Writing is a skill that applies to many subjects, not just English.
Teachers and current students interested in learning how to incorporate writing instruction into their classrooms can choose from several correspondence programs that allow them to take courses without being on campus. The programs are largely online and consist of single courses, certificates or master’s degrees.
Individual Courses in Writing Instruction
Some colleges and universities offer single courses in writing instruction that are ideal for students who cannot commit to a full-time degree program but would like to supplement their current skills. The University of Wisconsin-Stout and the State University of New York-Geneseo both offer online writing and literacy courses geared toward teachers of elementary, middle and high school students. These types of courses can often be used toward the teachers’ professional development requirements.
Graduate Certificates in Writing Instruction
Certificate programs consist of four to six classes, and provide students with an overview of writing instruction. The University of Arizona offers a Graduate Certificate in Reading Instruction that focuses on both reading and writing instruction for all ages, from Pre-K through adult. Indiana University-East offers a Graduate Certificate in Composition Studies that focuses on teaching writing at the secondary and college levels. Sometimes credits taken as part of a certificate program can be applied to a graduate degree at a later date.
Graduate Degrees in Writing Instruction
The University of New England and the University of Missouri offer online master’s degree programs in literacy that include both reading and writing instruction. Other schools, such as Kaplan University and Widener University, have online master’s programs in education with writing instruction courses as part of the curriculum.
Creative Writing Instruction Graduate Degrees
The best route to teaching creative writing is through a Masters of Fine Arts degree in writing. The focus of these programs is mainly on developing your own writing, but an MFA also qualifies you to teach creative writing at the university level. Naropa University and the New School both have online MFA programs. Many other schools have low-residency programs in which students visit campus only a few times and complete the rest of the work on their own. These include Antioch University and Vermont College.
Researching Graduate Programs in Writing Instruction
The options for graduate programs in writing instruction include individual courses, certificates, degrees, and even creative writing programs. In many cases, individual courses taken outside of a degree program can be applied to a later degree; check with the school to confirm. If you are interested in using writing instruction courses as professional development (e.g. teacher), check with your employer to see if they satisfy the requirements. Before starting any program, research the available options to be certain that the school offers what you need for your specific goals.
- Poets & Writers: MFA Programs
- U.S. News & World Report: How to Maximize an Online Education Program
- U.S. News & World Report: Accredited Online College Courses & Degree Programs from Top Universities
Originally published at Suite101