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Literacy Specialist, Early Admission Undergraduate to Graduate Pathway


The Literacy Specialist early admission pathway is for selected students currently seeking a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood, Childhood Education, combined Early Childhood and Childhood Education, Exceptional Education, Art Education, Music Education, or any secondary education subject area who have demonstrated through coursework and field experiences the skills and dispositions that recommend them for rigorous study as a literacy specialist.  Enrollment in this pathway allows candidates to begin the graduate course work for the Literacy Specialist Program during the bachelor’s portion of their program. Following completion of the bachelor’s degree, advanced admission candidates will complete the program in three semesters of graduate study. Completion of the undergraduate requirements for the base initial certificate will result in the college’s recommendation for New York State certification in that base certificate. Completing the graduate portion of the pathway will result in the college’s recommendation for Initial and Professional certification for Literacy (Birth-Grade 6 and Grades 5-12), and will qualify the candidate to apply for professional certification for the base certificate(s).  

Candidates in the pathway must have a 3.0 undergraduate GPA prior to enrollment in the initial graduate courses.  For most candidates, this will be at the end of their junior year (sixth semester) when they will begin the pathway by completing EDU 513, ”Theory, Research and Practice in Literacy Instruction,” while student teaching and continue with EDU 612, “Developing Literacy through Literature” and EDU 535, “Teaching Writing B-12,” in their final undergraduate semester.  Candidates must maintain a 3.0 GPA and earn a grade of B or better in the graduate courses to remain in the pathway. After successfully completing their undergraduate program, including the graduate courses in their final semesters, candidates will be officially accepted into the graduate Literacy Specialist program.  At this time, the graduate credits will be applied to the graduate course of study and all the policies and privileges relevant to graduate students will apply.

Admission Requirements

Students may enter the pathway after being reviewed by a committee of faculty at the completion of EDU 311, “The Teaching of Reading and the Other Language Arts in the Elementary School” or a similar literacy methods course required in another major. Successful candidates electing this pathway will be required to submit a statement indicating intent to remain at Buffalo State for both undergraduate and graduate studies as part of the application packet.

  • As with all SUNY teacher education programs, undergraduates must have on file an SAT or ACT score.
  • Candidates who seek this pathway must submit a written recommendation from their EDU 311 (or equivalent) instructor.
  • Transfer students should speak to the chair of the department or designee prior to applying. Contact the Elementary Education & Reading Department at (716) 878-5916

To Apply

Qualified students interested in applying should meet with their designated advisors for assistance with the application process.  Contact the Department of Elementary Education & Reading for more information at (716) 878-5916.


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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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