Skip navigation


Certificate in the Teaching of Writing

Sponsored by the Western Massachusetts Writing Project in cooperation with the University of Massachusetts Amherst Department of English and the Division of Continuing Education.

K-12 Educators enrolled in the Teaching of Writing graduate certificate program will receive a strong grounding in writing and reflective teaching, while developing a framework for teaching writing and literacy across the curriculum. 

Participants will gain a deep understanding of literacy learning through a combination of working on their own writing, reflecting on their teaching practices, and reading current research in composition, literacy, and writing pedagogy.

Following the National Writing Project model of "Teachers teaching teachers," participants will share successful writing activities and develop and implement curriculum. They will formulate research questions about their teaching practices and document the effects of their instruction by collecting and analyzing student work.

Core Courses

English 591 A, B (6 credits).

WMWP annual Invitational Summer Institute. Teachers meet four days/week, 8-4:30, for four weeks during July.  Supported by the WMWP directors and each other, the participating teachers write, read of current research and teaching approaches, and engage in teacher inquiry projects, ultimately returning to their schools to implement learning in their classroom practice, share learning with other teachers, and take on leadership roles.  By application to the Western Massachusetts Writing Project.

English 712 (3 credits).
Writing and the Teaching of Writing. An introduction to theoretical perspectives on the teaching of writing and literacy.   Typically offered every other year. 


A range of WMWP courses offered periodically or as one time offerings as English 591: 1-3 credits. Western Massachusetts Writing Project. Variable content, alphas. Sometimes taught on-site.   Examples:  Teachers as Writers, Teacher Inquiry Seminar on Literacy in Content Areas, Teaching Writing and Reading with English Language Learners; ELL Advanced Institute.

Other Electives include courses from the UMass Amherst Departments of Education and English.  They include: 

Education 681: Teaching Reading and Writing at the Secondary Level

Education 684: Reading, Writing, Language, and Thinking

Education 724 (not often taught): Language and the Teaching of Writing

English 891: Composition Theory

English 891: Research on Writing

English 891: Writing and Emerging Technologies


Anne Herrington, Distinguished Professor of English, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Charles Moran, Professor of English, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Bruce M. Penniman, Adjunct Instructor of English, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Susan Biggs, Adjunct Assistant Instructor of English, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Floris Wilma Ortiz-Marrero, Adjunct Instructor of Education, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Assisted by experienced K-12 teachers with masters degrees or doctorates and extensive staff development experience.


Admission to the certificate program is contingent on application to the Summer Institute. For more information, e-mail or call 413-545-5466.