Empower People with the Promise of Literacy
Offered on campus or online, the Ph.D. program prepares individuals for research and teaching positions at universities, colleges, community colleges, research institutions, policy centers, state education departments, and P-12 school districts. Coursework includes literacy theory, research, practice, and policy. These courses focus on areas such as literacy acquisition, development, curriculum, instruction, assessment, community involvement, critical literacies, theoretical perspectives, and teacher education. Students also complete a sequence of research courses to understand and implement research.
Ultimately, you investigate your own research questions under the guidance of your dissertation chair. Potential areas of inquiry are developed with your advisor, and may include a wide array of topics such as teacher preparation, support for special populations, and literacy education in families, groups, communities, schools, workplaces, and other settings.
Program of Study
The PhD program accommodates full-time students as well as working teachers with part-time or full-time enrollment options, including online and evening class schedules.
The Nature and Acquisition of Literacy Across the Lifespan
- Literacy Learning and Development Across the Lifespan
- Language Foundations for Learning
Literacy and Schooling
- Texts and Teaching in Literacy Learning
- Research on Preparing Literacy Teachers
Literacy and Society
- Literacy as Social Practice
- Literacy as Social Reproduction and Transformation
- Theory and Research in Teaching Literature
Choose 27 credits with your advisor's consent. Graduate transfer credits may count toward the elective requirement.
To understand research design and analysis, you must earn 12 credits in research methods (minimum). Please note that these credits are not included in the 54-credit minimum required for the comprehensive exam.
Credit distribution is based on the primary method of inquiry involved in your dissertation project; either take 9 credits in quantitative methods and 3 credits in qualitative methods, or take 9 credits in qualitative methods and 3 credits in quantitative methods.
Sample courses include:
- Analysis of Written Discourse
- Practitioner and Participatory Action Research
- Current Research in Literacy
- Quantitative methods in Literacy Research
- Qualitative Methods I and II
- Doctoral Research Practicum
As a doctoral student, you develop professional teaching and research skills by assisting with the teaching of graduate courses or clinical practica, and by participating in faculty research projects. In addition, you gain experience presenting scholarly papers at a variety of professional conferences and submitting academic articles to peer-reviewed journals.
For more information, contact Reisha Rieder at firstname.lastname@example.org or 518-442-5100.
Assistantships and fellowships are regularly offered to full-time students when funding is available through the University and/or externally funded projects.
If you are awarded an assistantship or fellowship, you receive a stipend for 20 hours of research or teaching assignments per week, and a tuition waiver for 9 credits of coursework per semester for an academic year (fall and spring).
Some assignments require to you gather information, organize and analyze data, and assist with manuscript preparation, while others may involve teaching activities at the undergraduate or master's level.
The PhD in Literacy prepares you for research and teaching positions in universities and colleges, or for positions in P-12 schools, government agencies, and educational organizations that require literacy expertise and strong research and data analysis skills.
Sample Dissertation Titles
Careers and Advisement
The Pathways Into Education (PIE) Center is the central office on campus serving undergraduate, graduate, and prospective students interested in pursuing careers in education and programs leading to teacher certification.
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