Missouri State University
Missouri State
The Magazine Published For The Alumni And Friends of Missouri State University
Dr. Keri Franklin, ’99
Photo by Jesse Scheve

Dr. Keri Franklin, ’99

Director of assessment; associate professor of English

Her scholarly activity

How does a student become a better writer? How does a teacher effectively teach writing? How can a university partnership improve student writing in high schools? Those are the research questions Franklin, an alumna who earned her master’s degree at MSU, hopes to answer.

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Her work led to the establishment of the Center for Writing in College, Career and Community. The center provides professional development to teachers. There’s a strong focus on teachers and students in rural schools.

“We teach teachers more about how to teach writing,” Franklin said.

This center is also home to the Ozarks Writing Project, or OWP. Franklin is the founding director of OWP, which provides development to thousands of area teachers in disciplines including science, math and social studies. In 2008, OWP became a National Writing Project site — one of about 200 at universities across the United States.

How they measured improvement

Recently, Franklin was one of 12 National Writing Project site directors chosen for a grant from the U.S. Department of Education. The grant resulted in more than $600,000 in funding for the Ozarks Writing Project’s College-Ready Writers Program, a partnership between MSU and four Missouri school districts.

The results are promising. The College-Ready Writers Program had a positive, statistically significant effect on the four attributes of student writing that were measured. Students of one Laquey, Missouri, teacher experienced a 17 percent jump in scores on the state test in one year.