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• Meets professional standards and requirements for certification as a reading specialist in both Maryland and Pennsylvania

• Presents a unique opportunity to apply theory and research in summer reading clinics for students

• Provides students with a working knowledge of the assessment-instruction process

M.S. for Reading Specialists: Literacy Leadership Program

Overview

McDaniel College’s Graduate Program for Reading Specialists: Literacy Leadership (RDS) is designed to create contemporary leaders in literacy education. The program offers a comprehensive approach to reading instruction and incorporates current research, theoretical perspectives, informed practice, and thoughtful reflection. Candidates implement a repertoire of assessment procedures and instructional techniques across multiple grade levels to address the needs of diverse learners. In addition, our graduate candidates become an important part of a collaborative professional network.

 

Key Features of the RDS program include:

• Meets International Reading Association standards as a nationally recognized program for the preparation of Reading Specialists.

• Presents unique opportunities to apply theory and research through practicum experiences and performance outcomes.

• Empowers candidates to become life-long learners and reflective practitioners. 

• Fosters close working relationships with knowledgeable faculty.

• Offers a professional and personalized educational experience in a three-phase program.

• Examines ongoing assessment-instruction processes with a variety of diverse learners.

The McDaniel Reading Clinic:

The reading clinic offers a comprehensive clinical practicum for RDS students. Throughout the clinical experiences, candidates design and implement instructional plans using systematic, ongoing data. Leadership roles and responsibilities of resource personnel are explored through a variety of professional development initiatives and best practice action research. Relevant instructional implications and recommendations are communicated to parents and to the broader professional community. 
 

Why McDaniel

• Apply what you’ve learned through comprehensive practicum experiences.

• Network with faculty, administrators and peers.

• Offers convenient schedules to fit your busy schedule.

• Balances full-time faculty with adjunct instructors who draw course content from best practices in the field.

• Small class size and individual attention that the professors provide students.

• Highly competitive tuition.

Admissions Requirements

Candidates seeking admission to the Graduate Reading Specialist: Literacy Leadership Program must have completed a baccalaureate degree at an accredited institution with an overall minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.0*. Applicants must hold a valid initial teaching certification in Early Childhood, Elementary, Secondary, or Special Education.

• Completed application for graduate study

• Submit the non-refundable application fee

• Official transcripts verifying completion of an undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university with a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0

Three letters of recommendation

• Initial teaching certification for Early Childhood, Elementary, Secondary, Special Education or related fields

• State-designated qualifying scores for the Praxis Exam or equivalency

Following the admission process, each candidate is individually advised and a preliminary program plan is outlines for the first twelve graduate credits in Reading (RDS 540, RDS 542, RDG 532, RDG 533 and/or Reading Elective)

* Students not meeting the 3.0 G.P.A. criterion may be admitted to program on a conditional basis. Matriculation status will be reviewed at the completion of nine graduate credits.

Degree Requirements

Reading Specialist Practicum

All candidates must successfully complete a six-credit supervised practicum experience (RDS 552) in the McDaniel College Reading Clinic. Candidates are admitted to RDS 552 after successful clinical screenings and completion of the following course sequence: RDS 544, RDS 546, and RDS 548. 

Program Completion

In addition to successfully completing practicum requirements and fulfilling 36-credit course requirements with 3.0 GPA, candidates must pass a written Comprehensive Examination.

Master's Thesis Option

Candidates who are interested in research may pursue a Graduate Reading degree with a thesis option.  Candidates generally substitute the completion of the three-credit thesis (RDS 590) for the reading-related elective and the comprehensive examination. The program coordinator or graduate Reading faculty serve as individual advisors for candidates who select the master’s thesis option. The master’s thesis is orally defended before a three-member Graduate and Professional Studies committee with expertise in the specific area of study.

Courses

Reading Specialist: Literacy Leadership Program

Courses

Phase I (12 credits)

RDS 540

Early Literacy Foundations

Note Reading Specialist Candidates only.

This course examines the foundations of early literacy from an interactive perspective. The course content addresses assessment measures, data analysis, instructional methodologies, and materials for emergent and early readers. Candidates assume the role of the contemporary Reading Specialist to implement demonstration lessons in phonological awareness, phonics development, print concepts, and strategic reading behaviors.

