CAS in Literacy Overview

Certificate of Advanced Study

The Program:

The graduate program leading to the Certificate of Advanced Study (CAS) in Literacy prepares individuals for leadership roles in literacy education. This program is designed for:

  • Students seeking advanced coursework in literacy research and pedagogy with a view toward career advancement, or entry into a PhD program in Literacy;
  • Classroom teachers or literacy specialists who already have a master's degree, seeking to deepen or broaden their professional knowledge or clinical expertise.The CAS provides students the opportunity to pursue professional development beyond the Masters degree.  

Enrollment Requirements:

Students in the CAS program are NOT required to be continuously enrolled (unlike the PhD program, in which students must register each Fall and Spring semester). However, all requirements of the program must be met within the statute of limitations--five calendar years.  These requirements can be extended, but extensions have to be formally requested, and approved by both the Department and the Graduate Academic Council.

These statutes apply equally to students who enter with or without advanced standing and to students who formally change their area of specialization after admission and study in one advanced program.


The Department recommends, but no longer requires, a period of full-time study. Full-time study is the best way to be mentored into the practices of the academy, especially into the process of doing research. This is particularly important if your goal is to eventually work in a research university. If you can be in full-time residence for one year, or even a single semester, you should talk over the timing of this residence very carefully with your program advisor.

Annual Review:

Once a year, the department undertakes a review of all students in its advanced programs to ensure that they are making good progress, and are well advised. The foundation of this review is a student self-evaluation report which is accessed via the web and must be completed by May 1. Faculty will devote the second department meeting in May to the annual review process. Each student will receive a letter from the department with comments on progress.