While CSWIM Partners provide academic and curricular support in written, oral, and visual communication, they also provide general support and a sense of being part of something, of some place. Their work is, in a deep sense, about community and collaboration. They are humans with experience at Pomona College who are ready and willing to be there to support their peers. We encourage all students to visit the Center because collaboration is at the heart of what we all do

Now accepting applications for the 2024-2025 academic year!

Types of CSWIM Partners

Writing Partners

Students can come to the CSWIM with writing of any kind and at any stage of the writing process, from brainstorming to fine-grained polishing. Writing Partners offer one-on-one collaborative consultations, workshops, and write-ins on all forms of writing across all of the disciplines. They also support writing in many of the languages other than English represented at the Colleges, and we celebrate multilingualism and translingual pedagogies.

Speaking Partners

Recognizing that a small liberal arts college environment takes dialogic, conversational learning as axiomatic, Speaking Partners support speaking in several key ways: they offer help on formal and public presentations; they help with practicing and refining interview skills; they help students prepare to lead class discussions and otherwise facilitate oral communication in classroom and extra-curricular spaces. They help students navigate this discussion-rich environment by helping them prepare to join class discussions, negotiate fast-paced interactions, and think in nuanced ways about what “participation” can mean in a dialogue or a classroom.

Image Partners

Image Partners support visual literacy, rhetoric, culture, and working with images by helping students to think carefully and creatively about the relationship between image and text, about the visual as a form of communication. They help students write about visual representation, and help them use images to supplement or replace writing and speaking. They take the image-saturated environment of the 21st century as a given and work collaboratively with students to communicate effectively in that environment.

Attached Partners

Faculty across the college can request to work with a dedicated Writing, Speaking, or Image Partner for their course. Whereas permanent CSWIM staff have regular shifts in the Center, working with students on a wide variety of projects from courses across the disciplines, Attached Partners collaborate with the faculty member they’re paired with to support students in one specific class across multiple assignments. The time commitment varies based on the demands of the course and assignment deadlines. Attached Partners communicate with the faculty member about the role they will play and set their own schedules for meetings with students.

Training and Time Commitment

All of our Partners are hired for their openness to new ways of thinking and engaging, and for their ability to listen and read thoughtfully and sensitively. The first semester of their employment they take English 87: Writing Theories, Processes, and Practices, a seminar in rhetoric, pedagogy, interdependent forms of communication, institutions, and power. Alongside this foundation, they can elect to take an additional ad hoc “Seminar on Oral Communication” in the fall semester, or the “Reading the Image” seminar in the spring. We offer these paid seminars in addition to regular trainings, staff meetings, check-ins, and spaces for reflection. But perhaps the best training the students get is in doing this work as a community, learning from each other. Partners typically work one to two 3-hour shifts per week in the CSWIM, and many also work as Attached Partners to ID1 sections and other courses across the disciplines.

Hiring Timeline and Process

CSWIM Partners include students majoring in almost every department, and every Partner works with writing and other projects from all different disciplines. Partners are peer readers, listeners, and mentors. We look for students who can reflect thoughtfully on the process of writing and communication and can talk about that process with their peers. Partners are trained to think in nuanced and inclusive ways, to help students navigate the various and sometimes contradictory demands of communicating in college, and to help peers realize their own voices, goals, and style.

Each spring, we begin the recruitment and hiring of a new cohort of Partners for the following academic year. In February, an email goes out to all students inviting them to apply, and we solicit nominations from faculty and staff across the College. The CSWIM also hosts an open house for interested candidates to learn more about the role and application process. Due to the intensive training process involved in the first year of working as a CSWIM Partner, we especially encourage applications from rising sophomores and juniors with the hope that they will be able to continue in the role for the rest of their time at Pomona. Rising seniors may also apply but may be more likely to be considered for a role as an Attached Partner working with a specific course.

As part of your application, you’ll provide:

  • cover letter, including name of two faculty references (Pomona or 5C)
  • resume
  • writing sample with responses to short reflection questions

You can find more detailed application instructions here.

Keep in touch with us on Instagram @cswimstagram or email cswim@pomona.edu for more application details.

Applications are reviewed by a hiring committee of senior staff and CSWIM Head Partners, and candidates will be contacted by late March to hear if they have advanced to the interview stage. Interviews are conducted in time for us to extend offers before the fall course registration deadline, since all new Partners will need to register for the mandatory training course, ENGL 87: Writing: Theories, Processes, and Practices.