Teacher-Consultant in Writing


Program Description

General Overview Teacher – Consultant in Writing Certificate

The importance of high-quality teachers in every classroom is a recognized priority in American education. The teaching of writing, in particular, has been identified as a high-profile concern in our schools and colleges. The National Writing Project was founded in 1974, and the University of Maine (UMaine) became a site of the National Writing Project in 1997. Since that time, both organizations have come to be identified not just with quality writing instruction, but also with developing professional development leaders for writing and literacy generally in their own schools and at the state and national level.

Each year, two key insights of the National Writing Project are enacted in the annual institute of the Maine Writing Project — a six-credit course sequence at UMaine. First, effective professional development programs provide frequent and ongoing opportunities for teachers to write as well as to examine literacy theory and teaching practice together. Second, teachers who are well informed and effective in their practice can be successful teachers of other teachers as well as partners in educational research, development, and implementation. Collectively, teacher-leaders are our greatest resource for educational reform. This teacher-led approach to professional development has been shown to be effective at achieving long-term, systemic improvement. Accordingly, there is value to participants, administrators, and communities at every level in a certificate that recognizes those who have completed the full, twelve-credit complement of courses within the writing project program at the University of Maine.

Educational Objectives:

  1. Educators will develop a rich understanding of the role of writing in the personal and professional lives of teachers and other educators.
  2. Educators will enrich their understanding of methods for the teaching of writing, including the role of reflective practice and collegial exchange in generating teacher expertise.
  3. Educators will understand the nature, methods, and challenges of mentoring colleagues and of teacher-leadership at the local school and district levels, including the demands of being an agent for change.
  4. Educators will understand the importance and opportunity for teacher-leadership beyond the local level, including the Maine and National Writing Projects as well as governmental and trade organizations.

All work is based on the national standards of the National Writing Project (NWP), the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), and applicable content area organizations.

Program Requirements (12 credits)

Students achieve the graduate certificate for Teacher-Consultant in Writing by completing four, three-credit courses in sequence (12 credits). For example, a student beginning the sequence in Spring 2016 would proceed as follows:

  • ERL 545: Introduction to the National Writing Project 3cr. – online Spring, year 1
  • ERL 546: Institute in Teacher Leadership 3cr. – on campus, July (7 days)
    • Prerequisite: ERL 545 (Introduction to the National Writing Project).
  • ERL 547: Seminar in Mentoring 3 cr. – online Spring, year 2
    • Prerequisites: ERL 545 (Introduction to the National Writing Project) and ERL 546 (Institute in Teacher Leadership).
  • ERL 548: Advanced Institute in Teacher Leadership 3 cr. – on campus, July (7 days), year 2
    • Prerequisites: ERL 545 (Introduction to the National Writing Project), ERL 546 (Institute in Teacher Leadership), and ERL 547 (NWP Seminar in Mentoring).


When you are ready to apply, please first review these Application Instructions. Then, complete your online application here.

Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree. Inquiries regarding application procedures should be directed to Becky Libby, by email becky.libby@umit.maine.edu or by phone 207-581-2444.

What can I do with Teacher-Consultant in Writing Certificate?

This focused collection of three-credit courses is carefully sequenced to take participants from skilled classroom practitioner to competent and confident Teacher-Consultant in Writing. The introductory ERL 545 begins this sequence with teachers’ examining their own writing, considering how others’ literacy experience may differ from their own, and undertaking peer response to writing and in discussion. ERL 546 then places students in the context of peer mentoring. With the exchange of teaching demonstrations, participants experience what it means to be both experts and critical friends in a community of essentially equal practitioners. Next, the NWP Seminar in Mentoring, ERL 547, initiates the direct study of mentoring along with advising new Writing Project Fellows as they begin the path toward teacher leadership. The Teacher-Consultant in Writing sequence concludes with the Advanced Institute in Teacher Leadership, ERL 548, in which mentors continue to advise Fellows in preparing their teaching demonstration while themselves preparing a proposal and plan for systemic change in their own school setting. Altogether, the Teacher-Consultant in Writing sequence progresses smoothly from self-reflection through peer interaction to actualization of teacher leadership.


12 credit hours

Cost & Fees

  • $418/cr. in-state and
  • $523/cr. out-of-state


Spring / Summer

Last updated Jan 2018

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