March 4, 2024


The Texas A&M University Writing Center (UWC) partnered with Technology Services to engage more students at the UWC by advertising the writing center with pop-up reminders in Howdy. These unobtrusive notifications greet students upon logging into the university portal, emphasizing the benefits of UWC sessions. 

Thadeus Bowerman, assistant director of the UWC, shared compelling insights into the impact of this project and why students need to utilize the University Writing Center.

“Students who actively engage with the UWC consistently achieve higher grades in their writing courses,” said Bowerman. “This effect is particularly pronounced among first-, second- and third-year students, especially first-generation undergraduates.”

The UWC’s commitment extends beyond academic performance. Bowerman highlighted a crucial correlation. “First-gen students who utilize the writing center consultations experience higher retention rates,” said Bowerman. “Our services play a pivotal role in supporting their educational journey.”

These pop-ups also addressed historical imbalances. The Howdy pop-ups brought more first-, second- and third-year students to the University Writing Center. 

“In previous semesters, fourth-year students dominated UWC engagement. For every fourth-year student (U4), we averaged only 0.8 students from the earlier years (U1-U3),” said Bowerman. “However, during the fall 2023 semester, when the Howdy pop-ups ran, we achieved a remarkable shift. We had 1.3 U1-U3 students for every U4. That’s almost a 50 percent increase in total non-senior writing center clients!”

The tools and writing resources that the writing center offers are more accessible as a result of this partnership, and help foster early engagement from day one.