About the Program
The Elementary Education and Reading Department offers programs leading to New York State certification as a literacy specialist. These programs prepare professional literacy specialists to provide instruction for students with reading or writing difficulties. Graduates of these programs also will be able to serve as effective resources and leaders for school-wide literacy curriculum and instruction.
Students should expect to complete the last four required courses (EDU 642, EDU 643 or EDU 645, EDU 647, and EDU 655) in sequence, on a part-time basis, beginning in a fall semester. EDU 647 is offered as a summer course.
1. A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university.
2. A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 (4.0 scale).
3. Submit a copy of a New York State Certificate of Qualification (CQ), Provisional Certificate, or Initial Certificate along with the admission application. Recent graduates or those just completing their undergraduate programs at the time of application, write in the date of the expected certification on the admission application. Submit a copy of certification to the Elementary Education and Reading Department by the time of application for degree candidacy (after completing 6 credits and before the completion of 12 credits).
4. Complete a word-processed statement addressing the following:
a. Your reasons for seeking Literacy Specialist certification
b. Your relevant academic, professional, and/or personal experiences, with emphasis on what you feel you already have accomplished or what you wish to
learn more about
c. Your specific interest in working with students who have reading or writing
Your statement will be evaluated according to the following criteria:
a. States specific goals and provides clear rationale for them
b. Articulates relevant academic, professional or personal experiences
c. Candidate expresses interest in working with struggling readers/writers
d. Statement is generally coherent, well-organized, and cogent
e. Statement is free of obvious mechanical or spelling errors
5. Three letters of reference on special departmental forms that attest to the applicant’s potential as a literacy specialist. Please note that two references must be from college professors/instructors. Forms are available at
6. Demonstrated command of oral and written English.
In addition, all applicants should review the Admission to a Graduate Program section in this catalog. Admission to both programs is limited and consequently highly competitive. Admission decisions are based on a combination of candidates’ previous academic performance, letters of recommendation, experience working with children, and statement of professional interests. Please refer to the Graduate Admissions Committee rubric (attached to the supplemental application information) used for evaluating applications.
Degree Candidacy: A student who has completed at least 6 credit hours must submit an Admission to Degree Candidacy form before completing 12 credit hours.
Graduates of the program earn eligibility for certification as literacy specialists (birth through grade 6). Applicants to the 36-credit program must be certified in elementary education, early childhood education, or childhood education.
Required Courses 27 credits
EDU 513 Survey of Basic Concepts of Elementary Reading Instruction
EDU 606 Literacy Instruction for Linguistically Diverse Students
EDU 611 Literacy in the Primary Grades
EDF 689 Methods and Techniques of Educational Research (Must be taken prior to EDU 655)
EDU 642 Reading Assessment and Evaluation
EDU 643 Teaching Students with Reading Difficulties: Childhood
EDU 647 Clinical Practicum (6)
EDU 655 Teaching of Reading: Graduate Seminar (Culminating Course)
Elective Courses * 9 credits
Select three courses from the following:
EDU 535 Teaching Writing in the Elementary School
EDU 546 Improvement of Instruction in Language Arts
EDU 609 Improving Reading in the Content Areas
EDU 612 Developing Literacy through Literature
EDU 615 Applying Psychology to the Teaching of Reading
Other courses in language arts, young adult literature, linguistics, or other literacy-related areas may be selected under advisement.
Total Required Credit Hours 36 credits
* Selected under advisement
All courses are 3 credit hours unless otherwise indicated.