Specialist Certificate: Teaching Writing and Literacy

Are you trying to include more quality writing in your curriculum? Do the writing elements of the PA Core Standard concern you? No matter what subjects you teach, Penn State’s Specialist Certificate: Teaching Writing and Literacy is for you!

This 15-credit program is similar to the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s range of educational endorsements. The Writing Specialist Certificate is designed to afford educators deep study in all aspects of teaching literacy. It provides the teacher with real-world skills for implementing the writing requirements of the PA Core Standards.

Every day technology is changing how we communicate. Thanks to social media, texting, emails, blogging, digital publishing, and the Internet, the role of the written word has become more important than ever. People will make decisions based on how we present ourselves in our writing. By adopting standards that require School Districts to incorporate writing at every level and in every subject, law makers and state officials have stressed just how important it is for our children to be able to write well.

Benefits of Certificate Programs

Certificate programs provide a flexible, convenient, short-term opportunity for pro­fessional development, self-enhance­ment, and earning a formal academic credential from Penn State. Credit certificate program courses can “step up,” or be applied, to academic degrees at Penn State.

Required Core Courses

The program combines twelve core credits plus a 3-credit elective concentration for a 15-credit certificate. These courses may “step up” as electives into Penn State Harrisburg’s Master of Education in Teaching and Curriculum.

EDUC 452: Teaching Writing 
The first course in the series offers techniques for teaching the writing process, kindergarten through grade 12, including writing in the content areas and incorporating the Common Core State Standards. This course is a prerequisite for EDUC 463, 425 & 477. (3 credits)

EDUC 463: Teaching with Modern Web Technologies
This course relates educational theory and practice to applications of the modern Web, applying content from educational foundations, curriculum, and research. Prerequisite: EDUC 452. (3 credits)

EDUC 425: Literacy Assessment
This course emphasizes alternative literacy measures for assessing writing, specifically focusing on portfolio and performance evaluation for classroom and large scale assessment. Prerequisite: EDUC 452. (3 credits)

EDUC 477: Teaching Struggling Readers and Writers
This course offers a comprehensive overview of learning problems and effective strategies for teaching K–12 students who have difficulties reading and writing. Prerequisite: EDUC 452. (3 credits)

Electives (choose one)

EDUC 432: Children’s Literature in Teaching Writing
Participants will learn methods for transferring writing skills and literary devices from literature to student writing in all subject areas. No prerequisites. (3 credits)

ENGL 472: Current Theories of Writing and Reading
Investigates models of textual production and reception current within English studies.  (3 credits)

EDUC 464: Technology and the Learning Process
This course examines and evaluates the relationship between technology-based resources for writing and learning theories through design, implementation, and evaluation of online instructional modules. No prerequisites. (3 credits)

EDUC 400: Diversity and Cultural Awareness Practices in the K–12 Classroom
This course addresses diversity, cultural awareness and sensitivity about cultures, concepts and methods in society, communities and educational settings. No prerequisites. (3 credits)

EDUC 416: Teaching Secondary English and the Humanities
This course is designed to prepare candidates with the objectives, content, methods and knowledge necessary to teach English in today’s secondary classrooms in middle and high schools. The pedagogical approaches, dispositions, and skills appropriate for adolescent learners will be highlighted. (3 credits)

EDUC 471: Best Practices in Literacy
An application of best literacy practices to classroom instruction and assessment of reading, writing, listening, and speaking. (3 credits)

EDUC 465: Serving Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CLD) Learners 
The course provides teachers with knowledge, understandings, and skills to engage culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) students in mainstream classrooms. (3 credits)

Who Should Attend?

This program is designed for K–12 teachers in all content areas including ESL, gifted and special education. Literacy coaches, paraprofessionals, curriculum coordinators and school administrators will also find this program of tremendous value. (3 credits)

Admission to Certificate Programs

This is a post-baccalaureate certificate designed specifically for people working in education. A bachelor‘s degree from an accredited institution is required to enroll in this certificate. If you are interested in enrolling, you will need to apply for the certificate by visiting the Graduate School online.

Financial Aid

Information on financial aid eligibility for part-time students enrolled in credit certificate programs is available by contacting Diana Coslett at Penn State Wilkes-Barre at (570) 675-9242 or by visiting our Financial Aid web page.

Location and Delivery

Courses will take place at the Penn State Wilkes-Barre campus in Dallas.

For More Information

For more information or to register, contact Continuing Education at 570‑675-9253 or [email protected]