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University of St. Francis logo · College of Education · Regional Educational Academy for Leadership

Developing Competent Writers
REND and MSED-648

  • Template 2015
  • Section TMPL
  • 3 Credits
  • 07/22/2015 to 07/22/2115
  • Modified 07/19/2020

Mission Statement

As a Catholic university rooted in the liberal arts, we are a welcoming community of learners challenged by Franciscan values and charism, engaged in a continuous pursuit of knowledge, faith, wisdom, and justice, and ever mindful of a tradition that emphasizes reverence for creation, compassion and peacemaking. We strive for academic excellence in all programs, preparing women and men to contribute to the world through service and leadership. 


Focuses on the instructions of writing as part of developing a competent 21st century writer in light of the emphasis on writing in the English Language Arts Common Core Standards.  Emergent writing through proficient writing is emphasized as well as the role of instruction in this literacy component.

Former Title (through Summer 2020): Writing Instruction in the 21st Century


Understanding Students

Candidates will construct a deep understanding of the process by which students become writers. Candidates will examine the varied approaches to teaching writing as a construct of the reading process and develop an understanding of their uses in order to best meet the needs of all students.

Serving the Community

Candidates will develop a thorough understanding of the techniques and materials available to teach students to write. Additionally, they will learn to advocate for students by developing specific plans of instruction based on their individual needs.

Finding Our Professional Selves

Candidates will discuss desirable professional attributes and how educators can create learning communities that support the reading and writing process.



Access to standards referenced in this section can be found HERE

By the conclusion of the course, each participant will be able to do the following:

1. Candidates understand major theories and empirical research that describe the cognitive, linguistic, motivational, and sociocultural foundations of reading and writing development, processes, and components, including word recognition, language comprehension, strategic knowledge, and reading–writing connections (IRA Standard 1.1; NBPTS 1,2)

1a. Recognize and explain major theories in writing processes and the major constructs included in literacy

1b. Explain the research and theory of learning environments that support individual motivation to write

 2. Recognize, understand, and value the forms of diversity that exist in society and their importance in learning to read and write (IRA Standard 4.1; NBPTS 1,2,3).

2a. Demonstrate an understanding of the ways diversity affects writing development

3.Design the physical environment to optimize students’ use of traditional print, digital, and online resources in reading and writing instruction (IRA Standard 5.1; NBPTS 1,2,3).

3a. Design a content area classroom that provides easy access to books and other writing instructional materials

3b. Create content classroom areas that are motivating and promote writing across disciplines

 4. Candidates design a social environment that is low risk and includes choice, motivation, and scaffolded support to optimize students’ opportunities for learning to read and write (IRA Standard 5.2; NBPTS 1,2,3)

4a. Demonstrate knowledge of the importance of writing choice, motivation and scaffold support in content area classes

4b. Maintain positive social environments to enhance writing in content area classes

 5. Use routines to support reading and writing instruction (e.g., time allocation, transitions from one activity to another, discussions and peer feedback) (IRA Standard 5.3; NBPTS 1,2,3)

5a. Understand the role of routines in content area classes to create and maintain positive writing learning environments


Gallagher, K.  Teaching adolescent writers.  Stenhouse Publishers.


Professional Discourse, Participation and Reflection

Candidates will respond to weekly discussion and reflection prompts.

  • Course outcomes 1,2,3,4,5
  • Standards IRA 1.1, 4.1,5.1,5.2,5.3; NBPTS 1,2,3

Original Written Piece

Candidates create a discipline-specific, teacher-written sample to model for students.

  • Course outcomes 1
  • Standards IRA 1.1 NBPTS 1,2

Writing Mini-lesson

Create a mini-lesson to aid students in crafting a discipline-specific writing assignment.

