Frequently Asked Questions

Student FAQs

Where is the Writing, Reading, and Language (WRL) Center?

The Writing, Reading, and Language Center has two locations.  

To access the Reading/Writing Tutoring area or the Reading Room, enter the Humanities Building at the basement level; the Center is across from the elevators (HU 002 Suite). 

To access the computer lab, Digital Language Lab, or World Languages Tutoring area, enter Macklin Tower at the basement level; the Center is down the hall past the elevators (MT 020). 

Is the WRL Center accessible to visitors with disabilities?

Yes.  The center has accessible entrances, ink printers, and assistive technology.  All of the computers have Jaws (screen reader), ZoomText (screen magnifier), and Kurzweil (content reader).  In the Computer Lab, there is also a scanner with the designated DSS station and a CCTV (a machine that enlarges non-electronic documents for low vision students).

If you need special accommodations, please contact Jin Khademi, our Assistant Director, at jin.khademi@montgomerycollege.edu. 

What services are offered at the WRL Center?

The WRL Center provides Reading/Writing Tutoring, World Language Tutoring, a computer lab with both Macs and PCs, and a Digital Language Lab.

How much does it cost to use the WRL Center?

Nothing.  The services offered by the WRL Center are part of your tuition.

Can I get a job at the WRLC?

We are glad to hear you are interested in joining our team!  Contact our Student Aide Supervisor, Jin Khademi, at jin.khademi@montgomerycollege.edu for more information about applying to be a Student Assistant.

Are children allowed in the WRLC?

No. Per Montgomery College Policy 75005CP, the Rockville WRLC does not allow children within any areas of the Center.

Who can use the Macklin Tower WRL Center computer lab?

Montgomery College students, faculty, and staff may use the computer lab.  

Certain areas of the lab may be reserved for orientations or workshops.  Pay attention to signage and be respectful of staff members who may direct you to another area. 

What kinds of computers are in the lab?

The WRL Center computer lab contains 109 PC and 10 Mac computers, all equipped with webcams, headphones, and other assistive technology.

How do I log in to the computer?

The PC computers in our lab use Active Directory.  This system uses the same login and password as your MyMC account.  

If you are having difficulty logging in, please speak to a staff member.  If it is the start of the semester and you do not yet have an Active Directory account, please work on one of the Mac computers until your Active Directory account is enabled. 

How do I print?

Printing can be done at any ink Kiosk throughout the campus. Specifically, in our computer lab, there are two kiosks available (one is wheelchair accessible). The files can be sent to the kiosks for printing at any computer workstation throughout the lab. A ink username and password is required to acquire a release code that will allow you to enter at the kiosk to receive your print(s).  Find out more information regarding kiosk locations, contact for ink, etc.

What software should I use?

Your instructor will tell you which software programs to use during your required lab hours. Often, that information can be found on the course syllabus or the course Blackboard site.

If you have come to practice a specific skill on your own (not lab hours), speak to a staff member for advice on which program would be appropriate for your skill level.  Remember, though, staff members cannot replace your professor’s advice.  A list of available software and freeware can be found here (PDF, Get Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader.-Link opens in new window.) .

How do I get my lab hours?

Lab hours are recorded by two different methods.  Your professor will tell you either in class or on their syllabus which method (or both) they want you to use.  The first method is having a paper computer lab log sheet stamped by a WRL Center staff member. The second method is having a digital log recorded by a WRL Center staff member signing you in/out of our database. Both are located at the front desk of the lab.

Will my instructor know that I’ve been here?

If you are using the computer lab for lab hours your teacher will know that you have used the lab, but only if you check in and out at the front desk.

If you are using the computer lab for anything other than lab hours, your teacher will not know that you have used the lab.

Can I work on multiple class lab hours at the same time?

No.  If you wish to work on lab hours for more than one class, you should sign in for the first class, complete its hours, then sign out.  Then, you may sign up for the second class’s lab hours.  This produces more accurate records of your lab hours for your professor.

Who can I ask for help with using the computers and lab equipment?

All of the WRL Center staff are here to assist you!  Both Instructional Assistants and Student Assistants are trained to help you use the computers and lab equipment.  If, for whatever reason, we are not able to assist you, we will direct you to the appropriate resource on campus.

