Information For Faculty: Writing Support for St. Olaf Students

The Academic Support Center provides writing support for multilingual students (formerly referred to as ELL students),
students with disabilities, and underprepared students


  • All students are welcome at the Writing Help Desk
    • The Writing Help Desk tutors are trained to work with multilingual students. See: Writing
  • One-to-one writing consulting might be a good option for multilingual students,
    students with disabilities, and underprepared students who are willing to make a
    commitment to regular weekly, bi- or tri-weekly appointments throughout term.
    • To determine if one-to-one writing consulting is a good fit, all students first consult
      with the Writing and Multilingual Writing Specialist, Su Smallen
    • Students should bring examples of their writing to this consultation. Recent
      papers with professors' comments, current writing assignments and drafts are
      extremely helpful
    • You or the student may schedule this consultation by calling the Academic
      Support Center at ext. 3288
  • Please feel free email or call Su if you have any questions.

Extended Exam Time and Verbal Clarification of Exam Questions

Extending exam time and providing verbal clarification of exam questions for first- and
second-year multilingual students is a Good-Will Policy at St. Olaf. It is solely
the professor's discretion whether to provide time-and-a-half for exams for a student who
is still developing fluency in writing in English.

This Good-Will Policy reflects research that shows that writing is the last skill in which multilingual
students become fluent. The Good-Will Policy also reflects that students are adjusting culturally
as much as they are linguistically during their first two years at St. Olaf.

  • Extra exam time and verbal clarification of exam questions would be considered
    appropriate if a student could "show what they know" if given a little more time to
    process in English.
  • Please understand that the decision to allow extra time and provide verbal clarification
    for multilingual students rests entirely with you, the professor.
  • Accommodations for multilingual students are not legally required; this is a procedure of good-will.
  • A letter of advocacy from the Academic Support Center is not required.
  • Whenever possible, if granted extra exam time, a multilingual student should take the exam
    in the same room as the rest of the students, and either begin early or stay late in that
    room, or finish in the professor's office. The Academic Support Center does not provide
    alternate testing rooms for multilingual students.
  • After the first two years, multilingual students are expected to complete exams under normal
    conditions as part of meeting the learning outcomes of a St. Olaf education.

Text for Syllabi

You may include the following information in your syllabi:

Consultants in the Writing Help Desk offer help with any stage of the writing process. The Writing Help Desk
is located in Rolvaag, near the Reference Desk. Hours are: Mon-Thur 10am-5pm and 7-10pm,
Fri 10am-5pm, Sat 11am-5pm and Sun 1:30-5pm and 7-10pm. Make an appointment by calling the Academic Support Center
at ext. 3288 (507-786-3288). Or stop by—walk-in appointments may be possible if a consultant is

Long-term writing consulting is another option that might be appropriate, depending on a student's needs
and commitment. Interested students should discuss this with Su Smallen, Writing and Multilingual Writing Specialist. Call x3288 (507-786-3288) for an appointment.