Conference on College Composition and Communication Logo

CCCC Outstanding Teaching Award

Nomination Deadline: July 1, 2024
Initial Application Packet Deadline: July 30, 2024

Purpose: Established in 2020, the CCCC Outstanding Teaching Award is presented annually to honor the discipline’s practitioners and make visible the best teaching practices of the field. The intent of this award is to honor teaching and CCCC members who do their primary work in the classroom every day. CCCC offers two awards each year—one for an Emergent Outstanding Teacher and the other for a Sustained Outstanding Teacher. Awardees will receive $500 for travel, classroom, or other educational funding.

Eligibility: Educators are eligible to apply if they teach primarily during a student’s first year in college or in students’ first college writing classes, including:

  • first-year composition
  • basic writing
  • first-year seminars
  • accelerated learning
  • general education
  • developmental writing
  • other writing models that occur during a student’s first-year standing in higher education

Award Criteria: The award winners will be chosen by the committee based on evidence illustrating:

  • use, adaptation, and/or embodiment of research-informed practices
  • student learning among a diverse group of learners with multiple literacies and language practices
  • responsive and effective teaching methods, assignments, and activities
  • an engaged classroom with thoughtful curriculum delivery that promotes student agency
  • meaningful, informed, democratic, and equity-driven assessment practices
  • inspiration of students and other teachers.

The committee will also consider institution type (e.g., tribal colleges, four-year residential, four-year urban, teaching-intensive, minority-serving, two-year colleges, open admissions, small liberal arts), contact hours, number of students, populations and communities served (e.g., students with disabilities, nontraditional students, L2/language diversity, racially diverse), and teaching frameworks (e.g., social justice pedagogy, universal design, culturally sustaining pedagogies).

Award Specifics: Awardee selection involves a three-part process. All materials must be submitted as PDFs emailed to This award is intended to recognize excellence in teaching and learning practices, and materials submitted should be designed for and used in first-year writing courses. Materials should reflect the applicant’s classroom practices (rather than materials generated for the purpose of writing program administration more broadly).

FIRST: Nominations are due by July 1, 2024. Nominating letters submitted by a colleague who knows the nominee’s work will take the place of the letter of support in the initial application packet. Those nominating should cc the person being nominated to prompt the nominee to complete an initial application. The nominating letter: establishes the nominee’s eligibility (i.e., teaches primarily or exclusively first-year writing and aligned writing courses in a college setting); indicates the appropriate award category for consideration (see category descriptions); and describes how the nominee works within and beyond standards defined by disciplinary scholarship and practices, establishing connections between the nominee’s teaching and theory. (Reflect, for instance, on how the nominee’s teaching and learning practices enact and/or critically challenge the NCTE Definition of Literacy in a Digital Age, NCTE Professional Knowledge for the Teaching of Writing, and/or CCCC Principles for the Postsecondary Teaching of Writing.)

Self-nomination is also an option, and can be completed by submitting a letter that’s comparable to the cover letter in the initial application packet (see “Cover letter” below). Meeting the July 1 deadline is not required for self-nomination, but will give nominees time to have their eligibility confirmed and to seek support as needed with submitting the initial application packet.

SECOND: Initial application packets are due by July 30, 2024. In one PDF, please submit:

  1. Cover letter (not required if submitted via self-nominated by July 1; no more than 750 words) The cover letter: introduces self as a nominee — including years of teaching, course load(s), institution type(s) — and one whose work may exemplify the best teaching practices of the field; forecasts what would be seen by the committee in a teaching and assessment portfolio; details the nominee’s professional context, including institutional working conditions and challenges.
  2. Support letter (see nominating letter specifications above; not required if submitted via nomination letter by July 1)
  3. Teaching philosophy (no more than 750 words)
  4. Curriculum vitae

The selection committee will use this rubric to determine which nominees will advance.

THIRD: Nominees invited to submit second-round application packets will be contacted in early August 2023, and should submit the following in a single PDF by September 15, 2024.

  1. Critical reflection of teaching with supporting materials
    1. Reflection: establishes the framework for the nominee’s approach to designing and teaching first-year writing, including the ways in which professional development and/or scholarship have informed teaching practice (no more than 750 words).
    2. Supporting materials: provides evidence of how peda-/andragogy is enacted, e.g., selections from syllabi, trademark assignments, other teaching materials that illustrate how the nominee engages learners (no more than 10 pages).
  2. Assessment philosophy with supporting materials
    1. Philosophy: articulates and theorizes the nominee’s approach to writing assessment in their professional context(s) (no more than 750 words).
    2. Supporting materials: provides evidence of how assessment is enacted, e.g., teaching materials, sample student work (no more than 10 pages).
  3. Teaching observation (from a colleague or other qualified individual)
  4. Up to 3 additional letters of support that speak to the nominee’s teaching (from, e.g., students, colleagues, or administrators)

The selection committee will use this rubric to determine which nominees will be awarded.

Award recipients will be notified by early February. Award recipients will be honored at the CCCC Annual Convention during the awards presentation and will receive a plaque and $500 for travel, classroom, or other educational funding. The recipients will also be honored at the Teacher-to-Teacher event during the CCCC Annual Convention and therein give a workshop, lead a discussion, and/or speak at the event.

E-mail questions

Outstanding Teaching Award Winners


Emergent Award
Philip B. Gallagher, Mercer University

Sustained Award
David M. Grant, University of Northern Iowa


Emergent Award: Qianqian Zhang-Wu, Northeastern University
Sustained Award: Douglas S. Kern, Valencia College
Honorable Mention, Sustained Award: Emily Sendin, Miami Dade College

Not awarded.

Jessica Kubiak, Jamestown Community College, NY
Bernice Olivas, Salt Lake Community College, UT

Renew Your Membership

Join CCCC today!
Learn more about the SWR book series.
Connect with CCCC
CCCC on Facebook
CCCC on LinkedIn
CCCC on Twitter
CCCC on Tumblr
OWI Principles Statement
Join the OWI discussion


Copyright © 1998 - 2024 National Council of Teachers of English. All rights reserved in all media.

1111 W. Kenyon Road, Urbana, Illinois 61801-1096 Phone: 217-328-3870 or 877-369-6283

Looking for information? Browse our FAQs, tour our sitemap and store sitemap, or contact NCTE

Read our Privacy Policy Statement and Links Policy. Use of this site signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use