May 20, 2024  
2012-2013 Graduate Catalog 
2012-2013 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Literacy Education

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The Master of Education, Certificate of Advanced Study and Doctor of Philosophy programs in Literacy Education provide practicing teachers and advanced professionals in literacy the opportunity to explore current issues of literacy research and instruction with nationally recognized faculty in an atmosphere that encourages discussions and inquiry. While Maine is a national leader in many measures of literacy achievement in schools, changing global needs require continual examination and implementation of best literacy practices. Coursework, with faculty who have extensive experience with schools and public school students, balances theoretical and practical issues to inform and change literacy practices. 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 one year of teaching experience. Master’s programs in literacy are sometimes offered to cohorts in various sites around the state.

Master’s Programs in Literacy

M.Ed. in Literacy Education (33 credits):

This option is designed to further elementary and secondary teachers’ knowledge of literacy theories, practices, and research. Applicants must hold certification in either elementary or secondary education and have two years of successful teaching. The program does not lead to Maine certification. Students complete requirements in a required core of 15 hours in literacy. To fulfill elective requirements, students consult with their advisor to identify appropriate courses.

Required Core Courses:

ERL 517 Literature for Children 3
- Or -
ERL 518 Literature for Young Adults 3
ERL 535 Current Practices in Literacy Instruction 3
ERL 540 Writing in Schools and Colleges 3
ERL 552 Seminar in Teacher Research (prerequisite: 15 graduate credits in literacy) 3
ERL 601 Seminar in Literacy (prerequisite: 15 graduate credits in literacy) 3
Elective Requirements for Elementary Teachers 18
ERL 534 Literacy and Language Development 3
Electives (5 additional courses for 15 credits)
Three of five courses must be in literacy. The remaining electives may come from any college or university program. 15
- Or -
Elective Requirements for Secondary Teachers 18
Three of six courses must be in literacy. The remaining electives may come from any college or university program, including English.

Elementary Focus: Dr. Susan Bennett-Armistead
Secondary Focus: Dr. Rich Kent


The M.Ed. program in Literacy Education also offers the following concentrations: Literacy Specialist, Early Literacy, and Individualized.

Literacy Specialist Concentration (39 credits)

M.Ed.: This degree program leads to Maine certification as a Literacy Specialist, K-12. Applicants must hold certification in either elementary or secondary education and have two years of successful teaching. The program is designed to reflect the International Reading Association’s 2010 Standards for Reading Specialist/Literacy Coach competencies in the areas of literacy acquisition, assessment, individual learner and program evaluation and development, and literacy leadership.

Literacy Specialist Program Requirements include:

ERL 517 Literature for Children 3
- Or -
ERL 518 Literature for Young Adults 3
ERL 534 Literacy and Language Development 3
ERL 535 Current Practices in Reading 3
ERL 536 Writing Process 3
ERL 552 Seminar in Teacher Research 3
ERL 553 Literacy Assessment 3
ERL 569 Clinical Practices: Teaching Children with Difficulties in Literacy 6
ERL 601 Seminar in Reading 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.
Contact: Jane Wellman-Little

Early Literacy Concentration (33 credits)

M.Ed.: This concentration provides certified practitioners working with children from birth to age 8 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:

ERL 590 Literacy for Young Children: Birth to age 8
EEL 543 Books for Young Children
ERL 534 Language and Literacy Development
ERL 590 Designing Literacy Experiences for the Inclusive Early Childhood Program
- Or -
SED 598 Languages and Literacy for At-Risk Preschoolers
EEL 531  Observing Young Learners
ERL 590  Brain Development and the Young Child
EEL 542  Writing, Preschool –Age 8
ERL 552  Seminar in Teacher as Researcher
EDG 657 Practicum in Early Literacy
Two Electives

Individualized Concentration (33 credits)

M.Ed.: The individualized concentration within the M.Ed. in Literacy Education offers the opportunity to focus on Writing and the Teaching of Writing as a low-residence option. The course of study is planned in consultation with a faculty advisor and includes online academic year courses and on-campus summer options. The program also includes an online practicum guided by a writing mentor.

Required Courses:

EDU 580 Northeast Writing Institute
EDU 580 Literacy Institute
- Or -
ERL 590 Maine Writing Project Summer Institute
ERL 590 Digital Writing in Classrooms
ERL 590 Writing in Schools & Colleges
ERL 590 Seminar in Fiction
ERL 590 Seminar in Crafting Story
- Or -
ERL 590 Seminar in Memoir
ERL 698 Writing Practicum
Plus additional electives
Contact: Dr. Rich Kent


Certificate of Advanced Study in Literacy Education  

C.A.S.: The College of Education and Human Development’s Certificate of Advanced Study provides a cohesive program of professional development beyond the master’s level for educational specialists. The program of study is individually planned by the student and his or her advisor. A minimum of 30 semester hours of work beyond the master’s level is required to earn the C.A.S.  Candidates must complete a minimum of 12 semester hours in professional education coursework at the 500- and/or 600-level at the University of Maine.  A master’s degree in the C.A.S. subject matter is required for admission to the program.

Students completing a minimum of a 30-hour C.A.S. in Literacy Education have two options:

Option 1: Individually Designed

This program is for classroom teachers looking to improve their theoretical understanding, classroom practices, and professional skills. A master’s degree in literacy or related field is required. 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: 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. It 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, 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 basic 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

Ph.D.: The doctoral program in Literacy Education 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 Ph.D. in Literacy Education

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

  1. Literacy Coursework (minimum 15 credit hours). At least four seminars (ERL 590) must be completed at C.A.S./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 is required.
  2. Research Methods (minimum 12 credit hours). Students are 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

(For further information, call the Center for Literacy (207) 581-2438.)

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.

Maine Literacy Partnership 

The Maine Literacy Partnership is a comprehensive model for school reform provided as a collaboration between the University of Maine and elementary schools. It is a long-term professional development model designed to provide a school-wide approach to literacy instruction at grades K-2 and 3-6. The goal of the model is to assure successful literacy acquisition for every child. Maine Literacy Partnership schools make a long-term commitment to creating a system for successful primary literacy education. This commitment includes:

– Development of a school leadership team
– Training and support of a literacy coach within the school
– Establishment of long-term professional development for every member of the primary grades
– Provision of safety nets for at-risk children
– Data collection to monitor the progress.

During the first year of participation, a school identifies one member of the K-2 or 3-6 staff to become the literacy coach. This person enrolls in a yearlong, nine credit course provided at the University. At the same time, the school team participates in a team training provided by the University of Maine Literacy Partnership faculty member. Subsequently, the literacy coach 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 coach maintain on-going contact with the University of Maine Literacy Partnership faculty member as long as the school participates in the Partnership.

National Writing Project

The Maine Writing Project is one of 185 sites of the National Writing Project, a network of K-college educators dedicated to the improvement of the teaching of writing across the curriculum. 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 effective practices. Participants engage in developing and sharing effective teaching practices by crafting their own creative and expository writing, and by creating a workshop presentation in an area of their 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 Teacher-Consultants in the National Writing Project. Call Dr. Rich Kent for more information on nominations (207) 581-2438.




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