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The Cal State Northridge Writing Project

"American education will never realize its potential as an engine of opportunity and economic growth until a writing revolution puts language and communication in their proper place in the classroom. Writing is how students connect the dots in their knowledge. Although many models of effective ways to teach writing exist, both the teaching and practice of writing are increasingly shortchanged throughout the school and college years. Writing, always time-consuming for student and teacher, is today hard-pressed in the American classroom. Of the three 'Rs,' writing is clearly the most neglected. "

- The Neglected "R": The Need for a Writing Revolution

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Cal State Northridge Writing Project
Kathleen D. Rowlands, Director
Michael D. Eisner College of Education
18111 Nordhoff Street
Northridge, CA 91330-8265
writing.project@csun.edu
818-677-2534

What Can the Cal State Northridge Writing Project Do for Your School or Your District?

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Download our current brochure here.

Professional Development for you and your staff : The importance of strong literacy skills is a rarely disputed commonplace. Writing Project sites nationwide have a long history of providing useful and cost-effective professional development to teachers across grade levels and in all disciplines. With the adoption of the California Common Core State Standards (CCCSS), schools and districts across the state are turning to their local Writing Project sites to help teachers prepare for the increased literacy demands of the Smarter Balance assessments that are scheduled to be in place in 2014.

With experienced k-12 Teacher Consultants in mathematics, history, science, technology, and English, The Cal State Northridge Writing Project is well-positioned to work with teachers in all disciplines as they adopt effective, classroom-tested instructional strategies to meet those increased demands.

We would be delighted to meet with you to discuss the professional development needs of your school or district. We are committed to developing long-term, productive relationships. After we discuss your needs, collaboratively we can develop specific programs to fit your students and your teachers.

One way administrators can provide reasonably-priced professional development for their teachers is by nominating them to become a Fellow in our annual Invitational Summer Institute. In addition, schools can support teacher attendance at one of our many regularly scheduled events and workshops: Improving Student Academic Writing (ISAW), The Write to Literacy Conference, Content Area Literacy Study Teams, and Saturday Seminars.

Our Information Fact Sheet and our Professional Development Overview provide detailed information about our programs.

Government Mandates and the Cal State Northridge Writing Project
As an affiliate of the California and National Writing Projects, we are authorized by the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act and the California State Board of Education to provide professional development.

As an affiliate of the California Subject Matter Project and the California Writing Project, the Cal State Northridge Writing Project is an AB 472 provider for the 80-hour professional development follow-up component to the 40-hour English/Language Arts instructional materials training. The Cal State Northridge Writing Project professional development programs provide:

  • Research-based methods in the teaching of writing;
  • Standards-aligned professional development that districts can use to meet HOUSSE requirements;
  • Support for the literacy instruction called for by the CCCSS.
  • Intensive support for improving student achievement and preparing students for high-stakes state and university writing assessments;
  • Special attention to the academic needs of English learners;
  • Collaboration with schools and districts to meet adequate yearly progress;
  • Designs for comprehensive, effective writing programs; and
  • Strategies for using technology as a tool to teach and improve writing
  • As an affiliate of the National Writing Project, the Cal State Northridge Writing Project is:

  • Authorized under NCLB, Title II, Part C as providers of standards-aligned professional development for teachers and administrators; and
  • Eligible for funding under:
    1. Title I, Part A: professional development and mentoring programs for Title I schools and teachers
      Title II, Part A: professional development for helping teachers meet NCLB teacher requirements AND professional development in subject-matter knowledge, improving teaching skills, assisting teachers to use California’s academic content standards and student achievement standards, and state assessments to improve student achievement.
      Title II, Part D: professional development focused on enhancing education through technology.
      Title III, Part A: professional development focused on improving instruction for English learners
      Title VII, Part A: professional development focused on improving the instruction of Native American students.

    The California Writing Project professional development model is a model to which we enthusiastically adhere. It is validated by research and by studies of student achievement at the local and national levels:

  • Documenting the Effectiveness of the California Writing Project
  • Summary of Evaluation and Research Findings (Inverness Research Associates)
  • Summary of Research Findings: Redesigning Professional Development (Ann Lieberman and Diane R. Wood)
  • NWP in Brief: Improving Student Writing Through Effective Classroom Practices
  • National Writing Project Program Description
  • Download our brochure to share with your teachers. And check back with us in late December. If we have been funded, you will see a list of possible Professional Development opportunites that we are prepared to provide. Or email us now with a query about a professional learning experience you'd like to provide your teachers. With our wide range of area contacts, it is likely that we will be able to offer the experience you are looking for at a reasonable cost. And don't underestimate the power of joining your teachers. Understanding the fundamentals of writing well--and teaching others to write well--will certainly help you support the development of effective classroom practices.

    Helping students write better: Students who write more typically write better. Yet with the many demands on classroom time, teachers are not always able to provide students with as many opportunities to write as they would like. (Some theorists suggest that students should write four or five times more than any teacher could possibly respond to in order to grow as writers!) The Write Stuff--our annual Young Writer's Camps--are designed to augment the time students have for writing in a cheerful and productive instructional environment. Distribute our flyer to your teachers and your parents. Encourage students to participate. Or think about providing a specialized Young Writer's Camp on your own campus. If you provide the classroom space, we can provide the instructors and the curriculum. Once again, email us with your request, and we can develop the program or programs to fit your (and your students!) needs.