Apr 20, 2024  
2002-2003 Graduate Catalog 
2002-2003 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Literacy Education

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(M.A., M.S., M.Ed., C.A.S., Ed.D.)

Literacy programs provide practicing teachers and advanced professionals in literacy the opportunity to explore vital issues of literacy research and instruction. The programs are offered in an atmosphere that encourages discussions and inquiry, both in classes and seminars. While Maine leads the nation in many measures of literacy achievement in schools, changing global needs require continual examination and implementation of best literacy practices in schools. Coursework, with faculty who have extensive experience with schools and public school students, balances theoretical and practical issues so as to inform and change literacy practices in schools, regions, and the state. Because all literacy courses require on-going practical classroom experiences, applicants seeking admission to graduate courses and programs in literacy must have a minimum of 1 year of teaching experience.

Master’s in Literacy for Elementary or Secondary Education (M.A., M.S., or M.Ed.)

These programs prepare beginning literacy specialists and individuals to become more skilled in teaching. A student has two options at the Master’s level; Literacy Specialist or Individually Designed Program in Literacy Education.

The master programs in literacy are offered as a cohort in various sites around the state. The cohort is a group of students who will take all required courses together in a single sequence. Cohorts begin on a regular basis, depending on enrollment.

Literacy Specialist

This program leads to Maine certification as Literacy Specialist, K-12. The program requires applicants hold certification in either elementary or secondary education. In addition, the Maine Literacy Specialist certification requires two years of successful teaching. The basic requirements consist of a core of 27 credits of coursework in literacy and nine credit hours in related fields. Degrees are awarded on successful completion of courses and either a written comprehensive exam or portfolio submitted to the academic advisor during the last semester of coursework. Courses are available throughout the year, but the practicum experience, through the Literacy/Assessment Internship, is offered only in the summer.

Literacy Specialist Program Requirements include:

  • ERL 517 Literature for Children 3

    ERL 518 Literature for Young Adults Credits: 3
  • ERL 534 Literacy and Language Development Credits: 3
  • ERL 535 Newer Practices in Reading Instruction Credits: 3
  • ERL 536 Writing Process Credits: 3
  • ERL 552 Seminar in Teacher Research Credits: 3
  • ERL 553 Literacy Assessment Credits: 3
  • ERL 569 Clinical Practices: Teaching Children with Difficulties in Literacy Credits: 6
  • ERL 601 Seminar in Reading Credits: 3

In addition, students, in consultation with their advisor, will select three courses concentrating in one area or developed as an interdisciplinary theme across several areas, such as computer technology, special institutes, measurement, special education, multiculturalism, educational administration, counselor education or curriculum.

Individually Designed M.Ed. Program in Literacy Education

This 33-hour degree option is designed to further knowledge of literacy education, the processes and research of reading, writing, listening and speaking. It does not lead to an additional Maine certification. Students complete requirements in a core of at least 15 hours of literacy courses. Additional electives are chosen in consultation with advisors to complete the individually designed program of study.

Suggested Literacy Courses:

  • ERL 517 Literature for Children
    ERL 518 Literature for Young Adults Credits: 3
  • ERL 534 Literacy and Language Development Credits: 3
  • ERL 535 Newer Practices in Reading Instruction Credits: 3
  • ERL 536 Writing Process Credits: 3
  • ERL 537 Literacy Across the Curriculum Credits: 3
  • ERL 552 Seminar in Teacher Research Credits: 3
  • ERL 601 Seminar Reading Credits: 3
  • Electives Seminar or practicum Credits: 3

Individually Designed M.Ed. with a Concentration in Early Literacy

This concentration in early literacy provides pre-K to grade two practitioners with in-depth knowledge and increased expertise in early literacy research, theory, and practice. The 33 credit hour program, designed in consultation with an advisor, requires a core of 12-18 credits in early literacy, 3 credits in research, 3 credits in a seminar or practicum, and 9 or more credit hours from special education or literacy. Courses in the concentration are available as electives to students in other graduate programs.

Core courses in early literacy concentration:

  • EEL 531 Observing Young Learners to Inform Instruction Credits: 3
  • EEL 542 Writing: Pre-school to Age 8 Credits: 3
  • EEL 543 Books for Young Children Credits: 3
  • EEL 544 Research on Reading Acquisition Credits: 3
  • EEL 545 Intervention for Reading Difficulties Credits: 3
  • EEL 546 Seminar: Teaching and Learning in Early Literacy Credits: 3

Individually Designed M.Ed. Program in Secondary English

This option for teachers is planned individually with a faculty advisor and includes graduate coursework in literacy education, pedagogy and English. The 33-hour program includes coursework requiring field experiences.

Suggested Literacy and Education Courses:

  • ERL 518 Young Adult Literature Credits: 3
  • ERL 530 Advanced Study in Language Arts Credits: 3
  • ERL 535 Developmental Reading Credits: 3
  • ERL 536 Writing Process Credits: 3
  • ERL 537 Literacy Across the Curriculum Credits: 3
  • ERL 552 Seminar in Teacher Research Credits: 3
  • ERL 601 Seminar in Reading Credits: 3

Certificate of Advanced Study in Literacy Education

This program provides background with advanced theoretical and research understandings from theory and research as well as implications and applications for literacy programs and teaching. Participants will complete 2 CAS/Doctoral seminars in literacy.

Students completing a minimum of a 30-hour C.A.S. in Language Arts have two options.

