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Learning Specialist (Graduate Writing Help) (req4420)

The University of Saskatchewan values diversity, and Indigenous engagement is a strategic priority.

Department: Library
Location: Saskatoon
Status: Term, up to 12 months, with the possibility of extension
Employment Group: ASPA
Full Time Equivalent (FTE): 1.0
Salary Information: The salary range, based on 1.0 FTE, is $62,850.00 - 98,205.00 per annum (Instructional/Phase 2). The starting salary will be commensurate with education and experience.
Posted Date: 6/3/2019
Closing Date: Until Filled.
Number of Openings:

Primary Purpose: Working as part of the University Library’s student learning services team, the graduate writing help specialist is responsible for developing, co-ordinating, and delivering high quality, timely academic writing support to USask graduate students across the disciplines, and acts as lead instructor and co-ordinator for the Canadian Academic Acculturation and Literacy for International Graduate Students (GPS 981) course.

Nature of Work: Reporting to the Head, Student Learning Services, University Library, and working closely with the Writing Help Coordinator, the graduate writing help specialist offers high-quality academic writing support to graduate students, both online and in-person, through tutoring, workshops, presentations, retreats, and writing groups. Success in this position requires collaboration in a team-based work environment with a student-centred approach, as well as self-directed and independent work. The position requires expertise in the area of graduate writing and works independently to develop and analyze instructional content and assess the needs of graduate students.  Frequent interaction and regular collaboration with colleagues, staff, graduate students, and tutors, as well as other university units, faculty, and support staff. The work is detail oriented, and requires responsiveness and consistency of performance. This position incurs heavier workloads at times of high student activity, occasionally requiring work outside normal office hours.


  • Develops instructional material for a range of graduate level writing support programming including the co-ordination and delivery of the College of Grad Studies GPS 981 Canadian Academic Acculturation and Literacy for International Graduate Students course.
  • Delivers high quality academic writing support, both online and in person, to USask graduate students, touching on the diversity of writing skills that are required of them including: managing the writing process; entering the scholarly conversation via various modes of written communication; appreciating disciplinary norms and genres; and writing for various purposes such as preparing grants, CVs, proposals, theses, and dissertations.
  • Offers direct writing support assistance in complex or problematic cases, upon request, sometimes informally advising on academic integrity concerns
  • Ensures that graduate writing help is flexible and adaptable to the current demographics of USask students, staying informed about their needs, expectations, and circumstances through conversation, research, collaboration, communication, and assessment
  • Strengthens student graduate-level writing skills by planning, developing, and delivering writing workshops and presentations, including customized workshops for various departments, programs, and colleges
  • Works closely with campus colleagues to explore and implement a competency and skills based graduate student support program.
  • Assesses program effectiveness and makes recommendations to improve graduate writing support services
  • Works with the Writing Help Coordinator, to select, gather and use data to assess graduate writing help programs and services
  • Liaises and works closely with the Language Centre, College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, Gwenna Moss Centre for Teaching and Learning, Graduate Students Association, and Colleges as necessary
  • Acts as a resource for student service units such as the Aboriginal Students' Centre, Access and Equity Services, and the International Student and Study Abroad Centre,
  • Keeps up with writing studies literature on evidence-based practice
  • Collaborates with library staff and faculty, contributing to the overall mission, vision, and values of the library.
  • Ensures strategic and unit-level planning is followed and understood through regular review of plans and goals
  • Understands the graduate student lifecycle, both at the masters and doctoral levels

Education: A graduate degree in Writing Studies, English, Composition, Rhetoric, Communication Studies, TESOL, Education, Library & Information Studies, or related field. Ph.D. (or ABD completed) preferred.


  • A minimum of three years’ experience in providing writing help at the university level plus experience with university level teaching.
  • English as an Additional Language teaching experience is preferred.
  • Knowledge of best practices, programming, and issues related to teaching and learning, and graduate-level research and writing support.
  • Experience in working one-on-one with students.
  • Multidisciplinary background is a strong asset.
  • Knowledge of Indigenous pedagogies and local cultural protocols is an asset.
  • Scholarly writing and research experience, with a demonstrated record of successful grant writing and peer reviewed scholarship.
  • Demonstrated record of strong teaching experience and skills.


  • Excellent leadership skills;
  • interpersonal skills;
  • time management, organizational and prioritization skills;
  • attention to detail and the ability to work with tight deadlines;
  • excellent oral and written communication;
  • basic technological skills (e.g., word processing, Excel, research databases, Google Drive);
  • creative problem solving skills; professional, enthusiastic, and respectful;
  • ability to work collaboratively in a collegial environment;
  • demonstrated ability to interact effectively with students and diverse range of people;
  • a deep appreciation for teaching and learning.

Review of applications will begin June 17, 2019. 


The University of Saskatchewan is strongly committed to a diverse and inclusive workplace that empowers all employees to reach their full potential. All members of the university community share a responsibility for developing and maintaining an environment in which differences are valued and inclusiveness is practiced. The university welcomes applications from those who will contribute to the diversity of our community. The University must, however, comply with federal immigration requirements. All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadian citizens and permanent residents will be given priority.