Application Review Procedures
Admissions to the SPED/Literacy programs (43 hr. and 67 hr.) are accepted in the spring only.
The Process for Submitting Your Application
First, choose the program that is right for you. More information can be found on "Selecting the Right Program."
Second, make sure that you meet all admissions criteria. You must:
- Successfully complete a bachelors degree from an accredited institution with at least a 3.0 gpa.
- Meet the Certification Eligibility requirements for your chosen program.
- Submit three satisfactory references (one of these must address the candidate's academic abilities and/or potential for graduate study; one must attest to the candidate's teaching abilities and/or potential; the third may attest to either academic or teaching abilities/potential, or to other aspects of the candidate's experiences or traits that are felt to enhance the application).
- Make an appropriate written statement of professional and academic accomplishments and objectives in response to the department's Admission Questionnaire. Take your time with the written statement. We read your responses carefully, not only for what you say but also to learn how you express your thoughts in writing. Be candid about your goals, experiences, and your own literacy abilities. Note: If applying for the MS in Reading, use the MS Reading Admission Questionnaire designed for that specific program.
Third, complete the online application on the Graduate Admission website. The department's questionnaire will replace the Statement of Background and Goals found on the regular application form.
What We Are Looking For In Our Applicants
We are looking for students who:
1) have a college education with strong subject matter knowledge and a broad liberal arts background.
2) demonstrate effective teaching skills.
We look carefully at your academic record to see how successful you were in subject matter courses. We don't just calculate the GPA. We pay careful attention to the academic letters of reference. Seek out professors and/or others who can write about your academic qualities, and how prepared you are for graduate study. If you have taken graduate-level courses, especially recently, obtaining letters from these instructors is very helpful. If you have concerns about previous academic achievement, make sure they are addressed in your written responses to our questions. We do admit students who have shown to overcome earlier difficulties, and we also take into consideration life experiences that have caused uneven academic results.
Pedagogical Knowledge/Teaching Skills
We look at your academic record to learn how well you have done in methods courses (especially literacy-related but also in other areas). We also examine what you say about your teaching experiences to date. Make sure that at least one of your letters of reference speak to your teaching abilities. If you are currently teaching, one of these letters should come from someone who really knows about your teaching and can tell us about it. Supervising or mentor teachers make good referees. Ask these letter-writers to really focus on your "demonstrated effective teaching skills." You can also add comments about your teaching in the questionnaire's written statement.
Is Finanical Aid Available?
The Department of Literacy Teaching and Learning rarely awards assistantships to full-time master's degree students, but it never hurts to inquire about assistantships, especially if you are coming into the program as a full-time student. You should also consider the New York State Tuition Assistance Program as a possible source of support. Information is available from the Student Financial Center.