The concentration in Literacy and Culture is designed for teachers who wish to: (a) upgrade their knowledge and skills for teaching literacy in the PreK-12 classroom; (b) be an instructional specialist; and/or (c) work in alternative support programs. The concentration follows both the Standards for Reading Professionals published by the International Reading Association (IRA) and endorsed by the accreditation agency NCATE, as well as the Virginia Department of Education Licensure Regulations for School Personnel. Upon successful completion of this 36 hour concentration, a Master of Science in Education will be earned and current eligibility for an endorsement as a Reading Specialist/Coach PreK-12 is met.
This degree provides teachers the opportunity to investigate research-based theories in reading and writing, put theory into effective practice, and examine how culture impacts teaching and learning. The goal of this concentration is to produce competent teacher-leaders able to teach reading and writing across the curriculum within the parameters of research-based literacy techniques and assessments.
Applicants must possess a valid Virginia Collegiate Professional License or equivalent from another state. Applicants must also be currently employed in a school division or have a minimum of two years' teaching experience under a full-time teaching contract and the capacity to work directly with students in an educational setting as they proceed through the concentration.
Students interested in pursuing licensure as a Reading Specialist in the Commonwealth of Virginia are advised to obtain and adhere to the regulations of the Virginia Department of Education (www.doe.virginia.gov/teaching/
licensure/licensure_regs.pdf) and to work with their school division's personnel department to determine eligibility. In addition to completion of this approved graduate level concentration, the VDOE requires passing scores on the VRA for Reading Specialists and at least three years of successful classroom teaching experience in which the teaching of reading was an important responsibility. Students should not attempt the RVE for Reading Specialists prior to the completion of EDUC 626.
NOTE: All applicants must meet with the program coordinator and create a course completion plan upon being admitted.