Prof. Jody Polleck
906 West Building
This is a 27-31 credit program that prepares teachers with NYS initial, professional, or permanent certification to meet New York State requirements for certification as a teacher of adolescent literacy. The program has been nationally recognized by the International Reading Association (IRA).
The curriculum is designed to help teachers develop professional dispositions and expertise in literacy education, in accordance with standards established by the International Reading Association, New York State Commissioner’s Regulations, and the knowledge required for the NYSED Literacy Content Specialty Test. Strategies for helping English language learners, special needs students, and the use of culturally responsive instruction and technology are integrated in every course. The program of study emphasize strategies for developing middle and high school students’ abilities to comprehend, discuss, study, and write about multiple forms of text (print, visual, and oral), taking into account their interests in the Internet, hypermedia, and various interactive communication technologies. The 30-credit course of study consists of three cores: Content Core (15 credits), Intervention Core (9 credits), and Leadership Core (6 credits).
The Adolescent Literacy Program is designed to serve certified teachers who wish to:
- become knowledgeable and skilled in integrating culturally responsive and differentiated instruction across the content areas in middle and high schools;
- develop the expertise to work collaboratively with content area teachers in implementing effective literacy instruction across the middle and high school curricula;
- look forward to a career as a leader in the teaching of literacy at the school, district or city-wide level;
- obtain advanced preparation in one-on-one and small group literacy intervention programs;
- earn a master’s degree or gain the 30-credits above the master's degree for their salary differential.
Career opportunities for graduates of the Adolescent Literacy Program include:
- middle and high school content area teachers with special expertise in integrating the teaching of language and literacy into their specialty;
- middle and high school literacy specialists and coaches;
- literacy specialists in hospitals and community centers;
- literacy specialists in private tutoring practice;
- literacy specialists in the educational publishing industry.
Core Beliefs of the Literacy Program
The courses, content, and competencies of the Hunter College Literacy Program are built upon shared core beliefs and values about literacy, adolescents, and teachers. The core beliefs that guide the coursework in the program are:
- The goal of literacy is to produce lifelong learners (among teachers and students) who use literacy to meet their needs and purposes. This belief is reflected in competencies and methods of evaluation throughout the program.
- Literacy is a dynamic, social process of speaking, listening, reading, and writing that involves discourse practices, values, and beliefs acquired at home and learned in school. This belief is reflected in course work in adolescent literacy, language literacy and learning, young adult literature, and orientations to content in many other courses.
- Literacy skills can and should be instructed, experienced, and learned in many ways to meet multiple needs and purposes. This belief is reflected in course work in instructional approaches, writing, literacy within the disciplines, interventions, and the organization of literacy programs.
- Culturally responsive and differentiated instruction, curriculum, and assessment are critical approaches for equity and for making literacy accessible to all students. These beliefs are reflected in all coursework and methods of assessment and evaluation.
- Involvement of and communication with families, communities, supplemental service providers, and professional colleagues is essential in supporting the literacy development and meeting the learning needs of diverse students within urban settings. This belief is reflected in modules in special needs adaptations and coursework in leadership, diagnosis, assessment, and embedded competencies and methods of evaluation in many other courses.
- Diversities in all forms (including exceptionalities and giftedness) at many levels and in many contexts are strengths that should be built upon for effective literacy learning to occur. This belief is reflected throughout the program in competencies, methods of evaluation, and orientations to content.
- Assessment is the foundation upon which instruction, curriculum design, and program development should be based. This belief is reflected in coursework in assessment, diagnosis, instructional approaches, leadership, and embedded in competencies and methods of evaluation in other courses.