Where is the Digital Language Lab (DLL)?

The Digital Language Lab is located within the Macklin Tower Computer Lab (MT 020).  

Who can use the Digital Language Lab?

Montgomery College students, faculty, and staff may use the Digital Language Lab.

The lab is primarily reserved for class use, so make sure to check the schedule posted on the door before going in and using one of the computers.  Any individual using the Digital Language Lab must leave if requested to do so due to a class reservation or workshop.

What software is available in the Digital Language Lab?

The DLL has specializes in software for your World Languages courses.  In particular, the lab computers have ReLANPro, ReCall, ReABC, ReRec, and ReWrite.  A full description of the software can be found here.  

Where are the World Language tutors?

The World Language tutors are available next to the Digital Language Lab in Macklin Tower 020.

Who can see a World Language tutor?

Any Montgomery College student who is currently enrolled in a language class may see a World Language tutor.

Who are the World Language tutors?

All of our World Language tutors have advanced degrees in World Languages.  Most tutors are MC Faculty and work for the World Language department.

How do I know when a specific World Language tutor is available?

There are printed schedules posted in the World Languages Tutoring Area for you to see which world language tutors are available throughout the week.

How do I sign up to see a World Language tutor?

World Language tutors are available on a walk-in basis. Each tutor has a sign indicating which language they tutor.  Simply walk up to the tutor and let him/her know that you need help; there is no sign-in sheet.

How long does a tutoring session with a World Language tutor last?

This depends on the questions you have.  Tutors can spend up to an hour with you, although you may certainly ask quick questions as well.

Will my instructor know that I’ve seen a World Language tutor?

No.  Tutors keep records of their tutoring sessions and share those records with the World Languages department, but those records are not sent to faculty.

What kind of virtual tutoring does the Rockville WRLC provide?

We provide both eTutoring and Online tutoring using WCOnline.

  • eTutoring is asynchronous (you do not speak directly to the tutor). For eTutoring, students upload their paper as a Microsoft Word document their appointment before the appointment starts. Once the appointment starts, the tutor will review the paper and provide written feedback. At the end of the appointment, the tutor will upload the paper with feedback to the appointment report, which will be automatically sent to the student.  
  • Online tutoring is synchronous (you speak directly to the tutor). Online tutoring can use a chatbox or voice chat. Depending on the tutor, video chat may be usable. Students must be able to copy and paste their document into the tutoring interface. 

How do I use virtual tutoring?

Please watch this video to learn how to register for a WCOnline account and make an appointment for virtual tutoring in the Rockville WRLC,

Make an appointment for Virtual Tutoring

Please keep in mind that sometimes we need to move appointments around between tutors because of sickness and other extenuating circumstances. While we work hard to fulfill student preferences, we do not guarantee an appointment with a specific tutor.

For eTutoring, you must attach your documents before the time of the appointment. Please attach your essay as a Word document and provide a copy of your professor’s assignment sheet.

How will I receive feedback?

For an eTutoring appointment, you should expect to receive feedback from our tutors within two hours of your scheduled appointment time. Do keep in mind, that sometimes tutors get sick or there are other unexpected circumstances that may cause you to receive your feedback later than this. To view your feedback, please log back into your appointment and download your tutor’s comments.

For an online (synchronous) appointment, you will receive feedback from the professor as you talk with them.

Is there a limit on how many appointments I can have?

Student are limited to two appointments per day.  Students cannot have back-to-back appointments and are expected to make progress on the assignment between appointments or work on different assignments. Students should not upload the same version of an essay to multiple tutors. 

What happens if I need to cancel my appointment?

Please log back into your appointment as early as possible to cancel it so other students can also access our services.

 What happens if I miss an appointment?

 After two missed appointments, your WCOnline account will be blocked. You will need to have a conversation with a WRLC manager about proper usage of the WRLC’s virtual tutoring before your account can be reinstated. 

Where are the Reading/Writing Tutors?

Reading/Writing tutors are in Humanities Building 002 suite.

Is seeing a tutor academically honest?

