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Literacy initial/professional MSEDs

Required courses (birth through Grade 6 or Grades 5 to 12)  in the master of science in education (MSED) degrees in literacy education are designed for candidates who posses a baccalaureate degree and hold provisional/initial certification in education or the equivalent. 

The faculty of the Curriculum and Instruction Department at SUNY Oswego is committed to educating students in the MSED Literacy Education Birth-Grade 6 and Grades 5-12 Certification programs in a manner that enables them to provide authentic learning experiences for the full range of students in the schools of the 21st century. The programs involve partnerships with practitioners, and Curriculum & Instruction faculty that will generate knowledgeable, socially conscious, reflective, collaborative teachers.  This goal is accomplished by the partners working together to provide relevant courses and opportunities to participate in meaningful practica placements where practitioners and literacy candidates collaborate to provide a knowledge base and authentic learning experiences for diverse learners (KNOWLEDGE, PRACTICE, COLLABORATION, SOCIAL JUSTICE).

The MSED literacy B-6 and 5-12 programs are premised upon two fundamental, interlocking beliefs: that social justice is served only when all children are successful readers and writers; and second, that literacy processes are creative and constructivist in nature, requiring students to experience authentic connections to the texts of their lives (KNOWLEDGE).  Thus, embedded in this program is an approach to literacy that takes into account the history of literacy, which has too often not served to ensure social justice.  Further, in tandem with a constructivist/transactional approach to literacy learning, is the goal of supporting a strategic approach to both reading and writing in which learners become metacognitive regarding these literacy processes (REFLECTION) and thus able to claim control of their own reading and writing.

The development of a literacy educator aware of the constructive nature of the literacy process and able to claim control of the literacy process requires a program that offers a strong knowledge base of the field and its theories connected to current best practices (KNOWLEDGE); a commitment to attitudes that both respect and value a range of ethnic and cultural differences (SOCIAL JUSTICE); a range of  collaborative experiences and practica experiences where the needs of diverse learners are met (COLLABORATION).  Throughout the program, candidates are encouraged to reflect upon their course work and experiences, relating it to current research and their practica experiences (REFLECTION).

The sequence of courses for the MSED literacy B-6 and 5-12 programs are designed to provide candidates with a deep understanding of the content base of literacy and the appropriate implementation of instruction. The practica experiences will serve to extend and solidify the candidate’s knowledge within a mentoring environment.  The program culminates in a 50-hour practicum experience under collaborative supervision of college personnel and classroom-based practitioners, thus providing the candidate an opportunity to work with diverse students to practice the integration of theory and practice gained in the sequence of courses.

The following desired outcomes for the MSED literacy B–6 and 5-12 onitial certification programs were developed through input from Curriculum & Instruction faculty, Liberal Arts and Science faculty, School of Education faculty, teachers, and administrators, using standards from the New York State Education Department, the Interstate New Teacher Assessment & Support Consortium (INTASC), and the International Reading Association (IRA) associated with the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE):

  1. Candidates know, understand, and use the central concepts, tools of inquiry, and structures of the disciplines they will teach to create meaningful learning literacy experiences B-6 and 5-12 (KNOWLEDGE, PRACTICE).
  2. Candidates understand how the full range of students learn and develop in order to provide (AUTHENTIC LEARNING) opportunities that support intellectual, social and personal development in all students (SOCIAL JUSTICE).
  3. Candidates understand and use authentic instructional strategies, including EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY, to encourage students’ development of critical thinking, problem solving and performance skills (AUTHENTIC LEARNING, PRACTICE).
  4. Candidates understand and use motivational strategies to create a learning environment that encourages positive social interactions and active engagement in learning (PRACTICE, AUTHENTIC LEARNING).
  5. Candidates understand and use communication techniques (verbal and non-verbal) to support inquiry, collaboration, and supportive interactions in the learning process (PRACTICE).
  6. Candidates understand and use formal and informal assessment strategies to monitor students’ development and insure continuous intellectual, social, and physical growth (PRACTICE).
  7. Candidates are reflective practitioners, who continuously evaluate the effect of their choices and actions of others in the learning environment and seek opportunities for professional development (REFLECTION).
  8. Candidates foster relationships with school colleagues, parents, and agencies in the larger community to support students’ learning and well being (COLLABORATION & LEADERSHIP).

The MSED Literacy program at SUNY Oswego meets the standards of the International Reading Association (IRA), the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), and is approved by the New York State Education Department (NYSED). This degree -- along with meeting all other NYSED requirements  (see -- will qualify a candidate to receive initial and professional literacy certification in New York State.

Program requirements are officially described in the current SUNY Oswego Graduate Catalog, which can be obtained by contacting the Graduate Studies Office (315.312.3152, 601 Culkin Hall, SUNY Oswego, Oswego, NY 13126).  

For further information contact Dr. Marcia Burrell, Associate Chair for Program Coordination and Assessment, Curriculum and Instruction Department, 102 Wilber Hall, SUNY Oswego, Oswego NY 13126, 315.312.3584.