M.S. in Literacy Education (Birth - Grade 6)

The 31-credit Master of Science in Literacy Education (Birth to Grade 6) enables certified teachers to obtain an additional New York State certification in literacy. The program prepares professional teachers to teach reading, writing and literacy to children at various educational levels. Graduate students will learn to master the use of cutting-edge instructional techniques and technologies to boost children’s literacy skills and increase academic performance.

Accredited by the Teacher Education Accreditation Council, the M.S. in Literacy Education program provides a strong theoretical foundation in early childhood development, learning and literacy.  Students are immersed in current and past literacy research theory and develop, reflect upon and modify their knowledge of literacy theory within the context of course objectives. They study literacy trends and research methodology (qualitative and quantitative) and are trained in observational data collection to make informed instructional decisions.

Following several intensive literacy courses, students apply their knowledge of literacy process, assessment and instructional strategies by working directly with young children with specific literacy needs. Students will participate in a summer literacy clinic and will help lead reading, writing and literacy enrichment activities for children from a local elementary school.

Admission Requirements

Applicants to M.S. in Literacy Education program must meet the following requirements for admission.

1. Application for Admission

2.  A bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university.  The degree should include content major or concentration (minimum 30 credits) and a strong liberal arts and science background that meet New York State Education Department criteria. Applicants to M.S. in Literacy Education programs should hold initial New York State teaching certification in areas other than literacy education.

3.  Official copies of your undergraduate and/or graduate transcripts from any college(s) or universities you have attended. Submit official college transcripts to:

LIU Riverhead
Office of Admissions
121 Speonk-Riverhead Road – LIU Bldg.
Riverhead, N.Y. 11901

4.  Grade point average of 2.75. This average may be computed from the total undergraduate record or on the last 60 hours of study.

5.  One letter of recommendation from a professional in the field of education, psychology, or related disciplines which supports the student's request for admission, and addresses the student's academic skills and personal attributes, strengths and/or weaknesses.

6.  Complete an on-site writing sample. Students are asked to respond to a statement. There is no correct or incorrect response to this requirement. The response will be evaluated on the following criteria:

•Extent to which your argument is developed and supported
•Logical organization and development of the central idea
•Paragraph organization and construction
•Freedom from errors in mechanics and usage

7.   Schedule an appointment with the Office of Admissions for an interview. Please contact us at 631-287-8010 or email riverhead@liu.edu.

Degree Requirements

The M.S. in Literacy Education requires a minimum of 31 credit hours of graduate study. Students must complete all the course work listed in the Degree Requirements section, achieve a grade of B- or higher for all graduate education courses and earn an overall G.P.A. of 3.0 or higher.



31 Credits

EDU 500A Advanced Technology and Curriculum 1
EDU 590 The Reading and Writing Process 3
EDU 591 Literacy Research 3
EDU 605 Children's Literature 3
EDU 601R Reading and Writing Methods in Early and Middle Childhood 3
EDU 607 The Process of the Writing Workshop 3
EDU 608 Teaching Reading in the Content Area 3
EDU 609 Literacy Assessment and Evaluation: Practicum 3
EDU 610 Literacy Instruction for the Struggling Learner: Practicum 3
EDU 611 Literacy Clinic: Practicum 3
EDU 612 Supervision of Literacy Programs (K-6) 3

Course Descriptions

EDU 500A Advanced Technology and Curriculum

The purpose of this course is to apply knowledge and skills of computers to classroom use. Project based activities may include web page design, research funding for education and technology, using the internet as a resource for teachers and students, and creating lessons using various programs and technologies.
Fall and Spring, 1 credit

EDU 590 The Reading and Writing Process

This course will focus on the interrelationship of the literacy processes through the examination of epistemological, philosophical, theoretical, and pedagogical literacy models. Specifically, students will explore the various aspects of the reading and writing processes (i.e., linguistic, physiological, psychological, and social) as a way of better understanding what is involved during the act of reading and writing. This increased cognizance of process will enable students to create new visions for their own pedagogical practice.
Fall, 3 credits

EDU 591 Literacy Research

This course will focus on the history as well as current trends in literacy research. Students will engage in an examination of literacy research involving the generation and refinement of models and theories as well as the traditional quest for better methods of teaching reading and writing. Strategies in interpreting and analyzing the professional literature will also be emphasized.
Fall, 3 credits

EDU 593  Language Acquisition

This course is designed to provide educators with an understanding of language development (both spoken and written) from its origins in infancy to the school age years. These systems of representation, spoken, and written language will be seen to be interrelated; and as a result, students will be able to integrate their increased understanding of oral language acquisition with reading and writing development. Three underlying assumptions will guide this course: (1) language is a means of representing information, (2) language is a social act, and (3) knowledge about language acquisition can be used to better understand developmentally appropriate curriculum.
On occasion, 3 credits