  • Course outcomes 2,5
  • Standards IRA 4.1, 5.3 NBPTS 1,2,3

Writing Assessment for Students

  • Course outcomes 3,4,5
  • Standards IRA 5.1, 5.2, 5.3 NBPTS 1,2,3

Course Policies

Policies for the College of Education at University of St. Francis

CLICK HERE (requires active student account) for policies, including but not limited to:

  • Method of Instruction
  • Expectations of Candidates
  • Online Courses
  • Attendance Policies for Site-Based and Online Courses
  • Minimum Standards for Writing
  • Computer and Digital Information Literacy Skills

Course Evaluations | Surveys

Information gathered through course evaluations and surveys is an important part of maintaining quality and continuous improvement in courses, and it is the University’s expectation that students will thoughtfully participate in this evaluation process.

Institutional Policies

Students should use the USF portal as the first resource for guidance and support on items such as student complaints, safety, security and transportation questions, contact information for various USF departments, student support services such as counseling and academic resources. Information on these resources can be found in the For Students section of the USF portal.

A complete listing of university policies and procedures can be found in the University of St. Francis Catalog and Student Handbooks. 

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity requires that all academic work be wholly the product of an identified individual or individuals. Collaboration is only acceptable when it is explicitly acknowledged. Ethical conduct is the obligation of every member of the University community, and breaches of academic integrity constitute serious offenses. Since a lack of integrity hinders the student’s academic development, it cannot be tolerated under any circumstances. Violations include but are not limited to: cheating, fabrication, facilitating academic dishonesty, plagiarism, and denying others access to information or material. See the University of St. Francis Catalog for further clarification and information on grievance procedures.

Services and Accommodations for Students with Disabilities (ADA)

The University strives to be in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA). A student who requires special accommodations or arrangements due to a disability should contact the Office of Disability Services. This contact preferably should occur no later than the first week of classes. Early contact before the semester starts is encouraged to allow sufficient time to provide accommodations. Extra time is needed for some types of accommodations such as sign language interpreters or special text formatting. Should a need arrive after the start of a semester; the student is encouraged to contact the Office of Disability Services as soon as possible. Note that accommodations are not retroactive. Each case will be reviewed on an individual basis to determine reasonable and appropriate accommodations.

USF is committed to ensuring the full participation of all students in its programs, regardless of the course format. If you have a documented disability and need a reasonable accommodation to participate in a course, complete course requirements, or benefit from the University’s programs or services, please contact the Office of Disability Services at 815-740-3631 or [email protected] . The Office of Disability Services is in the Academic Resource Center (ARC) and is located on the second floor of the LaVerne and Dorothy Brown Library in room L214. Consultations are welcome, please contact the Office of Disability Services for an appointment.

Technology Support

  1. The Department of Academic Technology (DAT) administers the learning management system Canvas. If you are experiencing any difficulty using Canvas or need technical assistance, you have several options to receive support, including:
  1. 24x7 Live Canvas Support. If you experience technical difficulties or have a question about Canvas, you can receive support 24 hours a day 7 days a week through the Canvas help menu. From the help menu, select Chat with Canvas Support for a “live” text-based click-to-chat session,
  2. select Report a Problem to send an email support request, or speak to someone directly by using the toll-free number listed under the Canvas Support Hotline.

NOTE: Responses to Canvas’ email-based Report a Problem request system will go to your USF email account, NOT your personal email.

2. Online Self-Service Help Resources. A student user guide and other resources for solving issues related to Canvas can be found at LearnItNow

3. Telephone Support from DAT. You can also phone the Department of Academic Technology for personal help at (815) 740-5080 or (866) 337-1497 (toll-free) between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Central Standard Time, Monday through Friday.

For any technical support issues that are not related to Canvas, please contact the USF Technology Support Center (TSC). You can reach them via:

Notice of Copyright

This course may contain copyrighted materials that are intended to support the learning experiences of students currently enrolled in the course. No student may retain or further disseminate any copyrighted materials, in their entirety or any portion thereof, under penalty of law.

Academic Support Services

The Academic Resource Center (ARC) located in Room L214 in the Library (815-740-5060) offers various types of academic services.  Online and distance learning students can contact ARC for appropriate resources.  ARC serves students who need tutoring in many areas of study including writing and math.  Library services include a number of online services and full text databases.  Call the Library at 815-740-5041 for additional information.  If you need academic-related resources or assistance, please contact the Academic Resource Center.

Additional Items