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Literacy Specialist (Birth-Grade 12), M.S.Ed.

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.

Applicants to the Literacy Specialist (LBT) program must be certified in elementary education, childhood and /or early childhood education, a secondary subject area, special education, art education, physical education, or other educational area.

Applicants must:
1. Have a degree from an accredited college or university.

2. Have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 (4.0 scale) in undergraduate work. Please submit all transcripts.

3. Submit proof of New York State Initial Certification or New York State Certificate of Qualification or Provisional Certification in Elementary Education at the time of application. If you are a recent graduate or just completing your undergraduate program at the time of application, write in the date certification is expected on the application. You must submit proof of your teaching certificate to the Elementary Education and Reading Department by the time you apply for candidacy (after completing 6 credits and before the completion of 12 credits).

4. Write a well-crafted statement addressing the following:
a.) Your reasons for seeking Literacy Specialist certification.
b.) The professional challenge(s) you encountered during your field experiences/first classroom experiences that you hope to address in your graduate work.
c.) What you hope to learn in your graduate program focusing on your interest in working with struggling readers.

Your statement will be evaluated according to the following criteria (see rubric):
a.) Organization
b.) Conventions of language
c.) Content
d.) Interest in working with struggling readers, rationale, and significant support for rationale

NOTE: Please sign and date your statement.

5. Submit three letters of reference on special department forms that attest to the applicant’s potential as a literacy specialist (included in application packet). They are numbered. Please note that two references must be from college professors/instructors and only one can be from a student teaching supervisor.

6. Submit a professional resume.

Applicants will be judged on demonstrated academic records, the strength of recommendations, and the quality of the candidate’s statement.

Further information about this program is available from:
Nancy A. Chicola, Chair
Ellen S. Friedland, Assistant Chair for Graduate Programs
Keli Garas-York, Program Coordinator
Bacon Hall 316F
Phone: (716) 878-5615

Application Deadline Dates:
Applications will be considered until the quota for each semester has been met. Denied applicants may be eligible for admission to the Curriculum and Instruction Program (Literacy Concentration).
Applicants are strongly encouraged to apply early to ensure the processing of their application materials. All documentation needs to be submitted by the application deadline in order to process your application.

Please return your completed application and all supplemental materials to the Graduate School Office, Cleveland Hall 204.

Required Courses* (36 credit hours)

Spring or Summer
EDU 513 Theory, Research and Practice in Literacy Instruction (3cr) and
Select two of the following courses:
EDU 535 Teaching Writing: B-12 (3 cr)
EDU 609 Literacy Instruction in the Upper Grades (3 cr)
EDU 611 Literacy Instruction in the Primary Grades (3 cr)
EDU 612 Developing Literacy through Literature (3 cr)

EDU 642 Reading Assessment and Evaluation (3 cr)
Select two of the following courses:
EDU 535 Teaching Writing: B-12 (3 cr)
EDU 609 Literacy Instruction in the Upper Grades (3 cr)
EDU 611 Literacy Instruction in the Primary Grades (3 cr)
EDU 612 Developing Literacy through Literature (3 cr)

EDU 606 Literacy Instruction for Linguistically Diverse Students (3 cr)
EDU 643 Teaching Strategies for Students with Reading Difficulties (3 cr)
EDU 646 Literacy Leadership (3 cr)

EDU 647 Clinical Practicum (3 cr)
EDU 650 Literacy Theory and Research (3 cr)
EDU 655 Seminar in Reading (3 cr)

Total Required Credit Hours 36 credits
*Please note that the program may be completed on a part-time basis through advisement. Pre-requisites apply.

Elementary Education and Reading

Buffalo State •  1300 Elmwood Ave  •  Bacon Hall 302
Buffalo, NY 14222  •  Phone: (716) 878-5916 •  Fax: Fax: (716) 878-6033
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