The MAT: Literacy Specialist program is designed for elementary or middle/secondary candidates who have initial certification and want to become more effective teachers of literacy in their own classrooms or who aspire to a position as a Literacy/Reading Specialist. To be certified as a K-12 Reading Specialist in Michigan a candidate must complete a master’s degree in a state-approved preparation program and successfully pass the MTTC (Michigan Test for Teacher Certification) for Reading Specialists. SVSU’s program is state-approved.
Reading program goals/objectives are set by the Michigan Department of Education and the International Reading Association (IRA). The IRA is the accrediting body for the Council for the
Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) accreditation process, and those standards are used for program evaluation. The IRA has 21 standards, arranged into six goal areas:
1) Foundational Knowledge
2) Curriculum and Instruction
3) Assessment and Evaluation
5) Literate Environment
6) Professional Learning and Leadership
The state and professional standards are aligned with the 2013 SVSU College of Education Conceptual Framework. The new Conceptual Framework presents the goal of the College of Education as fostering educators who demonstrate “dynamic and continuous learning” --educators who are focused on growth in personal, academic, and professional areas and leadership in respecting diversity and impacting student achievement; educators who form partnerships and serve as resource providers locally, regionally, and globally. The International Reading Association national recognition program stresses the need for literacy leaders who are continually learning, who have research-based learning strategies that can positively impact student achievement, and who demonstrate leadership in their school and school district, providing resources to foster successful learning for teachers as well as students.
Accrediting/Certifying Body: CAEP/IRA
Professional Organizations/Standards that informed development of learning outcomes: IRA
CAEP/IRA 2010 Standards for Reading Specialists/Literacy Coaches
Standard 1: Foundational Knowledge: Reading Specialist/Literacy Coach Candidates understand the theoretical and evidence-based foundations of reading and writing processes and instruction.
1.1: Understand major theories and empirical research that describe the cognitive, linguistic, motivational, and sociocultural foundations of reading and writing development, processes, and components, including word recognition, language comprehension, strategic knowledge, and reading–writing connections.
1.2: Understand the historically shared knowledge of the profession and changes over time in the perceptions of reading and writing development, processes, and components.
1.3: Understand the role of professional judgment and practical knowledge for improving all students’ reading development and achievement.
Standard 2: Curriculum and Instruction: Candidates use instructional approaches, materials, and an integrated, comprehensive, balanced curriculum to support student learning in reading and writing.
2.1: Use foundational knowledge to design or implement an integrated, comprehensive, and balanced curriculum. [Reading specialists may have responsibilities for teaching students who struggle with learning to read and must also be able to support teachers in their efforts to provide effective instruction for all students.]
2.2: Use appropriate and varied instructional approaches, including those that develop word recognition, language comprehension, strategic knowledge, and reading–writing connections.
[McKenna and Stahl (2009) define reading as including word recognition, language comprehension, and strategic knowledge (see the Glossary for their definition of cognitive model of reading).]
2.3: Use a wide range of texts (e.g., narrative, expository, and poetry) from traditional print, digital, and online resources.
Standard 3: Assessment and Evaluation: Candidates use a variety of assessment tools and practices to plan and evaluate effective reading and writing instruction.
3.1: Understand types of assessments and their purposes, strengths, and limitations.
3.2: Select, develop, administer, and interpret assessments, both traditional print and electronic, for specific purposes. [Reading specialists may have responsibilities for teaching students who struggle with learning to read and must also be able to support teachers in their efforts to provide effective instruction for all students.]
3.3: Use assessment information to plan and evaluate instruction.
3.4: Communicate assessment results and implications to a variety of audiences.
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.
4.1: Recognize, understand, and value the forms of diversity that exist in society and their importance in learning to read and write. [Reading specialists may have responsibilities for teaching students who struggle with learning to read and must also be able to support teachers in their efforts to provide effective instruction for all students.]
4.2: Use a literacy curriculum and engage in instructional practices that positively impact students’ knowledge, beliefs, and engagement with the features of diversity.
4.3: Develop and implement strategies to advocate for equity.
Standard 5: 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.
5.1: Design the physical environment to optimize students’ use of traditional print, digital, and online resources in reading and writing instruction.
5.2: Design a social environment that is low risk and includes choice, motivation, and scaffolded support to optimize students’ opportunities for learning to read and write. [Reading specialists may have responsibilities for teaching students who struggle with learning to read and must also be able to support teachers in their efforts to provide effective instruction for all students.]
5.3: Use routines to support reading and writing instruction (e.g., time allocation, transitions from one activity to another; discussions, and peer feedback).
5.4: Use a variety of classroom configurations (i.e., whole class, small group, and individual) to differentiate instruction.
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.
6.1: Demonstrate foundational knowledge of adult learning theories and related research about organizational change, professional development, and school culture.
6.2: Display positive dispositions related to their own reading and writing and the teaching of reading and writing, and pursue the development of individual professional knowledge and behaviors. [This element deals with positive attitudes not only with colleagues but also with community members, parents and guardians, and so forth.]
6.3: Participate in, design, facilitate, lead, and evaluate effective and differentiated professional development programs.
6.4: Understand and influence local, state, or national policy decisions.