Advanced Literacy Specialization

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  • Master of Education: 30-33 credits

Earn an advanced master's degree and move into new leadership roles in literacy

Become certified as a Literacy Specialist, birth through grade 6

Susan Goetz-HaverSusan Goetz-Haver
Program Director

The Advanced Literacy Specialization is especially designed for educators who hold a master's degree in Early Childhood or Childhood education and want to become literacy specialists in schools, clinics, private practice, or other professional settings, as well as take on literacy leadership positions. The curriculum has been designed to develop teachers' instructional and leadership strategies and deep understanding of the academic, intellectual, and emotional needs of children. Teachers will integrate their theoretical and practical knowledge of language and literacy theory, so that they are able to assess, plan, and implement lessons that address the strengths and needs of diverse learners.

Distinctive Features

  • Learn from core literacy graduate faculty mentors, master teachers who have extensive backgrounds working with children classroom and clinical settings.
  • Differentiate instruction and motivate students to strengthen reading and writing abilities by selecting and using powerful literacy resources.
  • Expand your understanding of what literacy is and can be in your own and your students' lives.
  • Develop leadership skills to work with teachers and children in elementary schools as a Literacy Specialist or Literacy Coach.

Certification in Education

When you graduate from this program, you will be eligible for professional New York State certification as a Literacy Specialist (birth through grade 6).


Courses at Bank Street provide students with the opportunity to engage in readings, discussions, direct experience, and reflection, encouraging a constant interplay between theory and practice. Explore the courses for the Advanced Literacy Specialization program.

Supervised Fieldwork/Advisement

The integration of coursework and field experiences is central to a Bank Street education. You will:

  • Engage in intensive, supportive fieldwork: Work in clinical settings as a student teacher (3 full days each week) or use your classroom setting (1-6) and an additional placement in after school or summer clinic.
  • Participate in a weekly collaborative conference group with your advisor and 5-7 other graduate students. You will have an opportunity to engage in ongoing in-depth conversations about teaching and learning.
  • Work as a Teaching Assistant in a Bank Street Literacy course.
  • Benefit from individual meetings with your advisor twice each month.

Admission Requirements

  • A master's degree in Education and current New York State classroom certification in Early CHildhood and/or Childhood General Education.
  • Mature, self -aware and committed individuals who are excited about teaching and learning. There is an expectation of an ability and willingness to be reflective about one's own practices and work with children.
  • Excellent academic record and references.
  • See the Admissions Criteria.

Career Opportunities

  • Graduates work as Reading Specialists and Literacy Coaches in public, charter, or independent schools.
  • Those graduates who choose to teach outside of New York State can usually arrange for reciprocity for teaching certification in their new location.