Literacy

Program Director:
Dr. Kelly Harper, Interim Director of Graduate Literacy Programs

 

This program is transitioning to an online-only format.  The traditional (on-campus) format will be discontinued after the 2017-18 academic year.

Introduction

The Canisius College graduate literacy program prepares students to meet New York State requirements for certification as a literacy specialist. It also leads to a masters degree. There are course sequences in the program that involve 33 hours of study for Birth-Grade 6 or Grade 5 – 12 Certification. Additional coursework (9 hours) qualifies candidates for certification in both areas. Each program has a component that involves working with children in a clinical setting, specifically testing and tutoring in literacy skills (e.g. reading and writing).  More information can be found at the Literacy Program website.

Admissions Requirements

  • Free Online Application - The application includes a 300 word essay.
  • Official Bachelor's Degree Transcript. Unofficial or in progress transcripts are acceptable to begin the admissions review process. Applicants for the Fall 2016 semester and beyond will be expected to have a 3.0 undergraduate GPA. Applicants with less than a 3.0 undergraduate GPA will undergo additional review.
  • Test Scores. All applicants will be required to submit Graduate Records Examination (GRE), Millers Analogies Test (MAT), OR Academic Literacy Skills Test (ALST), test scores.
  • Two Letters of Recommendation. Letters can be personal, professional or academic references.
  • Evidence of teaching certification 
  • Canadian and other international applicants must provide a completed Certification of Finances form.

Field experiences in the Online Programs

In the curriculum, a field experience is noted for two courses. The first field experience is completed in a 6 credit block with Birth-Grade 6 Diagnosis or Grades 5-12 Diagnosis. The second field experience, the Advanced Practicum, is a 3 credit course.

Curriculum

Online Curriculum for Professional Certification in Literacy, Birth – Grade 6

Program Details

Required Core Courses
EDR 502Foundations of Literacy3
EDR 509Teaching Literacy with Diverse Population3
EDR 510Creating a Literate Environment3
EDR 515Measurement and Statistics3
EDR 600Literacy Curriculum and the Role of the Reading Specialist3
EDR 616Research in Reading3
Additional Courses
EDR 501Reading and Writing in the Content Areas3
EDR 508Emergent Literacy3
EDR 601Birth-Grade 6: Diagnosis and Diagnostic Teaching Clinical Practicum3-6
EDR 603Advanced Practicum: Birth-Grade 63
Optional
To Add Grade 5-12 Certification:0-9
Adolescent Literacy
EDR 604Advanced Practicum: Grades 5-123
Total Credits33-45

Required Certification Exams for Initial Certification

New York State Teachers Certification Exams (NYSTCE)

  • CST: Content Specialty Test (Literacy)

Completion of Graduation Portfolio Requirement

Candidates will use Task Stream to complete graduate portfolio requirements. Course instructors will also designate that certain assignments be included in the portfolio.

Curriculum

Online Professional Certification in Literacy, Grades 5 - 12

Program Details

Required Core Courses
EDR 502Foundations of Literacy3
EDR 509Teaching Literacy with Diverse Population3
EDR 510Creating a Literate Environment3
EDR 515Measurement and Statistics3
EDR 600Literacy Curriculum and the Role of the Reading Specialist3
EDR 616Research in Reading3
Additional Courses
EDR 503Reading in the Secondary School3
EDR 504Adolescent Literacy3
EDR 602Grade 5-12: Diagnosis and Diagnostic Teaching Clinical Practicum3-6
EDR 604Advanced Practicum: Grades 5-12 (Requires on-campus residency in summer.)3
Total Credits30-33

Required Certification Exams for Initial Certification

New York State Teachers Certification Exams (NYSTCE)

  • CST: Content Specialty Test (Literacy)

Completion of Graduation Portfolio Requirement

Candidates will use Task Stream to complete graduate portfolio requirements. Course instructors will also designate that certain assignments be included in the portfolio.

Learning Goals & Objectives

Learning Goal 1

Candidates in the literacy program will demonstrate content, pedagogical, and professional knowledge necessary for successful performance in their field.

Candidates will:

  • Demonstrate understanding of major theories and empirical research that describe the cognitive, linguistic, motivational, and sociocultural foundations of reading and writing development, processes, and components, including word recognition, language comprehension, strategic knowledge, and reading–writing connections.
  • Demonstrate understanding of the historically shared knowledge of the profession and changes over time in the perceptions of reading and writing development, processes, and components.
  • Use a wide range of texts (e.g., narrative, expository, and poetry) from traditional print, digital, and online resources.
  • Use routines to support reading and writing instruction (e.g., time allocation, transitions from one activity to another, discussions, and peer feedback).

