Karen Huff, Professor of Curriculum and Instruction
Bowman Building, Office 110; (540) 545-7215; [email protected]
The Master of Science in Literacy Education prepares teachers to implement best practices in literacy teaching and learning through collaboration, reflection, critical thinking, coaching, data analysis and authentic assessments. It is designed to meet the current and changing needs of regional teachers and school systems as they strive to upgrade professional skills and teacher effectiveness. This degree is flexible enough to adapt to individual school or teacher needs. It is also designed to meet state endorsement requirements in individual endorsement areas as noted in the Degree Requirements section below.
This masters program is a teacher-oriented and inquiry-centered program that addresses the complex field of literacy by offering three core literacy courses for all participants in the program, and then choices of concentrations in writing, reading, and early childhood education, designed to explore literacy areas in depth. These courses use research –based best practices to inform the teachers’ decisions, provide guidance in addressing problems they will encounter in educational roles, and present opportunities to effect change in the environment in which they work.
Applicants must possess an undergraduate degree prior to admission to the program. Applicants for graduate degrees in education are required to submit satisfactory grades in prior undergraduate coursework, and may be required to submit scores on standardized tests. Applicants for Virginia licensure concentrations must hold the appropriate and valid teaching license. International applicants must meet Shenandoah University admissions and language certification requirements. For further information, contact the School of Education & Human Development.
The degree requirement is the completion of a 30-semester hour program (see below) with a grade point average of 3.0 or better. Requirements include the 9-credit Literacy Core and one of the Literacy Concentrations for 21 credits. One class must be designated a Residency Course.
Residency Courses are summer classes synergistically grouped with the Children’s Literature Conference, the Shenandoah Valley Writing Project/Project Write, Inc., and the Reading Clinic. These include weeks of instruction involving collaborative teams designing literacy lessons and implementing best practice strategies and technologies while working with partner schools’ children in summer programs to improve literacy scores and reduce “summer decline” in reading and writing.
Teachers interested in obtaining Virginia’s Reading Specialist endorsement must have three years’ teaching experience, finish all courses in the Reading Concentration, as well as pass the Reading for Virginia Educators (RVE) exam and complete the master’s degree. Teachers interested in obtaining Virginia’s add-on endorsement in Early Childhood Education must be currently licensed in Elementary or Special Education teaching. (For details, refer to the current Virginia Licensure Regulations for School Personnel Guidelines on the VDOE website.)