• Develop a repertoire of evidence-based instructional strategies to support all students becoming literate.
  • Develop the appreciations, understandings, knowledge, and habits to be a teacher who changes students' lives.
  • Choose a certification program, either birth-grade 6 or grades 5-12. Add one additional clinical course and be eligible for both certifications.


Flexible program, full- or part-time


Daytime and evening classes


Complete in as fast as 1 year full-time or 2 years part-time


Teach at our on-campus reading clinic

Program is Ideal for

  • Certified teachers who are eligible for additional certification as a literacy specialist.
  • Certified teachers who want to strengthen your ability to meet the needs of all students.
  • Certified teachers and eligible professionals who hold a master's degree and seek New York State certification as a literacy specialist.

Curriculum Examples

  • Diagnosis and Remediation of Reading Problems – Elementary or Secondary
  • Literacy in the Content Areas – Elementary or Secondary
  • Reading Improvement through Written Expression
  • The Literacy Specialist as a Coach
  • Literacy Practicum and Seminar

Value of Your Degree

  • Schools seek teachers with multiple certifications.
  • This degree prepares you to be a literacy specialist, classroom teacher (PreK-grade 6), literacy coach, community college faculty, or content area teacher (grade 7-12) able to meet all students’ literacy needs to increase their ability to learn course content.
  • Between 2014 and 2024, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects nearly 1.9 million job openings for teachers of preschool through postsecondary school and that employment of teachers will grow 6%.

Making Grad School Affordable

Grants, scholarships, veterans benefits, loans, and undergraduate loan forgiveness are options for paying for this grad degree.


Student's Perspective

“I went out into the education field holding tight to the words of Lisa Delpit, which exemplify my program’s faculty: ‘They held visions of us that we could not imagine for ourselves. They were determined…we would achieve.’ ”

Jamie (Sinicropi) Oberdorf ’14, third grade teacher, Elizabeth Cady Stanton School, Seneca Falls, N.Y.

What to Expect

  • Choose a certification program, either birth-grade 6 or grades 5-12. Add one additional clinical course and be eligible for both certifications.
  • Teach at the on-campus Marie Callahan Reading Clinic, which offers literacy support to community children and teenagers.
  • Gain experience in public and private school settings.
  • Design and carry out your Teacher Action Research Project, structured to meet the needs of a specific student, under the guidance and support of a faculty member.
  • Participate in large community events held on the Nazareth campus, including the Teen Book Festival.
  • You have the option to get specialized preparation in teaching students with autism and students with severe or multiple disabilities, and a federal grant may cover your cost for those courses. See details about the Interdisciplinary Specialty Program in Autism (I-SPAN) specialization and the I-SPAN Scholars grant opportunity, which also can cover the Teaching Students with Severe or Multiple Disabilities annotation.

Program Requirements & Course Descriptions

Program Director

Naomi B. Erdmann

Naomi B. Erdmann

Professor / Director of Graduate Literacy Programs / Director of the Marie Callahan Reading Center
Lourdes 5

Director of the Marie Callahan Reading Clinic

Education: B.Ed. & M.Ed., National College of Education; Ed.D., Syracuse University

Teaching and Research Interests: Emergent learners; foundations of literacy; diagnosis of reading and writing needs; accelerating the progress of students who need support in becoming readers and writers; children's literature and its use in the classroom; and program assessment and evaluation.

Proudest Moments: Working at a school that resulted in its being removed from the schools under registration review (SURR) list and working on Rochester Mayor Duffy's Literacy Council.

Program Faculty »