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Connect with a CAL Coach



CAL coaches can mentor and support you through all types of academic challenges, including decoding an assignment, coping with distractions, using Turabian, developing a thesis statement, writing in English as a Second Language, and more.


Send your coach the assignment guidelines and, if applicable, your draft, outline, and/or other documents you want to review together. You can do this through the WC Online appointment booking form. See our WC Online video tutorial for more details.



To do this you will need to:
  • Create an account on CAL’s WC Online portal by clicking “Register for an account” and completing the form. Once you have submitted the registration form, log in to your account.
  • Choose the appointment day, time, and length that suits you on the WC Online calendar and click on the corresponding box. (See more details in the “Coaching Options” section below.)
  • Complete the appointment booking form that appears in a new window, including selecting your preferred coaching mode. (See more details in the “Coaching Options” section below.)
  • When your appointment time arrives, follow the instructions for accessing your appointment (Needed for video chat mode only. See more details in the “Coaching Options” section below.).

View CAL’s WC Online video tutorial to learn more!

Coaching Options

Appointments are either thirty (30) or sixty (60) minutes long. You may schedule your appointment any time.

CAL offers four types of appointments:

  • In-Person. If you’d like to meet face-to-face with a coach, schedule an appointment on WC Online and come to the CAL suite of offices in the John Bulow Campbell Library at the time of your appointment.
  • Videochat (synchronous). If you want to meet with a coach conversationally and in real-time, choose this option. Follow the instructions in WC Online to access your video chat appointment at your scheduled time.
  • Document Review (asynchronous). If you want to get written feedback on your document, choose this option. A CAL coach will review your document for exactly the amount of time you reserve and return it to you with comments. You do not need to be present for this appointment type. Documents should be uploaded to the appointment or emailed to the coach in advance of the appointment’s start time.
  • Drop-in. If you do not have a prior booking but see an open slot on the calendar, choose this option for any of the above coaching types. Email the coach with a drop-in appointment request, and they will add you to the calendar.
    (Note: You can book an appointment normally up until the time the appointment slot begins in WC Online, so if you have not yet exceeded your 90-minute limit for the week, we recommend booking the appointment normally rather than emailing a drop-in request.)

View CAL’s WC Online video tutorial to learn more!


All our CAL team members are equipped to help you at any stage of the process with any issue related to academic literacy; however, each coach also brings a unique set of skills and experiences! Learn about their areas of expertise below to see who could be the best conversation partner for you.

Dr. Robert Griffin – Director

Robert (Rob) Griffin is the Director of the Center for Academic Literacy at Columbia Theological Seminary. He earned a Ph.D. in Linguistics from Indiana University—Bloomington where he specialized in Applied Linguistics and TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages). He also completed two MA degrees at Indiana in Germanic Studies and Applied Linguistics respectively. His research has focused on issues related to Second Language Acquisition, Phonology and Interlanguage Pragmatics as well as TESOL and Writing Center Studies. Griffin has co-published an article with Kathleen Bardovi-Harlig on Pragmatics-related concerns among non-native speakers of English for SYSTEM along with other articles on Gamified Instruction as well as an analysis of Language, Sport and Civic Responsibility. Dr. Griffin has also been actively involved with Citizenship English programming in Oklahoma City after spearheading two grants from the Oklahoma Department of Libraries and US Citizenship and Immigration Services.

From 2004-2019, Griffin was Professor of TESOL at Oklahoma City University, directing the MA Program from 2006-2013. In 2017, he became an adjunct faculty member in the MA Professional Program in TESOL at the University of Oklahoma. His teaching has concentrated on courses in Studies in Linguistics, Psycholinguistics, American English Phonology, Research and Writing, ESL Assessment and the TESOL Practicum to name a few. He is Past President of Oklahoma TESOL and has been actively involved in the TESOL International Association as Chair of the Forum on Cuban Affairs and a member of the TESOL Standards Professional Council. He has presented on topics related to teacher education, second language acquisition and writing center studies at both domestic and international venues.

Recently, Griffin relocated to Atlanta with his family to accept an appointment as the ELL Specialist in the CommLab at the Georgia Institute of Technology where he piloted an academic language support program for matriculated students. He also served as a faculty member in the School of Literature, Media and Communication where he taught skills-based courses for international graduate students seeking help with their English language proficiency.

Rob enjoys assisting students with their academic endeavors while facilitating their needs as successful professionals in the future. He looks forward to meeting you in the CAL suite!


Feedback and Second Language Writing Development

L2 Phonology

Interlanguage Pragmatics


Writing Center Studies

Courtney Ariel Bowden – CAL Coach

Courtney Ariel Bowden (she/her) is a songwriter, writer, and storyteller. She graduated from the University of California at Santa Barbara with a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature, Vanderbilt University with a Master of Divinity and certificates in Religion, Arts & Contemporary Culture, and the Carpenter Program in Religion, Gender & Sexuality. She is currently a doctoral student at Emory University. She identifies as an artist-scholar who shows up learning & unlearning in community.