The Doctorate of Philosophy (Ph.D) in Reading degree is a program of study designed to prepare candidates with the knowledge and expertise to become teacher educators, scholars, and literacy researchers. The Ph.D in Reading degree is a research-oriented program of study 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. To achieve this goal, candidates must be participants in a professional community where research and scholarly activity are intentionally embedded into the teacher preparation programs. The Center for Literacy in the Department of Teacher Education provides candidates with an infrastructure for: 1) interacting with influential researchers, well-known authors, and accomplished practitioners through UALR sponsored events, including the annual literacy conference, spring literacy academy, and summer institutes; 2) collaborating with faculty on literacy-related research projects; 3) using technology for research, assessment, and the dissemination of information; and 4) establishing educational partnerships with local, state, and national agencies in order to influence literacy advancements. In the process, candidates are mentored into a service philosophy that views literacy accomplishments as a global responsibility, including the necessary knowledge and dispositions for influencing reading achievement for all learners.
The Ph.D in Reading is designed to prepare reading educators for leadership roles in scholarly practice, literacy research, and teaching at university or college levels. 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.
If a candidate enters the doctoral program with a Master’s degree in Reading Education, it is possible for the candidate to complete the Ph.D in Reading program within four years, provided that all prerequisite requirements in research have been met. If a student enters the program with an Educational Specialist degree in Reading Education, the Ph.D in Reading program could be completed in three years. However, for most students, the timeline will be longer; therefore, faculty should work closely with doctoral candidates to ensure the timeline does not exceed seven years.