Willamette University, Students at the Mill Stream

Graduate School of Education News

Karen Hamlin, education professorKaren Hamlin, education professor

Nancy Fischer, Oregon Writing Project instructorNancy Fischer, Oregon Writing Project instructor

Willamette awarded grant from National Writing Project

Professor Karen Hamlin and Nancy Fischer of Willamette’s Graduate School of Education have been awarded a $20,000 grant from the National Writing Project.

The Supporting Effective Educator Development (SEED) Grant provides support for the Oregon Writing Project to further develop a partnership with Waldo Middle School in Salem, Ore.

This is the second $20,000 grant that Hamlin and Fischer have been awarded from the National Writing Project this summer, and this is the 16th consecutive year that the Oregon Writing Project has received funding from the National Writing Project.

The SEED grant will fund 30 hours of professional development for Waldo Middle School teachers. The training will allow for the development of a writing curriculum targeted to meet Common Core Standards, strengthen academic reading and writing and support language acquisition for Waldo’s English-language learners.

With the help of the SEED grant, Hamlin says she is looking forward to continuing the successful partnership between the Oregon Writing Project and Waldo Middle School.

“[Waldo Middle School] has significant challenges, along with particularly strong potential for making significant gains in student writing and reading achievement,” Hamlin says. “Evaluation forms, surveys and informal feedback from our first year of work with Waldo Middle School teachers and students in 2011–12 all indicate that this collaboration was a success — with teachers requesting additional professional development from the Oregon Writing Project.”

“This grant will lay a fabulous foundation for our work in the Salem-Keizer School District and may make a natural extension as one of our partnership sites for our MAT programs,” adds Julie Gess-Newsome, dean of Willamette’s Graduate School of Education.

The National Writing Project is a network of 210 university sites that aim to increase the quality of student literacy and writing through programs that improve teachers’ knowledge, understanding and teaching. 

GSE makes headlines for collaborative, innovative new teaching program

The Statesman Journal recently featured the GSE and several local partners for their work on a new collaborative program. In it, educators from Corban University, Western Oregon University and Willamette have created a new way to get the field experience that all schools require as part of licensure. Julie Gess-Newsome, dean of the GSE, figures prominently in the arrangement.