Oct 19, 2018  
2007-2008 Graduate Studies Bulletin 
2007-2008 Graduate Studies Bulletin [ARCHIVED BULLETIN]

Literacy Studies (Grades 5-12), M.S.Ed.

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Associate Professor Barbara Cohen, Graduate Program Co-Director,
(516) 463-5372, Barbara.J.Cohen@hofstra.edu

Assistant Professor McGinnis, Graduate Program Co-Director,
(516) 463-5769, Theresa.A.McGinnis@hofstra.edu

Program Overview

The master’s program in literacy studies is designed for certified teachers to introduce 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 by the New York State Board of Regents regarding learning standards. These policies are designed to articulate the highest learning standards possible for all students and to balance attainment of these standards with consideration of issues of equity and access to education for economically disadvantaged and traditionally underrepresented groups at all levels of the education system.

This program prepares scholar-practitioners to work with students  Grades 5 through 12. Students will work at broadening the definition of literacy practices beyond traditional school-based literacy in order to address the issues of equity, access, and opportunity that are involved in literacy acquisition in communities that are as economically, linguistically and ethnically diverse as those found in New York state.

This program prepares students to meet the educational requirements for certification as literacy teachers in middle childhood and adolescence, Grade 5 through Grade 12. The degree provides students with the opportunity to participate in classes that focus on the most current understandings of literacy and pedagogical practices. 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.

Admission Requirements

  1. B.A. or B.S. degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0.
  2. Two letters of recommendation.
  3. Possession of a New York State Initial or Provisional Teaching Certificate (see note b below).
  4. Interview with a program director in Literacy Studies.

General Education Core Requirements

In order to ensure that prospective teachers have a broad education in the liberal arts and sciences, all students must have completed undergraduate course work from each of the content areas below.
   1.     Artistic Expression/Humanities, 3 s.h.
   2.     Communication, 3 s.h.
   3.     Information Retrieval, (0-3 s.h.; can be satisfied with passing score on exam)
   4.    Historical and Social Science Concepts, 3 s.h.
   5.     Language other than English, (0-3 s.h.; depending on placement)
   6.     Scientific Processes, 3 s.h.
   7.     Mathematical Processes, 3 s.h.
   8.     Written Analysis and Expression, 6 s.h.

Please note that programs may have general education requirements that exceed the minimum registered with the state. Degrees will not be conferred unless all general education core deficiencies have been met.


  • 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.
  • Students who enter the dual program must have taken the New York state LAST examination prior to admission.
  • Graduate students who enter a program of study on a nonmatriculated basis are limited to a maximum of 12 s.h. of course work.
  • A maximum of 9 s.h. of advanced standing may be accepted for relevant graduate course work taken elsewhere.
  • Students who have initial/provisional certification in an area of study other than those listed above in 3 should speak to the department adviser for requirements for admission.

Program Requirements - Total Semester Hours: 36

The sequence presented below is recommended. However, Phase I courses must be completed before entering Phase II. LYST 240 and 241 are prerequisites for LYST 243. LYST 300 must be taken as part of the first 12 semester hours of study. LYST 301 must be taken as part of the final 12 semester hours of study. Electives may be taken at any time.

International Scholars Forum - Semester Hours: 1

An International Scholars Forum (LYST 351) is offered each semester for one semester hour. It is expected that students will take at least one International Scholars Forum. Students can take three additional International Scholars Forums to satisfy their elective requirements.

Electives - Semester Hours: 3

A student may select any graduate course in the School of Education and Allied Human Services, or in the University as an elective with advisement. The following electives are recommended:

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

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

Graduation Requirements

  1. Completion of a minimum of 36 semester hours in prescribed courses with a minimum grade point average of 3.0.
  2. Completion of a minimum of 70 hours of field experiences which includes a 50-hour practicum.
  3. Successful presentation of a learning portfolio to faculty and peers.

Teacher Certification

Upon successful completion of a school-based program, students will be eligible to apply for the University’s recommendation for New York state certification. The state requires applicants to have passing scores on each of the New York State Teacher Certification Examinations (NYSTCE): the Liberal Arts and Sciences Test (LAST), the Assessment of Teaching Skills-Written (ATS-W), and the appropriate Content Specialty Tests (CSTs). The state will not issue certification to individuals not receiving passing scores on all New York examinations. In addition to pedagogical studies, the Commissioner’s Regulations require that all school-based programs provide students with instruction for the purpose of  identification of child abuse and maltreatment; fire and arson prevention; prevention of alcohol, tobacco, and drug abuse; School Violence Prevention and Intervention (SAVE); and highway and school safety/prevention of child abduction. No degrees will be conferred without the completion of all of these requirements. Please contact the Office of Certification and Educational Support Services for information regarding fingerprinting, examinations and seminars. 

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