Teaching of Writing Graduate Certificate

Jointly housed in the Division of Teaching and Learning and the Department of English, this Graduate Certificate prepares teachers at all levels (K-12, college, adult) to improve their students’ performance in writing. The program also emphasizes using writing as a means to promote learning in all content areas. All courses provide opportunities for teachers to write, revise, share feedback, and reflect on their own writing development. Based on the National Writing Project’s core belief that teachers of writing must themselves be writers, the Graduate Certificate in the Teaching of Writing brings together sound pedagogy, composition theory, and writing practice.

The Certificate is an 18-hour program through the Gateway Writing Project (GWP); it may also be coordinated with other graduate programs. Certificate courses may be applicable to the M.A. in English with emphasis in composition or to various M.Ed. programs. The GWP Certificate is especially appropriate for post-master’s candidates who wish to pursue a specialization in teaching writing. The Graduate Certificate in the Teaching of Writing requires a 12 semester-hour core of courses developed by the Gateway Writing Project: The GWP invitational institute (6 hrs), a designated “topics” course (3 hrs.), and an exit course (3 hrs.). The Certificate requires a minimum of 12 semester hours at the 5000 or 6000 level or above. Electives (6 hrs.) may be chosen from approved offerings in English or Education.


Applicants must be admitted to Graduate School and be selected by the faculty admissions committee for the Gateway Writing Project’s Certificate in the Teaching of Writing. The committee will review candidates on the basis of an interview, an application essay, and supporting documentation. Criteria include experience teaching writing at any level and academic record, especially in writing and the teaching of writing.


ENGL/SEC ED 4880Writing for Teachers (or an equivalent course in teaching writing )3
Coursework or competency in basic computer application.

Required Core Courses

ENGL 4850/TCH ED 5850Topics in the Teaching of Writing (designated topics)3
ENGL 6880Gateway Writing Project6
TCH ED 6890Seminar in Professional Writing for Teachers (exit course)3
Total Hours12


Electives may be chosen from other Gateway Writing Project offerings or from courses offered by the appropriate academic department with advisor’s approval. These electives must include at least one more 5000-6000 level course.

Suggested electives applicable to an MA in English with writing emphasis:
Modern Linguistics
Theories of Writing
Writing/Reading Theory
Composition Research
Teaching College Writing
Suggested electives applicable to an M.Ed. in Elementary or Secondary Education ELE:
Literacy Acquisition and Learning for Diverse Students
Problems and Research in Teaching Elementary School
Action Research In Education
Total Hours6

Courses in adult and higher education may also be appropriate. For complete information, see The GatewayWriting Project’s Graduate Certificate in Teaching Writing, available from the English Department, the Division of Teaching and Learning, and the GWP Director.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the program, certificate earners will be able to:

  • Write, revise, and prepare writing for publication and identify as a writer.
  • Summarize current theory/research, especially research by teachers of writing.
  • Design curriculum and assessment that uses writing to promote learning in all subject areas.
  • Demonstrate leadership for promoting better writing in school settings.
  • Reflect on own teaching and own writing in service of improving student writing.