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M.S.Ed., Literacy Specialist

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Community of Passionate Educators

The Literacy Specialist profession is rapidly growing and is one of the most highly desired certification areas by school districts today. Graduates of our program have gone on to leadership positions in many of the local schools in Northern New York State, and beyond.

Literacy Educator Photo
Make a Meaningful Impact

Literacy specialists are key factors in producing high reading and writing achievement, and preventing reading failure in their schools. On this career path, you can make a meaningful impact in the lives of your students, inspiring them towards success and a lifelong love of books and learning.

Literacy Educator Photo
Our Commitment

Our program and faculty are dedicated to preparing knowledgeable and passionate literacy specialists with strong commitments to equity and diversity, excellence in their practice, social responsibility, and critical reflection.

Literacy Educator Photo
Foundations of Literacy

Through courses and professional development opportunities, students gain critical understanding of the history and foundations of literacy to inform practice. Unique program experiences inspire interest in literacy, and help foster relationships among students, educators, researchers, and community advocates to strengthen literacy across the lifespan.

Community of Passionate Educators

The Literacy Specialist profession is rapidly growing and is one of the most highly desired certification areas by school districts today. Graduates of our program have gone on to leadership positions in many of the local schools in Northern New York State, and beyond.

The Literacy Specialist program has been designed to meet the certification regulations of the New York State Education Department, as well as the Standards for Literacy Professionals of the International Literacy Association. This 36-credit hour program allows candidates to qualify for Initial Certification in either Literacy (Birth-Grade 6) or Literacy (Grade 5-12). Candidates will also satisfy the academic requirements for Professional certification in their Initial New York certification area. This program is nationally recognized by the International Literacy Association.

What You Will Learn:

  • In-depth knowledge of literacy theories and research-based practices essential for effective, inclusive teaching and intervention, curriculum development, and leadership.
  • Multiple opportunities to examine assessment and intervention, enabling you to administer and interpret a wide variety of formal and informal literacy assessment tools.
  • Collaboration and communication skills central for working as part of a school team addressing the unique literacy needs of B-12 learners.
  • Perspectives and skills to develop innovative literacy programs that engage diverse students and families in school and community settings.
  • Student-centered, inquiry-based approaches to help you read and think critically, including the ability to analyze literacy research and construct literacy action research projects.

The Fieldwork Experience:

  • Completion of more than 50 hours of fieldwork in a local school through a year-long, supervised internship or one-semester practicum, gaining hands-on experience of literacy assessment, intervention planning and implementation, and leadership.
  • A close relationship with faculty and field supervisors, who work together to support students to reach their highest potential as literacy educators, intervention specialists, and leaders.

Unique Program Features:

  • Field placements in practicum and internship frequently result in full-time employment upon graduation. Our faculty has a large network of contacts that lead to information about job opportunities, and our graduates regularly call for recommendations to fill positions.
  • Unique opportunities to integrate theory and practice through course-related case study projects; collaborations with classroom teachers to design and implement differentiated literacy instruction; and partnerships with schools to enhance family/community literacy outreach efforts.
  • Opportunities are offered to attend professional development workshops as a participant and contributor, helping further your understanding of literacy methods, policy issues, and pedagogy.
  • Small class sizes promote close relationships with professors and fellow Literacy Specialist candidates.
  • An advisor guides you through the entire program, providing support that greatly enhances your education experience.
  • Flexible course scheduling with two enrollment locations in Potsdam and Watertown.

“My time at SUNY Potsdam shaped the way that I view literacy instruction, and it sparked my love and passion for what I do. Through many hands-on activities in our courses, I came away with a good knowledge of what good literacy instruction looks like.”

~ Victoria Throop, Reading Specialist / Coach

Admissions FAQs

36
credits

Minimum Credits

12-16
months

Approximate minimum time to complete (assumes full time attendance)

Rolling
rolling

Deadline to submit application materials

FallSpring
summer|fall

Start date: Summer - Watertown, Fall - Potsdam
 
Program Contacts

Admissions / General Information Center for Graduate Studies
Satterlee 215C
(315) 267-2165
graduate@potsdam.edu


Program-Related Information
Marta Albert
Program Coordinator
Satterlee 206
(315) 267-4881
albertmk@potsdam.edu