Council of Writing Program Administrators
2017 Conference: Workshop, July 16-19; Institutes, July 20; Conference, July 20-23

Main Content

WPA Workshop
Join new, prospective, and continuing national colleagues who administer writing programs of all kinds—FYC, writing centers, WAC, ESL, and basic writing—for three and a half days of workshopping and conversation about the theoretical, curricular, and political dimensions of our work. The topics we’ll address include:

  • What is a WPA?
  • Institutional Relationships and Politics
  • Directing Writing Programs at Different Types of Institutions
  • Program Design, Outcomes, and Goals
  • Hiring Practices, Faculty Development, and Faculty Evaluation
  • Student and Program Assessment
  • Understanding Budgets
  • Developing and Articulating Relationships among FYC, WAC Programs, Writing Majors, and Writing Centers
  • Writing Program Research
  • Writing Program Outreach and Public Advocacy
  • The Council of Writing Program Administrators as a Professional Resource
  • WPA Genres (the documents and other communications WPAs need to master)
  • Balance: Taking Care of Yourself and Your Career
  • Establishing Boundaries (how and when to say no)

Participants will gather Sunday afternoon, July 16, meet daily through Wednesday evening, July 19, and will have the opportunity to consult individually with workshop leaders in the evenings.

Participants will be encouraged to raise issues from their own professional situations, which have in the past included liberal arts colleges, two-year colleges, regional and flagship state universities, and major research institutions.

CWPA 2017 is offering two concurrent workshops (each capped at 20 people) so that as many WPAs as possible can participate in the workshop.

2017 Workshop Leaders

The 2017 workshop leaders are Mark Blaauw-Hara, Sheila Carter-Tod, Heidi Estrem, and Jessie L. Moore.

Mark Blaauw-Hara is a Professor of English and Writing Program Coordinator at North Central Michigan College. His interests and expertise center on first-year writing, developmental writing, threshold concepts, assessment, student veterans, and writing in the disciplines within the two-year college. Mark’s writing has appeared in Teaching English in the Two-Year CollegeCurrents in Electronic Communication, The Community College Journal of Research and Practice, and The Writing Center Journal, and is forthcoming in Composition Forum. Mark’s work has also appeared in the edited collections Teaching Composition at the Two-Year College and Taking Flight with OWLS, and is forthcoming in WPAs in Transition. Mark currently serves as reviews co-editor of Teaching English in the Two-Year College.


Sheila Carter-Tod is an Associate Professor of English at Virginia Tech, where she was an associate writing program administrator for four years and the writing program administrator for five years. She is currently the Director, Curricular and Pedagogical Development for the College Access Collaborative (a newly formed unit at the university, which aims to increase academic preparation, access and affordability for first-generation, low-income, underrepresented minorities [Black, Latino, and Native American], women and students from rural and inner city communities). She has published articles and/or reviews in Writing Program Administrators Journal, Writing Lab Newsletter, CCC, and Reflections as well as chapters in several edited collections and textbooks.  She has served as an editorial reviewer for numerous publishers and journals. Additionally, she has serving in various leadership and service roles in NCTE, CCC and CWPA, such as NCTE’s Inclusivity Task Force, NCTE Committee Against Racism and Bias in the Teaching of English; CCCC—Stage II and On-Site Selection Committees; Chair—NCTE College Selection Committee, CCC Executive Committee, and CWPA Membership/Newcomers Committee.  She also has co-led a previous CWPA summer workshop.

Heidi Estrem is professor of English, director of the First-Year Writing Program, and director of the Writing Across the Curriculum initiative at Boise State University. Her research interests in first-year writing pedagogy, writing program administration, assessment, and instructor development and support have led to publications in Writing Program Administration, Rhetoric Review, Composition Studies, and several edited collections. She recently co-edited Retention, Persistence, and Writing Programs (with Todd Ruecker, Dawn Shepherd, and Beth Brunk-Chavez,) a book that features the work of many practicing writing program administrators. She regularly teaches both first-year writing and a graduate seminar for new teaching assistants. 

Jessie L. Moore is director of the Center for Engaged Learning and associate professor of Professional Writing & Rhetoric at Elon University. Jessie leads planning, implementation, and assessment of the Center’s research seminars, which support multi-institutional inquiry on high-impact pedagogies and other focused engaged learning topics. She previously coordinated Elon’s first-year writing program and professional writing & rhetoric program. Her recent research examines transfer of writing knowledge and practices, multi-institutional research and collaborative inquiry, writing residencies for faculty writers, the writing lives of university students, and high-impact pedagogies. She is the co-editor of Critical Transitions: Writing and the Question of Transfer (with Chris Anson, The WAC Clearinghouse and University Press of Colorado, 2016) and Understanding Writing Transfer: Implications for Transformative Student Learning in Higher Education (with Randy Bass, Stylus, 2017).