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.
Our programs prepare scholar-practitioners to work with students birth through grade 6, and 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.
These programs prepare students to meet the educational requirements for certification as literacy teachers in early childhood and childhood education, birth through grade 6, or 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:
- Classroom teachers with advanced preparation in literacy instruction.
- Literacy specialists with advanced preparation in one-on-one and small group instruction in literacy processes.
- Literacy specialists prepared to work collaboratively with classroom teachers in designing and implementing effective literacy instruction in inclusive environments.
Teacher Certification Requirements
Upon the successful completion of a Hofstra state-approved teacher education program, students are eligible for the University’s recommendation for New York state certification. A request for recommendation must be submitted to the Office of Educational Support Services the semester in which the student is graduating. There will be opportunities to attend a certification workshop during the student’s final semester, to receive all the necessary information regarding applying for certification. Individuals who apply directly to New York state for certification are responsible for learning about and satisfying the certification requirements set by the state. It should be noted that such requirements may differ from those in Hofstra’s registered programs.
All prospective early childhood (Birth-Grade 2), childhood (Grades 1-6), adolescent (Grades 7-12) and special subject, students with disabilities, gifted, TESOL, bilingual, literacy, speech and language disabilities teachers, as well as school leadership candidates, are required to pass the New York State Certification Examinations (NYSTCE) administered by National Evaluation Systems, Inc., For state certification requirements, students should consult with the Office of Educational Support Services regarding the appropriate examinations for their area of study.
We anticipate that teacher and school building leader candidates applying for certification on or after May 1, 2014, will be required to take certain new exams. Candidates who graduate and apply for certification on or before April 30, 2014, but do not meet all the requirements for an initial certificate on or before April 30, 2014, will also be required to pass the new exams. Candidates will not be permitted to mix and match examinations from the old and new tests. Please contact the Office of Educational Support Services at Hofstra University at 516-463-5747 or consult the state website.
In addition to fulfilling the required courses of study, the Commissioner’s Regulations mandate that all prospective teachers, pupil personnel and education leaders receive instructions regarding:
- Identification of Child Abuse and Maltreatment
- Fire and Arson Prevention
- School Violence Prevention and Intervention
- Prevention of Alcohol, Tobacco and Drug Abuse
- Highway and School Safety/Prevention of Child Abduction
- Training in Harassment, Bullying and Discrimination Prevention and Intervention required under the Dignity for All Students Act (DASA)
New York state legislation also requires all persons seeking certification in special education, speech and language disabilities or school administrators working in special education, to have training in the area of children with autism.
Hofstra University offers the above listed educational law seminars through the Office of Educational Support Services. All of these seminars must be completed before the conferral of the degree and recommendation for certification.
Forms for applying for certification can be found at the Office of Educational Support Services Web page under the certification tab.
Chapter 180 of the Laws of 2000, the Schools Against Violence in Education (SAVE), requires that applicants for teaching and administrative and pupil services personnel certification and perspective employees of covered schools (school districts, charter schools and BOCES) must undergo fingerprint supported criminal history background check. However, many school districts and institutions across the metropolitan New York area are now requiring that all student teachers, observers, interns or externs receive fingerprint clearance before they are placed in educational settings that are required for this degree program. Therefore, we recommend that you apply for fingerprint clearance upon acceptance to the program. Fingerprinting can be completed through Hofstra University using LIVESCAN technology, arranged by the Office of Educational Support Services each semester. You may contact us at 516-463-5747 or visit Hagedorn Hall, Room 129. You may also register online. Fingerprint clearance is also required for New York state certification.