Option 1: Individually Designed C.A.S. in Literacy

This program is for classroom teachers looking to improve their theoretical understanding, classroom practices, and professional skills.
Students are required to hold a Master’s degree in literacy or a related field. Students and advisors plan an individually designed program that combines advanced coursework in specific areas of literacy with other professional and academic areas such as human development, psychology, language and literature, research, administration and supervision. This C.A.S. does not lead to further certification.

Option 2: C.A.S. in Curriculum Coordination and Instructional Supervision in Literacy

This program is for classroom teachers looking to improve their theoretical understanding, classroom practices, and professional leadership skills.
This program prepares students for positions such as literacy consultant, and supervisor or administrator of literacy programs. Applicants for Maine and C.A.S. in literacy certification must hold a master’s degree in literacy, hold a valid teacher’s certificate, and have three years of successful teaching experience. Students will complete advanced coursework in literacy education in consultation with advisors, and must select courses to show evidence of a basic level of knowledge in the areas of supervision and evaluation of personnel, organizational theory and planning, educational leadership, educational philosophy and theory, effective instruction, curriculum development, staff development, and teaching the exceptional student in the regular classroom.

Doctoral Program in Literacy Education

The doctoral program is designed for individuals exhibiting leadership in literacy, such as curriculum development, teacher research, publishing, professional presentations, and theoretical research traditions. It prepares candidates for university positions, positions in administration and supervision of literacy programs at the local, state and federal level, textbook publishing firms, and various departments of government.

Each program is developed in relation to the student’s background and to the requirements of the degree. A primary function of the program is to develop competency in diverse educational research strategies as a significant means of advancing knowledge.

Applicants must interview with the literacy faculty to assess long-range goals and provide evidence of successful teaching experience, a record of professional leadership and responsibilities, and samples of professional writing.

Application information is available from the Graduate School. Additional information may be obtained from the faculty.

Program of Study for the Doctor of Education in Literacy Education

(Must be approved by entire literacy area faculty before submission to Graduate School)

  1. Literacy Coursework (minimum 15 credit hours) At least four seminars (ERL 590) must be completed at CAS/Doctoral Level. It is assumed the student is a recent graduate of a literacy master’s degree program. For students with different backgrounds, a core of at least 15 credits of prerequisite literacy master degree coursework would be required.
  2. Research Methods (minimum 12 credit hours) Students will be required to complete a minimum of 12 hours selected from courses such as the following in consultation with their doctoral program committee. (Prerequisite-EDS 521 Statistical Methods & SPSS Lab); Quantitative course e.g. EDS 697 Advanced Educational Research I; EDS 571 Qualitative Methods. Advanced course in quantitative or qualitative research methods (at least one); Dissertation Pilot Course (or approved research course within literacy area).
  3. Elective Coursework (minimum 12 credit hours outside of Literacy).
  4. Practicum Coursework EDG 657 Educational Practicum; EDU 690 Methods of College Teaching.
  5. Dissertation Research EDS 699 Graduate Thesis (minimum-six credits).

Special Programs in Literacy

Reading Recovery (Center for Early Literacy)

The College of Education and Human Development is a regional Reading Recovery Teacher Leader and Teacher Training Site. Interested applicants must have the involvement of the superintendent and school board in order to apply for Teacher Leader or Teacher Training. Reading Recovery coursework may be applied to graduate programs if approved by one’s faculty advisor. For further information, call the Center for Early Literacy Recovery (207) 581-2438.

Literacy Collaborative

The Literacy Collaborative is a comprehensive model for school reform provided as a collaboration between The University of Maine, The Ohio State University, and elementary schools. It is a long-term professional development program designed to provide a school-wide approach to literacy instruction. The goal of the program is to assure successful literacy acquisition for every child.

The Literacy Collaborative design is based on principles derived from research on literacy learning and teaching, professional development, and educational change. Schools participating in the Literacy Collaborative make a long-term commitment for creating a system for successful primary literacy education. This commitment includes:

  • the development of a school leadership team,
  • the training and support of a literacy coordinator within the school,
  • the establishment of long-term professional development for every member of the primary teaching staff,
  • the provision of a safety net for at-risk children,
  • implementation of a home book program, and the collection of data to monitor the progress of children during the implementation of the Literacy Collaborative program in the school.

During the first year of participating in Literacy Collaborative, a school identifies one member of the primary staff to become the literacy coordinator. This person enrolls in EEL 631 Early Literacy Learning, a year-long, six credit course provided at the University. At the same time, the school team participates in a team training provided by the University Literacy Collaborative faculty member. Subsequently, the literacy coordinator provides on-going professional development for teachers at the school site, and the school team oversees and monitors the effectiveness of its literacy program. The school team and literacy coordinator maintain on-going contact with the University Literacy Collaborative faculty member as long as the school continues to participate in Literacy Collaborative.

National Writing Project

The Maine Writing Project is a site of the National Writing Project Network. Students may be nominated by peers or administrators, or may nominate themselves for participation in the summer invitational institute. The institute focuses on current theory, research, and best practices in composing for learning across the curriculum. Participants engage in developing and sharing best teaching practices by crafting their own creative and expository writing, and creating a presentation in the area of their teaching expertise. Participants earn six graduate credits that fit most College of Education and Human Development programs of graduate study. At the completion of the institute, participants become Fellows and Teacher/Consultants in the National Writing Project Network. Call Dr. Jeff Wilhelm for more information on nominations (207) 581-2746.

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