The University of Massachusetts Amherst

College, Career & Community Writers Program

Monday, July 6, 2020 - 8:30am to Friday, July 10, 2020 - 3:00pm

The Massachusetts English Language Arts and Literacy Curriculum Framework calls for students to be able to “write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence,” not only in the English classroom, but in content-area classrooms as well. Furthermore, for students to be active and engaged citizens, they must be able to participate in civil and constructive discourse, orally and in writing. The aim of the College, Career, and Community Writers Program (C3WP) is to provide students with the skills necessary to be successful in these endeavors by answering “the contemporary call for respectful argumentative discourse. The instructional resources help teachers and students read critically, explore multiple points of view, and finally take a stand on important issues” (C3WP).

Developed by the National Writing Project, C3WP was field-tested in 22 districts across 10 states. “An independent randomized-assignment study validate[d] the program’s impact on both teacher and student learning” (“For the Sake of Argument,” AFT). Students whose teachers used C3WP materials showed statistically significant growth in four areas of argumentative writing: content, structure, stance, and conventions. Students also “demonstrated greater proficiency in the quality of reasoning and use of evidence in their writing” (SRI International).

Participants will engage with several C3WP mini-units, write and respond to readings, discuss revision strategies, and write their own argumentative pieces. After teaching mini-units, participants will study student work, use formative assessment tools to determine students’ strengths and weaknesses, and decide on the next steps needed to help move their students’ writing forward. Participants will also develop and present workshops using C3WP resources on writing arguments. Upon completion of the program, they will become eligible to facilitate WMWP C3WP professional development programs.

Audience: The institute is designed for upper elementary, middle, and high school teachers, coaches, and curriculum leaders in all content areas.

Summer sessions: An advanced summer institute will meet July 6 - 10, from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., via Zoom

School-year sessions: Monthly 3-hour meetings, September 2020 through June 2021, plus online hours

Location: Summer, online; school-year, TBD

Credit: A total of 135 PDPs (6 graduate credits from UMass Amherst optional: Summer 2020, 3 credits @ $347; Spring 2021, 3 credits @ $347

Instructors: Karen Miele, Grafton High School, and Jane Baer-Leighton, Western Massachusetts Writing Project, along with several guest presenters

Cost: $600 per participant (plus textbook), payable by credit card, check, or school/district purchase order

To register: By purchase order, please contact the WMWP PD Coordinator at By credit card or check, click Program Registration.  Registration is limited to 20.

Questions? Contact Karen Miele at or Jane Baer-Leighton at

Download the institute flyer: