Teachers, even accomplished teachers, may not have the specialized skills they need to teach reading and writing at all levels. 

This program is designed for experienced teachers who are interested in advancing their knowledge and skills as a literacy teacher.  Our licensure program is designed for experienced educators who want to deepen their knowledge and skills around literacy teaching, as well as delve into literacy leadership. 

This is a two year program; at the end of the first year, candidates are eligible for a NH Reading and Writing Teacher recommendation, with the second year leading to a recommendation as a NH Reading & Writing Specialist. At the conclusion of the second year, candidates are also eligible for recommendation as a Specialized Literacy Professional in Vermont.

The Literacy Education Program is intended to advance career goals related to teaching literacy (literacy interventionist, literacy core teacher), informal teacher leadership (modeling effective practice, leading professional development, facilitating grade level and department collaborative learning, peer coaching), and formal teacher/school leadership (serving as a literacy specialist).

“The UVEI faculty and staff are extremely kind, understanding, and flexible. The program gives you countless opportunities to apply your learning in your classroom. The learning environment is supportive, encouraging and growth oriented,” ~ Marisa Kiefaber, Specialized Literacy Professional Candidate ’22

Program Overview

Experiential Learning

The UVEI model differs significantly from university graduate programs in education.  Believing that teaching is an art best learned through practice, UVEI reverses the percentage of time traditionally allotted to academic theory (with us, 20%) vs. classroom practice (80%).  In our program, each candidate works full-time in their classroom under the supervision of a mentor, ideally within their school or district.

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The two year program focuses on the mastery of 10 literacy educator competencies, all of which must be demonstrated by the candidate in order to complete the program.  The classroom experience is reinforced by weekly seminars and by observation and support from a UVEI faculty coach, who are highly-experienced literacy educators.  At the end of the program, candidates have integrated theory and practice as they become skills literacy teachers and leaders.

How the Program Works

Candidates begin with a self-directed online module at the end of the summer, an orientation in September and ongoing seminars that take place once-a-week from mid-late September through early June. The program is clinically intensive, meaning the majority of the work consists of deliberate practice in a school setting under the guidance of an experienced literacy specialist. The faculty coach meets with the mentor and candidate periodically throughout the program to provide support and feedback. 

Weekly seminars are primarily intended to engage candidates in experiential inquiry, to emphasize collaborative learning, and to frame and deepen fieldwork as opposed to “covering” material. In the Literacy Educators Program, the cohort will meet as a small group approximately once a month. The other weeks, the cohort will join the MEd cohort for inquiries into Lesson Study, Analysis of Student Work and Reading Assessment, and Deeper Learning. 

Performance assessments are the culmination of inquiry cycles and provide evidence of candidate progress towards competency. There are asynchronous online modules for candidates to complete independently and the material is discussed in a collaborative inquiry in seminar.