Apr 17, 2024  
2018-2019 Graduate Catalog 
2018-2019 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. Application for admission  is conducted online through the Graduate School and requires three letters of recommendation, a statement of intent, Miller’s Analogy Test scores  for Master’s students (waived for students whose undergraduate GPA was 3.0 or higher) and GRE scores for doctoral students, transcripts from all previous institutions and the application fee.  Interested applicants are encouraged to contact a faculty member of the programs prior to application to address any questions and for assistance in selecting the most appropriate program for the applicant’s goals.

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 Reading (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 (susan.bennett-armistead@maine.edu)
Secondary Focus: Dr. Rich Kent (richard.kent@umit.maine.edu)


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

Literacy Specialist Concentration (39 credits)

M.Ed.: This 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. The program is rigorous and tightly scheduled with few choices. As such, applicants are encouraged to speak with an advisor early in the process to prepare a course plan.

Literacy Specialist Program Requirements include:

ERL 517 Literature for Children 3
- Or -
ERL 518 Literature for Young Adults 3
ERL 537 Literacy Across the Curriculum 3 cr.
ERL 540 Writing in Schools and Colleges 3 cr.
ERL 553 Literacy Assessment 3 cr.
ERL 569 Clinical Practices: Teaching Children with Difficulties in Literacy 6 cr.

EEL 561/562: Literacy Processing: Exploring How Students Learn to Read and Write I & II 6 cr.
EEL 598/599- Reading Recovery teacher Training I & II 6 cr.
EEL 596/597 Literacy Lessons Teacher Training I & II 6 cr.

EEL 652/653- Intervention Designs for Struggling Learners I & II 6 cr.

ERL 590-Special Topics in English Language Arts: Literacy Coaching 6 cr.

ERL 538-Current Practices in Vocabulary Teaching and Learning, PreK-12 3 cr.
ERL 539-Current Theories and Practices Reading Comprehension, K-12 3 cr.


Contact: Jane Wellman-Little (janew@maine.edu)


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 544Digital Writing in Classrooms
ERL 540 Writing in Schools & Colleges
ERL 590 Special Topics in English Language Arts: Seminar in Fiction
ERL 590 Special Topics in English Language Arts: Seminar in Crafting Story
- Or -
ERL 590 Special Topics in English Language Arts: Seminar in Memoir
ERL 698 Writing Practicum
Plus additional electives
Contact: Dr. Rich Kent
See MaineWritingProject.org


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.

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. For additional information about the program, please contact Dr. Susan Bennett-Armistead (susan.bennett-armistead@maine.edu).

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 15 credit hours). Students are required to complete a minimum of 15 hours selected from courses such as the following in consultation with their doctoral program committee. (EDG 595; EDS 521/EDS 522 Statistical Methods I and II); EDS 571/572 Qualitative Methods; Dissertation Pilot Course or other 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) 581-2493.)

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 Literacy (207) 581-2438.

Maine Literacy Partnerships in Comprehensive Literacy (MPCL)

The Maine Partnerships in Comprehensive Literacy 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-12. The goal of the model is to assure successful literacy acquisition for every student. Maine Partnerships for Comprehensive Literacy 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-12 staff to become the literacy coach. This person enrolls in a yearlong, nine credit course provided at the University. 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 200 sites of the National Writing Project, a network of K-college educators dedicated to the improvement of the teaching of writing and learning in America’s schools. The annual institute of the Maine Writing Project is a six-credit course sequence focusing on current theory, research, and effective practices. in either a four-week, on-campus summer format or a spring semester online course (ERL 545) and a seven-day on-campus summer institute. 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. They are eligible to further their study with the Seminar in Mentoring (ERL 547) and Advanced Institute in Teacher Leadership (ERL 548). Contact Dr. Kenneth Martin for more information (Kenneth.Martin@maine.edu) or visit the MWP website at http://umaine.edu/mainewritingproject/






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