Teaching Writing Graduate Certificate

Empowering Educators: Graduate Certificate in Teaching Writing

Western Mass Writing Project Group

Our 15-credit Graduate Certificate in Teaching Writing is designed to support ELA and Education teachers who are practicing and/or have received initial certification, and/or who seek to improve their abilities to offer K-12 writing instruction. 

The Graduate Certificate in Teaching Writing is affordable and responsive to local workforce needs. We invite you to earn the certificate itself or use the certificate credits toward a master’s degree for initial or professional licensure through WSU’s Department of English.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes
  • Drawing from composition and education pedagogy, our certificate exposes participants to the best practices in teaching writing and in using writing to motivate inquiry across disciplines. 
  • We focus on supporting your teaching so you can support your students in producing public, academic, and creative writing. 
  • While learning about multiple literacies and diverse learners associated with writing and writing practice, we also help you help students practice invention strategies, use writing to learn, support effective peer review, engage students in deep revision, and help students to make informed rhetorical choices in writing. 
  • Starting with our Summer Leadership Institute (SLI) that introduces you to the Western Massachusetts Writing Project (WMWP) and our vast community of teacher-researchers, you will take three required courses and two electives to earn the certificate.

Program Details

Learn about certificate entry, courses offered, transfer expectations, and completion timeline.

Entry to the Certificate
  • Successful completion of the Summer Leadership Institute and presentation at the workshop as part of the student's Teacher Action Research project.
  • Submit a Graduate Certificate in Teaching Writing application at https://connect.westfield.ma.edu/apply
Courses Offered

Required (9 credits):

  • ENGL 502 SLI: Summer Learning Institute as part of the WMWP (must be taken first in the sequence; offered each summer at WSU) (3 credits)
  • ENGL 501: Teacher Action Research Project (stems from project started in SLI and culminates with participant’s presentation at the WMWP Best Practices in the Teaching of Writing Spring Conference) (3 credits)
  • ENGL 583: Issues in Teaching Writing: offered each spring semester at WSU
    (3 credits)

Electives (offered on a rotating basis. 6 total elective credits required):

  • ENGL 613: Creative Writing Pedagogy for K-12 ELA Teachings (3 credits)
  • ENGL 614: Nonfiction, Critical literacy, writing in the 21st century (3 credits)
  • ENGL 616: Writing Centers for Middle and Secondary Education (3 credits)
  • ENGL 612: Special Topics in Teaching Writing (3 credits)

Total Credits for Certificate: 15

*Students who recently took English 383 at Westfield State can choose to take an additional elective course instead of English 583.

Transfer Expectations

Transfer Expectations 

  • Those who have successfully taken the Summer Leadership Institute and Teacher Action Research course within the past 4 years can apply those six credits toward our degree and Teaching Writing Certificate. 
  • Three credits in graduate-level writing pedagogy coursework from other colleges may be transferred into the certificate program; a minimum of 12 credits of coursework that will be applied to the certificate must be satisfied by courses taken at Westfield State University.
Completion Timeline

Both the Summer Leadership Institute and the Teacher Action Research project are Pass/Fail and require successful completion.  Students must complete the remaining three courses (9 credit hours) with a minimum grade point average of 3.0 to earn the certificate.  A student who receives a grade of F or two grades below B- will need to schedule a meeting with the Western Mass Writing Project Coordinator, Dr. Jennifer DiGrazia. 

Students must complete the Graduate Certificate Program within six years; certificate students may move toward completion at their own pace within this time period.

Questions? We're here to help.

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Contact Us

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For Questions on Course Advising

Jennifer DiGrazia
English Professor, Co-Director of Western Mass Writing Project (WMWP)