About two-thirds of America’s eighth grade students and about three-fourths of high school seniors failed to reach proficient writing levels on the National Assessment of Educational Progress. A 2006 survey of college professors suggests a large majority of college students possess “limited writing skills.” And, a 2003 study found American companies are spending billions of dollars on remedial training for employees—some “new hires straight out of college” (Dillon, 2008).
The need for writing capacity has increased as electronic communication has soared. However, test results and observations by business leaders and college professors indicate our current instructional efforts fail to equip students with proficient writing ability.
The Writer’s Stylus Program begins with a Basic Course that takes a twofold approach in addressing this need: 1) it equips teachers with increased knowledge, understanding, and utilization of sound writing practices, and 2) it equips teachers to convert this knowledge into improved writing instruction for students.