Date of Award

Spring 2018

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. Thomas Pace


This paper describes the underlying issues and attempts to offer a possible remedy John Carroll University’s developmental writing students’ lack of engagement with the campus Writing Center. While developmental writing students across the United States visit their respective writing centers frequently, these students at JCU do not visit at the same pace. In this project, I draw from class surveys of student writers, from class visits, and from tracking student consultations at the Writing Center to learn why developmental writers do not visit as often as their EN 125 counterparts. In doing so, I argue that JCU’s developmental writing students are faced with the following dilemma: JCU’s developmental writing students, who are also primarily JCU’s nontraditional students, struggle academically and emotionally with the enviornment JCU’s traditional and primarily residential four year university provides. Many of JCU’s students come prepared for the academic rigors of college studies, and as such, have little reason to feel that they may be unprepared for the academic rigor of college writing. JCU’s developmental writing students, on the other hand, are typically at-risk students and struggle to feel as competent as their peers. The academic anxiety that many developmental writing students typically experience is only exacerbated by this environment, and the fixed mindset that developmental writing students possess compared to the growth mindset of their EN 125 counterparts only becomes stronger over their year-long progress through the developmental writing classes.