3.0 Credits

RDS 542

Comprehensive Literacy Instruction

Note Reading Specialist Candidates only.

This course examines the design and implementation of a comprehensive literacy program. The course content addresses developmental benchmarks, instructional methodologies, selection and evaluation of reading materials, and guidelines for creating, organizing, and managing a literate environment. Candidates assume the role of the contemporary Reading Specialist to implement demonstration lessons in comprehension, vocabulary, and fluency.

3.0 Credits

RDG 532

Reading in the Content Areas, Part I

This course examines essential components of the reading-to-learn process within the context of the secondary classroom. The course content addresses cognitive strategy instruction, vocabulary acquisition, comprehension development, writing to learn, and the strategic use of textbooks, trade books, and electronic resources. Candidates evaluate instructional techniques for enhancing reader-text interactions and integrating content reading across curricular areas.

3.0 Credits

RDG 533

Teaching Narrative Writing with Children’s Literature

Note *Throughout the semester, candidates apply craft techniques to personal writing and implement developmentally appropriate practices in a school setting.

This course examines effective techniques for composing compelling personal and fictional narratives with vivid characters, plots, and settings. Building on the reading-writing connection, candidates apply a writer’s lens to analyze elements of craft, recursive writing processes, and workshop structures. Through author studies, candidates identify strong mentor texts, develop literature-based craft lessons, and design instructional techniques to support writing apprenticeships. 

3.0 Credits

Phase II (12 credits)

RDS 544

Early Literacy Intervention

Note Reading Specialist Candidates only *Throughout the semester, candidates need access to a kindergarten or first grade reader.

This course examines intervention techniques and strategies for at-risk emergent and early readers. The course content addresses oral language, alphabetic knowledge, print concepts, and strategic reading behaviors. Candidates systematically analyze assessment data, implement instructional plans, and evaluate student performance in a longitudinal case study format.

3.0 Credits

RDS 546

Diagnostic Assessment and Instruction

Note Specialist Candidates only.

This course examines the assessment instruction framework from an interactive perspective of reading. The course content addresses multiple assessment techniques, analysis of literacy contexts, and instructional designs for diverse learners. Candidates administer quantitative and qualitative assessments, analyze data sources, develop implications, and implement instructional plans with at-risk readers.

3.0 Credits

RDS 548

Diagnostic Assessment and Instruction, Advanced

Note Reading Specialist Candidates only.

This course extends the assessment-instruction framework from an interactive perspective of reading and writing.  The course content addresses multiple assessment techniques, curriculum and instructional designs for diverse readers and writers, and the professional roles and responsibilities of the contemporary Reading Specialist.  Candidates systematically analyze school-based instructional contexts and develop relevant implications and evidence-based recommendations for culturally responsive literacy instruction.

3.0 Credits

RSM 550

Introduction to Research Methodology

This course is directed toward an understanding of how research is conducted. Includes the study of quantitative and qualitative strategies and their appropriate use. Reviews appropriate statistical tools and their use in data collection and interpretation.

3.0 Credits

Phase III (9 credits)

RDS 552

Reading Specialist Practicum

Note Reading Specialist Candidates only.

This course fulfills the requirements for a comprehensive practicum experience. The course content addresses the design, implementation, and evaluation of instructional programs for diverse learners, and the leadership roles of the contemporary Reading Specialist. Throughout the practicum, candidates assume responsibilities for team collaboration, professional development seminars, literacy coaching, and communication with parents, students, and colleagues.

6.0 Credits

RDS 554

Literacy Leadership for Reading Professionals

Note Reading Specialist Candidates only.

This course examines relevant literacy topics in their historical, social, and political contexts. The course content addresses research, legislative works, and policies and practices related to literacy leadership and professional development. Candidates conduct independent research on a school-wide literacy initiative and design a comprehensive framework for systematic professional development.

3.0 Credits

Electives - Choose One of the Following (3 credits)

RDG 524

Materials for Reading Instruction

This course examines the selection, evaluation, and implementation of instructional materials for a variety of learners. The course content addresses the effective use of core and supplementary materials that incorporate quality children's literature, informational text, leveled book collections, and technological and multi-media resources. Candidates examine essential components of reading instruction, various text formats, and parent-school and community collaboration within the context of comprehensive literacy instruction.

