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Graduate Programs

Master of Education with Literacy Emphasis (M.Ed.)

Program Description
Standards for Reading Educators
General Requirements
Admission Requirements
Application Process
Program Requirements
Program Faculty

Program Description

The Master of Education with Literacy Emphasis is designed to strengthen the student's understanding, knowledge, and skills in three major areas — Core Professional Studies, Specialty Studies, and Integrative Field Research Studies — as they relate to literacy education.

Through research and the advancement of literacy theories the definition of literacy is expanding. Today, literacy is much more than reading and writing. It is the process by which we, as humans, mediate the world. We make use of sign systems - mathematics, art, music, dance, and language - that stand between the world as it is and the world as we perceive it. Thus, it is now recognized that there are multiple literacies. To be literate today requires that one move among and between these multiple literacies.

While the profession recognizes this broad view of literacy, literacy specialists focus on written language development (reading and writing). There is also interest in oral language development (listening and speaking) as it relates to written language. Literacy includes the study of children and adults who have specific reading and writing problems or disorders. The literacy program educates specialists on clinical reading instruction, which is designed for individuals with severe reading delays. The clinician usually works with only one student at a time, but no more than three. There is extensive assessment, both formal and informal observation, and remediation is intensive and highly individualized. Candidates also develop skills and dispostions in coaching the literacy insruction of classroom teachers.

Following graduation literacy specialists provide expertise in assessment and remediation for those who have special needs specific to literacy. They serve in the Federal Title One program in elementary schools and as instructional coaches for classroom teachers. They are also resource teachers in middle and high schools. In addition literacy specialists often work in university literacy clinics, and community college developmental reading programs.

International Reading Association's Professional Standards for Reading Educators (2010)

  1. Standard 1: Foundational Knowledge — Candidates understand the theoretical and evidence-based foundations of reading and writing processes and instruction.
  2. Standard 2: Curriculum and Instruction — Candidates use instructional approaches, materials, and an integrated, comprehensive, balanced curriculum to support student learning in reading and writing.
  3. Standard 3: Assessment and Evaluation — Candidates use a variety of assessment tools and practices to plan and evaluate effective reading and writing instruction.
  4. Standard 4: Diversity — Candidates create and engage their students in literacy practices that develop awareness, understanding, respect, and a valuing of differences in our society.
  5. Standard 5: Creating a Literate Environment — Candidates create a literate environment that fosters reading and writing by integrating foundational knowledge, instructional practices, approaches and methods, curriculum materials, and the appropriate use of assessments.
  6. Standard 6: Professional Learning and Leadership — Candidates recognize the importance of, demonstrate, and facilitate professional learning and leadership as a career-long effort and responsibility.

General Requirements

Candidates must complete a minimum of 33 semester credit hours for the Master of Education with Literacy Emphasis. They must complete EDUC 4419 Developmental Literacy or the Idaho Comprehensive Literacy Assessment. All candidates completing a these will orally defend the thesis, but will not complete written comprehensive examinations. All candidates not completing a these will be required to pass both a written comprehensive examination and an oral examination.

Candidates seeking Idaho certification in the area of their training must meet any requirements of the State Board of Education for certification. It is recommended that students pursuing the Master of Education with Literacy Emphasis have professional experience in an educational context.

Admission Requirements

Idaho State University invites applications for admission to Graduate School from students holding baccalaureate degrees from any regionally accredited colleges or universities in the United States, or with equivalent preparation acquired in another country. Prospective students may apply as degree-seeking or nondegree-seeking. Non-degree-seeking students include those seeking certification, professional growth, or strengthened backgrounds for various professional and industrial occupations.

