Department of Literacy

College of Education and Social Work

108 Recitation Hall
West Chester University
West Chester, PA 19383
610-436-2877
Department of Literacy
Dr. Santori, Chairperson
Dr. Flanigan, Graduate Coordinator

Programs of Study

The Department of Literacy offers the master of education degree with a major in reading and reading specialist certification. Students who complete either program are recommended for Pennsylvania certification as a reading specialist. These programs prepare candidates to serve in reading specialist positions and as classroom teachers of reading in elementary or secondary schools.

In 1997, the Pennsylvania State Board of Education implemented revisions to the Pennsylvania School Code. These revisions require all students who apply for Pennsylvania reading specialist certificates to pass competency tests.

As changes are made in requirements for reading specialist certification, it is the student's responsibility to satisfy the new requirements.

Master's Program in Literacy

Certificates in Literacy

Endorsement in Literacy

All applicants to one of West Chester University’s graduate programs will be held to the graduate admissions requirements. When applicable, additional requirements for admission into specific department program(s) may be listed below.

Admissions Requirements for the M.Ed. in Reading

Applicants are expected to have an undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university. In addition, they must meet an undergraduate grade point average (GPA) entry requirement of 3.0 on a scale of 4.0 calculated on the last 48 credits earned. The total cumulative undergraduate GPA must be at least 3.0. Students who cannot meet this requirement must take either the Miller Analogies Test (MAT) or the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). A satisfactory score as determined by the department on the GRE or MAT will demonstrate a student's academic competence in lieu of the required GPA.

Applicants must possess initial teaching certification.

Applicants must submit two letters of professional recommendation.

Formal Admission to Reading Specialist Certification Program

  1. Students must meet the above program entry requirements.
  2. Students must file a form in the Certification Office listing required courses for certification.

Admission Requirements for the Literacy Coaching Endoresement

Admission requirements include an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or above, two letters of recommendation, Instructional I Certificate, reading specialist certification, and a minimum of three years' successful teaching experience. Graduate level transcript required showing completion of graduate level courses in the following areas: Orthography, Comprehension and Vocabulary, Writing Development, Reading in the Content Areas, Children's Literature, Problems in Literacy Development, Literacy Practicum/Seminar, Diversity, Organization and Supervision of Reading Programs.

All graduate students are held to the academic policies and procedures outlined in the graduate catalog. Students are encouraged to review departmental handbooks for program tips, suggested course sequences, and explanations of procedures. When applicable, additional policies for specific department programs may be listed below.

Precandidacy Requirements

(For M.Ed. Candidates Only)

  1. Students must apply for candidacy after the completion of 15 credits.
  2. Courses required within the precandidacy period include EDR 505, EDR 507, EDR 509, EDR 514, and one additional course from the prescribed program.
  3. Students must maintain an overall GPA of 3.0 during the precandidacy period.

Degree Requirements for the M.Ed. in Reading

In addition to meeting degree requirements of the University, the candidate must:

  1. Successfully complete 30 credits in literacy and six additional credits in professional education. Workshops will not be accepted to satisfy this requirement.
  2. Achieve an overall GPA of at least 3.0.
  3. Perform satisfactorily on the comprehensive examination in reading.

Students are responsible for meeting all requirements within the specified time.

The Theoretical Foundations Portfolio for the M.Ed. in Reading

Students are required to complete a Theoretical Foundations portfolio as part of their successful completion of the degree program. Students are eligible to submit their Theoretical Foundations Portfolio after they have completed EDR 505, EDR 507, EDR 509, EDR 516, EDR 519, and either EDR 512 or EDR 532 and after they have attended a portfolio peer review workshop. Portfolio submissions are due at the end of the first week of February and end of the first week of October. Request for approval of the portfolio submission must be made in writing to the graduate coordinator by December 1 for the February submission date and by July 1 for the October submission date. Candidates whose portfolios receive a failing evaluation are permitted one re-submission within a two-year period. Candidates whose re-submitted portfolios receive a failing evaluation are dropped from the degree program.

Requirements for the Reading Specialist Certification

  1. The student must possess an Instructional I Certificate.
  2. The student must maintain an overall GPA of 3.0.
  3. In order to obtain the certificate, the student must successfully complete the curriculum listed and meet any additional state requirements.
  4. The student must perform successfully on the comprehensive examination.
  5. The student must attempt the state designated advanced licensure exam (e.g. Praxis II) prior to program completion.