Learning Goal 2

Candidates in the literacy program will demonstrate professional skills and dispositions necessary for successful performance in their field.

Candidates will:

  • Use foundational knowledge to design or implement an integrated, comprehensive, and balanced curriculum.
  • Use appropriate and varied instructional approaches, including those that develop word recognition, language comprehension, strategic knowledge, and reading–writing connections.
  • Display positive dispositions related to their own reading and writing and the teaching of reading and writing, and pursue the development of individual professional knowledge and behaviors.
  • Design the physical environment to optimize students’ use of traditional print, digital, and online resources in reading and writing instruction.
  • Use a variety of classroom configurations (i.e., whole class, small group, and individual) to differentiate instruction.

Learning Goal 3

Candidates in the literacy program will demonstrate willingness to use their skills to benefit and serve society. Within the contexts of their work, candidates promote authentic learning, social and emotional development, and a commitment to social justice in environments that foster respect for diversity and the dignity of all.

Candidates will:

  • Recognize, understand, and value the forms of diversity that exist in society and their importance in learning to read and write.
  • Use a literacy curriculum and engage in instructional practices that positively impact students’ knowledge, beliefs, and engagement with the features of diversity.
  • Develop and implement strategies to advocate for equity.
  • Design a social environment that is low risk and includes choice, motivation, and scaffolded support to optimize students’ opportunities for learning to read and write.

Learning Goal 4

Candidates in the literacy program will demonstrate self-reflection as a habit of mind, continuously assessing and refining their professional practice as they construct a rich repertoire of research-based knowledge, skills, and attitudes for effective performance ensuring that all students and/or clients have optimal opportunities to learn and grow.

Candidates will:

  • Demonstrate understanding of the role of professional judgment and practical knowledge for improving all students’ reading development and achievement.
  • Demonstrate understanding of the types of assessments and their purposes, strengths, and limitations.
  • Select, develop, administer, and interpret assessments, both traditional print and electronic, for specific purposes.

Learning Goal 5

Candidates in the literacy program will become adept at applying their acquired knowledge in the process of evaluating their own professional performance and decision-making with respect to its impact on students and/or clients, organizations, and the wider community.

Candidates will:

  • Demonstrate foundational knowledge of adult learning theories and related research about organizational change, professional development, and school culture.
  • Participate in, design, facilitate, lead, and evaluate effective and differentiated professional development programs.
  • Demonstrate understanding of and influence local, state, or national policy decisions.
  • Use assessment information to plan and evaluate instruction.
  • Communicate assessment results and implications to a variety of audiences.

Courses

EDR 501 Reading and Writing in the Content Areas 3 Credits

Strategies for teaching and developing young children's skills in effectively applying literacy skills as tools for learning in content areas will be examined. Candidates will develop materials and procedures, that enhance comprehension, vocabulary acquisition, and study skills of diverse populations of learners. Various measures for assessing children's performance in subject areas will be studied. Children's literature that supplements textbooks across the content areas will be examined.

Offered: every fall & summer.

EDR 502 Foundations of Literacy 3 Credits

Research-based foundational principles for effective instruction in each of the language areas will be explored. Candidates will study the historical trajectory of literacy research and instruction, learn strategies for literacy instruction with diverse populations of learners, create lesson plans that apply instructional techniques, select materials based on children's literacy level and interests, and examine various assessment measures. Multiple genres of children's literature along with applications in literacy instruction will be explored.

Offered: every fall & spring.

EDR 503 Reading in the Secondary School 3 Credits

The effective application of literacy skills as tools for teaching secondary level content areas to diverse populations will be examined. Candidates will develop materials and procedures that enhance comprehension. Integration of content and skills across subjects will be emphasized as well as methods to meet specific needs of students, including the use of multiple measures of assessment, diverse genres of literature, and various interventions in literacy instruction.

Offered: fall & summer.

EDR 504 Adolescent Literacy 3 Credits

Candidates will address the literacy needs of an increasingly diverse middle childhood and adolescent school population. Candidates will explore the factors influencing literacy education in the secondary school and become familiar with effective diagnostic teaching strategies appropriate for this diverse population.

Offered: fall & summer.

