M.S.Ed., Literacy Specialist

Admissions requirements:

  • A baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution of higher education.
  • A minimum overall GPA of 3.0 (4.0 scale) in most recent 60 credits of undergraduate study.
  • A letter of intent written by the applicant expressing professional goals as applied to the program.
  • Submission of three letters of recommendation, using the required recommendation form.
  • Résumé or curriculum vitae.
  • Submission of a copy of current teaching certificate within the first 15 credit hours completed in the program.
  • Six credit hours of undergraduate study in literacy education focusing on teaching methods.

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 Reading Association. This program allows candidates to qualify for initial certification in one of the following levels, as well as satisfying the academic requirements for Professional certification in their Initial New York certification area: Early Childhood and Childhood (Birth-Grade 6) and Middle Childhood and Adolescence (Grade 5-12). Program courses also available at Watertown JCC campus.

Contact Information

Admissions / General Information
Center for Graduate Studies
Coordinator of Graduate Recruitment
Satterlee 238
(315) 267-2165

Program-Related Information
Kathryn Jeror
Department Chair
Satterlee 100C
(315) 267-2160

Required Program Courses

Minimum of 36 credit hours:

GRDG 600, Foundations of Literacy, 3 credits
GRDG 605, Literacy Assessment and Evaluation, 3 credits
GRDG 610, Seminar: Literacy Research, 3 credits
GRDG 615, Literacy:Family/School/Community Collaboration, 3 credits
GRDG 620, Literacy and Linguistically Diverse Learners, 3 credits
GRDG 625, Using Technology to Teach Literacy, 3 credits

Early Childhood/Childhood Literacy Concentration (B-6):
GRDG 655, Literacy Intervention Strategies, B-6, 3 credits
GRDG 660, Teaching Writing, B-6, 3 credits
GRDG 665, Emergent Literacy, 3 credits
GRDG 690, Literacy Practicum, B-2, 3 credits
GRDG 691, Literacy Practicum, 3-6, 3 credits

Middle Childhood/Adolescent Literacy Concentration (5-12):
GRDG 656, Literacy Intervention Strategies, 5-12, 3 credits
GRDG 661, Teaching Writing, Grades 5-12, 3 credits
GRDG 670, Teaching Reading and Study Skills in Content, 3 credits
GRDG 696, Literacy Practicum, 5-8, 3 credits
GRDG 697, Literacy Practicum, 9-12, 3 credits

The GRE Exam (or equivalent) is required for all teacher preparation program candidates who are seeking certification (for applicants seeking admission for Fall 2015 forward). All other graduate programs, including non-certification options, do not require this exam. More information on the GRE exam can be found by visiting www.gre.org. SUNY Potsdam’s code for sending score reports is 2545.

Uniqueness of Program

The program is designed so that full-time candidates who begin their study on campus in the Fall or Summer semesters may complete their program in three semesters. Most, but not all, degree requirements for the Literacy Specialist program may also be completed in Watertown, NY, on the Jefferson Community College campus.

Required Courses21
GRDG 600 Foundations of Literacy
GRDG 605 Literacy Assessment and Evaluation
GRDG 610 Seminar:  Literacy Research (final semester)
GRDG 615 Literacy: Family/School/Community Collaboration
GRDG 620 Literacy & Linguistically Diverse Learners
GRDG 640 Literature-Based Literacy Instruction
GRDG 625 or IT xxx An adviser-approved technology course

Concentrations (complete one of the following concentrations as appropriate for the original certification):

Early Childhood/ Childhood Literacy, Birth-Grade 6
GRDG 655 Literacy Intervention Strategies B-6
(Prerequisites:  GRDG 600 and GRDG 605)
GRDG 660 Teaching Writing B-6
GRDG 665 Emergent Literacy

Clinical Experience  (in final semester; prerequisite: GRDG 655)
GRDG 690 Literacy Practicum B-2
AND GRDG 691 Literacy Practicum 3-63

GRDG 699 Literacy Internship
(permission of instructor required)

Middle Childhood/Adolescent Literacy, Grades 5-12
GRDG 656 Literacy Intervention Strategies 5-12
(Prerequisites: GRDG 600 and GRDG 605)
GRDG 661 Teaching Writing Grades 5-12
GRDG 670 Teaching Reading and Study Skills in the Content Area
Clinical Experience (in final semester; prerequisite: GRDG 656)
GRDG 696 Literacy Practicum 5-8
AND GRDG 697 Literacy Practicum 9-12
GRDG 699 Literacy Internship
(permission of instructor required)
Total credit hours