Professors

Dena G. Beeghly (1992)

B.S., Southern Connecticut State University; M.Ed., Ed.D., University of Georgia

Kevin Flanigan (2003)

Graduate Coordinator, Literacy

B.A., Mary Washington College; M.Ed., James Madison University; M.Ed., Ph.D., University of Virginia

Associate Professors

Susan F. Caroff (1995)

B.A., University of Pittsburgh; M.Ed., The Citadel; Ph.D., Purdue University

Sunita Mayor (2000)

B.A., University of Calcutta; B.Ed., University of Rohtak; M.Ed., Xavier University; Ed.D., University of Cincinnati

Diane Santori (2008)

Chairperson, Literacy

B.S., Temple University; M.S., St. Joseph's University; Ed.D., University of Pennsylvania

Heather Schugar (2008)

B.S., M.Ed., Ph.D., University of Maryland

Carol A. Smith (2008)

B.A., Rowan University of New Jersey; M.Ed., Ed.D., Widener University

Assistant Professors

Melissa E. Adams-Budde (2014)

B.A., University of Maryland, College Park; M.S., Johns Hopkins University; Ph.D., University of North Carolina

Kathleen Riley (2013)

B.A., Colby College; M.A., American University; Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania

Tina Selvaggi (2012)

B.A., M.S., St. Joseph's University; Ed.D., Widener University

Kathryn Solic (2013)

B.A., University of Notre Dame; M.Ed., University of Florida; Ph.D., University of Tennessee

EDR

EDR 503. Language Arts Pre K-4. 3 Credits.

An exploration of theory and practice for developing a supportive language arts environment, with focus on facilitating the development of language competencies- writing, listening, speaking, viewing and visually representing- in children.
Pre / Co requisites: EDR 503 requires a prerequisite of EGP 501.

EDR 505. Orthographic Knowledge Language And Lit Dev. 3 Credits.

The purpose of this course is to acquaint students with the development of orthographic knowledge from its earliest awareness to its full fruition and its relation to language and literacy acquisition and instruction. Assessment strategies along each stage of its development will be explored as well as concomitant pedagogy. Attention will be paid to the causes of difficulties in acquiring orthographic knowledge and to appropriate instruction.

EDR 507. Comprehension & Vocabulary: Dev & Instruc. 3 Credits.

This course introduces students to the theoretical bases of comprehension and vocabulary development. Best practices in teaching, supporting and assessing comprehension and vocabulary will be an integral part of the course.
Distance education offering may be available.

EDR 509. Writing Development and Instruction. 3 Credits.

Strategies for teaching the language arts. Methods, materials, and resources for organizing creative programs in school settings.

EDR 510. Foundations Of Reading Instruction: K-12. 3 Credits.

Psychology and pedagogy of reading instruction. The nature of the reading process; the nature of the learner; skill development; instructional strategies.

EDR 512. Literacy Practicum and Seminar I. 3 Credits.

A practicum course in assessment and instruction of the young reader/writer. Major attention given to understanding a child's language and literacy development, and planning and carrying out appropriate instruction for that child. Students will use a variety of formal and informal assessments to design an individual instructional program. Field clearances are required.
Pre / Co requisites: EDR 512 requires prerequisites of EDR 505, EDR 507, EDR 509 and EDR 516.

EDR 513. Reading in PRE K-4 Classroom. 3 Credits.

This course prepares students for teaching using a balanced approach of various theoretical teaching models based on current research and knowledge. Through readings, lectures, and class activities, students will develop a solid understanding of the reading process, and how to construct and manage a classroom environment that promotes optimal literacy learning. Students will learn to meet the diverse needs of learners at all stages of literacy development, assess students to monitor reading progress, and plan appropriate reading instruction.
Pre / Co requisites: EDR 513 requires a prerequisite of EGP 501.

EDR 514. Reading In The Content Areas. 3 Credits.

Reading skills, reading problems, teaching techniques, and reading activities in content subjects at the elementary and secondary levels.

EDR 515. Teaching Reading with Child's and Adolescent's Lit. 3 Credits.

Based on the philosophy that literature should be an integral element of reading programs. The emphasis is on fostering wide reading and response to literature in K-12 reading programs. Students will learn instructional strategies and develop materials and a selected bibliography.
Pre / Co requisites: EDR 515 requires prerequisites of EDR 505 and EDR 507 and EDR 509.

EDR 516. Problems in Literacy Development. 3 Credits.

The purpose of this course is to acquaint the student with the theoretical bases and the nature of differences in literacy development. The developmental nature of literacy growth and the importance of instruction within students' zone of proximal development will be explored. Students will investigate how literacy differences are influenced by social, emotional, psychological, physical, and educational factors. Best practices in teaching, supporting, and assessing students with literacy differences will be an integral part of the course.
Pre / Co requisites: EDR 516 requires prerequisites of EDR 505, EDR 507 and EDR 509.
Distance education offering may be available.

EDR 518. Language Arts for Grades 4-8. 3 Credits.

A study of theory, trends, curriculum, and pedagogy for integrating language arts across the curriculum in grades 4 though 8, with emphasis on connections among listening, speaking, writing, and reading.
Pre / Co requisites: EDR 518 requires prerequisite of EDP 501.

EDR 519. Issues of Diversity in Teaching Reading. 3 Credits.

This course examines the historical, cultural, and educational contexts of literacy, language, and learning as they relate to reading instruction.
Pre / Co requisites: EDR 519 requires prerequisites of EDR 505, EDR 507, EDR 509 and EDR 515.

