Writing for success at the Marine Institute
Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A desire to improve students' communication abilities has recently led Memorial's Marine Institute (MI) to step up to the challenge. A newly created Writing Centre has been devoted specifically to the writing aspects of course work - no matter what field students are in.

The fall 2011 semester was the kickoff for the centre, and about 100 students streamed through its doors. Compared with the entire student population at MI, the response ratio indicates the project is a resounding success.

"It means that it's a service students obviously crave," said Chris LeDrew, communications instructor at MI. "The help students receive at the centre is more one-on-one than they receive in the classroom, so it's a great supplement to their education."

Mr. LeDrew says that as the centre expands, they hope to enlist students as tutors. That way, participating students can experience a full circle of advantages such services can bring.

"When students use the centre, they find themselves more focused on the value and importance of communication both in the classroom and, eventually, the workplace," he said. "Through this awareness, they are better equipped to submit quality material to their instructors and communicate their ideas in the classroom in discussions and presentations."

Mr. LeDrew also pointed out that when students start their careers, their ability to communicate effectively both in person and on the page will make them ideal candidates for advancement in their field.

"Companies know that a clear line of communication among employees is essential to success, therefore, those who exhibit proficiency in this field will be the most valuable to their employer," he said.

This initiative is another way Memorial is showing the incentive to embark on projects that look through the teaching and learning lens, including engagement, support, inclusiveness, responsiveness, outcomes-oriented and a commitment to discovery - the pinnacles of a strong teaching and learning community. For more stories on inspirational teaching and learning initiatives, visit Memorial's blog at

The Marine Institute's Writing Centre is located in the group study room of the Dr. C.R. Barrett Library on the Ridge Road campus. Hours of operation are 2-4 p.m.