Specialist Certificate in Teaching Writing and Literacy

Specialist Certificate in Teaching Writing and Literacy

Join a community of educators from all content areas for Penn State Lehigh Valley’s Specialist Certificate: Teaching Writing and Literacy, a 15-credit post-baccalaureate program offered through the Penn State Lehigh Valley Writing Project. Similar in design 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.

The program contains twelve core credits plus a 3-credit elective concentration for a 15-credit certificate with classes being held at the Penn State Lehigh Valley campus in Center Valley. Participants may pursue their National Writing Project Fellowship with the optional 3-credit capstone course.

Course Schedule

Summer 2017

EDUC 400 - Diversity and Cultural Awareness Practices in the K-12 Classroom (3 credits)

Monday - Friday, 8:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m • July 10–14, 2017
This course is focused on understanding oneself and one's role as an educator through a social justice lens. Teachers will gain an awareness of the systems of privilege, discrimination, power, and oppression operating in their classrooms so as to incorporate these ideas into the curricula they teach.

EDUC 432 - Children's Literature in Teaching Writing (3 credits)

Monday - Friday, 8:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m • July 17–21, 2017
Participants will learn methods for transferring writing skills and literary devices from literature to student writing in all subject areas.

EDUC 471 (NEW) - Best Practices in Teaching Literacy: Science (3 credits)

Monday - Friday, 8:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m • July 24–28, 2017
An application of best literacy practices to classroom instruction and assessment of reading, writing, listening, and speaking in the science classroom.


Fall 2017

EDUC 452 - Teaching Writing (3 credits)

Tuesdays • August 15–October 17, 2017 • 4:30–7:30 p.m. 
The first course in the series offers techniques for teaching the writing process, kindergarten through 12th grade, including writing in the content areas and incorporating the PA Core Standards. This course is the prerequisite for EDUC 463, 425, and 477. NOTE: Be sure to select only one section of EDUC 452. 

EDUC 463 - Teaching with Modern Web Technologies (3 credits)

Thursdays 4:30–7:30 p.m. and Saturdays, 9 a.m.–3 p.m. 
October 26, 28, November 9, 11, 30, December 2, and 7, 2017
The focus of this course is educational theory and practice applied to the Internet, relating content from writing theory, educational foundations, curriculum, and research. Prerequisite: EDUC 452


Spring 2018

EDUC 425 - Literacy Assessment (3 credits)

Thursdays, 4:30–7:30 p.m. and Saturdays, 9 a.m.–3 p.m. 
January 4, 6, 18, 20, February 1, 3, and 8, 2018
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

EDUC 477 - Teaching Struggling Readers and Writers (3 credits)

Tuesdays • February 20–May 1, 2018 (no class 3/6 due to spring break) • 4:30–7:30 p.m 
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


Summer 2018

Our elective courses are designed in response to emerging teacher needs across the Lehigh Valley and are subject to change. For summer 2018 elective updates, visit lvwp.org.

Who does this program benefit?

This program would benefit the following groups:

  • K-12 teachers in all content areas
  • ESL, gifted, and special education teachers
  • Literacy coaches
  • Paraprofessionals
  • Curriculum coordinators
  • Administrators

Please Note: Writing Project Fellows may transfer their six Summer Institute credits. Additionally, some courses in the Specialist Certificate in Teaching Writing Literacy program may count as electives in the Master's in Teaching and Curriculum program at Penn State Harrisburg.


To register for the Specialist Certificate program, interested individuals should contact:

Kathy Eck
Campus Registrar
610-285-5060 | kde1@psu.edu