3.0 Credits

RDG 534

Reading in the Content Areas, Part II

This course extends the concepts presented in Part I of Reading in the Content Areas. The course content addresses technical reading and writing, performance-based assessments, multi-genre research, and the integration of reading and writing instruction in secondary classrooms. Candidates explore instructional techniques, and design modifications for at-risk readers and writers.

3.0 Credits

RDG 536

Using Technology in the Reading-Writing Classroom (Online)

This interactive course examines the integration of instructional technology within K-12 reading and writing classrooms. The course content addresses theoretical as well as practical applications for enhancing literacy learning through the strategic use of computers and other digital devices. Candidates evaluate various software programs, design instructional materials, develop professional presentations, and create and critique Web-quests.

3.0 Credits

RDG 537

Teaching Informational and Argument Writing with Children’s Literature

This course introduces assessment-instruction frameworks for authentic inquiry and nonfiction writing. Candidates investigate and engage in research processes and critical analysis, developing instructional strategies to help learners generate focused questions, gather information from print and digital sources, analyze and evaluate ideas, and draw on relevant evidence. Using mentor texts as writing models, candidates compose original texts and plan instruction that addresses varied disciplines, purposes, and audiences in informative, procedural, and opinion/argument writing. (RDG 533: Mentoring Young Writers recommended pre-requisite but not required.)

3.0 Credits

RDG 566

Special Topics in Reading

This course will focus on various topics in reading. A different topic is chosen for any given semester and will be fully described in additional information on the section listing in Archway.

3.0 Credits

SLM 503

Literature for Children

This course presents new and outstanding titles in literature for children in grades kindergarten through sixth. Topics include authors and illustrators, fiction and nonfiction, literature in other media formats, principles of selection, using literature in the classroom, and reading for pleasure and life-long learning. Candidates read books, discuss them in class, identify strategies for encouraging students to read, and create an annotated bibliography of books appropriate for elementary school students.

3.0 Credits

SLM 504

Literature for Young Adults

This course presents new and outstanding titles in literature for young adults in grades sixth through twelfth. Topics include authors, fiction and nonfiction, literature and other media formats, principles of selection, using literature in the classroom, and reading for pleasure and lifelong learning. Candidates read books, discuss them in class, identify strategies for encouraging students to read, create an annotated bibliography of books appropriate for middle and high school students and present book talks with teens.

3.0 Credits

WRT 501

Reading Like A Writer (Online)

This course examines the writing craft of respected children and young adult authors. The course content explores craft elements, including audience, word choice, sentence construction, narration, plot, characters, and setting. Candidates identify, analyze, and model these elements by a thorough reading of selected picture books, fiction, and nonfiction books.

3.0 Credits

Reading Courses Approved for Recertification (MSDE)

Students who are not interested in pursuing a Master's degree for Reading Specialists but need to complete coursework in reading for Maryland recertification requirements may select from the following courses, which have been approved by the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE)

Early Childhood, Elementary and Special Education (12 credits)

RDG 521

Reading Processes and Acquisition (FALL Semester)

This course examines the acquisition of reading, the foundations of reading development, and the interactive nature of the reading process. The course content addresses cognitive development, language acquisition, phonological awareness, phonics, and vocabulary knowledge in relationship to literacy acquisition. Candidates will also analyze theories related to reading and spelling performance and explore practical applications for the classroom.

3.0 Credits

RDG 522

Balanced Literacy Instruction (FALL Semester)

This course examines theoretical and practical issues related to the design and implementation of a comprehensive balanced literacy program. Candidates will critically analyze and implement developmentally appropriate instructional practices for phonemic awareness, phonics, comprehension, vocabulary, and fluency. The course content addresses the organization and management of balanced reading instruction within the elementary school.

3.0 Credits

RDG 523

Assessment for Reading Instruction (SPRING Semester)

This course examines research-supported informal and formal literacy assessment techniques, processes, and instruments within an interactive assessment-instruction framework. The course content incorporates administration, scoring, interpretation, and reporting procedures for a variety of assessment tools. Candidates will analyze and select valid, reliable assessments to screen, diagnose, monitor progress, and measure literacy achievement. Effective instructional intervention techniques will also be addressed. Candidates will apply intervention techniques and the assessment-instruction process to a case study of a struggling primary reader.

