MSE: Literacy Education

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Course Descriptions

The Master of Science in Literacy Education is a 32-credit hour program. Seven 3-credit hour core courses are required for all students. To complete the remaining credits, you may add a reading endorsement or pursue a reading specialist endorsement. In some cases, students may be able to transfer credits already earned.

Core and Reading Specialist Courses

EDUC 260: Designing and Implementing Professional Learning in Literacy
The purpose of this course is to prepare literacy professionals to work with their schools utilizing the Iowa Model of Professional Development and School Improvement. Specific documents and resources from the Iowa Department of Education will be explored and shared. Students will learn elements of effective school improvement and professional development in literacy.

EDUC 280: Case Studies in Literacy Education

This is the final course in the master’s degree program. The course will focus on the design, implementation, analysis and sharing of an action-research project. Students will be guided in the study, design, implementation and critical analysis of data collected in an educational setting. Students will be expected to reflect on the process with specific attention to literacy instruction in urban settings.

EDUC 281: Writing Research & Theory
This course will explore the major theories related to writing instruction and education. Students will examine current research in the field of writing education and examine how writing develops over the K-12 grade span. Additionally, theories related to the instruction of writing education will be discussed. Specific focus will be on effective instruction in learning to write and writing to learn.

EDUC 285: Research-Based Effective Literacy Models
This course will examine current instructional models as they relate to literacy. Teachers will leave this course knowing when to use various models based on their intent and application for teaching. Knowledge of skills, strategies, models and teaching purpose will be clarified.

EDUC 287: Reading Research & Theory
This course is designed as a seminar class in which graduate students and the instructor collaboratively explore, discuss and reflect on current research related to reading. Full participation is critical. This seminar includes a heavy reading load. While the instructor will offer support and guidance through the content, it is essential that participants are able to invest time in reading assignments and reflective participation.

EDUC 288: Leading & Coaching Data Team Analysis in Reading
This course is designed for graduate students aspiring to be literacy specialists. The class involves an in-depth look at the types of assessments used in schools today, as well as the theory and research related to using data to inform instruction. Participants will engage in the data team process in order to gain a deeper understanding of effective data analysis at the classroom and building level.

EDUC 289: Managing School-Wide Change through Literacy Coaching
This course will focus on the role of a coach in managing and leading school-wide change. Through video demonstrations, real-life scenarios and a study of related research, participants will gain a deep understanding of how to successfully communicate with and coach fellow educators. After gaining an understanding of the attributes of a successful coach, participants will have an opportunity to lead colleagues in change in order to apply this knowledge.

Elective Courses

EDUC 277: Urban Trends in Literacy Education
This course will examine current issues in urban education systems. Investigation of the impact of poverty, language and cultural diversity will be explored. Participants will understand the unique needs and challenges to literacy education in urban-situated schools and incorporate literacy strategies to meet the learning needs of urban students.

EDUC 282: The Impact of Poverty on Students, Teachers, Schools and Communities
This course will examine the effects of poverty on students, teachers, schools and communities. Through this study, students will learn how poverty affects the brain and what teachers can do in their classrooms to lessen the effect. Participants will examine characteristics of 90-90-90 schools and create research-based action plans to increase the odds for success in their classrooms.


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