Southern Miss’ Live Oak Writing Project Offers Yearlong Professional Development

Live Oak Writing Project

Educators from Harrison Central High School and The University of Southern Mississippi recently kicked off a yearlong professional development opportunity facilitated by the Live Oak Writing Project (LOWP) on the University's Gulf Park campus in Long Beach.

On Monday, July 24, teachers from the English Language Arts department at Harrison Central High School gathered on the Gulf Park campus to take advantage of the College-Ready Writers Program (CRWP), a yearlong professional development workshop designed to improve upon teachers' knowledge of argument writing pedagogy. This program is sponsored by the Department of Education, the Rural Trust Foundation, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Designed by the National Writing Project, the goal of the CRWP is to assure more teachers have the ability to teach college and career-ready writing—with a specific emphasis on writing arguments based on nonfiction texts. This program provides scaffolded teaching and formative assessment resources that support the development of students' argument writing and prepares youth for college, career and community engagement.

"We want to support teachers as they lead their students through writing inquiry source-based arguments," said Dr. Rebecca Powell, assistant professor of English and director of the LOWP. "Teachers will leave with a theory of argument pedagogy, classroom-ready strategies and tools for planning the next steps in instruction for their students."

Throughout the program, the teachers will participate in 45 hours of professional development, including teaching observations, formative student assessment and collaborative planning. The teachers will also utilize the argument framework built by the National Writing Project, which focuses on building a culture of argument and writing within the classroom.

The Live Oak Writing Project is a collaborative program of The University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Park Campus and Mississippi coastal schools. Its purpose is to help teachers improve as writers and effective teachers of writing.

For more information about the LOWP, visit