Assess and Enhance Student Literacy
The 39-credit Master of Education in Reading and Writing Specialist graduate degree program features courses that are designed to teach key skills for assessing the reading and writing skills of students in grades K-12. Reading and writing specialist graduate courses, available online and on campus, include in-depth study of language acquisition and development and effective reading and writing teaching practices.
Reading & Writing Specialist (MEd) Required Courses
EDU-501: Methods of Teaching Reading
This course is an overview of reading and writing processes. The course addresses current trends for teaching literacy including basal programs, whole language, language experience, thematic teaching, literature-based instruction, and technology-based instruction. Students will learn about the components of balanced literacy instruction that includes word attack, word identification, vocabulary development, fluency, comprehension and writing.
EDU-533: Learning through Technology
In this course, students will develop the knowledge and skills to use technology to enhance student learning and achievement. This course also introduces students to learning targets (standards/outcomes) and a general model of curriculum development, implementation and assessment.
EDU-547: Curriculum Development
This course is a comprehensive, practical basis for preparing school administrators and teachers to be knowledgeable, creative and effective curriculum designers. Readings will provide students information about the importance and relevance of good curriculum design. The primary focus of the course will be on the study and use of UBD (Understanding by Design). Students will develop a working model of a curriculum unit using the UBD framework.
EDU-550: Educational Assessment
This course builds assessment competency by analyzing recent trends in assessment for evaluating and documenting student performance and progress toward desired outcomes. Students examine the uses of assessment at the individual, class and school levels; including New England Common Assessment Data. Students will select and design assessments suitable for instructional decisions that support planning develo9ping curriculum, and making recommendations for instructional improvement. Students will interpret and communicate the results of both externally produced and teacher-produced assessment for a variety of audiences. Students will describe valid grading procedures and discuss ethical issues linked to assessment methods and uses of assessment information.
EDU-582: Educational Factors of Diversity
This course examines a variety of factors that affect academic achievement for today's students from birth through the high school level. Students will examine diversity through the lens of race/ethnicity, language, economics, and academics. Culturally responsive teaching practices, including issues such as gender, ability, class, socio-economic status, sexual orientation, and cultural pluralism will be examined.
EDU-750: Seminar in Teaching Writing
This course is designed to help educators who work with middle and secondary school students to design and plan programs and courses that promote improved literacy practices, especially improvement of student writing. By investigating and practicing a variety of writing exercises, processes, and approaches to improve their own writing skills, students will create a portfolio of ideas and options for teaching others.
EFL-501: Language Learning and Acquisition
This course explores contemporary knowledge about foreign language acquisition, including the influences of age, environment and motivation; learning styles, including ELSIE, Barsch Learning Style Inventory and other cognitive and behavioral scales; multiple intelligences; and learner language and inter-language.
RDG-503: Emerging and Early Literacy Development K-4
This course will examine several major theoretical perspectives on literacy development from Kindergarten through 4th grade. Students will explore literacy environments that encourage the development of reading, writing, listening and speaking in the early elementary classroom. Students will also learn a variety of effective strategies for the instruction and assessment of reading and writing in the early elementary classroom. Differentiating instruction to meet the needs of students from diverse backgrounds will be integrated into the course content.
RDG-504: Content Area Literacy Grades 4-8
In this course, students study effective practices that support the development of reading comprehension and writing strategies for content area subjects in grades 4-8. The course focuses on the strategies that enable students read and write about non-fiction. Students will also examine ways to address the particular needs of students with diverse language, cultural and learning requirements.
RDG-531: Literature for Children Pre-K-8
This course will include an in-depth study of literary genre and categories found in children's literature, preschool through intermediate levels. Students will read and analyze literature according to a set of established criteria; explore the work of noteworthy authors, poets and illustrators; and be introduced to a variety of strategies for integrating literature into the curriculum and for encouraging students to become lifelong readers.
RDG-582: Assessing and Instructing Students with Literacy Difficulty
This course presents methods and materials to assess the needs and plan instructional interventions for students with literacy difficulties. Students will learn to analyze and interpret formal and informal literacy assessments and use instructional techniques to improve literacy in students with a range of literacy difficulties (K-12). This course includes an examination of literacy development among diverse learners.
RDG-503 or EDU-501
RDG-701: Reading Internship: K-4
Students will complete a one credit reading internship that covers field-based literacy experiences at the elementary level at the conclusion of all course work. This course of study is designed for students to observe, interview, and experience literacy program planning, operation, and management in grades K-4.
RDG-702: Reading Internship: 5-8
Students will complete a one credit reading internship that covers field-based literacy experiences at the middle school level at the conclusion of all coursework. This course of study is designed for students to observe, interview, and experience literacy program planning, operation, and management in grades 5-8.
RDG-703: Reading Internship: 9-12
Students will complete a one credit reading internship that covers field-based literacy experiences at the high school level at the conclusion of all course work. This course of study is designed for students to observe, interview, and experience literacy program planning, operation, and management in grades 9-12.
SPED-525: Critical Issues/Students with Disabilities
This course will analyze various disabilities and determine how they impact student learning within the general curriculum. Students will examine strategies and techniques (including assistive technology) to assist the student in the general education classroom. Tiered support systems will be discussed as a general education instructional framework that can serve the needs of all students. The role of the family and school as partners will be developed as a critical technique to serve the needs of students with disabilities, as well as the importance of facilitating effective meetings and communication efforts that must be part of the role of the special educator.