This program is specifically designed to enhance the skills of fully certified elementary and secondary teachers who wish to become master teachers of reading and writing to meet the needs of all learners. This program is for candidates who possess an initial teaching license and want to expand their knowledge base, skills and dispositions for teaching literacy. A culminating project is required.
A multi-dimensional and multimedia approach to children’s and adolescent’s literature with extensive reading, critical examination, selection, and evaluation. Emphasis will be on: children’s and adolescents’ books and story presentation strategies as related to the children’s needs and interests at various age levels; historic trends; research; and the influence and utilization of literature upon the academic, social, and emotional growth of the child and adolescent.
The place of language in culture; linguistics and psycholinguistics as academic disciplines; examination of concepts significant for the reading program; analysis of American English; implications of cultural, linguistic, and psycholinguistic data for instructional practice and for selection of instructional materials.
A study of the purposes, specialized reading skills, reading materials, and modes of inquiry specific to the content areas; application of these specialized skills to the specific reading task.
This course explores the implications of research in reading on instructional materials, classroom procedures and best practices. It is an advanced study of effective literacy instructional techniques, assessments, curricular materials and literate classroom environments. Relationships between reading and the use of collaborative, authentic reading learning experiences within an inquiry oriented curriculum are examined in depth.
The purpose of this course is to provide students with an in depth examination of current research and methods used in reading, writing and language arts instruction. It explores theories of how to teach the writing process and examines the connection between reading and writing performance in literacy development. This course also explores and examines skills that support writing processes and identifies effective strategies for cross curricular integration of creative and informational writing.
SPED 624 or SPED 501
SPED 624: An intensive overview of the field of learning disabilities: definition, characteristics, assessment, subtypes of, and major educational approaches for teaching. Current research in both cognition and brain physiology will be explored.
SPED 501: An introduction to the field of special education, focusing on the characteristics and educational needs of students with disabilities. The course covers etiology and behavioral manifestations of a wide variety of disabling conditions and introduces current approaches to the education of students with these disabilities. Included is up-to-date information on federal and state laws which affect programs for children with disabilities and key issues in special education today.
An advanced course devoted to an in-depth study in emergent and early literacy in a multicultural context
All candidates take two elective courses focusing on English Language Learners, Students with Dyslexia, Digital Literacies, Adolescent Literacy, Early Childhood Literacy or other topics with advisor approval
A course which examines basic research design, library and computer search strategies, and certain statistical concepts. Emphasis is on understanding and interpreting research studies.
A critical independent study of an aspect of reading of interest to the student that is explored under faculty guidance. Open only to students matriculated in the literacy program.
Every candidate for a graduate degree must take a comprehensive examination which requires the candidate to synthesize and apply knowledge acquired throughout the program.
Expectations for Students
In addition to the TCNJ expectations for graduate students, candidates in the reading specialist program are expected to:
Maintain the appropriate level of grades in courses:
- Maintain a minimum average grade of a B in all course work
- Earn a B+ or better in each practicum. Students who are unable to complete all required practicums will not be recommended by The College of New Jersey for State Certification as a Reading Specialist
Complete coursework in a timely manner:
- An incomplete in prerequisite coursework is resolved before admission is possible to successive courses
- If two incompletes appear on a record, these need to be resolved before registration is permitted in further coursework
Follow principles of ethical and professional conduct which include:
- Meeting responsibilities and deadlines in a timely manner. Students are expected to fulfill class requirements on time, to demonstrate a good attendance record in all classes, and to submit all assignments by the deadlines required by instructors.
- Respecting student confidentiality. Candidates are expected to maintain the confidentiality of any student with whom they are working in a practicum setting. This includes keeping all students’ identity anonymous during classroom conversations, consultations with faculty, and in clinical reading reports.
- Demonstrating ability to collaborate professionally and respectfully with all peers and faculty.
- Sharing knowledge and experiences openly and actively through collaborative and interactive seminars.
Eligibility for Graduation
- Satisfactory completion of courses
- A minimum of 27 graduate semester hours earned at TCNJ
- A minimum total of 33 graduate semester hours
- A cumulative GPA of 3.0
- Completion of all departmental requirements/prerequisites which includes the successful completion of a Comprehensive Exam