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University Bulletin
Graduate Degree Programs

Literacy Leadership

Postbaccalaureate Credit Certificate Program

Denise G. Meister, Ph.D.
School of Behavioral Sciences and Education, Teacher Education Program
Suite W331, 777 West Harrisburg Pike
Middletown, Pennsylvania 17057

The Literacy Leadership postbaccalaureate certificate program is offered by the Teacher Education unit in the School of Behavioral Sciences and Education at Penn State Harrisburg. The primary goal of the program is to prepare K-12 educators (teachers, specialists, and/or administrators) to serve in literacy leadership roles in K-12 educational contexts. The 12-credit curriculum integrates core principles of literacy education that address curricular content, curriculum initiative planning, diverse K-12 students’ needs, and leadership development consistent with standards-based professional development and candidate preparation guidelines. Candidates will complete four courses targeted to develop critical perspectives, reading, and writing associated with professional literacy initiatives and leadership skills. Candidates will complete three required courses and select the fourth course from a menu according to individual professional needs. The certificate is designed for educators who need to develop understandings of complexities involving literacy goals among K-12 students and adult educators.

Admission Requirements:

Applicants for the Certificate in Literacy Leadership must hold either (1) a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or (2) a tertiary (postsecondary) degree that is deemed comparable to a four-year bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution. This degree must be from an officially recognized degree-granting institution in the country in which it operates. 

To be considered for admission into the certificate program, applicants must have a 3.0 grade-point average in the last two years of undergraduate work (or graduate work if applying with a Master’s degree).

The language of instruction at Penn State is English. All international applicants must take and submit scores for the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or the IELTS (International English Language Testing System), with the exceptions noted below. The minimum acceptable score for the TOEFL is 550 for the paper-based test, or a total score of 80 with a 19 on the speaking section for the internet-based test (iBT). Applicants with iBT speaking scores between 15 and 18 may be considered for provisional admission, which requires completion of specified remedial English courses ESL 114G (American Oral English for Academic Purposes) and/or ESL 116G (ESL/Composition for Academic Disciplines) and attainment of a grade of B or higher. The minimum acceptable composite score for the IELTS is 6.5.

International applicants are exempt from the TOEFL/IELTS requirement who have received a baccalaureate or a graduate degree from a college/university/institution in any of the following: Australia, Belize, British Caribbean and British West Indies, Canada (except Quebec), England, Guyana, Republic of Ireland, Liberia, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Scotland, the United States, and Wales.

Graduate applicants will be able to complete this program as stand-alone graduate study or in conjunction with Master’s-level studies in the Teaching and Curriculum or Literacy Education graduate programs at Penn State Harrisburg. Undergraduate candidates may apply with a recommendation from a Penn State academic unit but must have a conferred bachelor’s degree prior to enrollment into the certificate program.

Candidates will apply to the program by completing the online Graduate School certificate application, including payment of the application fee. Candidates will earn the certificate upon successful completion of the four required courses. All courses must be taken for a letter grade with at least a 3.0 average maintained; no grades below a C will be counted toward the certificate.

List of Courses Included in the Certificate

The following three 3-credit courses are required:

  • EDUC 452. Teaching Writing
  • EDUC 471. Best Practices in Literacy
  • EDUC 565. Literacy Leadership

In addition, each candidate must take one additional 3-credit course from the following list of electives:

  • EDUC 477. Teaching Struggling Readers and Writers
  • EDUC 432. Children’s Literature and Teaching Writing
  • EDUC 466. Foundations of Teaching English as a Second Language
  • LL ED 445. Teaching English in Bilingual/Dialectal Education

Effective Semester:  Fall Semester 2014
Expiration Semester:  Spring Semester 2019

Last Revised Spring Semester 2014
Blue Sheet Item #: 42-07
Review Date: 06/10/2014


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