May 19, 2024  
2020-2021 Graduate Studies Bulletin 
2020-2021 Graduate Studies Bulletin [ARCHIVED BULLETIN]

Literacy Studies (Grades 5-12), Adv. Cert.

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Associate Professor McGinnis, Graduate Program Director, 516-463-5769

Program Overview

The advanced certificate in literacy studies (Grades 5-12) is designed for certified middle school and high school teachers with a master’s degree who want certification in literacy. This program introduces students to contemporary theory and practice in literacy studies, so that they become effective scholar-practitioners who understand and deliver high quality literacy instruction and offer proactive literacy leadership to schools and community agencies. Our program reflects advances in literacy research and policies that are consistent with New York State Board of Regents requirements. The program provides graduate students with the most current understandings of literacy learning theories, pedagogical practices for use with students in early adolescence to grade 12 classrooms, adolescent literature, assessment practices, and literacy support for culturally and linguistically diverse learners, and for students with special needs.

Through face-to-face, hybrid and on-line courses, as well as a depth of field projects and clinical work, our program prepares literacy specialists and classroom teachers to provide support and nurturing of readers and writers, and to facilitate assessment driven instructional planning and professional learning within a school. This program, leading to professional certification for teaching of literacy, prepares students to meet the educational requirements for certification as literacy specialists in early adolescence and adolescent education, grades 5-12. Students are prepared for the following teaching positions:

  1. Classroom teachers with advanced preparation in literacy instruction.
  2. Literacy specialists with advanced preparation in one-on-one and small group instruction in literacy processes.
  3. Literacy specialists prepared to work collaboratively with classroom teachers in designing and implementing effective literacy instruction in inclusive environments.

On average, students complete this program in two and one-half academic years.

Admission Requirements

Applications for admission to this advanced certificate program in the Department of Specialized Programs in Education  are made to the Office of Graduate Admission. Admissions decisions are based on a comprehensive review of multiple criteria.  The department understands that any single criterion may not reliably predict a student’s potential for success in the program. Students may consider applying even if they fail to meet one of the GPA or testing criteria but feel that other aspects of their experience might compensate. All individual cases will be reviewed by an Admissions Counselor before being referred to the graduate program for further review.

  1. MA or MS degree.
  2. A minimum overall GPA of 3.0 on all undergraduate course work, or its equivalent (e.g., a 3.0 in a completed graduate program). We encourage you to submit all transcripts from your undergraduate work and any graduate work for consideration.
  3. Two letters of recommendation.
  4. Possession of a New York State Teaching Certificate. [See note (b) below.]
  5. Interview with faculty member in Literacy Studies.


  1. Admission to graduate study requires a baccalaureate degree with a general core in the liberal arts and sciences in order to meet New York state certification requirements.
  2. Admission to graduate study with permanent certification requires that a student take a 3 s.h. undergraduate or graduate course in special education as a prerequisite or corequisite to study.
  3. Graduate students who enter a program of study on a nonmatriculated basis are limited to a maximum of 12 semester hours of course work.
  4. A maximum of 9 semester hours of advanced standing may be accepted for relevant graduate course work taken elsewhere. *Courses approved for transfer credit will count toward your Advanced Certificate degree, and thus your program will range from 18-27 semester hours.

Program Requirements - Total Semester Hours: 27

The sequence presented below is recommended. However, Phase I must be completed before entering Phase II. LYST 240  and 241  are prerequisites for LYST 243  and LYST 243B .

Additional Certification in Birth-Grade 6 - Semester Hours: 12

Students who specialize in Middle Childhood and Adolescence (Grades 5-12) may obtain specialization in Early Childhood and Childhood (Birth - Grade 6) developmental levels by also taking the following courses:

Graduation Requirements

  1. Completion of a minimum of 27 semester hours in prescribed courses with a minimum grade point average of 3.0
  2. Completion of a 50-hour practicum.
  3. Completion of all required Educational Law Seminars.

Teacher Certification Requirements

Upon successful completion of degree requirements, students will be eligible to apply for the University’s recommendation for New York state certification. Contact the Office of Educational Support Services, 233 Hagedorn Hall, for information regarding any required Educational Law seminars* and other certification requirements. Forms for applying for certification can be found at the Office of Educational Support Services Web page under the certification tab.

*Please note, as of December 31, 2013, the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education now require a new six-hour seminar for Training in Harassment, Bullying and Discrimination Prevention and Intervention, required under the Dignity for All Students Act (DASA):

To be eligible for the certification, students are required to have passing scores on the appropriate New York State Teacher Certification Examinations (NYSTCE). Please contact the Office of Educational Support Services for specific certification requirements.

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