Literacy Reading Education Department Mission Statement

The Department of Literacy and Reading Education faculty believe reading is a developmental, social, and meaning-making process. Reading is embedded within the broader constructs of literacy, or “the ability to understand, interpret, create, compute, and communicate using visual, audible, and digital materials across disciplines and in any context.” (1) This includes affirming the multiple literacies that permeate students’ homes, schools, and communities.  Effective equity-minded specialized literacy professionals must have a thorough knowledge of the theoretical underpinnings and relevant pedagogies of literacy and learning. The Department faculty adopt an approach that meaningfully integrates anti-racist pedagogy and issues of social justice and inclusiveness as related to students’ intersecting identities.  Literacy instruction involves making informed choices about the multitude of issues that impact curriculum and assessment and a deep analysis and evaluation of students’ strengths and needs.  The Department of Literacy and Reading Education focuses on the need to think critically and creatively and consider possible alternatives to prepare candidates to become advocates for students, families, and their communities. 

(1) ILA Standards for the Preparation of Literacy Professionals 2017


The Program will allow students to integrate knowledge and skills acquired in a diverse set of courses and fieldwork experiences to achieve the following student learning outcomes:

1.) Candidates will explain, critique, and respond to theoretical and historical research, and relevant pedagogies related to language and literacy teaching and learning, in an effort to dismantle systems of oppression.

2.) Candidates will investigate tenets of just, equitable, and inclusive education to interrogate their own implicit and explicit biases and privileges in an effort to serve as literacy leaders who advocate for students, families, and communities.

3.) Candidates will develop a literacy curriculum inclusive of students’ intersecting social identities and higher-order thinking utilizing antiracist pedagogies and educational technologies.

4.) Candidates will utilize assessment data to create and teach culturally and linguistically sustaining literacy instruction that addresses students’ strengths and needs in the context of fieldwork/clinical experience.