CSUN Writing Project

  • CSUN Writing Project

Invitational Summer Institute


Hand writingIsn’t it time you did something for yourself—both personally and professionally? If you are accepted as a Fellow in the Invitational Summer Institute of the CSUN Writing Project, that is what happens! We seek a diverse group—teachers and administrators, K-college in all content areas—of no more than 12 participants interested in writing and teaching writing. Perhaps YOU could be selected as one of that group!

What is in it for you? When Inverness Research has asked our summer Fellows, “What do you think is the most important thing you gained from the Summer Institute and why?” their answers over the years have been enthusiastic. One wrote, “I became more confident in my own writing.” Another said, “Seeing that there is a dedicated cadre of writing teachers in this area has inspired me tremendously.” A third commented, “This entire experience was a transformative one for me both professionally and personally.  I gained access to my inner writer, the teacher I really want to be, and I met some amazing teachers.” Read teachers' answers to that important question HERE.

The next Invitational Summer Institute will be held in 2023, check back for details!

For non-English teachers, developing a deep understanding of disciplinary literacies has become especially important with the adoption of the California Common Core State Standards. A math teacher wrote, "I think I gained an understanding of the multiple ways I can incorporate writing into my teaching. Being a non-English teacher, it was difficult to envision incorporating writing into math, but now I have a more comprehensive view of how to do this successfully." A middle school science teacher concurs: "Writing in science has become non-existent. Because of the time crunch of covering standards and aligning to our unit plans, writing is often times discouraged.  Attending this summer institute has allowed me to look at writing with new eyes.  There is an importance to expressing key concepts through writing to show there is learning." 

One Fellow thought that he “gained different perspectives on writing and teaching writing.” Understanding writing and writing instruction deeply enabled a Fellow to observe, “This experience helped me break out of the traditional, rigid structures of writing that I had insisted on my students to learn.”

Highlights of the Invitational Summer Institute and benefits of affiliation with the CSUN Writing Project:

Participants come together for an Orientation Dinner then meet five days a week for three weeks, and join again for a follow-up meeting in the Fall. Participants write, share their practices as writing teachers, and read and talk about writing and writing instruction.

There is no charge for the Institute, and participants earn a $200 stipend for presenting at one of the Pajama PD workshops held during Fall/Spring. In addition, participants can purchase 3 or 6 CEU's from Tseng College. Participants enrolled in a Master's program at Northridge can use the Summer Invitational for an independent study (3 units) with one of the Directors.

Upon completion of the Summer Institute, Fellows become Teacher Consultants, joining thousands of educational professionals affiliated with more than 200 Writing Project sites nationwide.

For the first year after completing the Invitational Summer Institute our Teacher Consultants are invited to participate in the additional professional development opportunities we offer at Cal State Northridge at no cost. These opportunities might include Open Institutes, a Visioning Retreat, writing or inquiry groups.

We are affiliated with both the National Writing Project (http://www.nwp.org ) and the California Writing Project (http://www.californiawritingproject.org/). These affiliations offer our Teacher Consultants many opportunities to participate in state and national professional experiences. Depending upon resources, the site annually supports travel to appropriate professional meetings and conferences for interested Teacher Consultants. For example, one summer we supported three Teacher Consultants for a week-long workshop at the Library of Congress. Another summer several Teacher Consultants joined others from sites around the nation in a National Writing Project Scoring Conference in Chicago. All expenses were paid, and they earned a $500 stipend.

Teacher Consultants enjoy many opportunities for work and professional learning. Selected Teacher Consultants are recruited for paid positions teaching in Young Writer's Camps or participating as presenters and facilitators for in-service activities.

The Invitational Summer Institute is at the center of every Writing Project site and the starting point for developing a strong group of Teacher Consultants, ready to take their expertise as writers and as teachers of writing back to their schools, their districts, and into the community. This event brings together a selected group of teachers, Pre-K through university in all subject areas who provide application evidence of their commitment to improving student learning through improved writing instruction.

Teachers as Writers: A central writing project belief from the earliest days of the Bay Area Writing Project is that effective teachers of writing are teachers who have experienced being writers themselves. Participants will have extensive time and support to write in a variety of genres for a range of purposes and audiences and to share their writing with a group of peers. Grounded in the practice of writing, participants will return to their classrooms well-positioned to help their students develop as writers.

Teachers Teaching Teachers: A second foundational Writing Project tenet is that effective teachers are the best teachers of other teachers. Much of the Invitational Summer Institute experience is built on this belief. With the support of the Directors, Summer Fellows will choose a writing lesson they have used successfully with their own students and develop it into a model lesson to present to their summer colleagues. Experiencing and discussing a broad range of teacher-led lessons will help all Fellows broaden their range of effective instructional practices.

Practice Grounded in Theory: During the Invitational Summer Institute, participants will learn what others have learned and shared about writing and about effective practices in the teaching of writing. Common readings as well as readings in self-selected areas of interest, the contributions of guest presenters, and the emergent discussions will help participants deepen their knowledge base and encounter new ideas to spark and challenge their thinking.

Teacher Inquiry as the Center of Teacher Professionalism. During the Invitational Summer Institute participants develop an understanding of, and appreciation for, the power of teacher inquiry as a means for improving student learning in all classrooms.

Is 2023 your summer to join us?  Give yourself the opportunity to develop as a writer and as a professional. We will be offering fellowships to a cadre of no more than 12 teachers and administrators, K-university from all content areas.

Applying for the 2023 CSUN Writing Project Invitational Summer Institute? We will begin accepting applications for the Invitational Summer Institute in early 2023, details to come. Email us with questions.