Yes. Generally, instructors are pleased when students come to the Center. We practice academic honesty at Montgomery College in general and at the WRL Center in particular.  Since the sessions focus on giving you feedback on your writing, rather than editing or writing for you, coming to tutoring does not raise any code of conduct concerns.

Who can see a tutor?

Any currently enrolled MC student may see a tutor.  To use the WRL Center services, you must be a current MC student with a WC Online Account. You can create an account here: Montgomery.mywconlinenew window.  You must use your official Montgomery College email to enroll. You will also need to have any current drafts of essays or outlines on paper (handwritten or printed). 

Can I get help for a friend or family member?

While everyone is welcome to use the Center’s online handouts and podcasts, our tutoring services are available only to current students, faculty, and staff.

How do I sign up to see a tutor?

At this time, tutoring at the Rockville WRL Center is offered by appointment and by walk-in.

To see a tutor by appointment, come to the front desk in Humanities Building Room 002, use WC Online, or call 240-567-7402 to schedule your appointment. You can make appointments for up to two weeks in advance. Same day tutoring is only available by walk-in. You may schedule no more than two appointments per day. Students who miss more than three appointments during a semester are limited to walk-in tutoring for the remainder of the semester.  When you arrive for your appointment, check in with the Student Assistants and present a current, valid MC ID. 

To see a tutor as a walk-in, simply come to the Humanities Building Room 002 and present a current, valid MC ID.  For information about getting your student ID, go here.

How long does a tutoring session last?

Each walk-in tutoring session generally lasts 30 minutes. Each appointment tutoring session generally lasts 45 minutes.

Will I have to wait a long time to see a tutor for walk-in tutoring?

It depends.  Certain peak times, such as midday, tend to be very busy.  At those times, be prepared to wait up to an hour.  We provide free reading materials and a phone charging station in the waiting area.    

I came before closing time, but they won’t let me sign in.  Why?

While we do our best to fill the center with more than enough tutors, sometimes so many students sign up for tutoring early in the day that the tutors will need the remainder of the night to finish tutoring them all.  If the staff determine that you will not be able to be seen in the remaining time, they will close sign-in.

Can I request a specific tutor?

Yes.  All of our tutors are trained to help you with your reading and writing needs, but we also recognize that relationships between tutor and student foster greater learning and student success.  

If you wish to work with a particular tutor, alert the Student Assistant when you sign-in.  The Student Assistant will check that tutor’s schedule and let you know if it will be possible for you to work with your preferred tutor during his or her shift.

What kind of work can I bring to a tutor?

You may bring any writing or reading work to discuss with a tutor.  We give priority to academic work, but you may also bring creative writing, professional writing, application essays, or anything else that is written in English.  

You can also come at any stage in the writing process.  This includes understanding your assignment and brainstorming your ideas. 

What kind of help will I receive from a tutor?

Tutors provide skills-based instruction, and their goal is to make you stronger readers and writers, not to proofread for you or find your errors. A typical session begins with a conversation about the skill you want to improve.  Then, tutors will usually review the concept with you, making sure you understand and answering any questions you have.  If time permits, the tutor will ask you to practice the skill by applying it to your own work.  At the end of each session, the tutor will help you determine your next steps.

Who are the Reading/Writing tutors?

All of our Reading/Writing tutors have advanced degrees in English, TESOL, Rhetoric/Composition, or another writing intensive field.  All of our tutors must have the necessary qualifications to be hired as MC Faculty as well as training in tutoring and Writing Center pedagogy.  Many of them serve as both tutors and faculty.

Will my instructor know that I used the tutoring services?

Yes, unless you ask us not to contact him/her. The tutor will (with your permission) send a copy of the tutoring report to your instructor. This report describes what you and your tutor worked on during your session.  This lets your teachers know that you have taken the initiative to improve as a writer or reader; they do not evaluate you, your assignment, or your instructor in any way. Most instructors are delighted to learn that you have visited the Center. Your teachers see your work here as a sign that you are a productive, conscientious student who knows the value of good writing skills and who has the wisdom to make use of this resource.

What if I have a quick question about my writing?

Quick questions can often be answered by the staff at the front desk of HU 002.  Generally, they can assist you with questions about punctuation, citation, or word choice.  They can spend up to five (5) minutes with you answering your question.  

