriculum with a set of English department composition courses. Since then, there have been exchanges between faculty and students at the University and Mackenzie High School, including creative writing seminars, computer workshops for both students and teachers, and drama productions. In our "Writing to Learn" venture, some of our goals included involving students in the writing process across all disciplines, capitalizing on new education techniques associated with computers, establishing a process through which students could create portfolios of their accumulated works, and assisting teachers in writing and publishing of educational materials. We also introduced students to post-secondary education by providing day-long campus visits, which allowed students to experience University life in its academic, creative, and social dimensions.