Contact Us

For more information, please contact the Program Director:

Sheri Voss
Sheri Voss
Visiting Professor, Graduate Literacy
MSED Literacy Program Director
SBU Reading Center Program Director

B44 Plassmann Hall
St. Bonaventure University
St. Bonaventure, NY 14778
(716) 375-2368
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To Apply

For application instructions and materials, please visit our site:

 Or contact:

Phone: (716) 375-2021

PROGRAM SUSPENDED: Our Adolescent Literacy program has merged with our Childhood Literacy program to become the MSED Birth to Grade 12 Literacy program, greatly expanding career opportunities for graduates — and only two more courses are required. Click here for details on our B-12 Literacy program.

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This degree is designed for teachers who wish to become a reading/literacy specialist, address the demanding literacy needs of their students as classroom teachers, and/or wish to serve in the grades 5–12 settings at some time in their careers.

The degree provides teachers with extended knowledge in the areas of the language arts; diversity; the history of educational theories; problems in secondary schools; literacy processes for individual, small-group and whole-group settings; content literacy; diagnosis of reading abilities; the contexts of intervention, remediation and enrichment; coaching and its relationships; supervision of reading and literacy programs; and other critical teacher education literacies including differentiated learning as well as research methods.

Admission Requirements

Admission to this degree program is based on:
  1. Teaching certificate in a matching area (middle, adolescence)
  2. Official transcripts of all prior college work (3.00/4.00 GPA)
  3. Two references addressing your ability to teach and do graduate level work
  4. Interview
  5. Writing sample
  6. Additional information, if requested by program director
  7. GRE or MAT score
NOTE: State law requires SBU to collect immunization records from students taking six or more credit hours in any semester.

Exit Criteria

In order to be awarded the MSED Adolescent Literacy degree, the following criteria must be met:
  1. A cumulative GPA of at least 3.0
  2. Successful completion of the following:
    1. Clinical practicum in literacy
    2. Literacy/coaching internship
    3. A portfolio showing professional growth and accomplishments
    4. The St. Bonaventure MSED Literacy Comprehensive Exam (80% or better)

Download a FACT SHEET

Field Experiences

Program-long field experiences are provided to candidates through completion of the course READ 599. Literacy & Coaching Internship. This involves a 60- to 75-hour in-school field placement across all semesters.

Candidates are matched with certified literacy teachers, reading specialists, and/or educational coaches who facilitate their work with school personnel, students, and resources. Students are placed in settings that provide them the opportunity to work with students from diverse backgrounds who reflect a broad range of learning needs. 

Your time in the classrooms is excitingly spent as candidates take on varying roles of observer, assistant, teacher, and coach.

Across their field experiences, candidates complete projects that meet the literacy and coaching standards set by the International Literacy Association. These projects will be assigned and graded within the context of courses take during the program. Details about project requirements are provided by program faculty. 

The St. Bonaventure University Reading Center practicum is another field embedded in the three-credit course READ 595. Clinical Practicum in Literacy – Adolescence. Consistent with the program’s philosophy, purposes, and objectives, the clinical practicum allows candidates to practice knowledge learned in the initial phases of the literacy program.

Candidates will assess thoroughly the literacy proficiencies, skills, and strategies of  school-age children in grades 5 to 12. The reading assessment process will give graduate candidates knowledge from which to write diagnostic assessment reports, create individualized plans for instruction, and provide reading and literacy instruction for their Reading Center clients for a period of at least 50 clock hours over the course of a semester.

The practicum is supervised by St. Bonaventure faculty from the program and is accompanied by individual support from the faculty that focuses on the various issues experienced by their adolescent--aged student clients.

Successful completion of the Reading Center practicum is a requirement for graduation from the program.

Scholarships and Grants

St. Bonaventure's Dean's Scholarship can reduce tuition costs by 20%, making St. Bonaventure an exceptional value among Western New York colleges and universities.

Students pursuing Literacy Teacher Birth-Grade 6 certification may be eligible for the federal TEACH Grant.

For more information, visit our Scholarships & Grants page in Graduate Admissions & Aid.

Degree and New York State Certification

The degree in Adolescent Literacy requires candidates to have met all requirements for initial teacher certification in a matching area (middle and/or adolescence) prior to admission to the degree program.

The MSED in Literacy meets the criteria for additional certification area in New York. The only candidates recommended for literacy certification in New York by St. Bonaventure's School of Education are those who have completed the master's degree in its entirety. All others apply for certification through BOCES (NY).

Upon graduation, teachers are eligible to take their New York state teacher professional certification exam.

A Note about the Teacher Certification Entrance Requirement for the MSED Literacy degree

New York state regulations require that candidates have NYS Initial Elementary Teacher Certification prior to or within one semester of beginning a Master's in Education degree program. The SBU School of Education upholds this regulation. This means that applicants must have passed all New York state required Initial Teacher Certification tests including the edTPA before being allowed to permanently register for the MSED Literacy program, which begins during Summer I session in early May.

Students can be admitted provisionally for the first semester, summer, with all other admission criteria satisfied and then show proof of NYS teacher certification prior to the start of the subsequent fall semester in order to continue in the program. 


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