NeWP Graduate Courses

Lincoln Summer Institute

Course #: ENGL 957B
6 Graduate Credits
Offered first summer session. Open to teachers of all grade levels.
This is NeWP's premiere program, following the National Writing Project Invitational Institute Model. Institute actitivities include:

  • Immerse participants in their own writing;
  • Invite participants to share their best teaching practices for writing;
  • Engage participants in inquiry and research into aspects of writing.

Learn More about Summer Institutes

Rural Institute

Course #:
3 Graduate Credits

The development of the Rural Institute programs is a most important feature of the NeWP. The Rural Institutes adds to the NeWP principles a specific focus on rural contexts for writing. Sites have included North Platte, Albion, Syracuse, Henderson, Wayne, Wallace and are planned for Ogallala, Seward, and Cedar Bluffs. NeWP hopes to add two new communities per year.


The NeWP Rural Institute Program has the following mission:

  • Revitalizing rural communities through improved school/community links
  • Connecting education to a sympathetic and critical understanding of rural place and heritage
  • Improving the possibility for rural livelihood and career, especially for young people, through attention to economic issues in rural communities (housing, entrepreneurship, etc.)

The NeWP Rural Institutes explore writing which celebrates and examines heritage and local place. Documentation, assessment, and communication of growth in writing shows communities what students are accomplishing. During the institutes, participants look to their own experience as writers and teachers for sources of authority. Participants draw on local culture, place, heritage and community as a necessary context for their teaching and writing.

Rural Institutes meet for three weeks, all day, Monday through Thursday, in June or early July. They are organized on the Summer Institute model, with daily writing and response time (an hour and a half) and EQUIP presentations by each participating teacher or community member as standard features. Participants in the Rural Institutes have been drawn primarily from the 18 Nebraska communities that make up the School at the Center program, with some participants coming from nearby communities.

The Rural Institutes have been funded through cooperation among NeWP Teacher Consultants, NeWP Rural Voices, Country Schools program, the Nebraska Humanities Council, the Nebraska State Department of Education, and the Annenberg-funded School at the Center. All of these agencies strive to foster the development of excellent rural teaching in the context of efforts to revitalize Nebraska's rural communities.

An integral part of NeWP Rural Institutes involves field trips investigating the local communities and surrounding areas that contribute to a sense of place. Field trips, as well as entire Rural Institutes, can be catered to fit ones' specific locale. Field trips (these from the North Platte Institute) have included:

  • Marie Ratzlaff Memorial Prairie
  • Farmers' Valley Cemetery
  • Bess Streeter Aldrich Home and Museum in Elmwood
  • Hartley Burr Alexander House in Syracuse
  • Doeden Pioneer Family Farm
  • Amy Sadle's Art Gallery
  • Otoe Cemetery
  • Dieken Prairie

Look inside a rural institute...
Direct questions to Robert Brooke, Director

Literature Institute

Course #: ENGL 991
3 Graduate Credits
Offered every other summer

Open to teachers of all grade levels. Past participation in an NeWP Summer or Rural Institute is preferred. This Institute explores the teaching of literature in a writing-rich environment. Institute activities include: 1. Immersion in reading and in our own writing; 2. Shared examination of the connections between literature and writing in our teaching; 3. Collaborative research on reading/writing pedagogies; institutional and professional issues; new genres, media, technologies and resources for joining reading and writing.

Technology Institute

Course #: ENGL 857B
3 Graduate credits
Offered every summer or every other summer

Open to teachers of all grade levels. Past participation in a NeWP Summer or Rural Institute is preferred. This Institute explores the teaching of writing as enhanced by technology. Institute activities include: 1. Examining technology that supports our own and our students' writing; 2. Sharing classroom projects that enhance writing through technology; 3. Practice developing new classroom applications of software that can be used to support writing.

Humanities Institute

Course #: ENGL 992
3 Graduate credits
Offered every third year

Open to teachers of all content-areas and grade levels. Past participation in a NeWP Summer or Rural Institute is preferred but not required. This institute explores the relationship between reading and writing in content areas.

Institute activities include:

  • Engaging participants in inquiry and research into the relationship among reading, writing and learning in their content areas;
  • Developing reading and writing practices that enhance participants' teaching goals;
  • Sharing classroom projects that use reading and writing to enhance content knowledge.

Embedded Institutes

Course #: ENGL 895A
3 Graduate Credits

What is the Embedded Institute Program?

Embedded Institutes bring the work of Nebraska Writing Project Institutes into a school or school district during the academic year. Participants immerse themselves in their own writing, in sharing of best practices, and in professional inquiry about the teaching of writing while they are actively involved in teaching their own classes.

Basic elements of the Embedded Institute Program:
  • 70 hours of contact during the academic year, split between weekly small writing group meetings and monthly/bi-monthly whole institute meetings;
  • Up to 20 participants per institute;
  • A facilitation team of experienced NeWP leaders;
  • Professional inquiry designed in consultation with leaders at the host school to address that school or school district's particular goals;
  • Possibility of 3 UNL graduate credits for participants.
Experienced Professionals

The Nebraska Writing Project institutes are taught by a team of Teacher Facilitators selected for their expertise and experience in one of Nebraska's several institutes. Facilitators will present practical strategies that have been utilized in their classrooms.

Hosting an Embedded Institute

To host an Embedded Institute, your school or school district will need to cover the following costs. Most host schools use a mix of grant funds and local foundation funds.

  • Stipends of for up to 20 participants (to help ofset the cost of 3 UNL graduate credits);
  • Facilitator fees for two facilitators;
  • Travel expenses for facilitators;
  • Books for participants;
  • In-kind provision of a meeting room, photocopy access, and computer access during the institute.

Contact one of our co-directors for more information.

Level II (NeWP Internship Course)

English 895A
3 Graduate Credits
Offered every year during the school year; course credit is assigned in Pre-session summer

The Nebraska Writing Project Internship, English 895A, is a group study course for teachers affiliated with the Nebraska Writing Project. Its purpose is to provide a structure through which teachers can collaborate on:

  • the development of classroom units in their school context that improve their teaching of writing;
  • the exploration and adaptation of current scholarship on teaching writing; and
  • the development of their own writing, both to serve as models with their students and to further their own professional development.

The NeWP Internship, like most internships at UNL, assumes that participants will learn via two main opportunities: first, by engaging in ongoing professional work in a teaching context outside UNL, such as teaching in a Nebraska school; second, by reflecting on this ongoing work through sustained dialogue with other teachers, and sharing that reflection with an overseeing UNL professor.

The NeWP Internship is a year-long program offered during the academic year (the fall-spring terms of participants' schools), culminating in the submission of a course portfolio for UNL credit in the summer Presession.

Place Conscious Teaching

Course #: ENGL 992B
3 Graduate credits
Offered every other year during fall or spring

Theory and practice of teaching writing, literature, and rhetoric in connection with local place, region, and community.