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.
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.) Discuss 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):
b.) Conventions of language
d.) Interest in working with struggling readers, rationale, and significant support for rationale
Note: Please refer to the rubric provided with the application materials for the statement prompts and specific evaluation criteria.
5. Submit three letters of reference on special literacy specialist program forms that attest to the applicant’s potential as a literacy specialist (included in application packet). Please note that references should be from professors, school administrators, cooperating teachers (only one), or student teaching supervisors (only one).
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.
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.
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.
EDU 513 Theory, Research and Practice in Literacy Instruction (3cr) and
EDU 535 Teaching Writing: B-12 or EDU 609 Literacy Instruction in the Upper Grades
EDU 606 Literacy Instruction for Linguistically Diverse Students
EDU 609 Literacy Instruction in the Upper Grades
EDU 611 Literacy in the Primary Grades or EDU 612 Developing Literacy through Literature
EDU 612 Developing Literacy through Literature
EDU 642 Literacy Assessment and Evaluation
EDU 643 Teaching Strategies for Students with Reading Difficulties
EDU 646 Literacy Leadership
EDU 647 Clinical Practicum
EDU 650 Literacy Theory and Research
EDU 655 Seminar in Reading
Program may be completed on a part-time basis through advisement. Pre-requisites apply.
Total Required Credit Hours: 36 cr
All courses are 3 credit hours unless otherwise indicated.