Individuals applying for admission to the Master of Education with Literacy Emphasis must meet the following admission requirements:

  1. Bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university in the United States or its equivalent from a school in another country.
  2. The minimum Master's level standards in the College of Education are: GPA
    In instances where a standardized test is required, official GRE/MAT score reports are required. Student copies are not acceptable. To register for the GRE, contact either the GRE-ETS, Box 6000, Princeton, New Jersey, 08541-6000, or the ISU Counseling and Testing Center (208)282-2130. To register for the MAT, contact the Idaho State University Counseling and Testing Center. Students at Idaho State University may take these tests at the Counseling and Testing Center. Special study sessions are available at the University in the Student Success Center (208) 282-3662 to aid the student in preparing for the GRE.
  3. Successful completion of an admission interview with the literacy faculty.
  4. Recommendation for admission by the Department of School Psychology, Literacy, and Special Education.
  5. Approval for admission by the Dean of the Graduate School.

Application Process

  1. Applications for admission may be obtained online (www.isu.edu) or from the Graduate School.
  2. Applicants applying as degree-seeking students must request that each institution at which they have taken any postsecondary work submit one official transcript directly to the Graduate School. Official transcripts must be sent directly from the institution(s) to the Graduate School. Idaho State University undergraduate transcripts are available to teh Graduate School and need not be forwarded by the applicant. Non-degree seeking applicants must provide a transcript (offical or copy) showing proof of degree.
  3. Applicants must include a non-refundable processing fee with each application form. The files of students who do not pay the required application fee will not be processed for admission.
  4. Applicants must clearly indicate the Literacy program on the application form, or if a non-degree-seeking student, indicate the College of Education and the Department of School Psychology, Literacy, and Special Education.
  5. GRE or MAT is required for degree-seeking applicants with a GPA of 3.49 or below. Offical score reports only are accepted.
  6. Additional requirement for degree-seeking international students and last semester seniors are described in the Graduate School catalog.

Application Deadlines

Priority deadlines for application forms to be completed and returned to
the Graduate School are: April 1st for summer semester enrollment; April 1st for fall semester enrollment; and November 15th for spring semester enrollment, or the following Monday should these dates fall on a weekend.

Notification of Admission

Applicants will receive a notification letter from the Graduate School regarding their admission status. Admission to Graduate School allows a student to enroll in graduate courses in the specified department and college. It does not imply admission to courses in other departments. Only those admitted as degreeseeking students may assume that they are permitted to seek an advanced degree in the discipline/department that approved the admission. Non-degree-seeking students who are admitted are permitted to take graduate courses, but this admission does not imply they will later be approved for admission as a degree-seeking student.

Program Requirements

No more than 9 credits of unclassified graduate coursework may be applied to the student's program. The student is responsible for meeting the requirements of, and being admitted to, the program as a classified student before taking additional coursework.

Candidates must complete 33 to 36 semester credit hours for the Master of Education with Literacy Emphasis. They must complete EDUC 4419/5519 Developmental Literacy or the Idaho Comprehensive Literacy Assessment. All candidates completing a thesis will orally defend the thesis, but will not complete written comprehensive examinations. All candidates completing a master's project or case study will be required to pass both a written comprehensive examination and an oral examination.

Candidates seeking Idaho certification in the area of their training must meet any requirements of the State Board of Education for certification. It is recommended that students pursuing the Master of Education with Literacy Emphasis have professional experience in an educational context.

Required Core Professional Studies

  • EDUC 6601 Research and Writing, 3 cr
  • EDUC 6602 Thories of Learning, 3 cr
  • EDUC 6610 Applied Educational Statistics, 3 cr

Specialty Studies

  • EDUC 5519 Developmental Literacy, 3 cr
  • EDUC 5524 Assessing Literacy, 3 cr
  • EDUC 5526 Remediation of Literacy Problems, 3 cr
  • EDUC 6632 Psychology of Literacy, 3 cr
  • EDUC 6633 Language, Literacy and Neurology, 3 cr
  • EDUC 6634 Literacy: Multicultural Views, 3 cr
  • EDUC 6635 Clinical Methods in Literacy, 3 cr

Integrative Field Research Studies

  • EDUC EDUC 6650 Thesis, 6 cr
  • OR
  • EDUC 6651 Field Project/Case Study in Education, 3 cr
  • EDUC 6652 Field Practicum in Education, 3 cr

Program Faculty

David Squires, Professor
Literacy Program Director
Email: squidavi@isu.edu
Phone: (208) 282-4445


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