Reading Specialist Concentration


Practitioners focus on the study of literacy in a broader sense than traditionally encountered. Literacy is approached beyond reading and writing into integrated approached for the development of communication, thought and interpersonal interaction. Emphasis is placed upon literacy programs from emergent to adult. This track leads to a masters degree and Pennsylvania Reading Specialist Certification.

CORE CURRICULUM (12 credit hours)

A minimum of 39 credit hours is required to graduate int his concentration.

EDCC 501 Creating Cultures of Change (3)
Explores practical implications of constructivist theory in classrooms. Emphasizes concepts such as reflective practice, student-centered learning, and processes for change.

EDCC 521 Peacebuilding & Conflict Resolution (3)
Explores peacebuilding and conflict resolution within educational contexts. Focuses on peaceable climates and conflict transformation approaches and integrates peace curricula for individual classroom settings and within specific schools.

EDCC 531 Social & Ethical Issues in Ed. (3)
Examines educational and ethical values through discussion of case studies and current issues in education. Analyzes how public policy in education is shaped via the community’s social and ethical concerns.

EDCC 551 Action Research in Ed. Settings (3)
Examines quantitative and qualitative research studies which have impacted education. Presents action research theory and design so that students may apply action research to their individual programs. Prerequisite: admission to candidacy.

REFLECTIVE PRACTICE (3 credit hours)

EDPC 611 Action Research Project (3)
Incorporates a written report and delivery of a student-designed action research project in reading. Under faculty mentor supervision, Action Research Projects may take a variety of formats: curriculum restructuring projects, staff development projects, research for public policy change, research for publication, etc. Prerequisite: EDCC 551

SPECIALTY AREA (24 credit hours)


EDLA 501 Foundations of Literacy (3)
Examines the psychological, social and linguistic components of the developmental processes of reading and writing including phonemic awareness, alphabetic code, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. Emphasizes the importance of appropriate instruction and materials according to the child’s developmental stage.

EDLA 521 Integrated Literacy Instruction (3)
Focuses on literacy learning throughout the curriculum and addresses integrated, interdisciplinary approaches to learning in K-12 classrooms. The course explores instructional strategies, materials, and issues that impact the development and extension of literacy across the content areas. Technology as a tool for literacy is an integral part of designing appropriate instruction. The role of research in learning, and specifically in reading and writing is a focus area.


EDLA 531 Literacy in Community & Family Arenas (3)
Addresses workplace literacy, family literacy, adult literacy and literacy advocacy.

EDSL 581 Language & Culture (3)
Enables students to gain a deeper understanding of the intricate ways in which culture and language influence each other. Surveys the basics of sociolinguistics and language policy through case studies from communities around the world. Includes a critical evaluation of the role of culture in the second-language classroom.

EDLA 601 Multicultural Children’s Literature (3) or EDLA 611 Adolescent/Young Adult Literature (3)

EDLA 601 Multicultural Children’s Literature (3)
Explores multicultural literature for children in a variety of genre. Elementary classroom activities, including critical thinking and writing, are demonstrated.

EDLA 611 Adolescent/Young Adult Literature (3)
Concentrates on literature written for and by adolescent/young adult readers while relying on works typically classified as young adult literature as well as literary “classics” found within the curriculum for middle, junior and senior high classrooms. Employs reader-response theory.

EDPC 602 Clinic I: Diagnosis of Reading & Writing Difficulties (3)
Designed to focus on assessment as the basis for instruction. Teachers will learn to administer multiple assessments to diagnose and document a student’s literacy development. Teachers will also examine the design and purpose of national, state, and district assessments.


EDPC 603 Clinic II: Integrative Approach to Assessment & Instruction (3)
Complements EDPC 602 and requires 40 hours of practicum experience in which teachers develop a comprehensive study of students experiencing reading and writing difficulties resulting in a case study. Requires analysis of student performance and the use of a diagnostic-prescriptive-instruction-reflection framework. Designed to encourage reading specialists to participate in collaborative teams.

EDLA 651 Developing an Effective Reading Program (3)
Designed to provide practical knowledge about developing and implementing K-12 reading programs. Develops the strategies and understandings needed to provide a diverse student body with effective reading instruction. Emphasizes professional development, leadership, and advocacy for reading specialists


Students are responsible to see that all graduation and certification requirements are met. Course requirements may change as the program evolves. Students are required to complete the sequence of course work under the catalog in which they entered. Should program courses change and the student desires to replace an old requirement with a new, he/she must petition the Curriculum and Instruction Committee for the change to occur. The majority of credits must be earned through instruction offered by EMU.

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