The staff at the Quick Question Desk can also help you choose which skill to work on during a full tutoring session by doing a brief diagnosis of a writing sample. 

Who can come to workshops?

Any member of the Montgomery College community can attend WRL Center workshops, including current students, faculty, and staff.

Do I need to pre-register?

No, although we do encourage you to sign-in with your MC email when you arrive so that the presenter can send you follow-up information and resources related to the workshop topic.

What topics are covered during workshops?

Workshops cover a wide range of topics, including grammar, punctuation, organization, rhetoric, reading, and study skills.  You can find the schedule of workshops here.  Don’t see one you want?  Contact our Workshop Coordinator, Jin Khademi, at jin.khademi@montgomerycollege.edu.   

Faculty FAQs

Where is the Writing, Reading, and Language (WRL) Center located?

The Writing, Reading, and Language Center has two locations.  

  • To access the Reading/Writing Tutoring area or the Reading Room, enter the Humanities Building at the basement level; the Center is across from the elevators (HU 002 Suite). 
  • To access the computer lab, Digital Language Lab, or World Languages Tutoring area, enter Macklin Tower at the basement level; the Center is down the hall past the elevators (MT 020).

Is the WRL Center accessible to visitors with disabilities?

Yes.  The center has accessible entrances, ink printers, and assistive technology.  All of the computers have Jaws (screen reader), ZoomText (screen magnifier), and Kurzweil (content reader).  In the Computer Lab, there is also a scanner with the designated DSS station and a CCTV (a machine that enlarges non-electronic documents for low vision students). 

If you need special accommodations, please contact Jin Khademi, our Assistant Director, at jin.khademi@montgomerycollege.edu.   

What services are offered at the WRL Center?

  • For students, the WRL Center provides Reading/Writing Tutoring, World Language Tutoring, Reading Room Materials, a computer lab with both Macs and PCs, and a Digital Language Lab.
  • For faculty, the WRL Center Instructional Associates provide class visits to support your own instruction in the areas of reading, writing, study skills, and tutoring orientations.  The WRL Center also offers assistance with writing syllabi and assignment prompts. 

Can I get a job at the WRL Center?

We are glad to hear you are interested in joining our team!  You can find information for Prospective Tutors on our Tutor Resource Page.  Contact our Director, Lucinda Grinnel, at lucinda.grinnel@montgomerycollege.edu with any questions about applying to be a Reading/Writing Tutor.  Other positions within the WRL Center are posted on the Montgomery College employment page as they become available.

Does the WRL Center provide class orientations?

Yes.  Class orientations are available for both the computer lab in Macklin Tower 020 and for the Tutoring Services in Humanities 002.  These orientations can be as brief or as exhaustive as you would like.  Please contact Janice DuFour at janice.dufour@montgomerycollege.edu for information about scheduling an orientation in the Humanities 002 suite.  Please contact Jin Khademi at jin.khademi@montgomerycollege.edu for information about scheduling an orientation in the Macklin Tower 020 suite.

Can an Instructional Associate come to my class to present mini-lessons?

Absolutely!  We are happy to come and supplement your lessons by presenting on topics ranging from effective study habits to reading/writing skills.  These visits can last anywhere from 20 minutes to a half hour and can take place either in your classroom or at the WRL Center.  You must be present during the Instructional Associate’s visit.  To arrange a class visit, please contact our Assistant Director, Jin Khademi, at jin.khademi@montgomerycollege.edu.   

Can I link your website resources to my course site (Blackboard, etc.)?

Of course!  Any podcasts, handouts, or links are here to help you and your students!  Feel free to link to or upload any of our resources inside your Blackboard course site.  We simply ask that you reference the WRL Center as the source of the information.  

Can the WRL Center help me revise and develop writing assignments/rubrics for my course?

Yes.  Crafting effective writing assignments and rubrics can be difficult no matter what your disciplinary focus.  The WRL Center sees students at their most confused, so we are happy to help you design assignments that prevent student confusion and produce the results you want.

Instructional Associates are available to help you develop and revise your writing assignments and rubrics.  Contact our Director, Lucinda Grinnell, at lucinda.grinnell@montgomerycollege.edu for more information about this service.

My classroom does not have computers.  Can I reserve a portion of the WRL Center?

