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August 12, 2015

SVSU's K-12 Literacy Specialist Endorsement Program recognized for excellence

Saginaw Valley State University’s literacy specialist program has received accreditation from the International Literacy Association.

“The program excels in its emphasis on helping teachers engage in progressive, research-based practices across content areas,” said Gretchen Owocki, SVSU professor of teacher education.

SVSU’s program is designed for K-12 teachers who have initial certification and want to become more effective literacy teachers in their classrooms or who aspire to work as a reading specialist or literacy coach. 

“Literacy is the key to learning in any classroom,” said Debbie Smith, SVSU professor of teacher education, “and guiding students to read and write in each content area is the best way to promote lifelong learning.”

Literacy specialist students at SVSU engage in field experience in local schools and SVSU’s reading clinic. Many of the courses in the 36-credit graduate program are offered online.

While much emphasis is rightly placed on the importance of early childhood literacy and learning to read, literacy experts say that advanced literacy and reading to learn is increasingly critical in the modern information age.

“Literacy is fundamental to all aspects of education, including 21st century citizenship,” said Vetta Vratulis, SVSU associate professor of teacher education. “Empowering children to become active readers and writers at a young age equips them with the knowledge and skills to achieve their lifetime goals."

For more information, visit, or contact certification officer Kathy Lopez, Owocki at or Vratulis at