Description of the Program A focus on how to support literacy learning, teach struggling readers, facilitate professional development of reading teachers, and diagnose and respond to literacy challenges encountered by students Admission Requirements A valid bachelor’s-level professional educator certificate in early childhood education, elementary education, or collaborative special education (K-6) and two full years of full-time classroom teaching experience; or A valid bachelor’s-level professional educator certificate in any area of education, two full years of full-time classroom teaching experience, and a passing score on the Praxis II Teaching of Reading test validated for use in Alabama; Pass the GRE/MAT requirements, OR have 3 years of successful teaching, OR 3.0 undergraduate cumulative GPA, OR other master's degree. Degree Requirements Core Courses = 4 courses (12 hours) ED 530 Applied Multiculturalism 3 hours Online Through an examination of constructs such as race, ethnicity, social class, gender, sexual orientation, and religious affiliation, students will develop a theoretical understanding of the connections between identity, difference, power, and privilege and the role(s) schools (could/should) play in perpetuating or ending discriminatory practices. Furthermore and importantly, students will develop an understanding of the ways research in both the humanities and social sciences can be used to interpret, analyze, and critique multiculturalism. ED 535 Introduction to Applied Educational Research 3 hours Online Introduction to the nature of research and its relationship to educational thought and practice. Primary focus will be on planning and executing research activities(i.e. action research, thesis development) in the diverse classroom and analyzing the collected data to improve instruction, educational performance and adding to the body of knowledge on educational practices. ED 540 Advanced Cognitive Psychology 3 hours Online Designed to inform students about recent developments in Cognitive Psychology and their implications for teaching and learning. Students will leave ED 565 with a variety of “cognitive understandings” for use in differentiated classrooms. ED 565 Introduction to Differentiated Instruction 3 hours Online Provides an introduction to the philosophy and practice of differentiation. Examines the elements, content, process, product, affect and learning environment, by which instruction can be differentiated to address the complex challenges of meeting the diverse learning needs of all students. Concentration Courses = 6 courses (18 hours) ED 510 Foundations of Literacy 3 hours Online This course includes a study of methods, materials, and strategies for reading instruction. Components of the course will include but not be limited to the five pillars of reading instruction identified by the National Reading Panel (2000): phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. Emphasis is placed on the various stages of and approaches to literacy development, knowledge of which is required for the Alabama Reading Specialist licensure. ED 605 Reading Research & Instruction 3 hours Online Elements of effective reading instruction for beginning readers as supported by current research and practice. Topics include balance, language-rich/print-rich environment, language development, phonemic awareness, print awareness, phonics, writing, spelling, and comprehension. ED 608 Expanding Reading Ability Through Content Area Instruction 3 hours Online Strategies to enhance reading comprehension when using materials in all subject areas. Teacher-directed, integrated instruction; extensive use of authentic printed materials; discussion at literal and higher levels of understanding, motivation, vocabulary, and writing. Field experience required. ED 612 Diagnosis and Assessment of Reading 3 hours Online Focuses on ways to address the needs of students who do not read at grade level. Intervention strategies such as on-going assessment and evaluation, explicit instruction in phonemic awareness and phonics, extensive practice, comprehension strategies, and writing, along with careful examination of standardized state assessment measures. Field experience required. ED 665 Differentiated Elementary Literacy 3 hours Online This course will focus on guiding the learner to apply the concepts of differentiated instruction to elementary literacy concepts. Advanced teacher candidates will develop and implement differentiated instructional plans that utilize individual and flexible grouping strategies and resources to support the growth of strategic, independent readers and writers. ED 696 Reading Education Internship 3 hours Online Placement in an internship of at least 300 clock hours as required for state licensure. This course includes observations by a university supervisor and a case study of one or more students receiving specialized literacy instruction. Action Research Project = 1 course (3 hours) ED 690 Master's Action Research Project 3 hours Online After the completion of the courses, advanced candidates will complete a summative action research project. Working with an individual faculty member, the action research will be planned, completed, and presented for the department.