Yes.  Reservations can be made by telephone, email, or in person, signing up for an available time in the reservation book.  Reservations must be made at least 24 hours in advance to ensure that adequate preparation can be made by the lab’s staff.  To reserve this space, please contact Jin Khademi, our Assistant Director, at jin.khademi@montgomerycollege.edu or at x-77215.

What software and freeware are available to my students in the computer lab?

The Macklin Tower computer lab has many programs covering a wide range of skill sets and content areas.  For a complete list, read our Instructional Software and Web Links Catalog (PDF, Get Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader.-Link opens in new window.)  .

How do I reserve this space for my class?

To reserve the Digital Language Lab (DLL), please contact Violeta Castillo, one of our Instructional Assistants, at violeta.castillo@montgomerycollege.edu or at x-77457.  Reservations must be made at least 24 hours in advance to ensure that adequate preparation can be made by the lab’s staff.

What software is available in the Digital Language Lab?

The DLL has specializes in software for your World Languages courses.  In particular, the lab computers have ReLANPro, ReCall, ReABC, ReRec, and ReWrite.  

Will someone be on hand to help me use the software?

Yes.  Staff are trained to use both ReLANPro and ReLANSign.  However, we encourage you to receive training prior to your visit.  For information about ReLAN training, please contact Professor Cristina Butler at cristina.butler@montgomerycollege.edu.  

Where are the World Language tutors located?

The World Language tutors are available next to the Digital Language Lab in Macklin Tower 020.

Which languages can my students receive help with?

Tutoring services are determined by the World Languages and Philosophy department.  Typically, tutors are available for American Sign Language, Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Korean, Russian, and Spanish.

How do I reserve the Classroom (HU005)?

To reserve the Classroom (HU005), please contact Janice DuFour, one of our Instructional Assistants, at janice.dufour@montgomerycollege.edu, at x-77631, or in person at the Humanities 002 front desk.  Reservations must be made at least 24 hours in advance to ensure that adequate preparation can be made by the lab’s staff.

Where are the Reading/Writing tutors located?

Reading/Writing tutors are in Humanities Building 002.

Who are the Reading/Writing tutors?

All of our Reading/Writing tutors have advanced degrees in English, TESOL, Rhetoric/Composition, or another writing intensive field.  Our tutors must have the necessary qualifications to be hired as MC Faculty as well as training in tutoring and Writing Center pedagogy.

What kind of help can my students get from the Reading/Writing tutors?

Tutors provide skills-based instruction, and their goal is to make your students stronger readers and writers, not to proofread for them or find their errors. A typical session session begins with a conversation about the skill the student wants to improve.  Then, tutors will usually review the concept, making sure the student understands and answering any questions they have.  If time permits, the tutor will ask them to practice the skill by applying it to their own work.  At the end of each session, the tutor will help the student determine next steps.

My students can’t seem to proofread.  Will the Reading/Writing tutors proofread papers before the students turn them in to me?

No. We do not provide editing or proofreading services, and students may not drop off a paper and pick it up later with corrections. We can, however, teach students to edit and proofread their own work more effectively.

Can students bring in non-coursework such as creative writing or personal statements for an application?

Absolutely!  While our focus is on tutoring academic work, the Reading/Writing tutors are always happy to work on self-driven writing, including professional and creative writing.  

Will I know when my students have visited the Reading/Writing tutors?

Yes, unless the student asks us not to contact you. The tutor will (with the student’s permission) send a copy of the tutoring session report to you. This report describes what the student and the tutor worked on during the session.  This lets you know that the student has taken the initiative to improve as a writer or reader and gives you some sense of how you might follow up with the student.

I’d like my students to see a tutor.  Can I require them to visit?

No. While we support your efforts to encourage students to examine and improve their writing skills, we cannot support required visits to the Center. This policy derives from both practical and pedagogical reasons, outlined below. If you would like to discuss this policy, please contact the director, Lucinda Grinnell.

Demand for our services exceeds the supply of tutoring sessions. When students sign up for tutoring sessions because they are required to come in, they prevent students who voluntarily seek help from getting it. We want to reward intellectual initiative and commitment by keeping tutoring available to those who make their own decisions to improve as writers.

