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Literacy instruction certificate starts this fall

St. Scholastica launches new literacy instruction certificate

St. Scholastica launches new literacy instruction certificate

The School of Education is launching a new literacy instruction certificate, with a goal of helping teachers to improve reading comprehension for K-12 students across the state.

The program, which begins this fall, is geared toward teachers who want to expand and deepen their knowledge of teaching reading. The 100 percent online, five-course, 15-credit program is aligned to Minnesota K-12 Teacher of Reading Standards. It can be completed in 18 months, and can be started during any school term.

Brenda Fischer, School of Education assistant professor and department chair, emphasized the importance of literacy for students of any age.

"Once students get to seventh grade, explicit reading instruction often doesn't happen," she said. "So if you're not a good reader, you now struggle in social studies, science and all content areas."

The CSS program addresses that issue, she said, giving reading teachers the tools they need to re-engage and motivate students.

"The purpose of the program is to help teachers become better teachers of reading at any level," she said. "It's all about teaching reading and how to do that well."

The program also helps teachers move beyond the classroom into leadership roles, to guide literacy improvement at a school-wide level.

In addition, it's useful for people who don't necessarily have teaching licenses at all, or who work with different populations beyond K-12 students.

"For them it's helpful to understand a little bit more about the reading process." Fischer says. "This program has a variety of payoffs for different populations of people."

Courses focus on the key components of high-quality literacy instruction and assessment, with practical, research-based approaches to teaching reading. They may be applied toward elective requirements for St. Scholastica's Master of Education degree program.

Fischer points out that the all-online program is very engaging.

"There's a lot of interaction involved," she said.

The program currently offers licensing to teachers in the state of Minnesota. Licensure is not available for the state of Wisconsin, but faculty and staff members are working to make that happen at a later date.

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