Signage for the Daniel L. Goodwin College of Education

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Northeastern Illinois University’s Daniel L. Goodwin College of Education has entered into a partnership with the prestigious National Writing Project (NWP), an organization that focuses on improving the teaching of writing and improving the use of writing across all disciplines by offering professional development programs for educators at all grade levels.

Under the agreement, Northeastern will host the Illinois Writing Project (IWP), an affiliate of the NWP, within the Department of Educational Inquiry and Curriculum Studies. Steven Zemelman, the founding director of the IWP, will join Northeastern as a visiting scholar and co-direct the initiative with Associate Professor Katy Smith.

“Serving as the host institution of the Illinois Writing Project connects Northeastern to a national network of more than 200 Writing Project sites—five right here in Illinois—whose mission is to develop capacity of teachers, schools and community agencies in supporting young people's writing and learning.” Smith said.

Every year, the IWP conducts its Invitational Summer Leadership Institute for Chicago-area teachers. Beginning this year, the IWP also will host continuity activities such as writing workshops and retreats that support the teacher-leader community and University faculty.

The IWP will host two conference-style events each year. The first will be in October in celebration of the National Day on Writing, which typically is attended by 60 to 100 teachers. The second will be an all-day conference coordinated with DuPage County’s all-county institute day at the end of February.

Since the agreement with Northeastern was finalized, the IWP has been awarded a College-Ready Writers Program grant by the National Writing Project Network.

The grant will support a summer institute and follow-up sessions for area teachers aimed at enhancing instruction of the kinds of argumentation and informational writing needed for college success.

“Being part of this this network opens up opportunities for our faculty, current students and alumni to apply for grants, develop research plans, exercise leadership, and participate actively in ongoing professional development, ” Smith said.

The Daniel L. Goodwin College of Education is Northeastern’s oldest academic unit. Its pioneering emphasis on urban education has become increasingly important, winning many awards for best practices in global diversity. The college is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Colleges of Teacher Education, the premier accrediting body approved by the U.S. Department of Education.