Our Mission

The Boise State Writing Project focuses the knowledge, expertise, and leadership of our nation's educators on sustained efforts to improve writing and learning for all learners.

Our Vision

Writing in its many forms is the signature means of communication in the 21st century. BSWP envisions a future where every person is an accomplished writer, engaged learner, and active participant in a digital, interconnected world.

Who We Are

Unique in breadth and scale, BSWP is a part of the NWP which is a network of sites anchored at colleges and universities and serving teachers across disciplines and at all levels, early childhood through university. We provide professional development, develop resources, generate research, and act on knowledge to improve the teaching of writing and learning in schools and communities.

The National Writing Project believes that access to high-quality educational experiences is a basic right of all learners and a cornerstone of equity. We work in partnership with institutions, organizations, and communities to develop and sustain leadership for educational improvement. Throughout our work, we value and seek diversity—our own as well as that of our students and their communities—and recognize that practice is strengthened when we incorporate multiple ways of knowing that are informed by culture and experience.

A Network of University-Based Sites 

Co-directed by faculty from the local university and from K–12 schools, nearly 200 local sites serve all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Sites work in partnership with area school districts to offer high-quality professional development programs for educators. NWP continues to add new sites each year, with the goal of placing a writing project site within reach of every teacher in America. The network now includes two associated international sites.

A Successful Model Customized for Local Needs

NWP sites share a national program model, adhering to a set of shared principles and practices for teachers’ professional development, and offering programs that are common across the network. In addition to developing a leadership cadre of local teachers (called “teacher-consultants”) through invitational summer institutes, NWP sites design and deliver customized inservice programs for local schools, districts, and higher education institutions, and they provide a diverse array of continuing education and research opportunities for teachers at all levels.

National research studies have confirmed significant gains in writing performance among students of teachers who have participated in NWP programs.

The NWP is the only federally funded program that focuses on the teaching of writing. Support for the NWP is provided by the U.S. Department of Education, foundations, individuals, corporations, universities, and K-12 schools.

NWP Core Principles

The core principles at the foundation of NWP’s national program model are:

  • Teachers at every level—from kindergarten through college—are the agents of reform; universities and schools are ideal partners for investing in that reform through professional development.
  • Writing can and should be taught, not just assigned, at every grade level. Professional development programs should provide opportunities for teachers to work together to understand the full spectrum of writing development across grades and across subject areas.
  • Knowledge about the teaching of writing comes from many sources: theory and research, the analysis of practice, and the experience of writing. Effective professional development programs provide frequent and ongoing opportunities for teachers to write and to examine theory, research, and practice together systematically.
  • There is no single right approach to teaching writing; however, some practices prove to be more effective than others. A reflective and informed community of practice is in the best position to design and develop comprehensive writing programs. 
  • Teachers who are well informed and effective in their practice can be successful teachers of other teachers as well as partners in educational research, development, and implementation. Collectively, teacher-leaders are our greatest resource for educational reform.


Congratulations!  Completion of your fellowship year makes you a permanent Teacher Consultant with the Boise State Writing Project.  You are an integral part of a network of teachers who believe:

  • Teachers teaching teachers is an effective model for professional development
  • Teachers should be reflective practitioners
  • Teachers should be compensated for their time and work

Because of your expertise, you may be asked to provide professional development, or you may see needs in your own school.  This protocol is designed to help you should these occasions arise.  

Let’s say you see an in-service need in your building or you want to promote some professional development at your school.  A good way to start is to approach your principal or other instructional leader and ask him/her, “What do you see as the greatest instructional challenge at our school?”  This can start a conversation about the very needs you are seeing.  You can suggest that BSWP provide thinking partners to work through instructional challenges or to design professional development, teach demonstration lessons, organize book studies or help build site capacity for change.   You can also direct instructional leaders to our website listing demonstrations, or to contact a director—Paula Uriarte (paula.uriarte@boiseschools.org 854-4584); 

If you have any questions or would like any coaching in approaching an administrator about professional development, please don’t hesitate to contact us. 


What is the American Dream?  - 11th grade  Language Arts - Jessica Lipshultz
Jessica Lipshultz grade 11 language arts.doc

Ecology Unit - High School - Ben Ott
Ben Ott High School Ecology.doc

What is Water for? - upper elementary - Evin Fox
Evin Inquiry planning Water (2).doc

Why Change? - Earth Science - 5th grade
Menna Roseberry 5th grade Earth Science.doc

Sample Inquiry Template taken from Inquiring Readers and Writers with Inquiry- Jeff Wilhelm, Peggy Jo Wilhelm and Erika Boas


Lynn Langer Meeks Scholarship

Lynn Langer Meeks was a beloved educator, writer, and advocate for literacy.  She was serving as the Director of the Utah Writing Project.  She was a friend, colleague, and mentor to many of us in the Boise State Writing Project.   In her honor, the BSWP  has established this scholarship, which provides 6 graduate credits, books, and housing for the Invitational Summer Institute through Boise State University and the BSWP.  

This scholarship is available to practicing educators of South Central Idaho.  If you are passionate about teaching reading and writing to our students so that students are passionate about reading and writing, apply for this scholarship today!

For additional information, contact Dr. Jeffrey Wilhelm,  jwilhelm@boisestate.edu