Reading Specialist Certification Course Descriptions

EDUC 600 - Early Literacy Foundations

This developmental literacy course will focus on beginning reading and the interrelated language arts to meet the requirements for the reading specialist certification. Emphasis will be given to the cognitive/constructivist perspective of reading that addresses reading and writing as processes of constructing meaning. Students will examine the developmental stages of reading, writing, and spelling, as well as the four systems of language. Students will learn integrative instructional strategies to teach phonemic awareness, linguistic patterns, phonics, comprehension, vocabulary, fluency, as well as using technology to enhance instruction. The scope of the course covers a historical perspective, theories of reading, literature-based instruction and instructional alignment with state standards and the PA Literacy Framework. Appropriate current research literature will also be investigated. Students will tutor a child for a minimum of 10 hours during the semester and present a reading strategy or method to a teacher and/or parent in the field.

EDUC 601 - Literacy Foundations for Intermediate Grades

This developmental course will focus on the reading and writing processes within the context of literature-based reading instruction across the curriculum for grades 4 to 8. Methods, strategies, and materials for teaching the interrelated language arts will be stressed. Emphasis will be given to comprehension, spelling, vocabulary, grammar, hand-writing, creative expression, varying reading rate according to purpose and difficulty, and technology to enhance instruction as well as curriculum-based assessment. A variety of current research literature will also be investigated. Students will develop a literacy unit demonstrating alignment with state standards and will evaluate materials and literacy programs. Students will attend a professional meeting and/or become members of a professional education organization.

EDUC 602 - Reading and Learning Differences

This course will focus on the physiological, psychological, sociological, neurological, and educational factors contributing to literacy acquisition and cautions about labeling children and youth. Students will explore various theories, research findings, and diagnostic procedures along with portfolio assessment. A resource file will be developed for future use. The student will be guided in writing an Individual Educational Plan  (IEP), diagnostic with remediation procedures, for student(s) with severe learning disabilities related to literacy. Students will demonstrate understanding of the components and procedures adopted by PSSA. The student is expected to conduct reading assessments and write a case study on a youngster including an IEP. (Prerequisite: EDUC 600 or 601 or 603)

EDUC 603 - Reading Strategies for Middle and Secondary Content Areas

This course will focus on expository reading development in content areas such as language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, and music, as well as the use of literature to supplement content texts. Emphasis will be given to the reading process and effective teaching practices that aid students’ comprehension, vocabulary, critical thinking, studying, and writing. A variety of current research literature will also be reviewed. This is a course for Reading Specialists, middle level, and secondary education majors that meets state standards for certification in a content area. Students will create a portfolio of reading strategies that may be employed before, during, or after reading a middle level or secondary level content area textbook. Ten hours of classroom observation is required.

EDUC 604 - Assessment, Intervention and Reporting of Literacy Progress

This course should be taken following Reading and Learning Differences. It will expand the students’ knowledge of on-going diagnostic instruction through the use of testing and observation. Focus will be given to effective home/school partnerships by communicating results and recommendations with parents as well as modeling a reading strategy or method for the parents to enhance the literacy development of their children. The student will learn to administer the Woodcock Diagnostic Reading Battery Complete (WDRB) and the Slosson Intelligence Test, Third Edition (SIT-R3) and the Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test, Second Edition (K-Bit2). The student will examine various informal reading inventories (IRIs), curriculum-based assessments, spelling assessments, literacy self-perception, and literacy attitude assessments. Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) procedures for assessment of reading and writing will be included. Hearing and vision screening will be discussed. The student will write an evaluative report and collaborate with colleagues. (Prerequisite: EDUC 602)

EDUC 606 - Multicultural Literature and Curriculum

This course is designed for education majors and graduate students interested in teaching literacy in our culturally and linguistically diverse school populations as well as teaching homogeneous groups the importance of multicultural literature. Emphasis will focus on the theoretical framework for an integrated view of culturally relevant pedagogy and culturally responsive teaching. Students will review the multicultural literature for youth and children. Attention will be given to the linguistic differences as they relate to the socio-cultural environment and instruction. Students will apply reader response theory and participate in grand conversations about multicultural literature. Students also will create a repertoire of culturally relevant literature and strategies for their teaching experiences.

EDUC 612 - Reading Specialist Practicum

This off-campus experience gives the student the opportunity to test, diagnose, and design a program suitable for an individual or small group of children under the direction of a certified Reading Specialist. The candidate will take into consideration the elements of the cognitive and affective domains as well as curriculum and instructional content. Seminars are held to discuss planning, confer with colleagues, compare portfolios, and critique lessons. Each candidate will be expected to prepare and present a workshop to parents and/or teachers suitable for staff development. Current research will be review. Materials and programs in the area of literacy will be examined.

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