The purpose of the Ph.D. program in Literacy Education is to prepare advanced graduate students to assume leadership positions within the field of literacy education. The program is designed to prepare educators for the role of Reading Professor, as defined by the International Reading Association's Standards for Reading Professionals (2003). The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) report of Compliance with Specialty Guidelines (5/01) indicated that the program "meets or exceeds IRA's guidelines for the preparation of reading professors."
The program provides advanced study in the design and analysis of educational research; cultural/theoretical foundations of education; human development and learning; curriculum theory, design, development, and evaluation; preservice and inservice teacher education; and research within the field of literacy learning: theories, processes, models, instructional issues. Students develop knowledge through course study, participation in doctoral-level seminars, residency, and the dissertation experience. (Graduate Course Offerings)
Students plan individualized courses of study, based on their previous educational experiences and professional goals, with the advice and approval of their advisory phase committees. The course of study includes four major divisions:
- Advanced study in research, human development and learning, and cultural foundations of education;
- Major area, advanced study in reading, writing, and literacy-related areas;
- Minor/cognate, focused study in another doctoral-level area within the university;
- Residency, in-depth study and professional activities (e.g., writing for publication, presentation at professional conferences). Written and oral examinations conclude the coursework phase of the program. The dissertation phase completes the program.
The Ph.D. program in Curriculum & Instruction (Literacy) is designed to promote growth in these eight broad areas, stated as objectives. The student will
- Develop knowledge of processes and skills related to procedures for curriculum design, development, and implementation in literacy education
- Understand and value the role of research in exploring literacy- related issues and in informing practice in literacy education
- Understand and value the contributions to literacy theory and practice from allied fields: linguistics, psychology, sociology, etc.
- Understand issues, problems, and trends in literacy research and instruction
- Develop a comprehensive knowledge base in literacy education and the broad field of education;
- Analyze and evaluate literacy research in terms of its potential to inform practice
- Develop attitudes, values, reasoning abilities, and technical tools of educational scholarship and practice appropriate to literacy education
- Conduct research in literacy processes and/or instruction.