Who can participate in the Illinois State Writing Project?

Most of our participants are teachers, but we welcome principals, assistant principals, special education coordinators, and any other individuals who have a vested interest in improving the quality of writing and writing instruction in area schools.

Since this is a “writing” project, do only Language Arts teachers participate?

Absolutely not! Although many of the teachers in the ISWP are language arts teachers at the K—12 level, we routinely have teachers whose specialties are as diverse as music and math, art and history. We also welcome college-level teachers from any discipline. We believe that it’s the responsibility of all educators to teach writing the best they can, and we hope to foster the growth and development of all teachers.

Sounds great! How do I apply fo the Summer Institute?

That’s easy — just fill out an application and tell us about your experiences as a writer and/or as a writing teacher.

But is it expensive?

Those selected to participate in the Summer Institute who are already enrolled in a graduate degree program or the Post-Baccalaureate Graduate Certificate in Writing are eligible for a full tuition waiver. For these students, the only expenses are fees and parking. The applications of non-matriculated students are accepted, but these individuals are responsible for the full cost of tuition, as well as fees and parking.

What’s this Post-Bac. Certificate in the Teaching of Writing?

The English department at Illinois State University offers six-course graduate certificate program for middle and high school teachers in all disciplines. The first of its kind in the country, the certificate program consists of six courses:

  • 409.01 — Major Figures in the Teaching of Writing in High School/Middle School
  • 409.02 —Teaching of Grammar in High School/Middle School
  • 409.03 — Writing Assessment in High School/Middle School
  • 409.04 —Using Technology to Teach Writing in High School/Middle School
  • 409.05 —Applying Rhetoric to the Teaching of Writing in High School/Middle School
  • 409.06 — llinois State Writing Project

These courses can be taken for certificate credit, and they can also count toward a master’s or doctoral degree in English. We typically offer one 409 course each semester in rotation. It is possible to substitute an appropriate 400-level Composition /Rhetoric course for any of the 409 courses.

Since the Summer Institute is listed as a graduate course, does that mean it counts toward a master’s or doctoral degree?

Definitely! Because it’s a 400-level course, it would count in both master’s and doctoral programs of study. If you’ve already started your master’s or Ph.D., then you should see your graduate director in order to figure out how to “count” the Summer Institute as part of your coursework. Just as good, of course, is that the ISWP Summer Institute counts as one of the six required courses for the Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in the Teaching of Writing.

For more information on how to take courses beyond the Writing Project, contact Dr. Aaron Smith, Director of Graduate Studies for the English Department.