Call for Proposals

CAPTA 2017: People, Passion, and Purpose

A Conference for Peer Tutors, Program Directors, and School Administrators

December 8, 2017

George Mason University in Arlington, Virginia

A downloadable PDF version of this document is available here.
Our proposal evaluation rubric is available here.

The proposal submission window has closed.

Call For Proposals

Building on the success of previous CAPTA conferences and in keeping with our core values of student leadership and a peer learning model, we invite tutors, directors, and administrators –individuals, pairs, or small groups– to propose presentations for our upcoming conference. Conference presentations are intended to examine tutoring practices, to draw upon writing and peer tutoring center research and theory, and to imagine possibilities as a way to build scholarship in the field and to promote effective practice.

CAPTA has grown out of a cohort of secondary school peer writing centers in the greater Washington, DC, area. Our first Secondary School Writing Center conference in 2012 hosted 135 tutors from 20 schools in the immediate Washington, DC, area. Since then, new centers have opened in numerous schools, each with its own unique approach designed to best serve its student population, and existing centers have sought community and connection through our teacher-directed organization. CAPTA 2016, our fifth annual conference, hosted nearly 500 tutors, directors, and administrators from 48 middle schools, high schools, and universities as far north as New Hampshire, as far south as South Carolina, and as far west as Ohio. As the secondary school peer tutoring movement has grown, the purpose, the approaches to tutoring, the methods of implementation, the variety of students served, and the focus of these centers has evolved.

This year, we invite you to consider the many different connotations of the words in this year’s conference theme: People, Passion, and Purpose. In what ways you can offer ideas, insights, or strategies that relate to people, passion, and purpose within your center, school, and community?

We invite novice and experienced tutors, directors, and administrators to submit proposals to present at CAPTA 2017. This year, we are pleased to be adding  Snapshot Sessions for middle school tutor presenters. No matter the format, your proposal should be grounded in sound research and theory, rather than just your experience. The most successful presentations are interactive (rather than lecture), ask participants to engage in some sort of activity, and include a visual component, such as a Prezi, PowerPoint, GoogleSlides, or a handout. Consider what would engage you as an audience member. Please make sure your presentation will fit within the allocated time frame. If your proposal is accepted, you must plan to fill your given time slot.

Please submit your proposal no later than midnight EST on Friday, April 7, 2017. We will notify you of the status of your proposal via the email address you have provided by Monday, May 15, 2017. You will be asked to confirm your acceptance and commit to attending the CAPTA Conference no later than June 15, 2017.

Conference Session Formats

This year’s conference presentation formats include:

  1. Snapshot Session (for middle school presenters only) (10 minutes; 1-2 presenters): One individual or a pair of presenters share(s) strategies or information about a specific topic related to middle school writing centers for 10 minutes as part of a 45-minute session designed specifically for an audience of middle school tutors and directors. Just as with a Feature Presentation, your presentation should offer a clear perspective on a specific topic or offer an approach to addressing a question or challenge encountered by your center.
  2. Feature Presentation (20 minutes; 1-2 presenters): One individual or a pair of presenters deliver(s) a 20-minute presentation that offers a clear perspective on a specific topic or offers an approach to addressing a question or challenge encountered by your center. Presentations will be paired with another presentation with a similar focus to offer audience members varying viewpoints on a topic as part of a longer, 45-minute session.
  3. Panel Presentation (45 minutes; 2-4 presenters): A group of presenters collaborates to offer various perspectives on the same general topic or different approaches to addressing a question or challenge. Successful panels engage the audience in collaborative exercises and provide time for small-group and whole-group discussions at various points throughout the presentation.   You are encouraged to collaborate with tutors from other schools!
  4. Workshop (45 minutes; 2-4 presenters): Session leaders guide participants through an examination of an essential question or a challenge many centers may face in an interactive workshop-style format. Successful workshops involve activities wherein participants creating a plan or a product to bring back to and implement in their center.


For Feature Presentations, Panel Presentations, and Workshops:

  • A title that clearly reflects the content of your presentation
  • The format your presentation will take
  • The general topic of your presentation
  • A summary of the content of your presentation (200 words)
  • A description of the research upon which your presentation is based and of how you will incorporate the research into your presentation.  (100-200 words)
  • A detailed outline of how time will be allocated in your presentation
  • An abstract that will appear in the the conference program (50 words)

For Snapshot Sessions (middle school presenters only):

  • A title that clearly reflects the content of your presentation
  • The format your presentation will take
  • The general topic of your presentation
  • A description of the content of your presentation. What information will you share? What research or experiences is your presentation based on?  (100 words)
  • A clear outline of what how time will be allocated in your presentation
  • An abstract that will appear in the conference program (50 words)

Guiding Questions

FOR TUTORS: Who are the people you serve? How have you contributed to or reshaped your center’s purpose? How does your center blend the passion of your tutors with the needs of the people you serve? Some guiding questions to consider when choosing a focus for your presentation include:

  • How does the mission or vision of your center embody its people, purpose, and passion? How have you, your fellow tutors, your director(s), and/or other stakeholders in your school community worked together to define or redefine your center’s purpose?
  • How has your center defined or refined its purpose to reflect the needs of the people you serve and support? How has your center met the needs of students, teachers, and administrators in your school? What strategies made these changes successful?
  • For newer centers: what challenges have you faced in implementing your center? How have you worked to recruit a passionate group of tutors, to define your center’s purpose, and to better meet the needs of stakeholders in your school?
  • For more established centers: what challenges have you faced as your center has grown? How have you revised your approach to peer tutoring, to student body outreach, and to sustaining your relationships with teachers and administrators in your school? What specific strategies have helped you to address these challenges?
  • What strategies has your center developed to help tutees/clients refine their approach to writing/reading/thinking/speaking/learning?
  • How has your program connected with specific populations, programs, and people at your school, such as ESOL, AP/IB/DE, AVID, special education and learning disabilities, etc.?
  • How has your center built relationships with people outside of your immediate school building,  such as other centers, universities, non-profits, and/or elementary,  middle, and high schools?  How are these connections or partnerships sustained?
  • How has being a peer tutor helped you to see other aspects of your life differently? How has being a tutor and/or being involved with your center helped you to find your passion and/or your purpose?
  • What strategies have you and your fellow tutors developed to help your tutees/clients through the revision process?

FOR PROGRAM DIRECTORS AND ADMINISTRATORS: In addition to your take on any of the questions listed above, you might consider these additional topics for proposing presentations or workshops tailored to an audience of other directors and administrators. Consider what other centers could learn from the successes and challenges you’ve experienced at your site, for example:

  • Directors: Strategic planning, tutor training, data and research, advocacy, networking and partnerships, resource development, problem solving, alliance building
  • Administrators: Supporting and sustaining centers at the department, school and district level; leveraging the work of centers to support learning and school improvement goals

NOTE: You are encouraged, but not required, to include the conference theme of people, passion, and purpose in your proposal.

Proposal Submission Guidelines & Instructions
AVAILABLE RESOURCES: For more information about how to write a proposal, to learn more about how to incorporate research into your proposal, to review our proposal evaluation rubric, and to see examples of effective proposals from past years, visit

DEADLINE: The proposal submission window has closed. You will be asked to confirm your acceptance and commit to attending the CAPTA Conference no later than June 15, 2017.


NOTE: Submitting a proposal indicates that, if accepted, you plan to attend and present at CAPTA 2017.

CONTACT: Please email Kate Hutton ( with any questions about the tutor presentations and Amber Jensen ( with any questions about the director/administrator presentations.