FAQs-Global Communication Center - Carnegie Mellon University

Frequently Asked Questions About the GCC

Making an Appointment

How do I fill out the appointment form?

1) Go to the GCC Online Scheduler. If this is your first visit, you'll need to register. If you're returning, simply sign in with your email address and password.

2) Next, click on the day and time you would like to have an appointment. Available time slots are white.

3) After you've chosen an appointment date and time, you will be prompted to enter some information. Once you have saved your appointment, you will be brought back to the main appointment screen.

4) When you are ready to attach the most recent copy of your draft (if you have one), click on the yellow folder in the top left hand corner to attach a copy of your draft or presentation.

Why attach my draft 2 hours before the session?

The tutor spends time preparing for your session prior to your arrival. During this time, the tutor becomes acquainted with your work and negotiates it with the other submitted documents (prompt, rubric, and/or model essay). Submitting your draft ahead of time ensures that your session is as beneficial and productive as possible.
    *Please note: If you fail to submit your draft at least 2 hours ahead of time, the tutor will need to allot 15 minutes at the beginning of your session to prepare. Therefore, your session time will not be the full 50 minutes.*

Why attach the instructor’s prompt and rubric?

Prompt: Attaching the prompt allows the tutor to read and interpret the instructor’s expectations of the assignment. This gives the tutor an understanding of the purpose of the paper, its specific requirements (such as page length, citation method, etc.) what concepts it should include, and/or what questions it should answer.
Rubric: Attaching the rubric allows the tutor to see the instructor’s grading procedure and on what criteria the assignment will be judged.

What is a model essay?

A model essay is a paper that has satisfactorily fulfilled the requirements of an assignment.  Ask your professor for an example of a paper that he/she considers an effective response to a prompt.  If your professor is unable to provide a model essay, writing center websites at many colleges and universities often provide examples of papers written in certain disciplines.

What if the appointment time I want is not available?

If the appointment time you want is booked, you may add yourself to the waitlist by clicking on the clock icon next to the date. You can then elect to be notified if there are any cancellations.

What if I have to cancel my appointment?

It is very important to us to serve as many students as possible.  If you cancel an appointment without notice, you are taking up a resource that other students can be using.  Therefore, appointments canceled less than two hours before the scheduled time will be counted as a no-show.  After two no-shows, students will be blocked from scheduling further appointments until they talk to the GCC Director.

Can I come late to my appointment?

No, students cannot come late to an appointment. It is important to us that we serve as many students as possible. When students show up late to an appointment, it is misusing the tutor's time and resources as well as taking that appointment away from other students. If you know you will be late when scheduling an appointment with the GCC, please schedule during a time period where your are available for 50 minutes. If you do schedule for an appointment and you are 15 minutes late to that appointment, you will be marked as a no-show. After two no-shows, students will be blocked from scheduling further appointments until they talk to the GCC Director.

Is there a maximum number of appointments I can make per week? Per day?

Our scheduler limits students to 2 appointments in a given week and 1 appointment per day so that we can serve as many students as possible. However, if we have availability we can manually schedule an additional appointment for students who email us at gcc-cmu@andrew.cmu.edu.We encourage students to make appointments that they will realistically attend, so as not to deprive others of the opportunity to schedule appointments. Along with this, students are only allowed to have one user account with us on our online scheduler.

GCC Workshops

What workshops do you offer?

The GCC routinely offers workshops on a variety of communication topics, including Designing Effective PowerPoint presentations, Team Communication, Designing Scientific Posters, and Email Communication.  Other workshops we have given include Writing Literature reviews, Introducing your project, Preparing Grant Proposals, Writing about Data, and Gender and Communication.  Find out more about upcoming workshops by visiting our Workshops page.

How can I receive notifications of upcoming workshops?

If you create an account on our appointment server and opt to receive email notifications, you will be added to our email distribution list.  We send emails approximately every 2-3 weeks during the semester with notifications about new workshops and opportunities.  You can also keep posted of upcoming events by liking us on Facebook.

How can I request a workshop for my class, department or group?

