Text Size Default Text SizeDefault Text Size Large Text SizeLarge Text Size Largest Text SizeLargest Text Size Print Print this Page

Literacy and Culture

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/
) 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 RVE: Reading Specialist Assessment 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: Reading Specialist Assessment 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.



Newly admitted students are assigned the appropriate advisor. The assignment of the advisor generally is not changed unless the student changes his/her degree program. Prior to registration, students are encouraged to consult with their academic advisor regarding course selection and sequence, career goals, and relevant academic policies. Although the academic advisor assists students with curriculum decisions and options, the student bears full responsibility for meeting graduation requirements.

NOTE: Students are cautioned to work closely with their advisors in planning their studies since some courses have prerequisites and are sequenced to begin with the fall semester.


Program Requirements

  • EDUC 518 Teaching the Writing Process K-8 (3)
  • EDUC 520 Literacy Development &Cultural Awareness (3)
  • EDUC 524 Emergent & Early Literacy Instruction (3)
  • EDUC 525 Intermediate to Middle School Literacy Instruction (3)
  • EDUC 526 Evaluation of Literacy (3)
  • EDUC 527 Strategies for Students who Struggle with Literacy (3)
  • EDUC 530 Teaching Reading in the Content Area (3)
  • EDUC 531 Literacy Education: History & Issues(3)
  • EDUC 626 Practicum I: Analysis & Instruction in Literacy (3)
  • EDUC 645 Developing Leaders in Literacy ( (3)
  • EDUC 646 Practicum II: Leadership in Literacy (3)
  • EDUC 647 Professional Portfolio (1)

Elective Course (3)

Select one course from the following:

  • EDUC 529 Teaching Comprehension Strategies (3)
  • EDUC 595 Special Topics (3)
  • OR another three-credit course approved by the advisor



Program Coordinators

Wendy Snow

Dr. Wendy M. Snow

Assistant Professor
217 Hull


Angelica Blanchette 

Dr. Angelica D. Blanchette

Assistant Professor
219 Hull