Drew University Launches Teaching Writing Certificate Program

Students may earn the certificate while completing their bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree

June 2023 – Drew University has launched a teaching writing certificate program, designed to provide teachers of all levels with focused study in the pedagogy of teaching writing. Individuals can pursue the certificate as a stand-alone program, and can apply the courses taken to Drew’s Master of Education (MEd), Master of Arts & Letters (MLitt), and Doctor of Arts & Letters (DLitt). 

The earned credits will satisfy 12 credits of the literacy and technology specialization for the MEd, 12 credits for the MLitt, and the teaching writing specialization for the DLitt. Drew students can earn the certificate while completing their bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree. The certificate represents depth of study in the area and does not lead to certification to teach in public schools. However, certified teachers can apply the credits to advancement on the salary guide.

“The curriculum, learning experience, and classroom culture in the teaching writing certificate program are enriching, engaging, interactive, and transformative,” said Jenna Corraro G’23. “It has influenced my strategies and techniques in my career as an educator, instructional designer, and even shaped my personal growth in profound ways. I wish this type of instruction was embedded in every school and academic institution for all learners to experience.” 

The certificate offers flexible and inclusive pathways. Students are able to earn the certificate through graduate credits or through a combination of graduate credit and professional development hours offered by the Drew Writing Project and Digital Literacies Collaborative

The Drew Writing Project and Digital Literacies Collaborative are excited to partner with the College of Arts and Sciences to offer this certificate,” said Professor of Teacher Education and Program Director Kristen Turner. 

“We invite educators of all levels to deepen their understanding of the role of writing in our lives and to develop their knowledge and skills in teaching writing to others. As we celebrate our fifth anniversary as a site of the National Writing Project, we hope this certificate will provide opportunities for our Teacher Consultants to continue their work as teacher-writers and for educators in our school partnership programs to continue their learning beyond the professional development offered in their schools.”

The graduate courses are offered in-person, online, and blended formats, depending on the semester and the course.

“I am pursuing the Certificate in Teaching Writing because, as a long-time writing tutor and life-time reader, I find writing to be an essential aspect of communication,” said Dorothy Helmken C’22, G’24. 

“In my pursuit of a career in education, writing is a universal requirement regardless of specialization and can assist with making connections across content areas. With the certificate in teaching writing, I can continue to connect my love of education and science together as I work with students to understand their own unique writing styles.” 

The teaching writing certificate is also available to undergraduate students in the College of Liberal Arts who serve as Writing Fellows in Drew Seminars and Writing Intensive courses. Writing Fellows may simultaneously enroll in a practicum through Drew’s Caspersen School of Graduate Studies, where they deepen their ability to work with writers and theorize their practice. 

“Drew’s Writing Fellows program is about to begin its second decade at Drew, and I am delighted that we can invite Fellows to deepen their knowledge and understanding of writing and teaching as they earn this certificate,” said Professor of English and Director of Writing Across the Curriculum Sandra Jamieson. 

Their selection as Writing Fellows serves as an endorsement of their writing and collaborative skills that impresses future employers and has helped students earn teaching assistantships in graduate school,” continued Jamieson. “Recognizing this in a formal certificate emphasizes the academic component of their work in addition to the immersive experience.”

“I chose to pursue the certificate because it allowed me to take graduate-level classes during my undergraduate career,” said Cameron Orefice C’23. “The pursuit of the certificate helped me stand out in applications for graduate school. It’s a good program for anyone interested in teaching writing at any level because it shows how writing is a skill that can be taught and further developed in many ways, not just in the college classroom.” 


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