Feb 28, 2024  
2023-2024 Graduate Bulletin 
2023-2024 Graduate Bulletin

Literacy Specialist

Dr. Vicki Jones, Program Coordinator

By combining theory and application, candidates will learn how to assess, diagnose and teach students how to be active and effective 21st century listeners, speakers, readers, and writers. In addition, candidates who complete the program will have the most current research-based tools necessary to facilitate literacy initiatives within their own school districts.

The coursework includes two foundational literacy acquisition and development courses, a course focused on literacy and brain research, two courses on best practices in assessment and remediation, two courses on literature supporting 21stcentury students (including multicultural text and digital literacy), an advanced literacy and learning in the content areas course, a leadership course focused upon literacy leadership, and a literacy education practicum course. Students who successfully complete the course sequence and who hold a valid Pennsylvania Level I or II teaching certificate will be prepared to complete the Praxis exam and apply for the PDE reading specialist certification.

The Literacy Program Learning Outcomes areas Follows:

  1. Candidates demonstrate the knowledge of the theoretical, historical, and evidence-based foundations of reading, writing, language, speaking, listening, viewing, and the integral role of the reading/literacy specialist in schools.
  2. Candidates use foundational knowledge to design literacy curricula to meet needs of learners, especially those who experience difficulty with literacy. Design and implement small-group and individual evidence-based literacy instruction for students with specific literacy needs; collaborate with and coach school-based educators in developing, implementing, and evaluating the instructional practices.
  3. Candidates will lead professional learning experiences to assist teachers in selecting, administering, analyzing, interpreting, and using data results for instructional decision making for classrooms and schools.
  4. Candidates demonstrate knowledge of relevant research, relevant theories, pedagogies, essential concepts of diversity and equity, demonstrate and provide opportunities for understanding all forms of diversity as essential to students’ identities; create classrooms and schools that are inclusive and affirming; advocate for equity at school, district, and community levels.
  5. Candidates meet the developmental needs of all learners and collaborate with school personnel to use a variety of digital and print materials to engage and motivate all learners; integrate digital technologies inappropriate, safe, and effective ways; foster a positive climate that supports a literacy-rich learning environment.
  6. Candidates are self-aware, lifelong learners who collaboratively design, align, and assess instructional practices and interventions that support students and professional colleagues; develop, refine, and demonstrate leadership skills; engage in collaborative decision making with and advocate on behalf of teachers, students, families, and communities.
  7. Candidates complete a supervised, integrated, extended practicum/clinical experiences: one focused on intervention with student and the other on coaching; practicum experiences are on-going with at least one in school-based setting; and supervision includes observation and ongoing feedback by qualified supervisors.

(International Literacy Association, 2017)