EDR 523. Literacy Field Experience PreK-4. 3 Credits.

A field-based course designed to enable its participants to review, practice, and investigate various approaches to planning, teaching, and evaluating literacy practices within the context of a grade PreK-4 reading practicum. Field clearances are required.
Pre / Co requisites: EDR 523 requires prerequisite EDR 503, EDR 513.

EDR 526. Emerging Literacy and Beginning Reading. 3 Credits.

Concerned with young children's literacy development from preschool through the primary grades. Emphasis on instructional recommendations and implementations for a range of abilities. Included are supervised one-on-one and/or small-group teaching experiences.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.

EDR 528. Reading in Grades 4-8. 3 Credits.

An exploration of current research and practice to prepare candidates to utilize a balanced approach to teach reading to children and young adolescents in grades 4 through 8.
Pre / Co requisites: EDR 528 requires a prerequisite of EDP 501.

EDR 532. Literacy and Practicum Seminar II. 3 Credits.

A practicum course in assessment and instruction of independent readers/writers. Using formal and informal measures, students will complete a case study of an independent reader/writer, analyze strengths and areas of need, and design an individualized plan for literacy growth. Using this plan, students will tutor children and evaluate the results. Field clearances are required.
Pre / Co requisites: EDR 532 requires prerequisites of EDR 505, EDR 507, EDR 509, EDR 514, and EDR 516.

EDR 535. Language, Learning And Literacy. 3 Credits.

Contact department for more information about this course.

EDR 538. Literacy Field Experience Grades 4-8. 3 Credits.

EDR 538 is a field-based course designed to enable its participants to review, practice, and investigate various approaches to planning, teaching, and evaluating literacy practices within the context of a grade 4-8 reading practicum. Field clearances are required.
Pre / Co requisites: EDR 538 requires prerequisite EDR 518, EDR 528.

EDR 541. Organization and Supervision of Literacy Programs. 3 Credits.

Development, organization, and supervision of literacy programs K-12. Emphasis is on the use of the total school community in meeting individual needs. Field clearances are required.
Pre / Co requisites: EDR 541 requires prerequisites of EDR 505, EDR 507, EDR 509, EDR 512, and EDR 516.
Distance education offering may be available.

EDR 546. Reading Bytes: E-Reading in K-12 Classroom. 3 Credits.

This online course addresses the unique and changing demands put upon readers as they are expected to read and comprehend digital texts. Participants gain understanding of theories of digital reading, instructional strategies for improving students' comprehension of digital texts, and assessments of digital literacy.
Distance education offering may be available.

EDR 550. Literacy Development for Students w/ Disabilities in Inclusive Classrooms. 3 Credits.

This course is designed to help students understand literacy acquisition and development for students with disabilities. This course will focus on the challenges that reading and writing pose for students with disabilities and resulting appropriate assessment and instructional techniques. Response to Intervention Tier 1 and Tier 2 instruction will be addressed. Content area literacy for students with disabilities will be included.
Distance education offering may be available.

EDR 590. Independent Study. 1-6 Credits.

Individual investigation and exploration of related reading research. Topic must be approved by the supervising instructor prior to registration.

EDR 591. Workshop In Literacy Education. 1-6 Credits.

Contact department for more information about this course.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.
Repeatable for Credit.

EDR 592. Workshop In Literacy Education. 1-6 Credits.

Contact department for more information about this course.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.
Repeatable for Credit.

EDR 593. Workshop In Literacy Education. 1-6 Credits.

Contact department for more information about this course.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.
Repeatable for Credit.

EDR 595. Workshop In Literacy Education. 1-6 Credits.

Contact department for more information about this course.
Repeatable for Credit.

EDR 598. Workshop In Literacy Education. 1-6 Credits.

Contact department for more information about this course.
Repeatable for Credit.

EDR 602. Literacy Coaching & Professional Development. 3 Credits.

Students will examine the roles of Literacy Coaches, approaches to coaching, and their underlying conceptual frameworks. Topics will include: conducting coaching cycles, collaborating with and providing support to teachers, analyzing and designing literacy programs, designing and implementing needs-based professional development. Field clearances are required.

EDR 604. Literacy Program Evaluation & Data Analysis. 3 Credits.

This course is designed to help candidates understand how to collect, analyze, interpret, and communicate results for reading assessments administered at the school, state, national, and international levels.
Pre / Co requisites: EDR 604 requires a prerequisite of EDR 602.
Distance education offering may be available.

EDR 606. Practicum & Seminar in Literacy Coaching. 3 Credits.

This course provides candidates the opportunity to learn and apply skills of observing and providing feedback to teachers during reading and writing instruction in K-12 classrooms. Candidates will learn how to conduct and model lessons, collect data on teachers' professional development and students' instructional needs, and apply the coaching cycle to promote continuous improvement of literacy instruction. Field clearances are required.
Pre / Co requisites: EDR 606 requires prerequisite of EDE 605, EDR 602, EDR 604.