EDU 605 Children's Literature

This course is designed to acquaint students with contemporary, as well as classic children’s literature and the work of illustrators. Students will become versed in the variety of genres and their elements. They will read, analyze and share children’s books. Literature is an authentic resource that can be the foundation of the literacy program, as well as a component of the major curriculum areas.
Spring, 3 credits

EDU 601R  Reading and Writing Methods in Early and Middle Childhood

This course is intended to challenge educators to examine their practices regarding their language and literacy interactions and those of the students they will teach. The content will emphasize the relationship between the socio-psycholinguistic model of reading and instructional strategies and the role of language and culture in learning to read and write. Topics to be covered will include, but are not limited to, the following: emergent literacy, curriculum development, the role of literature, reading programs and instruction, assessment, learning environments, multiculturalism (i.e., culturally diverse populations and the demands of reading as per the NYS standards) and technology. Through discussions, readings, writing, classroom observations in the local schools, and workshop activities, students will examine the tensions between convention and invention in the teaching of reading in our schools. Prerequisite: EDU 590
Spring, 3 credits

EDU 607  The Process of the Writing Workshop

This course will focus on the interrelationship of the reading and writing processes. Through participation in a reading/writing workshop environment, a theoretical framework for the reading/writing process can be developed. Emphasis will be placed on teaching strategies, conferring, and related activities for meaningful classroom applications. Specific topics include but are not limited to: effective strategies for prewriting, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing, using literature as writing models, writing in different genres, writing for authentic purposes, quantitative and qualitative measures of evaluating writing, reading/writing across the curriculum, conventions of standard written English, individual differences among learners as they appropriate technology to support literacy learning. In a field-based experience graduate students will observe a learner engage in the writing process.
Prerequisite: EDU 601R
Fall, 3 credits

EDU 608  Teaching Reading in the Content Area

The purpose of this course is to provide teachers with an in-depth understanding of literacy methodology as it related to the reading of content area text. Topics covered will include literature in the content area classroom, text organization, comprehension and vocabulary strategies, study skills, and the reading/writing connection. Cognitive, socio-cultural, and motivational factors will be viewed as important mediators of students’ ability to learn from text. This increased cognizance of the literacy processes across curriculums should enable teachers at all levels to better facilitate students’ internalization of literacy strategies and to develop active, independent learners.
Summer or Fall, 3 credits

EDU 609  Literacy Assessment and Evaluation: Practicum

This course will prepare teachers to holistically assess and evaluate the reading and writing ability, both strengths and weakness, of early childhood through grade 6 children. Because reading and writing processes are transactional in nature and a reflection of the interrelationship between language and cognition, the assessment process will be presented as holistic and ongoing. While the focus is on authentic assessment, graduate students will learn and conduct both informal and formal assessment. This course is designed to meet the needs of classroom teachers as well as reading specialists by assessing and synthesizing all the components of literacy, including the academic, emotional, and social aspects.
Prerequisite: EDU 601R.
Fall, 3 credits

EDU 610  Literacy Instruction for the Struggling Learner: Practicum

The primary purpose of this course is to provide the graduate student with the opportunity to utilize the diagnostic evaluation conducted in EDU 609 and to collaborate with the struggling student in designing, implementing, and evaluating an instructional plan based on individual needs. Emphasis is on the importance of teachers’ thought processes to decision-making and the relationship between theory and instructional practices related to socio-psycholinguistic principles and research in the writing process. Course content will stress remedial techniques for students with diverse cultural and SES backgrounds.
Prerequisite: EDU 609.
Spring, 3 credits

EDU 611  Literacy Clinic: Practicum

As a culmination of a sequence in the teaching of reading, this course requires the participants to apply the appropriate diagnostic and remedial skills with individual children under supervision in a clinical setting. Seminar sessions will include discussion related to establishing reading programs in schools, review of various published programs in reading, and current research in reading remediation.
Prerequisite: EDU 610.
Summer, 3 credits

EDU 612   Supervision of Literacy Programs (K-6)

This course is designed to focus on the elementary literacy specialist’s leadership role in the planning and delivery of reading instruction from goal setting, program planning, decision-making, problem solving, program supervision, and program evaluation for students from varied cultural and linguistic backgrounds. Specific topics include, but are not limited to, developing a system-wide philosophy of literacy acquisition/development and program goals, organizing and staffing school/system-wide literacy programs, developing collaborative teams to engage in ongoing monitoring, evaluation of professional development models, and designing programs and techniques that facilitate the development of school-system wide literacy connections.
Prerequisite: EDU 609
Spring, 3 credits