3.0 Credits

RDG 524

Materials for Reading Instruction (SPRING/SUMMER)

This course examines the selection, evaluation, and implementation of instructional materials for a variety of learners. Participants will examine the five essential components of reading instruction and various text formats within the context of a scientifically-based literacy program. The course content will explore the effective use of core and supplementary materials that incorporate quality children's literature, informational text, leveled book collections, and technology and media resources. Parent-school and school-community collaboration and resources for enhancing independent reading will be addressed.

3.0 Credits

Secondary Content Areas, Special Education , K-12 (6 credits)

RDG 532

Reading in the Content Areas, Part I

This course examines essential components of the reading-to-learn process within the context of the secondary classroom. The course content addresses cognitive strategy instruction, vocabulary acquisition, comprehension development, writing to learn, and the strategic use of textbooks, trade books, and electronic resources. Candidates evaluate instructional techniques for enhancing reader-text interactions and integrating content reading across curricular areas.

3.0 Credits

RDG 534

Reading in the Content Areas, Part II

This course extends the concepts presented in Part I of Reading in the Content Areas. The course content addresses technical reading and writing, performance-based assessments, multi-genre research, and the integration of reading and writing instruction in secondary classrooms. Candidates explore instructional techniques, and design modifications for at-risk readers and writers.

3.0 Credits

 

 

Career Opportunities for Graduates

Our graduates currently fulfill literacy leadership positions as:

• Reading Specialists within K-12 public school settings

• Reading Specialists within K-12 private school settings

• Literacy Coaches

• Staff developers in Reading/Language Arts

• Classroom Teachers within K-12 public/private settings

• College Level Instructors

• Doctoral Candidates

• Language Arts and Elementary Supervisors

• Building Level Administrators

Faculty

Dr. Debra A. Miller, Professor of Education, Program Coordinator
damiller@mcdaniel.edu
(410) 857-2476

 

 

Dr. Sharon Craig, Associate Professor of Education
scraig@mcdaniel.edu
(410) 857-2528
 

 

FAQs

1. What does the Comprehensive Examination involve?
The written comprehensive examination consists of a series of essay questions that reflect foundational knowledge and skills from core coursework and performance outcomes. A team of internal evaluators scores the Comprehensive Examination using an anonymous review process. The review can result in a pass, fail, or a request for a conference to justify or explain responses. The comprehensive examination may be repeated no more than three times.

2. What is the McDaniel College Reading Clinic?
The McDaniel College Reading Clinic is a creative summer program that has been in operation for three decades and has served hundreds of children from Carroll County communities. The Reading Clinic offers four weeks of intensive, individualized instruction for primary, intermediate, and middle school students.

3. What is the best sequence of courses?
The revised program reflects a three-phase sequence of coursework including:

I. Foundational Knowledge,

II. Diagnostic Teaching and Research Practices, and

III. Literacy Leadership and Professional Development. 

Candidates should begin with Phase I coursework including RDS: 540, RDS: 542, RDG: 532, RDG: 533 or one elective.

4. When should I enroll in EDU: 550 (Introduction to Research Methodology)?
Ideally, candidates should complete EDU: 550 in Phase II of the program sequence. Phase II incorporates Diagnostic Teaching and Research Practices. We strongly recommend completion of research methods prior to enrolling in RDS: 554 Literacy Leadership for Reading Professionals.

 
McDaniel Dance Company Recital
April 25, 2014, 7:00 pm
Animal House - Decker Auditorium
April 25, 2014, 9:00 pm
Late Night Bowling Party
April 26, 2014, 10:00 pm
Spring Undergraduate Awards Ceremony
April 27, 2014, 12:00 am
Junior Open House
April 27, 2014, 1:00 pm
Children's Chorus of Carroll County
April 27, 2014, 2:00 pm
The Female Army Officer Experience
April 30, 2014, 7:00 pm
Children's Show
May 1, 2014, 6:30 pm
Spooky House
May 1, 2014, 6:30 pm
Laser Battle in the Quad
May 1, 2014, 7:00 pm
Musical Theatre/Opera Workshop
May 4, 2014, 7:00 pm
McDaniel Playback
May 5, 2014, 7:00 pm
An Evening of Madrigals
May 5, 2014, 7:30 pm
Battle of the Speeches
May 8, 2014, 6:00 pm