Dr. Lucia Guarino, Chair
The mission of the online Master of Science in Literacy Education program is to prepare highly capable, culturally responsive, and ethically responsible literacy professionals who thoroughly understand and can implement the theory and practice of literacy acquisition and instruction. The curriculum stresses the importance of connections to the cultural differences of students and families and is consistent with the missions of St. John Fisher College and the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. School of Education, as well as the standards set forth by the International Literacy Association. The culturally responsive literacy program develops the knowledge, skills, and dispositions literacy educators need in order to effectively teach all students ways of using multiple forms of text that will provide them with opportunities for success in a global community. The program embraces the belief that all children learn, and that learning occurs when students are actively engaged in constructing meaning within a collaborative and supportive community of learners. As such, our candidates in literacy learn how to create learning environments that address the diverse learning needs of students, are informed by best practices, use ongoing meaningful assessment of student learning, and are continuously informed by self-reflection and a commitment to professional development. Finally, our candidates learn how to disseminate information about literacy development to the family and community so that literacy learning becomes meaningful in all aspects of a child’s life.
The online M.S. degree in literacy education at St. John Fisher College leads to certification as a literacy specialist for both certification levels: Birth – Grade 6 and Grades 5-12. The program is designed for general and special education teachers. Initial teaching certification is required for admission to the program. Candidates completing the master’s in literacy education program are eligible for the professional certification in their original initial teaching certification area.
Candidates complete the program in four semesters. Each semester includes nine credit hours per semester (one course is 15 weeks and two courses are 7 weeks).