Literacy Specialist Program
Nazareth’s graduate literacy program prepares specialists who can meet the literacy needs of all learners, but particularly, those who are challenged by learning to read and write. By completing the program’s requirements, they earn a master’s degree as well as eligibility to apply for NYSED certification as a literacy specialist. Candidates gain the knowledge and skills, as well as develop the necessary professional dispositions, to successfully influence students’ literacy learning.
Based on the standards of both the International Literacy Association and the New York State Education Department, the program courses, fieldwork, and practica prepare candidates to determine the literacy strengths and needs of all learners efficiently, effectively, and equitably. The faculty provides guidance and support as candidates learn to meet students’ needs by integrating and applying their knowledge of theories, current research, and exemplary teaching practices. The candidates grow to be reflective practitioners who provide differentiated literacy learning opportunities for students in urban, suburban, and/or rural schools, whether they teach in a classroom or in support programs across grade levels. Reflecting upon the expertise they develop in the Literacy Specialist program, graduates understand how to support all students as they grow as literate people in all content areas in their academic lives.
The program sequence is designed to meet the demands of candidates’ personal and professional lives. They may enroll in as few as one course per semester (part-time) to as many as four (full-time). Selected courses must be taken in sequential order. Please refer to the course description section to determine specific prerequisite and corequisite courses.
- Completed Online Application
- Completion of the professional statement as described on the application
- Official transcripts from all colleges attended
- Applicants must have completed, or will be completing, a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution with a cumulative index of 3.0 and a “B” average in the major field by the start date of the desired term. A minimum GPA of 3.0 is expected. Applicants who do not meet these requirements must address each of the following in their professional statement:
- Why grades were below Nazareth’s minimum expectations
- Their potential to contribute positively to the teaching profession
- The relevant experiences and/or activities that demonstrate ability to complete graduate work at Nazareth University successfully
- An outline of specific procedures that will be followed to successfully navigate and meet the rigorous requirements of graduate study
- Copy of verification of teacher certification from the TEACH system
- Two letters of recommendation
- A resume
Certification required for admission:
- Literacy Specialist (PK-12) requires initial certification in one of the following areas: Early Childhood, Childhood, Adolescence or Speech and Language disabilities.
Program leads to the following: Additional certification as a Literacy Specialist (PK-12)
Eligibility to apply for Professional certifications held at the time of entrance to the graduate program.
Applying for Teacher Certification through New York State
Teacher candidates use the NYS TEACH system to apply for Initial and Professional certifications and need to pay the fees in effect at the time they apply. New York requires all teacher candidates to have a fingerprint/background check on file with TEACH, pass all appropriate New York State Teacher Certification Examinations <www.nystce.nesinc.com> and have the appropriate years of teaching experience. New York State Education Department maintains a website with certification requirements: http://www.highered.nysed.gov/tcert/
Teacher candidates adding an additional certification will need to take the appropriate Content Specialty Test in their new area of certification only.
During a teacher candidate’s final semester, information on the certification application process will be sent via email. Additional support may be obtained by contacting Nazareth University Teacher Certification Office at (585) 389-2592 or by email email@example.com, or www.naz.edu/dept/edu/certification.cfm
March 1 for Summer Term
April 1 for Fall Term
October 1 for Spring Term
Applications received after the stated deadline will be processed on a space-available basis.
Student Learning Outcomes based on the Standards of the International Literacy Association (2017)
- Candidates will demonstrate knowledge of major theoretical, conceptual, historical, and evidence-based foundations of literacy and language, the ways in which they interrelate, and the role of the reading/literacy specialist in schools.
- Candidates will use foundational knowledge to design literacy curricula to meet needs of learners, especially those who experience difficulty with literacy; design, implement, and evaluate small-group and individual evidence-based literacy instruction for learners; collaborate with teachers to implement effective literacy practices.
- Candidates will understand, select and use valid, reliable, fair and appropriate assessment tools to screen, diagnose, and measure student literacy achievement; inform instruction and evaluate interventions; assist teachers in their understanding and use of assessment results; advocate for appropriate literacy practices to relevant stakeholders.
- Candidates will demonstrate knowledge of research, relevant theories, pedagogies, and essential concepts of diversity and equity; demonstrate an understanding of themselves and others as cultural beings; create classrooms and schools that are inclusive and affirming; advocate for equity at school, district and community levels.
- Candidates will be able to meet the developmental needs of all learners and collaborate with school personnel to use a variety of print and digital materials to engage and motivate all learners; integrate digital technologies in appropriate, safe and effective ways; foster a positive climate that supports a literacy-rich learning environment.
- Candidates will demonstrate the ability to be reflective literacy professionals, who apply their knowledge of adult learning to work collaboratively with colleagues; demonstrate their leadership and facilitation skills; advocate on behalf of teachers, students, families and communities.
- Candidates will complete supervised, integrated, extended practica/clinical experiences that include intervention work with students and working with their peers and experienced colleagues; practica include ongoing experiences in school-based settings(s); supervision includes observation and ongoing feedback by qualified supervisors.