May 25, 2024  
2013-2014 Graduate Catalog 
2013-2014 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Literacy Specialist Program (Birth-Grade 6)

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Department of Language, Literacy, and Technology
Literacy Specialist Programs

  • Birth-Grade 6
  • Grades 5-12

Nazareth’s graduate literacy programs (Birth-Grade 6 and Grades 5-12) prepare specialists who can meet the literacy needs of all learners, but, particularly, those who are challenged by learning to read and write. By completing their program’s requirements, they earn a master’s degree as well as eligibility for NYSED certification as a literacy specialist. Candidates gain the appreciations, understandings, and knowledge as well as developing the necessary habits so they can successfully influence students’ learning by what they know and by what they can do.

Based on the standards of both the International Reading Association and the New York State Education Department, the programs’ courses, fieldwork, and practica prepare graduate students to determine the literacy strengths and needs of all learners efficiently and effectively. The faculty provides guidance and support as its students learn to overcome the challenge of meeting these 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 learning opportunities for students in urban, suburban, and rural schools, whether they teach in a classroom or support programs. Reflecting upon the expertise they developed in the Literacy Specialist program, graduates expect all students whom they teach can and will learn as well as engage in using the English Language Arts for academic, vocational, and avocational pursuits throughout their lives.

Students, with the support of the programs’ director and their advisor, design a program sequence to meet their personal needs. They may enroll in as few as one course per semester (part-time) to as many as three (full-time). Selected courses must be taken in sequential order. Please refer to course description section to determine specific pre-requisite and co-requisite courses.

With the permission of the program director, students may take the necessary course to be eligible for a second literacy certification. If students choose to enroll in the additional course, they will be able to apply for both certifications (Birth-Grade 6 and Grades 5-12).

Program Director
Naomi Erdmann, Ed.D.
(585) 389-2614
Entry Requirements  

  1. Completed Online Application
  2. Completion of the professional statement as described on the application
  3. Official transcripts from all colleges attended
    • Applicant 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.
      • An applicant who does not meet these grade point average expectations must address them in his/her professional statement; please see the Professional Statement section of the admissions application for further information.
  4. Copy of verification of teacher certification from the TEACH system
  5. Two letters of recommendation
  6. Resume

Certification required for admission:

  • Literacy Specialist (Birth-Grade 6) requires Early Childhood Education or Childhood Education certification.
  • Literacy Specialist (Grades 5-12) requires Childhood Education or Adolescence certification.
  • A candidate holding a K-12 (or Birth-12) certification may choose either age level Literacy Specialist program. Please note, however, that additional coursework may be required. This will be determined through individual advisement.

Program leads to: Additional certification as a Literacy Specialist (Birth-Grade 6) or  Literacy Specialist (Grades 5-12)
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 <> and have the appropriate years of teaching experience. New York State Education Department maintains a website with certification requirements:

Teacher candidates adding an additional certification will need to take the appropriate Content Specialty Test in their new area of certification only.

Note – the CSTs are in the process of being revised and phased in starting in Spring 2014. If you pass the current CST before the new CST test is available it will be accepted. Monitor the NYSTCE website for sample tests, guides and the availability of revised Content Specialty Tests (CST)

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 College Teacher Certification Office at (585) 389-2592 or by email, or

Application Deadlines:
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

1. All the Literacy Programs’ student display the dispositions, gain the knowledge, and develop the habits to be a NYSED certified Literacy Specialist.

2. Literacy Program’s students demonstrate the knowledge necessary to be qualified for NYSED certification as a Literacy Specialist B-6 or 5-12.

3. Literacy Programs’ students translate theoretical knowledge into exemplary instructional practices to drive instruction.

Literacy Education Capstone Seminar (3 credits)

LTED 690 and LTED 699 must be taken concurrently


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