CAS in Literacy Coursework


The CAS in Literacy program is designed to be flexible and is tailored to the specific literacy goals of each applicant. The program consists of 60 credit hours, with the following course distribution requirements:

  • 30-36 hours in Reading/Literacy
  • 6-24 hours in Allied Courses in Professional Education
  • 6-24 hours in Behavioral and Social Sciences
  • Capstone Experience

Core Coursework (All CAS Students)

  • ELTL 710: Literacy as Social Practice or ELTL 711: Literacy as Social Reproduction and Transformation
  • ELTL 756: Texts and Teaching in Literacy Learning or ELTL 757: Research on Preparing Literacy Teachers
  • ELTL 781: Literacy Learning and Development Across the Lifespan or ELTL 782: Psycholinguistics and Reading

Core Coursework (CAS Students Preparing for Comprehensive Examination)

CAS students in this track will take the same courses as PhD students. The Comprehensive Examination requires coursework in three literacy domains.

Three Domains Courses:

  1. The nature and acquisition of literacy across the lifespan
    Emphasizing what literacy is (multiple views including psychological and sociocultural) and how it is acquired (or “emerges”, or “develops”, sometimes with difficulty) throughout the lifespan. Core courses for the domain are:
    • Nature and acquisition of literacy in the early years
    • Nature and acquisition of literacy beyond the early years
    • Psychology of literacy
  2. Literacy and schooling
    Emphasizing how we think about the practical, interactional, and institutional aspects of literacy. The focus is schooling and schooled literacy and institutional practices like instruction, assessment, differential treatment, classification, organization of instruction for children with difficulties, curriculum, teacher education, in schools and other institutions. Core courses for this domain are:
    • Literacy curricula and teaching
    • Literacy teaching and learning in schools (Micro/Macro analysis of school practices)
  3. Literacy and society
    Emphasizing how literacies are situated social and cultural practices, includes critical social theory, critical literacies, sociological perspectives, anthropological perspectives, social policy perspectives, and the entanglements of literacy and society such as class, gender, disability, and culture. Core courses in this domain are:
    • Critical and social theories and literacy research
    • Literacy and society

Cross-domain courses

You are required to take a minimum of two courses from the department in each domain, although you may designate a “cross-domain” course to fulfill one of the required two courses in any given domain. The domain in which you designate the course will depend primarily on the emphasis you have taken in the course in projects and optional readings. New courses developed by department members will be designated as fulfilling particular domain requirements. All courses address historical aspects and critical reading of research. The cross-domain courses are:

    • Difficulties with literacy learning
    • Literacies, technologies and media
    • Special topics courses. These occasional courses might include, for example, the History of literacy research. The department will designate these as core courses in specific domains.

The department recognizes that circumstances can arise in which a non-core course, within or outside the department, might partially fulfill the requirements for a particular domain, though it has not been designated as a core course. In consultation with your advisor, you may petition the department to have the course so designated.

Other Reading Courses

In consultation with your advisor, you may select appropriate coursework with an ELTL prefix (600- and 700-level courses).