Teaching Writing and Critical Literacy Graduate Certificate

The Teaching Writing and Critical Literacy graduate certificate is designed for preK-college educators to delve into the latest research and practice in critical reading and writing education.

This certificate will offer advanced knowledge of literacy education through a focused, rigorous program. It will develop your skills as a teacher and writer in a supportive learning community. The certificate program seeks to accomplish the following goals:

  • Develop effective strategies for teaching the writing process to English-language learners and diverse populations, as well as reading and writing across the curriculum.
  • Engage educators in current research about composition, reading, and learning theory.
  • Create learning communities where educators reflect on their own teaching, reading, and writing.
  • Give educators opportunities to learn from other practicing educators.

(Please note that a university certificate program or certificate is distinct from a state certificate or certification).

Admissions information

Currently enrolled students: If you are enrolled in another program at the University, you need to apply to earn this certificate.

You must apply and be admitted to the Minnesota Writing Project Summer Institute before you can be admitted into the certificate program.

Application priority deadlines:

  • December 15 - Spring start
  • April 30 - Summer start
  • July 31- Fall start

For detailed admission information and tuition information on the certificate program, visit our graduate certificate admissions page.

You can also contact the faculty adviser for the program, Justin Grinage.


This program begins with a three-week, 3-credit Minnesota Writing Project (MWP) Invitational Institute and then extends to allow educators to choose from a wider range of courses from multiple university departments throughout the academic year.

You will gain strategies for:

  • Teaching the writing process to English-language learners and diverse populations
  • Incorporating reading and writing across the curriculum

By reviewing your own reading and writing in learning communities, you will learn from other practicing educators and deepen your reflective practice about your work as a literacy educator.

View the curriculum for the Certificate in Teaching Writing and Critical Literacy in the course catalog.

Master of Education

You can pursue the certificate alone or in tandem with a graduate degree, such as the MEd in English Education, the MEd in Literacy Education, or the MA or PhD in Literacy Education.

You will need to apply to both the certificate program and the master’s program and then work with your adviser to plan your coursework to meet both requirements simultaneously.

Sarah Bassett
I left the summer institute with a renewed passion for writing education, and I also became an advisory board member of the Minnesota Writing Project to stay involved with their work.

Sarah Bassett, MEd '16
English Education and Critical Writing Certificate