Jul 19, 2024  
2009-2010 Graduate Catalog 
2009-2010 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Literacy for Special Needs

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Katherine L. Schlick Noe, PhD, Program Director
John Chattin-McNichols, PhD, Department Chair


The literacy for special needs master’s degree program is designed to prepare general education teachers, special educators, and reading specialists to work effectively with K-12 students with a broad range of specialized learning needs. The program prepares candidates for various roles, including literacy assessment, instructional planning, and nurturing lifelong literacy development and skill application. Courses in this program include an examination and evaluation of current literacy and special education research and best practice. Completion of the master’s degree in literacy for special needs leads to the Washington State endorsement in reading and provides 16 credits toward the Washington State endorsement in special education.

The post-master’s certificate/literacy specialist is designed for teachers who already hold a master’s degree but who want to earn the endorsement in reading. The Graduate Endorsement-only Program: Reading is designed for teachers without the master’s degree who want to earn the endorsement in reading.

Program Design

The program is designed for working professionals who take one or two courses a quarter during the academic year and one or two courses during the summer. Students take a planned program of course work in literacy and special education, culminating in the practicum working with K-6 students with special needs.

Students can begin the program during any quarter. Courses during the academic year meet in the late afternoon and evening hours; some summer courses meet during the day. Part-time students can complete the program in three to four years.

Teacher Certification

Students who wish to earn the Washington state endorsement in reading through the literacy for special needs program must already hold a Washington state teaching certificate.

Students completing the master in teaching program may apply up to 15 credits toward the post-master’s certificate/literacy specialist prerequisites and required courses and the endorsement in reading by completing the following courses:


Admission Requirements

  • Application for Graduate Admission with non-refundable $55 application fee. (Application fee waived for SU alumni.)
  • Evidence of four-year equivalent bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university
  • Minimum GPA of 3.00 calculated from transcripts of all post-secondary educational institutions attended in the last 90 quarter/60 semester credits of the bachelor’s degree, including transfer credit earned during this time, and any post-baccalaureate course work. Applicants with less than a 3.00 GPA may apply but are required to submit official scores from the GRE or MAT by the application deadline. Test scores must be from tests taken within the last five years to be considered official.
  • Copy of valid Washington State Teacher certification
  • Résumé reflecting at least two years of full-time teaching experience at the K-12 level
  • Two recommendations, including one from an immediate supervisor and one from a professional colleague who can evaluate the candidate’s teaching experience, using the College of Education forms
  • Two-page (maximum) statement of purpose (including goals for the program and professional goals)
  • College of Education Self-Evaluation form
  • Select candidates will be invited for an interview with the program director. Admission decisions are sent by letter within 30 days after the interview.

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