Attention Future Teachers

Are you considering a career in K-12 teaching?  This 8-credit pair of courses (which includes 5 credits of “C” or “W”) is an exceptional opportunity to work with an amazing faculty member with a long-term commitment to K-12 education and educational partnerships.

Every year, students who have participated in the Community Literacy Program are admitted to the UW’s competitive MEd and MIT education programs, as well as to other prestigious education programs throughout the country.  There are student testimonials below, following the course information.  Please contact Professor Simmons-O’Neill at for further information.

ENGL 298 A (“C” or “W” credit – M W 10:30-12:20) – 5 credits
ENGL 491 B (service learning – times arranged with individual students)  – 3 credits

The Spring 2015 Community Literacy Program will be taught by CLP director Elizabeth Simmons-O’Neill. This program links a 5 credit on-campus course (English 298A, MW 10:30-12:20) with a service-learning internship in a “high needs” partner public school program (English 491B; volunteer time scheduled individually). Program goals include testing theory in practice, engaging in effective reflective work with public school
students and teachers, and learning more about both our own writing and learning processes, and the impact of CLP on our academic, career, civic, and personal goals.

This linked pair of courses offers an opportunity for UW students from all majors and at all stages of their UW careers to complete “C” and “W” requirements in a small interactive learning community. CLP is also a great way for students considering teaching careers to get crucial school-based experience in “high needs” schools, and may be used toward the field work requirement in the Education, Learning, and Society minor, or toward hours required for application to Teacher Education Programs.   There are no prerequisites.

Add codes (all periods) are available from the instructor:

Below are comments from a few recent Community Literacy Programs students and public school partners:

“I’m writing from my first teaching job to thank you for introducing me to many foundational concepts and ideas in education, for sparking my passion for teaching, and for providing me with many practical lesson ideas as well.” — CLP student

“The combination of classroom experience and a wide variety of reflections really pulled everything together and made it feel extremely meaningful. It made me fully aware of what and how I was learning, and the effect it was having on my work in the partner school classrooms.” — CLP student

“The Community Literacy students are full members of our school community by the second week of the quarter…. It is a pleasure to see how insightful they are, and how dedicated to the educational process they become. Elizabeth is caring and candid in working with her students and with me throughout each quarter so that we can collaborate on solving problems. Normal situational challenges become tools for learning for her students, as well as ours. The benefits to our students are enormous. Our faculty has come to depend on the Community Literacy students as true partners in teaching.” — CLP partner school principal

“Since coming to the U.S., I have been afraid of taking English class because English is not my first language. With this service learning class, I feel a lot more confidence in learning English. By having the opportunity to work with bilingual students, I share their experience and I learn with them.” — CLP student

“The career-related writing sequence was so beneficial. We used the skills, knowledge, and experience we learned from CLP and applied them to our future careers and/or further education. It was so helpful to learn how to use skills gained via this course instead of thinking it was just another course @ UW.” –CLP student

“CLP was truly an unparallelled success in my learning here at UW. Never have I experienced a wider range of issues, attitudes, beliefs and people. My newfound appreciation for and understanding of education and society stems directly from my experience with CLP and the help, guidance and motivation of Elizabeth.” — CLP student

“I wish I’d known about the CLP reader when I switched from an expensive private school. It covers much of what every new teacher to the school district should read: journal articles and information on school testing, classroom issues, diversity, economic, and health issues, students of poverty and much more. It has taken me thirty years working with a wide variety of students and avidly reading about educational issues to work as effectively as I do, and Dr. Simmons-O’Neill has distilled that reading and experience into the CLP class and its reader, sending out students who are strong and effective helpers in the classroom.” –CLP partner school librarian

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