Courses for M.S.Ed. Reading & Literacy Education

The faculty of the School of Education take pride in the curriculum they teach. Whether just beginning in the field of education as an undergraduate student or pursuing a graduate or doctoral degree, the coursework will prepare students to confidently and effectively make a difference in classrooms, school districts, and communities.

Course NumberCourse TitleCredits
GRLA 520

Introduction to Literacy Theories

This course will serve as an introduction to the theories and models of the reading process. Students will critically examine the theories and models to identify their strengths and weakness, as well as their lasting effect on reading instruction. Students will use their knowledge to develop effective literacy instruction.

GRLA 521

Reading Programs and Instruction

This course will provide a framework for ongoing professional growth in reading instruction. Learning will focus on five enduring concepts or “Big Ideas” of Reading Instruction. Through assigned research, readings and writings, book reviews, and lesson planning in reading, you will develop a repertoire of reading methods, intervention strategies, assessment strategies and instructional materials to support your craft. Practicum experiences including classroom observations and model lesson delivery will provide opportunities to extend learning beyond the university into schools and classrooms. Throughout the course study you will have opportunities to interact and collaborate with Reading Specialists, Classroom Teachers and Reading Coaches in an inquiry-based learning experience. Indispensable to balanced literacy instruction is familiarity with children’s literature. A routine will be established that encourages review of a variety of authors, styles, genres, text structures, levels and suitabilities.

GRLA 522

Advanced Children's Literature and Multimodal Text

The purpose of this graduate course is to develop competencies about the role of literature in literacy development and on methods that support children and youth as they learn to read using literature as a medium of instruction and interpretation. Students will learn how digital and print children's and young adult literature can enrich, extend, and enliven the teaching and learning process in schools and communities. Students will read and explore various genres and forms of literature, including picture books, chapter books, graphic novels, nonfiction, and traditional literature. Each class will include literature discussions, lecture, and reflective participation. While reading a diverse array of contemporary and classic children's literature, students will learn about visual literacy, authors and illustrators, creating a literature-rich environment, strategies for evaluating books, and using books to engage and motivate all learners.

GRLA 523

Diversity and Equity in Literacy

The purpose of this graduate course is to develop competencies for critically examining and understanding equity and diversity in literacy research, policy, and practice. Course objectives include gaining a deeper understanding of self and others as cultural beings with belief systems, biases, and privileges; demonstrating knowledge of research, relevant theories, concepts, and pedagogies; demonstrating and providing opportunities for understanding all forms of diversity as central to students’ identities; creating classrooms and schools that are inclusive and affirming; and advocating for equity at school, district, and community levels.

GRLA 525

Theories, Models, and Instruction of Writing

This is a graduate course that will guide you – whether you are a future staff developer or K-12 preservice or inservice teacher – in how to support children’s writing and teach writing in your grade level, content area, and/or school. This course is “writing intensive” and will require a substantial amount of homework. The focus of the course is on the genres of nonfiction/information writing, fiction and poetry. Prerequisites include at least two undergraduate or graduate courses in reading or language arts. While the course is open to all graduate school of education candidates, it is a requirement for those candidates pursuing certification as a reading specialist, for it is often the expectation and administrative structure for reading specialists to be one of the school’s leaders and staff developers in the teaching and assessment of writing. Utilizing an intensive writing and workshop format, sessions will model how to make students better writers and thinkers through writing. Because one cannot teach what one does not know, much of the course will involve us engaging in the writing process ourselves. Modeling the link between reading and writing, genre topics will involve study of authentic texts and literature. The course is highly collaborative, as you will conference with the instructor as well as with other students in the class.

GRLA 529

Disciplinary Literacy

This course is designed to provide teachers and reading specialists with background knowledge and application of “best practices” related to secondary reading instruction. The reasons why some students struggle with reading at the secondary level is one of the major emphasis of this course. To understand the current science-based methodologies to increase a student’s reading level; which include the development of instructional strategies related to phonological awareness and phonics, fluency, vocabulary and morphology, comprehension, writing, study skills and assessment.

GRLA 550

Reading Practicum and Seminar

This course provides an opportunity for an authentic, twenty-hour school-based practicum experience. Students work with school-based personnel who will provide ongoing feedback during their practicum. Supervisors will have an understanding of literacy processes, have literacy content knowledge, understand literacy assessment with evidence-based instructional strategies, and, preferably, have experience as reading/literacy specialists. Students will also receive feedback and guidance from a university-based instructor throughout the practicum experience.

GRLA 620

Literacy Assessment and Intervention

The focus of this course is on learning: (1) how to collect assessment data regarding a child’s literacy development, and (2) how the components of literacy can be assessed (3) how to interpret those assessments and use them to identify instructional needs, and (4) instructional strategies to remediate students’ learning needs in the following critical areas of literacy development: motivation and interest; automatic word recognition; and language comprehension, strategic knowledge, and writing.

GRLA 628

Reading Tutorial in the Reading and Language Arts

This is a practicum designed to provide you with experience in working with children developing skills in the language arts and/or content areas. You will develop techniques and materials for working with children at the developmental, corrective, and remedial levels.

GRLA 630

Seminar in Reading and Language Arts

The course is designed to investigate the applicability and practicability of instructional methodology and theory in reading/language arts by evaluating research and completing a formative research process. This course is intended to be the concluding required course for a M.Ed. degree in the reading/language arts curriculum.

GRLA 631

Reading Internship in Reading and Language Arts

Designed to give the advanced graduate student supervisory and teaching experience in either the Duquesne University Reading Clinic or in local school reading programs. The student will have the experiences in testing and diagnosis, remediation, and clinic supervision of beginning reading clinicians.

GRLA 632

Leadership Roles in Literacy

This course identifies and defines the following roles and responsibilities that certified reading specialists and other school personnel assume in the areas of literacy development: instructional leadership; professional development; coaching; program design and assessment; curriculum development; and, community partnerships. Students will examine and investigate strategies that promote most effective practices in the above areas with activities based on literacy research, practical applications, and real-world scenario evaluations.