Center services complement and supplement the writing instruction that takes place within courses. We do not have the staff to support individual writing instruction for all students in any single course. Our services cannot replace the writing instruction necessary in any particular course or discipline.

Students who aren’t invested don’t learn well. Past experience has taught us that students who visit tutors under some form of requirement are not necessarily interested in improving their writing skills. Some (not all) come expecting to stay for just a few minutes so that they can get a report attesting to their appearance here. While their visits acquaint them with our services and sometimes develop into worthwhile sessions, often these students simply fill up our waiting area and prevent others from seeing a tutor. 

I have one student who desperately needs help with reading or writing.  Can I require this particular student to visit the Reading/Writing tutors?

No. Even though you may have the best of intentions, requiring a student to use the Center often backfires. If students are not ready to seek help, they will not be likely to receive it when they get here. Singling a student out may come across as punitive and discourage other students in the class from seeking help from the Center. Promoting the service to the entire class will make it easier to personally encourage individual students when needed. You may use this form to prompt students to seek out help along with your grading feedback and strongly recommend that students make an appointment, but we caution against compelling them to visit or involving the WRL Center in a grading issue.

Can I give extra credit points to students who visit a tutor?

Yes, although bear in the mind that tutoring is still most effective if the student chooses to come based on internal motivation to learn.  It is best to give extra credit in amounts small enough that it will primarily encourage the student who might be hesitant about coming rather than bribing a student who otherwise has no desire to come.

How can I encourage my students to use the Reading/Writing Tutors?

  • Add a description of the WRL Center services and your view of them to your syllabus or course site. (Recommended Syllabus Statement (PDF, Get Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader.-Link opens in new window.)
  • Share comments from past students about the effectiveness of the tutoring services.
  • Bring your class to the WRL Center for an orientation session or schedule a class visit.  We can give a 5-10 minute overview of our services and answer questions.
  • Remind students that you receive copies of the tutoring session reports and that you value these as indicators of initiative and seriousness about the course.
  • Describe your own writing process, including when and why you seek feedback from attentive readers.  Sharing multiple drafts of your own work can be a powerful visual illustration of the writing process.
  • Distribute links regarding our workshop series, Saturday Series, or tutoring services via email or Blackboard announcement to your students each week or make them part of your course modules.  
  • Attach this form (PDF, Get Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader.-Link opens in new window.)   to the feedback you give your students.

My students are working on a group assignment.  Can the whole group work together with a Reading/Writing tutor?

No.  At this time, the Rockville Reading/Writing tutors cannot accommodate group tutoring.  Students may bring work from group projects to see a tutor, but they must work individually.

Can I send students to the Reading/Writing tutors for makeup sessions when they miss a meeting with me or with group members?

No. Tutoring sessions cannot replace course-related activities or requirements. Tutoring supplements and complements course instruction.

Should I make grade decisions dependent on tutor visits?

No. If you’d like to discuss ways to encourage a particular student, feel free to contact the directors or your course coordinator for options.

Do Reading/Writing tutors discuss grades with students?

No. Tutors will not discuss scores or grades or make evaluative comments about assignments or papers during sessions. 

Who leads the WRL Center workshops?

All of our workshops are led by Instructional Associates or Faculty, all of whom have advanced degrees in English, Reading, TESOL, or some other writing intensive field.

Can I send my class to a WRL Center workshop if I have to cancel class?

No. WRL Center workshops cannot replace course-related activities or requirements. Tutoring supplements and complements course instruction.

You are welcome to bring your class to workshops that take place during your class meeting, provided that you attend with your students.  If you plan to do this, please alert Jin Carvallo, at least 24 hours in advance so that the workshop presenter can prepare adequate materials.

Will I know if my students attend a WRL Center workshop?

At this time, student sign-in is optional.   

If you wish to offer extra credit for workshop attendance, we encourage you to provide your own form that the presenter can sign or to require the students to write a reflection on the workshop. 

How can I encourage my students to attend the WRL Center workshops?

  • Distribute links regarding our workshop series, Saturday Series, or events via email or Blackboard announcement to your students each week or make them part of your course modules.  
  • Pick up a flyer from the WRL Center to post on your office door.
©