If you have a group with need for a particular workshop (for instance, students in your department would like advice on preparing research posters for an upcoming conference), contact us at gcc-cmu@andrew.cmu.edu and let us know about your need.  Depending on your numbers and need, we can create a workshop tailored specifically for your group, or we can offer a general workshop at a time and place convenient for your students.

If you are an instructor who would like to have a workshop during your class time, email us directly with your request at gcc-cmu@andrew.cmu.edu.

GCC Tutoring Services

How are the 50 minutes typically allocated?

While each session is tailored to meet the needs expressed by the individual student, our tutors usually allow the last 10 minutes to be spent on drafting a revision plan.  This revision plan is made in response to the information covered in the session and serves as a pointed guide for how to implement effective, personalized strategies in the subsequent stages of the writing process.

Can I make an appointment even if I don't have a written draft yet?

Yes! At the GCC, our tutors can help you during any stage of the writing process, including brainstorming and free writing. This means that you can come in with just the ideas in your head and use the session time as an opportunity to “talk it out” with a tutor.  Research shows that effective planning can be just as important to the writing process as the actual drafting.

Will you review work that is not part of a classroom assignment?

Yes, we can review work that is not part of a classroom assignment including personal statements, application letters, journal articles, grant proposals and conference papers.

How do I make an appointment with your visual communication specialist?

If you have a project that would benefit from advice on visual design, layout, data visualization, image creation, or diagrams, you can make an appointment with our visual communication specialist, by emailing her directly at kerryi@andrew.cmu.edu.

Can I make an appointment for advice on how to manage a team project or how to communicate with my team members?

Yes!  Since not all of our tutors have expertise in team communication, email us to arrange an appointment to talk about team communication.

Does the GCC offer group tutoring?

Yes. Simply indicate on your appointment form that you need a group appointment so we can reserve the library's group conference room.

GCC Policies

Appointment Cap Policy

Due to the high volume of clients seeking out tutoring services, the GCC is enacting a new appointment cap of 15 appointments per semester. In other words, you can ONLY schedule 15 appointments per semester. If you have used your allotted number of appointments, you may email us to request an additional appointment. We will try to accommodate requests above the 15-appointment cap but cannot guarantee any additional appointments. If you have any questions about this policy, please email us at gcc-cmu@andrew.cmu.edu.

Who can use the GCC?

We serve all CMU students, including undergraduates, graduate students, and doctoral candidates. We work with both native and non-native English speakers on any communication project, including class papers, lab reports, conference presentations, scientific posters, PowerPoint presentations, grant proposals, and dissertations.  CMU faculty, staff, visiting researchers and alumni with a CMU identification card may receive communication tutoring if space is available. To ensure that students have priority for appointment slots, we ask faculty, staff, visiting researchers and alumni to make same-day appointments starting at 8:00 am.

Can a GCC tutor review a piece of writing that is not my own?

While we understand that your friends or colleagues may be unable to come to the GCC on their own, we will not review a piece of writing if it is not written by the student who made the appointment.

Other Questions

Why is the Global Communication Center called the Global Communication Center?

Carnegie Mellon University is a “global” institution. This means that CMU has a student body that is culturally, linguistically, and academically diverse. However, the word “global” also signifies that the research conducted at CMU has a profound impact on our global society, from science and technology to arts and the humanities. Therefore, our unique institution needs a writing center that helps CMU students communicate their world-changing ideas through multiple modes of communication – written, visual and oral – in cross-cultural, global contexts. Thus, we are called the Global Communication Center because our tutors meet the communication needs of diverse students who have equally diverse audiences.

I am interested in tutoring for the GCC. How do I apply?

We hire tutors in the Spring for the following academic year.  All of our tutors must take an intensive, semester-long practicum on tutoring (9 units) that is only offered in the Fall semester.  (One exception: Ph.D. students with previous experience teaching writing can petition to instead take a 6 unit independent study on tutoring.).  Most of our tutors work 5-10 hours per week.  If you are interested in tutoring and are available to take the tutoring practicum in the Fall, send an email expressing your interest to gcc-cmu@andrew.cmu.edu.  We will contact you with our application procedures when we begin the application cycle in early March.