Writing Certificate FAQs
Who is eligible for the Writing Certificate?
All NC State masters, PhD, and postdoctoral scholars are eligible to participate in the program.
What are the requirements?
To earn the writing certificate, you must 1) complete 100 hours of participation in approved workshops, development series, and related programming, and 2) successfully complete an online professional portfolio.
Within the 100 hours, you must complete the “Ahead of the Pack” development series (20 hours) and attend one Writing Retreat (30 hours) during your time in the certificate program. You can complete the remaining 50 hours by choosing among workshops, development series, and online writing groups from the Graduate School’s Professional Development Team and other qualifying activities.
Our registration page lists current workshop and development series offerings from the Graduate School’s Professional Development Team and events eligible for the Writing Certificate are marked with *. We have also compiled an overview of eligible activities, and we encourage you to seek out additional opportunities for which you can earn hours through the petition process.
What is the timeframe for completion?
We recommend 1.5–3 years. You may also request an extension if you need more time to complete the program
When are the workshops and development series offered?
- The required “Ahead of the Pack” series is offered in fall and spring semesters
- The required Writing Retreat is offered at the end of fall and spring semesters (December and May)
- Eligible workshops and development series are offered in Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters
- The online writing groups run Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters. Participants can join the writing group Slack space any time by registering on REPORTER.
- Sign up for our newsletter to learn about upcoming workshops and events.
How do I apply?
Submit the application form in one of two cycles: Fall (due Sept. 1) or Spring (due Feb. 1). Applications will be posted on the website in August (for fall) and November (for spring) and advertised in the newsletter during those months.
When you apply to the writing certificate, you will be added to a Moodle Projects page. This page contains important information about the certificate policies and portfolio guidelines. You will upload documentation for approved activities via the Moodle project space (see question below).
How do I report progress towards the Certificate?
The new Writing Certificate is designed for participants to be intentional about recording their progress utilizing the affordances of the REPORTER registration platform and Moodle DropBox.
When you apply to the writing certificate, you will be added to a Moodle Projects page. You will upload documentation for approved activities via the Moodle DropBox feature. For example, to record your hours for writing workshops and series, you would upload the REPORTER completion certificates for the events you attended. Different types of activities, such as online writing groups, may require you to upload different forms of documentation in Moodle such as short written reflections documents. See below and our At-a-Glance page for more details.
I participated in an online writing group through the Graduate School. How do I document this for certificate credit?
In keeping with the certificate’s process-oriented focus on writing, you may count participation in a Graduate School-affiliated online writing group towards the certificate, such as our online writing groups from 2019-2020, and groups on our “GradPack Slack space” platform.
To encourage participants to engage in a variety of writing training and support activities, only the equivalent of one semester’s participation in a writing group will count towards the certificate, 12 hours as a group member or 18 hours as a group leader. To document your participation in a writing group, you must upload a reflections document to the Moodle Dropbox that includes a summary of your role in the writing group (member or leader), plus an analysis of the applications to your writing and professional goals. The total petition document must be around 250–300 words.
How do I register for workshops, development series and related events?
Our upcoming offerings are listed on our workshops page. You can also search REPORTER for available workshops and development series. If you are interested in taking a workshop that appears in the REPORTER catalog but not on the schedule, add it to your “watchlist” so that we can monitor demand.
We also announce all events–workshops, development series, writing group registrations, and writing retreat information–in the PD Team newsletter, so it is a good idea to subscribe to the newsletter if you plan to complete the writing certificate.
Why should I participate?
There are several reasons to participate in and earn the Writing Certificate: First, the ability to manage large writing projects and navigate the specific forms of writing in your field are essential to successfully completing an advanced degree. Participating in “Ahead of the Pack,” workshops like “Writer’s Toolkit” and “How to Plan Journal Articles,” and the Writing Retreat will equip you with skills for writing productivity, motivation, and goal-setting in a collegial environment. Likewise, prospective employers across academia and industries in the U.S. seek advanced degree holders with writing skills for leadership positions. Engaging in events like our Journal Article Development Series, workshops like “How to Write Concise Sentences” or “How to Write Abstracts,” and qualifying workshops in the A2i program, will help you to leverage common academic and workplace writing strategies to address a variety of stakeholders.
In short, participating in the certificate program offers an opportunity for you to be intentional about your writing processes, to refine your writing expertise in your field and to explore writing for diverse academic and industry audiences.
Can I count activities not sponsored by the Graduate School towards the writing certificate? What is the petition process about?
To make the Writing Certificate flexible and responsive to your needs, you may count up to six (6) hours of outside workshops towards the certificate. These “outside” activities might be writing-related workshops from the Libraries’ Peer Scholars program. You can think of these 6 hours as the equivalent of three, 2-hour workshops; two, 3-hour workshops; or six, 1- hour events.
The petition process is straightforward. Submit a document via Moodle Dropbox that includes a summary of the training plus an analysis of the potential applications to your writing goals. The total petition document must be around 250–300 words per workshop.