What is WiLATA at NLCS?

So What is the WiLATA Writing Project at NLCS ALL About?

The writing project at NLCS is a school-wide writing project. The primary purpose of this project is to help all members of this learning community to value written communication and grow as writers. We know that the skill of writing (along with reading and speaking/listening) is essential for people who want to be successful in school and out of school. So, we designed a writing project that will teach students to write regardless of the skill level they start out at.

The NLCS Writing Project is a year-long project that has four main areas of emphasis: the paragraph, the essay, writing from outside sources (MLA), and creative writing. We believe that it is our responsibility to start with students wherever they are, teach them the skills they need to be successful, give them relevant assignments, offer feedback as they revise their work, and give them chances to continue until their writing is polished.

The term WiLATA comes from the highly successful program developed by Dr. Randy Ryder, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, funded by the National Department of Education, and used extensively across the state of Wisconsin. It is the best, most accurate device we’ve ever seen when it comes to developing and assessing assignments of any kind. Not only does the WiLATA assess writing skills, but it also assesses critical thinking skills–both in the assignment and in the student’s response to the assignment.

This school-wide writing project has changed the culture of the school in a positive way. In fact, faculty and staff all write in response to the prompts given, model their writing for students as they learn, and are trained to score writing using the WiLATA scoring guide. The change in atmosphere regarding academic things is truly remarkable!

For additional information, please contact:
Patrick Mathias
Itasca Community College
English Faculty
CRU Faculty Advisor
Wilson Hall 117
Itasca Community College
1851 E. U.S. Highway 169
Grand Rapids, MN 55744


Office: (218) 322-2422
Cell: (218) 259-9838