The University of Arkansas at Little Rock has seven graduate programs in Reading and Literacy Education. These programs are designed to prepare reading educators for their diverse roles as defined by the International Reading Association professional standards. A description of the seven programs is described below.
The Center for Literacy offers two training programs: Reading Recovery Teacher and Reading Recovery Teacher Trainer. UALR is a certified University Training Center for preparing Reading Recovery teachers and teacher trainers. The training program is regulated by the Guidelines and Standards for preparing Reading Recovery Educators. Upon acceptance to the UALR Reading Recovery Teacher Training program, the candidate completes 6 credit hours of specialized Reading Recovery coursework. In Year 1, the candidate receives training as a Reading Recovery Teacher. In Year 2, the candidate receives training in the K-8 small group intervention model. To become a Reading Recovery Teacher Trainer, candidates complete an additional 15 hours of reading recovery coursework including a letter of support from their current employer to fulfill the internship requirements
The Reading Education Program offers two graduate level certificates: the Literacy Intervention Specialist Graduate Certificate and the Literacy Coach Specialist Graduate Certificate. Both programs include an 18 credit hour program of study for preparing candidates for the specialized roles aligned with the International Reading Association.
The Literacy Intervention Specialist Graduate Certificate is an 18-hour post-baccaulaureate program of study for preparing candidates for the specialized role of intervention specialist. The courses focus on teaching struggling readers, including diagnosis of reading difficulties, designing interventions for working with individuals and small groups, and creating a comprehensive intervention model for literacy improvement. A majority of the courses completed within the Literacy Intervention Specialist Graduate Certificate can be applied toward an advanced degree in reading education.
The Literacy Coach Specialist Graduate Certificate is a post-master’s program that has been offered at UALR since 2005. This 18 hour program of study is designed to prepare literacy coaches in the areas of research-based literacy practices, professional experiences in reading, supervising and coordinating a school’s literacy program, coaching teachers in reflective practice, leading study groups, data analysis at individual, group, and school levels, school planning, curriculum development, and teaching struggling readers. The program requires that candidates will be able to carry out a variety of practical experiences that are related to the roles and responsibilities of a literacy coach. To be accepted into the program, a candidate must be employed as a literacy coach in a school. Literacy coaches are employed within districts at two levels: 1) building-level literacy coach, or 2) district-level literacy coach. The program of study is designed to differentiate assignments to accommodate the unique roles of the literacy coach within the school. A majority of the courses completed within the Literacy Coach Specialist Graduate Certificate can be applied toward an advanced degree in reading education.
The Master of Education in Reading degree (M.Ed.) focuses on preparing candidates for licensure as reading specialists, effective literacy educators, or intervention specialists. The M.Ed. program of study emphasizes the relationship between theory, research, and practices in literacy education. The M.Ed. in Reading is nationally recognized by the International Reading Association (IRA) and meets Arkansas Department of Education and National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) standards. The M.Ed. in Reading is a 36 hour program taught 100% online in an accelerated format (8 week courses) designed to meet the needs and hectic schedules of working teachers. Candidates can choose from among three areas of concentration: reading specialist, literacy & culture, and intervention. Candidates completing the reading specialist concentration are eligible for certification as a reading specialist in the State of Arkansas after successful completion of the Praxis Reading Specialist exam and completion of three years of public school teaching experience. Candidates completing the literacy and culture concentration focus on new literacies at middle school and secondary levels issues while candidates completing the intervention concentration weave their background in Reading Recovery with the broad base knowledge of instruction and assessment in literacy for all children.
The Educational Specialist in Reading program (Ed.S.) is a 36-hour program of study designed to prepare candidates for a leadership role in literacy-related areas, including literacy curriculum specialists, literacy coaches, teacher leaders, literacy supervisors, teacher educators, and other leadership roles in reading instruction. The reading program requires clinical experiences in a school setting, including coordinating a school’s literacy program, coaching teachers, conducting professional development, assessing children, and providing interventions to struggling readers. Prior to graduation, candidates are required to pass written comprehensive exams and to defend a portfolio of their work from courses, including intervention report, case study/action research, leadership literacy portfolio, and reflective practice portfolio. During the final 6 hours of their program, candidates are required to complete and defend a thesis or a research project in a literacy-related area.
The Doctor of Philosophy in Reading (Ph.D.) degree was approved in 2007. The goal of the Ph.D. in Reading is to prepare reading educators for leadership roles in scholarly practice, literacy research, and teaching at university or college levels. The Ph.D. in Reading degree is a research-oriented program with rigorous coursework in literacy theories combined with cognitive apprenticeships in the field and opportunities to collaborate with faculty on scholarly work and research projects. The program prepares candidates with specialized knowledge and experience related to literacy issues in K-12 schools, universities, and the wider context of teaching and learning. The program requires a minimum of 108 semester hours (72 hours beyond master’s degree). The literacy core provides an integrated exploration of seminal theories, key research studies, and historical contributions in reading instruction. The research core addresses current information about research design and methods for quantitative and qualitative studies, including statistics and data management. The specialty areas provide students with a range of options for deepening their knowledge in concentrated areas. The culminating project is a scholarly dissertation of original research in a significant literacy area.
Program Coordinator Contact Information
Ph.D., Ed.S. and M.Ed:
Dr. Linda Dorn