2016-17 Graduate Catalog 
    Jun 20, 2024  
2016-17 Graduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Literacy Education [LED] M.S.Ed.

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Literacy Department
Nance Wilson, chair
Tadayuki Suzuki, graduate coordinator
Cornish Hall, Room 1303
Fax: 607-758-5006


Enhance your passion for helping people learn to read, whether in school settings, employment situations or through community agencies. Build on the solid foundation of your bachelor's degree in teacher education and work toward earning your professional New York state teaching certification by choosing the M.S.Ed. in literacy education at SUNY Cortland.

Program Highlights

With the guidance of our expert literacy education faculty, you'll select one of two tracks to achieve your degree: birth to grade 6 or grades 5-12. You also have the option to complete both tracks for certification. For more information, contact the Literacy Department.

Track 1: Birth to Grade 6

You'll examine critical topics in language and literacy development, children's literature and the effects of literacy on society. You'll gain key skills in assessment and instruction of learners from birth to grade 6 and those experiencing literacy difficulties. You'll also explore important issues in literacy history and research and the relationship of the literacy specialist to the literacy program. In addition, you'll apply theory to practice in field experiences and a literacy practicum.

Track 2: Grades 5-12

You'll investigate literacy development and language, young adult literature, and the importance of literacy to society. You'll acquire key skills in assessment and instruction of learners in grades 5-12 who experience literacy difficulties. In addition, you'll explore literacy history, instruction and research, as well as relationships between literacy programs and the literacy specialist. Field experiences and a literacy practicum help you learn to apply theory to practice.

Regardless of the track you pursue, you'll also select one of the following three-credit courses to enhance your literacy focus: gender issues in education, teaching the inner city child or teaching the special education learner in the general education classroom.

Students wishing to receive dual certification may do so by completing the required courses in both tracks plus additional field experience hours.

Culminating Experience

In addition to fulfilling the specific requirements for state certification, including workshops, each track requires you to complete a master's project in literacy education.

Career Potential

With the well-regarded M.S.Ed. in literacy education from SUNY Cortland, you're prepared to take on the responsibilities of a literacy resource teacher, literacy teacher/coach, classroom teacher, facilitator of intervention services, school-level curriculum specialist or a community college instructor.

Graduate Admission

Evaluation Policy

At the State University of New York College at Cortland we seek a diverse and academically strong student body. Our admission policy and practice will not discriminate on the basis of age, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, disability, national origin or marital status.

Required Materials

  1. Completed online Graduate School Application - Apply Now
  2. Official transcripts from all institutions of higher learning attended to be forwarded directly to SUNY Cortland Graduate Admissions Office
    Note: candidates for admission must present evidence of bachelor's degree conferral prior to the start of their academic program.
  3. Documentation of teaching certification from an accredited program
  4. Two recommendation checklists (submitted online with the application)
  5. A statement demonstrating commitment to and interest in literacy education as well as an ability to write clearly and well (submitted online with application)
  6. New York State mandates that all SUNY teacher preparation programs adopt college entrance assessments for admissions consideration.  Effective August 31, 2015 - anyone submitting an application for admission is required to submit scores for either the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or Miller Analogies Test (MAT).

Admissions Criteria

Preference will be given to candidates with an overall undergraduate GPA of 3.0 and above on a 4.0 scale.

Entry into the Literacy Department graduate program is very competitive, with more eligible applicants than can be accommodated. The GPA criterion listed above is the minimal acceptable requirement but does not guarantee admission into this degree program. The Literacy Department will evaluate all applications and make final admission decisions on all candidates. The final notification regarding admission is transmitted to the applicant from the Graduate Admissions Office. You should matriculate, that is be accepted and enrolled in the program, before beginning course work.

Graduate students may transfer up to six credit hours of graduate work from another regionally accredited institution. This approval will be dependent on when the course was taken and the applicability toward the student's program.

Transfer credit completed prior to enrollment at SUNY Cortland, or after matriculation at SUNY Cortland, must be approved by your graduate coordinator or advisor and the associate dean. Once you are enrolled in a SUNY Cortland program, if you are interested in taking courses elsewhere and transferring those to your SUNY Cortland degree you are advised to seek permission prior to enrolling in such course work.

Only courses with grades of B, that is 3.0, or better will be transferable. Transfer credit may be applied to the fulfillment of course requirements, but is not computed in the grade point average.


Fall semester applications: July 1
Spring semester applications: Dec. 1
Summer semester applications: April 1

Applications submitted after the deadline may be considered on a space availability basis.
Please contact the Graduate Admission Office at 607-753-4800 to check availability. 

I. M.S.Ed. in Literacy Education: Birth to Grade 6

 Study leading to the certificate in the Teaching of Literacy Birth-Grade 6

B. Select one from the following: Three credit hours

C. Required Workshops

  • Child Abuse Recognition and Reporting workshop (CARR)
  • Dignity for All Students Act (DASA)
  • Safe Schools Against Violence in Education (SAVE)

D. Culminating Activity: Three credit hours

Total Credit Hours Required: 33

II. M.S.Ed. in Literacy Education: Grades 5 - 12

  Study leading to the certificate in the Teaching of Literacy Grades 5 - 12

B. Select one from the following: Three credit hours

C. Required Workshops

  • Child Abuse Recognition and Reporting workshop (CARR)
  • Dignity for All Students Act (DASA)
  • Safe Schools Against Violence in Education (SAVE)

D. Culminating Activity: Three credit hours

Total Credit Hours Required: 33

Additional Requirements

Candidates for the degree must meet any additional undergraduate and graduate requirements for the award of the degree established by the department. Such additional requirements must be ascertained by the student in consultation with the department’s graduate coordinator.

Specific information regarding requirements (state examinations, identification and reporting of child abuse and maltreatment, alcohol and drug abuse education, fingerprinting, violence prevention, foreign language requirements and an undergraduate or graduate course on teaching students with disabilities) for New York state teaching certification can be found in the Teacher Certification Information section of this catalog.

More detailed information is found in the Graduate Advisement Manual.

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