EDR 508 Emergent Literacy 3 Credits

Research on the emergence of young children's literacy knowledge and structures, that enhance this development will be studied. Implementation of the emergent literacy paradigm through lessons and programs for a diverse population of young children will be a focus. Multiple measures of assessment, effective early intervention models, and multiple genres of literature with applications in literacy instruction will be explored.

Offered: every fall & summer.

EDR 509 Teaching Literacy with Diverse Population 3 Credits

Strategies for effective literacy instruction with diverse populations will be examined. These include research-based approaches for special education students, ESL/LEP students and gifted and talented students. Candidates will examine how to match instruction to students' needs and how to incorporate differentiated instruction in a classroom. Multicultural literature and literature that deals with specific disabilities will be examined. Candidates create a comprehensive curricular unit that is ready to be implemented in a classroom of diversity.

Offered: every fall & spring.

EDR 510 Creating a Literate Environment 3 Credits

Instructional techniques for concurrently developing skills in speaking, listening, reading and writing as well as specific models for instruction that meet diverse needs and interests at all levels will be examined. Organizational components of an effective reading and writing classroom will be explored along with methods for providing a print-rich environment that spans a broad spectrum of reading levels, genres and interests.

Offered: every summer.

EDR 515 Measurement and Statistics 3 Credits

Descriptive and inferential statistical methods, quantitative and qualitative methods, research models, procedures for designing research studies and ethical principles will be studied. Candidates will also analyze literacy research studies that incorporate the various statistical procedures studied.

Offered: every summer.

EDR 600 Literacy Curriculum and the Role of the Reading Specialist 3 Credits

Procedures for planning, evaluating and implementing curriculum at the school district level that address state and local mandates will be explored. Multiple resources that can be used in the implementation of curriculum will be examined. The role that the literacy specialist plays in coordinating this process, guiding the selection of instructional materials, and determining appropriate in-service will be examined.

Offered: every summer.

EDR 601 Birth-Grade 6: Diagnosis and Diagnostic Teaching Clinical Practicum 6 Credits

Candidates will explore theories and conduct in-depth literacy assessments, using both formal and informal age-appropriate measures. Candidates will examine administrative procedures and the interpretation of results for multiple assessment instruments, including diagnostic and achievement tests, reading inventories, observations, and anecdotal records. The diagnostic teaching model will be introduced and traditional remediation and intervention theories will be explored as candidates work with struggling readers during their initial clinical practicum.

Prerequisite: EDR 501, EDR 502, EDR 508, & EDR 509.

Offered: every fall & spring.

EDR 602 Grade 5-12: Diagnosis and Diagnostic Teaching Clinical Practicum 6 Credits

Candidates will explore theories and conduct in-depth literacy assessments using both formal and informal age-appropriate measures. Candidates will examine procedures and the interpretation of results for multiple assessment instruments, including diagnostic and achievement tests, reading inventories, observations and anecdotal records. The diagnostic teaching model will be introduced. Traditional remediation and intervention theories will be explored as candidates work with struggling readers during their initial clinical practicum.

Prerequisite: EDR 502, EDR 503, EDR 504, & EDR 509.

Offered: every fall & spring.

EDR 603 Advanced Practicum: Birth-Grade 6 3 Credits

Candidates observe and fully participate as an intern in reading clinics, schools, or public and voluntary agencies serving children who are experiencing literacy problems. Candidates will refine proficiencies in instruction and assessment, organization, and enhancement of a literacy curriculum as they work with a professional team at the site. Candidates will serve as a resource for literacy instruction; they will also prepare staff development for professionals at the site based on a survey of teachers' interests/needs.

Prerequisite: EDR 601.

Offered: every fall & spring.

EDR 604 Advanced Practicum: Grades 5-12 3 Credits

Candidates observe and fully participate as an intern in reading clinics, schools, or public and voluntary agencies serving children who are experiencing literacy problems. Candidates will refine proficiencies in instruction and assessment, organization, and enhancement of a literacy curriculum as they work with a professional team at the site. Candidates will serve as a resource for literacy instruction; they will also prepare staff development for professionals at the site based on a survey of teachers' interests/needs.

Prerequisite: EDR 602.

Offered: every fall & spring.

EDR 616 Research in Reading 3 Credits

The course will include an examination of research on teaching in general and teaching literacy in particular. It will explore perspectives and questions on contrasting paradigms, implications of this research for curriculum, instruction, policy and practice, and teacher education and professional development. Each candidate will plan a research project consistent with his/her interests and with the course goals.

Prerequisite: EDR 515.

Offered: every fall & spring.